Sydney’s beaches aren’t just about the waves. Sydneysiders treat their swag of golden beaches as their backyards for sunning, picnicking and just hanging out, particularly on the calm stretches of sand bordering Sydney Harbour. The harbor beaches are calmer than ocean beaches like Bondi and Tamarama, and often have heritage tearooms and cafes.
Balmoral Beach is a top pick by locals, because its calm water and sandy beach sit tucked safely inside the Heads. Surrounded by fig trees and expensive houses, the lovely Bathers Pavilion has a restaurant and cafe, only a short way from the center of the city. It’s been a popular beach since the 1930s and is a conservation area.
Another popular harbour beach for paddling in the water and lying in the sun is Neilsen Park, one of Sydney’s hidden gems. Don’t be put off by its alternate name: Shark Bay. This beach and many others on the harbor have an underwater shark net protecting it from any dangers that may lurk in the deep.