10 Secret Swimming Spots Around Sydney to Add to Your Summer To-Do List
When the skies are blue and the mercury soars, Sydneysiders love nothing more than a dip in the sea. The upshot? Beaches swarming with swimmers, surfers and sun-seekers. It’s less than ideal, especially in an era of social-distancing.
The good news: we’ve compiled an edit with our friends at Lonely Continent of the best secluded swimming spots in and around Sydney, from blissful bays to unspoilt coves and splashy, salty rock pools. But sshhh, don’t tell everyone…
Collins Flat Beach, Manly
Eschew the Manly crowds for this hidden gem, all clear and calm turquoise waters. To get there, follow the walking trail from Little Manly until you descend on your own private (or at the very least, peaceful) paradise.
Store Beach, Manly
Just around the corner from Collins Flat Beach (above), this beautifully secluded bay is only accessible by water – rent a kayak from Manly Wharf and paddle on over. It’s a breeding ground for endangered fairy penguins, so if you’re lucky you might catch a glimpse of one waddling onto the shore.
Lilli Pilli Sandbar, Lilli Pilll
A local favourite, this island is such an enigma that it only emerges from Hacking River twice a day. Find it in Lilli Pilli in Sydney’s south – though you’ll need to check the tides and time your visit to perfection to experience this one-of-a-kind oasis.
Kutti Beach, Vaucluse
Heaven exists and it looks like Kutti Beach, a little-known bay in one of Sydney’s most exclusive suburbs. Find its glassy green waters at the end of Wharf Road (near the Sailing Club) down a teeny set of stairs. Feel like you’re trespassing on a private beach? You’re not, so lay out your towel and soak up that serenity.
Boat Harbour, Port Stephens
Dubbed the Champagne Spa for its fizz and bubbles, this natural wonder is 2.5 hours from Sydney, so save it for a road trip. Head to Boat Harbour, Port Stephens, then follow a rocky downward slope from the left of the whale-watching platform. And for more water holes and rock pools to swim in, check out Lonely Continent’s edit here.
Castle Rock Beach, Clontarf
Take a pit stop on the Manly to Spit walk to cool off in this tiny cove. You’ll need to follow a steep set of stairs (off Ogilvy Road) to get there, but the breathtaking scene at the end will be worth it.
Erskine Creek, Glenbrook
Escape the city and get back to nature in this quiet gorge. It’s located at Jack Evans Pass in the Blue Mountains National Park and features a 200m pool plus a mazes of water holes to explore. Look out for platypus!
Resolute Beach, Northern Beaches
This postcard-perfect beachscape is nestled amongst bushland in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, accessible via a six-kilometre walking track. The best bit: even on the most scorching of Sydney days, it still remains relatively serene. For something even more secluded, check out the neighbouring West Head Beach.
Lady Martins Beach, Point Piper
Geo-tagging on Instagram may have let the cat out of the bag on this stunning Eastern suburbs swimming spot, but it’s still well worth a visit. Just follow a little lane off Wolseley Road and you’ll meet an inviting stretch of sand – and a quintessentially Sydney view of the sparkling harbour, luxury yachts and mega-mansions.
Maitland Bay Beach, Central Coast
Get out of town with a trip to this hidden haven, about an hour-and-a-half from Sydney. The sand is golden, the people are few – thanks to the fact you have to bushwalk through lush eucalyptus forest to get there – and the sea is impossibly blue.
Kathryn Madden is the editor of Lonely Continent, which spotlights stylish, conscious travel in the Australian bubble. Check it out for more hidden gems and holiday havens to explore.
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Main image credit: @francescocamilloph