Sydney boasts some of the most beautiful beaches in Australia. While the Northern Beaches and Sutherland Shire claim some top spots in their own right, the Eastern Suburbs is home to some of the most picturesque locations you'll ever see.
With that in mind, we've taken on the difficult task of naming the five best must-visit beaches in the East. And, we have deliberately overlooked Bondi Beach. If you've visited Sydney or researched the area before, you'll be well aware of this popular tourist spot. While Bondi is an incredible location, there's some hidden gems and local favourites that top the iconic spot.
Whether you're seeking a family-friendly spot for a picnic, a location for the singles, the best place for a surf or simply an area to sunbake and soak up the summer rays, this list has something for everyone.
These are the top Eastern Suburbs Beaches you need to visit when exploring Sydney.
While the tourists flock to Bondi, the locals hit Bronte. But why is it such a popular beach with families? Well, it’s partly down to it being visually picturesque - and more importantly, the vibe is uber relaxed. It doesn’t hurt that you’ll find barbecue facilities and picnic tables situated on a luscious grass park.
Whether you choose to spend your time on the sand or playing soccer or cricket on the grass, Bronte is the ultimate picnic spot. The beach is not big by any stretch of the imagination, but to the southern headland, you’ll find Bronte Baths, plus an ocean pool perfect for the littlies. For the fitness-minded, there's an ocean-fed lap pool as well.
If you enjoy a surf, best to only ride Bronte if you're a confident rider. The south headland shapes Bronte’s premium wave, which breaks across rocks and produces large swells. You can drive to Bronte but parking is limited to two hours and in some cases 30 minutes across some parts of Bronte Road.
The best bet is to park a few streets away and walk down the hill. Or, if you enjoy a longer walk, you can follow the Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk to access Bronte Beach. Better yet, it’s just a leisurely 40-minute walk from Crowne Plaza Sydney Coogee Beach, making it ideal for a late afternoon stroll with the family.
Whether you want to play volleyball, have a picnic or bbq, host a birthday party or simply laze in the sun, Coogee is the spot for any occasion. A long curve of soft sand, this beach is ideal for a family day out. Surrounded by grassy areas, with change areas, toilets and lifeguards on patrol, Coogee has everything you need.
Protected by Wedding Cake Island, just 1km away, the water is relatively calm, making it a prime location for swimmers of any skill level. Apart from the beach itself, there are several alternate swimming options around it. The child-friendly man-made rock pool is located at the south end of the beach next to the Surf Living Saving Club.
If you continue walking south, up the path, you'll find McIver’s Ladies Baths (open to women and kids only). A little further up is Wylie’s Baths, a large ocean-tidal pool with paid access for secluded swimming and lounging and beyond that, Giles Baths located at the foot of the northern headland.
Coogee Beach is ever-popular with locals and tourists alike. It’s seaside vibes, relaxed atmosphere and selection of places to eat, drink and relax make it a top spot for beachside getaways. In fact, it’s exactly where you’ll find our hotel. Wake up and throw your bedroom doors open, breathe in fresh sea air, take coffee on your balcony and then go from bed to beach in a matter of minutes!
A great alternative to Bondi Beach and just around the corner from Coogee, Maroubra Beach is a wonderful spot for a quick dip or day trip. With plenty of parking and cafes, Maroubra is a great alternative to all the tourist traps. A one-kilometre long stretch of sand is a great place to pull out the board regardless of surfing experience.
The surf is a prime location for beginners to find their feet but be sure to avoid the big swell on the north side.
Aside from the sand and surf, Maroubra Beach has an outdoor gym, skate park and kids playground on site. The beach is serviced by two surf life-saving clubs, although it's unprotected and exposed to swell, so if you're not a strong swimmer, it might be wise to head to The Mahon Rock Pool on the base of Jack Vanny Reserve. The rock pool is located to the north of Maroubra Beach. The pool is surrounded by exposed rock and cliffs.
If you enjoy whipping your snorkel out, you'll love Clovelly. This is a family beach, perfect for a day of play and exploration. Boasting an assortment of marine life, you can expect to see plenty of people snorkelling around the beach and even scuba divers.
Scuba diving is permitted but restricted from 1 October - 30 April between 8am and 6pm. If you do plan on donning some goggles for a look below water, keep your eyes peeled for 'Bluey', the large Blue Groper who calls the Clovelly waters home.
Situated next door to Bronte Beach, Clovelly looks less like a beach and more a giant concrete ocean pool. With access steps to the water and giant concrete promenades on both sides of the bay, Clovelly is a popular spot for singles and couples to sun-bake.
There's a ramp on the northern side of the beach, which provides disabled access to the water. If you plan on driving to the beach, there is a large free car park located on the southern side by the Clovelly Surf Life Saving Club. There are public toilets and change rooms on site just in case you fancy a dip.
When it comes to hidden beaches, this has to be the pick of the bunch. (After Coogee Beach, of course!) Milk Beach is tiny but its views are breathtaking - especially on days when the weather is pristine. So, how do you get to this hidden gem?
Parking near Milk Beach is extremely-limited. Regardless of how you get to the area, you will need to walk to the beach. The beach is found at the base of Hermit Bay and to access the beach, you’ll need to walk through the beautiful gardens of the Heritage-listed Strickland House.
The view out onto Sydney Harbour is stunning. On a sunny day, it's a premium Instagram-worthy location. Milk Beach is a prime location for fishing, swimming and snorkelling, while a romantic picnic along the Hermitage Foreshore is always a winner. If you are keen on walking a little further, follow the foreshore up to Shark Beach, which has more space and is a great spot to take the kids.
Planning a trip to the Eastern Suburbs
If you’re keen to experience the beauty of pristine coastal life, why not escape the hustle and bustle of the city by heading to the peace and tranquillity of Crowne Plaza Sydney Coogee Beach. Located only 20-minutes from the heart of the city, enjoy the fresh sea breeze, sound of the ocean and the sizzling sun overhead - all while enjoying a cool cocktail or two.
At Crowne Plaza Coogee Beach, we have rooms perfect for everyone. Stay just moments from the beach, with shops, boutiques and activities all nearby too. One beach not enough? Our premium location places us within walking distance of so many of Sydney's best beaches and hidden beauty spots.
What are you waiting for? Book the best beachfront accommodation in Sydney today.