Destinations / Travel

Reconnecting with nature – a weekend spent in Palm Beach

Given how much of our Instagram feeds are dominated by rocky Italian beaches, it's so easy to forget that the world's best sandy scenescapes are actually right on our doorstep. And you don't need anything but a car to reach them.

When I first got my license, my mother told me that a car is freedom. It's a way to wander through the roads less travelled and truly experience the richness and beauty of the country. In this way, finding the right car becomes a gateway to unexplored valleys and secluded azure expanses.

2024 is set to be a big year for cars in Australia. One of the first new arrivals of the year is the Renault Megane E-tech, and electric vehicle that treats sustainability as more than just a marketing buzzword. A car that's made from mostly waste products ordinarily destined for landfill and with no rare-earth materials used in the motor, it goes further than just offering a no-fossil-fuel experience.

At the launch of the new car, sustainability expert Dr Anita Vandyke left attendees with some truly echoing words: "Get outdoors. See what you're fighting for."

With this inspiring motto front of mind, I took the new Renault Megane E-tech to the further most point of Sydney - Palm Beach - for a weekend on the sand.



A trip out to Palm Beach will always be primarily about reconnecting with the elements. Try not to fill your days with too many plans, just enjoy the powder sand underfoot.

But if you are looking to fill your days, the Barrenjoey Lighthouse walk is steep but yields the most spectacular views of the peninsula. There are plenty of other walking trails around it you want something flatter. Just wander on foot in any direction and you'll find one.

Walk up to the far North side of the beach to check out the famous Summer Bay featured in Home and Away.

There's a small art gallery and some local boutiques where you can buy basket bags, linens and Trudon candles if you want some souvenirs to take home.



The newly reopened Palm Beach Boathouse is the best spot for breakfast.

For lunch, Barrenjoey House and Dunes both have a bleached, Mediterranean aesthetic that can't help but make you feel ultimately relaxed.

A sunset aperitivo at Casa is essential - along with a pizza perhaps?

Or if you're like me, pop into Palm Beach Wine Co. and grab a few bits for a charcuterie and cheese board - don't forget a bottle of French rose - and then go and picnic on the bayside grass. It's a great place to watch the local boats drive past.


Renault Megane E-Tech


It feels only natural that a trip up to such pristine waterways be made via a car without an exhaust. The Renault Megane E-tech was the perfect companion. It drives like a very sporty car, proving that electric need not compromise on performance. It was a delight to steer around the windy Bilgola Bends. A feat of quintessential French design, it's both a beautiful and comfortable drive. Certainly one of the chicest cars on the market right now.

Be sure to bring a basket bag like this BottegaVeneta iteration with your beach towels and plenty of sunscreen. I also never travel anywhere beachy without my favourite Avene face mist. A couple of swimsuits and a sarong are essentials too. I brought my favourite string bikini from Code B and a Faithfull coverup. If you're planning on walking the Lighthouse trail, you'll need some sturdy sneakers too.

The beachy people of Palm Beach definitely like to keep it casual. But if you're planning on grabbing an aperitivo, pack a dress or two. Nothing to dressy, linen is always best in a beachside setting. Don't bother with heels, flats are the dress code around here. Add lipstick, blush and mascara and you're ready to go. You can leave your heavy base products at home.

Don't forget an oil cleanser like Emma Lewisham's illuminating Oil Cleaner to help you get all the sunscreen off at the end of the day. And of course, you'll need a nourishing moisturiser like Caudalie's Vinosource-Hydra to help with after sun care.

Make sure you also stash good book, hat, water bottle and picnic blanket in the boot of your car!




Barrenjoey House has beautiful bayside views and some luxurious rooms above the restaurant. Be ready to book well in advance.

There is luxury hotel accommodation at the nearby Jonah's Whale Beach.

For something truly unique and to really experience the natural beauty of the area, try a stay at The Lilypad. Just be sure to bring your sea legs.

Contemporary Hotels has a selection of home stays if you'd rather something bigger.


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Dunes Palm Beach

Dunes Palm Beach

The Lilypad

Barrenjoey House