Best beaches/day trips in/around Sydney?

Oct 21st, 2003, 09:49 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 28
Best beaches/day trips in/around Sydney?

I will be in Sydney for about 5 days at the end of Nov and want to know what I should do. I'm a sucker for beautiful beaches and wineries. Any recommendations for either or both?? Any advice on what NOT to bother with?
Many thanks!
cmpdx is offline  
Oct 21st, 2003, 12:47 PM
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Hi cmpdx,
We were in Sydney 2 yrs ago and allocated 1 visit to a beach in our short time. We chose Bondi.
Have to say we were disapointed; its really not what we were expecting.
Dirty, shabby and really awful.
Suppose we were expecting too much.
This december we will probably try Manly, I understand it is a lovely place to visit,and comes highly recommended on this site. There are plenty of others around the place too. If you have time please visit as many as you can and post what you thought of them.

Have fun

Mucky is offline  
Oct 21st, 2003, 01:43 PM
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Bondi Beach itself is OK - just the surrounds which are fairly ghastly - and overcrowded. Manly is better and easy to get to from city on ferry, but Palm Beach is far nicer. Bus leaves from Wynyard in city - used to be no 190 but you'd better check this (or you could catch ferry to Manly then bus to Palm Beach. Palm Beach (Sydney's most northern) has surfing beach on one side and calm water of Pittwater on the other - there's a ferry which leaves from Pittwater side which goes to lovely little coves and Barrenjoey headland is on the north end of Palm Beach - great view from the lighthouse on top. Hunter Valley has a myriad of wineries within a couple of hours drive from Sydney. Good for reds!
pat_woolford is offline  
Oct 21st, 2003, 02:32 PM
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Palmy is sydney's best beach.

Get the seaplane up from Rose Bay.Have a surf.Climb Barrenjoey.Eat lunch at Jonahs.Catch the bus back to the Newport arms for an afternoon drink and then on to Manly for dinner.Catch the manly ferry home.

To the south go to Watamolla in the royal national park and then on to Stanwell park.Have lunch at the Thirroul pub on the deck that looks out over the Pacific.Enjoy the view that DH Lawrence did when he was in oz.

johhj_au is offline  
Oct 21st, 2003, 05:13 PM
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Hi there, We went last year during November and my highlights for Sydney are Manley (the beach is great - take the regular ferry and see the beautiful harbour en route), the zoo (in my opinion the best in the world) and the Paddy Market (great shopping). The old part of Sydney is also nice for a stroll. I would also have liked to walk over the top of the bridge but have small kids. It looks great but it may be a little pricey $100. As for the wineries, we didn't get a chance but the wine is great. My recommendation - try some expensive wine. The inexpensive is good for sure but the expensive is wonderful. Don't bother renting a car. The driving was a little tense. Have a great holiday.
Shultzy is offline  
Oct 21st, 2003, 06:30 PM
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What is $100? I am planning a trip to Oz and I am at ground zero right now as far as info.
FromAtlanta is offline  
Oct 21st, 2003, 08:11 PM
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Hi, cmpdx!
I agree that Bondi, in spite of its reputation, is NOT the beach to choose; as pat_woolford has said, the visit to Manly is highly recommended, as the trip over and back is just great, and the beach itself is the equal of Bondi. PLUS there are other attractions around that way, also.
If you have time to do a second beach, try to get out of Sydney altogether and go either up the north coast, or along the south coast. The whole coastline is beaches, don't forget, and you are bound to find some that are just great, whatever you're looking for!

In answer to FromAtlanta's question (if I understood it) is that for $AUD130 you get to join a guided walk to the top of the arch on the Harbour Bridge, and back again (but not down the other side). This is quite safe, as you are cabled to the bridge the whole time (special clothing), and the view is so spectacular that this is popular with tourists (not so popular with locals because of the cost). You can walk ACROSS the bridge for nothing, and the view there is pretty good, too.
Alan is offline  
Oct 22nd, 2003, 01:49 PM
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Thankseveryone for the great information! I'll be sure to report back!

cmpdx is offline  
Oct 24th, 2003, 05:27 PM
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Here's another vote for Manly beach.

I've been to wineries out of Adelaide and Perth, but not Sydney. I'm sure there are some fine wineries in NSW and you can probably find a tour. I agree, the wines are excellent!
simpsonc510 is offline  
Oct 25th, 2003, 07:59 AM
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Manly Manly Manly

Spent a wonderful New Year's Day here this year. Beautiful beach, clean changing facilities, lots of friendly folks and the best fish and chips, actually had calamari rings, at this small fantastic shop rigth off the beach. Loved the promenade.

Being a New Yorker, I always love the signt of palm trees.
luv2fly is offline  
Oct 31st, 2003, 08:59 PM
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A Plug for Newcastle Beach
Newcastle is 100miles north of Sydney, and a well-kept secret, but I'll share it with you.
You can catch a train from the Airport (Change at Central) and the trip is very pretty, once you've left Sydney. Takes a bit over 2 hours from Central. The train stops only a short distance from Newcastle Beach. There's a Youth Hostel across the road from the beach, and the business district is in walking distance.The Hunter River runs parallel to the Main Street - a unique setting.
Newcastle is an hours drive from the many wineries of the Hunter Valley. It has a thriving pub scene with lots of local live music, if you like that sort of thing.

I also love the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney.
Carrabella is offline  
Nov 1st, 2003, 12:29 PM
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I hope to check out more beaches when I am there this dec. but I also give my thumbs up for Manly. I went there based on recs from this board a couple of years ago and really liked it.

Just know when the ferry docks, the strip of sand you are seeing is not the beach! Follow the people down the street, and there will be the surf and sand you are looking for.
crazymina is offline  
Nov 1st, 2003, 05:35 PM
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I love this thread, as we are planning our first trip to Oz. Tell me please, as we are going in August, will the weather in August change any of the above recommendations and suggestions? Thank you.
BillJ is offline  
Nov 2nd, 2003, 05:02 AM
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Hi, Bill!

I used to tell people to avoid August in Sydney, but in recent years we have had some great sunny Augusts, and it has turned into one of the driest months of the year (about three years ago we didn't have a single day of rain that month). So now I am not so hesitant about recommending August, and I am beginning to feel that the worst month is September, with those winds every other day.

Of course, being winter, August WILL have a bearing on anyone's choice of beach excursions, but you can make this work in your favour, rather than against it, by choosing Manly and doing the Spit Bridge to Manly wlak to get there. This is a great day out, I promise you, and it is perhaps best taken in a not-very-hot month but one where you are unlikely to be caught mid-way by a sudden shower of rain. In other words, August is looking pretty good. There are numerous threads on this forum about the Spit Bridge- Manly walk, and how to get to the start; if you do a search above you will probably find out all the details; if not, get back on here and I will type out the instructions again. It's a four-hour walk (followed by the best ferry ride in Sydney), and takes in not only some of the best views in Sydney, but some of the best views ANYWHERE -- no kidding. Do think about it -- it will be one of the highlights of your holiday.
Alan is offline  
Nov 2nd, 2003, 11:24 AM
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I actually preferred Bondi to Manly! Bondi seemed to have a younger, more vibrant feel to it. Manly was good too but the beachfront and shopping areas were *so* crowded. It seems more of a family beach. From what I've heard Palm Beach is the one to go to, but we didn't have time.
stevelondon88 is offline  
Nov 11th, 2003, 12:51 AM
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All of the northern beaches are beautiful; and Manly is certainly the first stopping point if you are staying in the city -- the farther up the northern beaches you go, the less crowded it gets. we live in Newport and I would be happy to show you around up here as I am an ex pat from the States who has been living here for the past two years. I was at Palm Beach today and agree with whoever posted the reply about Palm -- it is our playground. Re wineries, there are some good tours of the Hunter Valley, just a couple hours north of Sydney. Bring your Visa! Ku Ring Gai Chase Nat'l Park is another gorgeous place not to be missed. I can send you a link to our website that has some fab pictures of Sydney and the surrounds if you are interested.
Kind regards.
stacy_lanae is offline  
Nov 11th, 2003, 05:55 AM
Join Date: Aug 2003
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Hi Stacy,

I would love to see the website you have with pictures of Sydney and the surrounding area. My husband and I and another couple or travelling to your wonderful country for the first time the end of December. We will be spending 4 nights in Sydney, 4 nights in Brisbane and 6 at Palm Cove. We appreciate any information you can provide! Thank you.
smchrissy is offline  

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