Every Sydneysider has a favourite beach, a spot they swear by. For some of us, this hasn't changed since childhood – and it's nostalgia that keeps drawing us back. Others will spend each summer whittling down a favourite through trial and error. Then there's those who will go wherever there's a free car park. Fair play.
At the end of Cronulla’s famous Esplanade walk, lies a rocky oasis with the clearest water the coastal suburb has to offer. Salmon Haul is no secret to the locals but it’s intimidating, steep stairs tend to keep new patrons entering from street level. It’s at its best mid-week during February, once the school holidays are over. There’s not much else around, so be sure to pack enough sustenance and sunscreen to last you the whole day. Once you set up shop, you won’t want to leave.
Arts & Culture Editor
Given its somewhat secluded location, ample parking, grassy areas, calm waters and all-round laid back energy, I've always been a big fan of Shark Beach in Nielsen Park. However, it's been closed off for renovations for what feels like forever, so I've had to stake out a new regular spot. Redleaf has filled that role with flying colours. I swim a couple of afternoons a week, even in winter – and always on the weekend, so the fact that it's 10 minutes from my place and I somehow always score a park is a blessing. When I want to whip the snorkel out, Shelly Beach, Parsley Bay and Gordon's Bay are my go-tos. Otherwise, Bronte and the McIver's Ladies Baths do the trick.
Digital Strategy Director
Where to begin when there are so many heavenly Sydney spots? South Curl Curl Beach has some of the best views in the entire city and it’s generally blue-bottle-free. Just around the corner, Freshwater Beach is a crowd favourite. Try sitting along the rocks around the left if you want the best spot. But if you want to beat the crowds, North Avalon Beach will always have plenty of space for you to sprawl out undisturbed.
For someone quite pale, I am a big fan of the beach. Yes, I have a huge hat and my swimsuit has sleeves but I love getting thrown around by waves like an uncoordinated juvenile dolphin. I love going to Maroubra for a wave frolic and for excellent people watching. I find Whale Beach very romantic and worth the drive. If I am feeling more sedate, then Yarra Bay is the one for me. I am a member of the sailing club there (of course, I don’t sail) but it’s a perfect time warp in that club; the fish is excellent, especially when accompanied by a cold beer on the balcony.
Digital Operations Manager
Being from Melbourne originally, sand and waves aren’t really my thing. Which sounds counterintuitive when you are thinking of the beach. However Sydney has so many incredible spots that almost any brief is possible. Where there’s a will, there’s a way. My favourite right now is Bronte – give me grass to sit on and an ocean pool any day. Plus, the people watching is next level.
If however, you’re after something a little less crowded then Congwong Beach in La Perouse is one of my favourites. It is a sheltered bay inside of the Botany Bay National Park which means it is flat most of the time. There is also a walking trail which takes you around to Little Congwong. Beware though, it's a nudist beach so don’t get the two confused if you’re averse to the human form in all its glory.
Assistant to Editor in Chief
My comfort beach is Camp Cove at Watsons Bay – a bit of a nightmare for a park, but if you find one it's so worth it. The water and view is beautiful and there’s a little shack of a canteen store that sells sorbet in fruit peels and orange juice in pouches. If I’m feeling a bit lazy and in need of a quick dip I will go to Malabar Beach as it's my local. I love it because not many people visit and it's a great place to sit and read a book all day.
Creative Studio and Campaigns Manager
I am a baby and can only manage flat harbour swells or ocean pools. Because of this, I am a major fan of Mahon Pool in Maroubra. With new bathroom facilities, a fun amount of (safe) swell to keep you entertained, and plenty of space to lay around, this is my go-to each and every time.
I also love Shark Beach in Nielsen Park, but that is still closed for summer so I’ll have to stick to Maroubra for now.
Executive Fashion Director
I am not a big fan of swimming in the ocean (yes, I know) but I am a big fan of lying on the sand under a beautiful tree, reading a book. For this reason it’s Redleaf all the way for me, if I can find a park.