Escape The Crowds At 8 Of NSW’s Best Hidden Beaches
The coast is dotted with a heavenly mix of sandy spots.
Golden sands, rolling dunes, endless ripples of salty whitewash – who doesn’t love a long day out at the beach? Sometimes, that’s precisely the problem: too many bodies jostling for the same sunbathing space.
Thankfully, the NSW coast is dotted with a heavenly mix of sandy spots, many of them well off the beaten track. When Bondi, Manly and Tamarama start to jam up, head a little further out for your own private oasis.
Located an hour or so north of Nelson Bay by the Myall Lakes National Park, the golden 20km stretch of Mungo Beach makes for one of the most stunning and isolated of NSW’s coastal nooks.
It’s the third-longest beach in the state, and one of the most dramatic – expect big surf, epic dunes and, with its considerable width (and scarcity of humans), the perfect place for a wild 4WD beach drive. Just make sure to pack your National Parks Pass before you rev your engine.
Being a short leg from Mungo Beach Campground means you’ll also be able to relish in the region’s excellent bush hikes, river kayaking and swimming.
One of the eleven beaches in Royal National Park, Garie Beach is one of the best days out you can hope for. Just an hour outside of Sydney, Garie has excellent swimming, good fishing, a little surfing, and, if you’re lucky, some whale watching (ornithologists can rejoice, too – there’s plenty of sea-bird spotting to be done here).
With ample facilities on site, Garie makes a choice picnic spot, while its surrounding rainforest gullies and cabbage palms provide delightful respite from the searing sun.
Reef Beach, Dobroyd Head
Sometimes, less is more: for those seeking sandy respite without legging it too far from the big smoke (if at all), Reef Beach along Dobroyd Head has you covered. This small strip of sand near the Manly Scenic Walkway dishes up spectacular views across Sydney’s North Harbour – it’s a perfect spot for a cheeky dip, minus the crowds and the fuss.
South of Tweeds Heads in Northern NSW, a hop, skip and jump from Fingal Head, Dreamtime Beach is very possibly your new favourite beachside nook (if you haven’t claimed it already).
The name says it all: a stunning stretch of coast, replete with lush palm and rocky basalt outcrops created by 23 million-year-old lava flows from the nearby dormant volcano, Mt Warning, all underscored by a unique Indigenous heritage and legacy.
Resolute Beach, Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park
Parallel with popular Palm Beach, inland on the tip of Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park, Resolute Beach is another top choice for city-siders keen not to stray too far from the outskirts. There are no tourists here, folks.
Take in the majestic scenery along the Resolute Track, and mosey down at your leisure to this secluded 60-metre stretch. Beautiful views of the Barrenjoey Headland and pristine jade waters await (as well a welcome lack of rocks and people).
Maitland Bay Beach, Bouddi National Park
A smooth 90-minute ride north of the Sydney CBD, Bouddi National Park – all 1532 hectares of it – is a visceral delight for lovers of the outdoors. The gullies and lush vegetation of the Maitland Bay track make for one of the most enjoyable wilderness treks on the Central Coast, an experience enhanced by the presence of this popular, secluded 600-metre-long south-facing beach.
If walking’s not your thing, charter your vessel instead and dock in from waterside.
Palm Beach to the north, Avalon to the south, Whale Beach is no secret to northern Sydney Beach locals but being a little less on the tourist radar makes it a delightfully more secluded option. A great surf break with the right swell, and a neat nook for a swift dip.
Store Beach, Manly
A bona fide hidden Sydney treasure, Store Beach is a beautiful spot surrounded by pristine North Head Sanctuary in Sydney Harbour National Park. Set inland from the old Quarantine Station, you can only get to this sheltered nook by boat (or by swimming). It’s well worth the effort – a tranquil, remote spot with stunning views to boot.
(Lead image: Andrew / Flickr)