Sydney's Bilgola Beach

Sydney’s Bilgola Beach

Sydney’s northern beaches are possibly where God might have spent just a little more time. Beautiful, almost perfect honey crescents of sand sandwiched between emerald green hills and the shimmering blue Pacific Ocean. What is most astounding about these places is that they are not only the addresses of weekenders, but many locals live here and work in the city centre, taking a swim or surf in the morning before slipping into something less comfortable and heading to the office. The region is home to dunes, headlands and lagoons which make all sorts of sports and activities possible; rock climbing, hang gliding, canoeing, waterbird watching, golf, hiking.

Last time we read about the Sydney’s best beaches near to Sydney’s CBD, now lets cast our net wider and check in with the stunning northern beaches.

 

Tropical Bliss: Whale Beach

Sydney's Whale Beach

Sydney’s Whale Beach

A secluded stretch of sand lined by Norfolk Island Pines and ringed by well-to-do villas boasting frangipani trees. No, this is not some faraway South Pacific idyll, this is Whale Beach, just south of more-famous Palm Beach and absolutely part of Australia’s largest city. Not that you’d know it; hidden from busy Barrenjoey Road by a range of green hills (hinterland?), Whale Beach sees far fewer visitors than its neighbours, and the locals like it this way.

 

Facilities:

  • Ocean Pool
  • Two “beach-chic” style places sell fish, chips, coffee and even wine; further up the hill are some cafes
  • Lifeguard
  • Parking
  • High-end accommodation

 

Why we like it: Frangipanis by the beach? Yes please!

What we don’t like about it: Locals are quite protective of their little piece of perfection, but can you blame them?

Recommended for: Seachangers

 

A Little Slice of Heaven: Bilgola Beach

Palms and the Pacific at the entrance to Bilgola Beach

Palms and the Pacific at the entrance to Bilgola Beach

It’s hard not to like a beach whose only land access route is a snaking, tree-lined road called The Serpentine. Once you’ve parked amid the palm groves, Bilgola Beach delights with its gorgeous little crescent of golden sand, and it’s pretty, secluded setting away from major traffic routes. It’s rarely crowded here, and there are properties right on the beach too – a low key slice of northern beaches beachfront, and a place you’ll find yourself returning to again and again.

 

Facilities:

  • Ocean Pool
  • Cafe serving the regular fish and chips along with some more salubrious options
  • Lifeguard
  • Parking
  • Bus access: Take bus L88 or L90 from Carrington Street near Wynyard Station for about an hour. Alight at the Serpentine, and walk the last 200 metres
  • High-end accommodation

 

Why we like it: The friendly, non-bogan crowd

What we don’t like about it: Factor in an extra 20 minutes into your plans; you’ll spend it waiting for a car space to become free

Recommended for: Families escaping the rat race of other northern beaches

 

The Surfer’s Hangout: Freshwater Beach

Freshwater Beach and ocean pool

Freshwater Beach and ocean pool

Freshwater, which was officially renamed in 2008 from the less-appealing Harbord, is at the northern end of a four kilometre-long world surfing reserve. The bay is known for producing excellent surfing conditions, however the beach is a draw even if you can’t hang ten. A lower-key Manly Beach, Freshwater still has a friendly community atmosphere without being infested with screaming children. It’s like a piece of classic twentieth-century Australiana (whatever that is), where people still pack an esky and spend the day with nothing more than sunand waves for entertainment.

 

Facilities:

  • Ocean Pool
  • Fish and chips, cafes and restaurants nearby, and a shopping centre just down the road
  • Lifeguard
  • Parking
  • Public transport: Take the ferry from Circular Quay to Manly, then take bus 139 and alight at Ocean View Road
  • High-end accommodation

 

Why we like it: A down-to-Earth piece of sun, sand ‘n’ surf beachgoing, straight out of a summer storybook

What we don’t like about it: Gorgeous though it is, Freshwater lacks the secluded beauty of the other northern beaches

Recommended for: Anyone looking for the real deal in Australian summer beach experiences

 

Part Three of Sydney’s best beaches can be found here.

Comments (2)

  • Agness Reply

    I would definitely visit the Freshwater Beach! Looks so beautiful, clean and not overcrowded.

    January 9, 2014 at 2:10 am
    • Tim Blight Reply

      The beach is waiting for you, Agness!! 😀

      January 9, 2014 at 10:04 am

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