Discover our top 7 beaches for swimming, surfing, sailing and more
While staying in one of our luxurious Ocean Retreat rooms, you have the opportunity to spend some time exploring Sydney’s most striking natural scenery. Located on the clifftop overlooking Whale Beach, there are a myriad of beaches at your doorstep. The Northern Beaches has it all, whether you’re after tranquil swimming spots, big surf, ocean pools, secluded coves or even a nudist beach! Below we round up our favourites that we recommend to guests staying with us.
This has got to be our number 1. Yes, we may be biased but we never tire of our unparalleled views over Whale Beach. It’s a picturesque 600m long arch of golden sand that’s made unique by the two headlands framing each end. Whale Beach was named in 1900, some say because of the shape of its southern headland that resembles a whale’s tail, others say it’s due to the whale migration that brings the mammals close to the shore. Whether you’re in the Jonah’s restaurant watching from above, or you’re sitting right on the sand, you’re likely to see whales breaching here from May to October. A pristine ocean pool is tucked into the foot of the cliffs at the South end. Whale Beach is also a haven for advanced surfers, ‘the wedge’ is an infamous break for its perfect left. From Jonah’s you can reach Whale Beach on foot or by car.
Just a stone’s throw away from Jonah’s lies Sydney’s iconic Palm Beach. A popular destination for day trippers in summer. The suburb marks the Northern most point of Sydney and boasts one of the city’s most beautiful stretches of sand. So much so, it’s been the backdrop to the famous TV series Home and Away since the late 80s. This is the perfect destination for a long walk on the shore or up the headland to the Barrenjoey lighthouse. Conditions here are both safe for swimming with lifeguards and flagged areas as well as excellent for surfing at the North end. From Jonah’s you can reach Palm Beach on foot or by car.
Looking for a romantic way to spend the day? Hidden in Portuguese Bay is a secluded beach just 80 metres long. It can only be reached by boat so you may find that you have the area all to yourself. With the Jonah’s Stay & Play package, our chefs will pack you a gourmet picnic hamper with a bottle of Champagne Bollinger to take with you on a cruise with Taylor Made Escapes. Put up the sails or cruise by motor to arrive at Portuguese Beach for lunch. Just when you think it couldn’t get any better, a private transfer will bring you back to Jonah’s for a three-course dinner in the restaurant and an overnight stay in the luxury boutique hotel. Discover more about the Stay & Play package.
A quiet, narrow stretch of white sand on the Pittwater side, just up from the Palm Beach wharf, Snapperman beach has calm waters perfect for kids to enjoy swimming in the shallows. It’s also a popular beach for stand-up paddle boarding and kayaking. You can access the beach on foot between houses 100 and 102 on Iluka Road, Palm Beach.
Image credit: Taylor Made Escapes
Just a 6-minute drive from Jonah’s, Avalon beach makes for a great day out on the Northern Beaches. The beach is pristine with great surf and a flagged area for swimming. It also offers the opportunity to wander through local boutique shops, enjoy a coffee at one of the many cafes or even a gelato to cool down after a day in the sun.
Image credit: Northern Beaches Council
Travelling by car from Jonah’s, pass through Avalon and make your way around the ‘Bilgola bends’ and down the steep hill that leads to the beach. Bilgola is generally less frequented than Palm Beach and Avalon and is quite remote other than one small café and carpark. Conditions are ideal for both swimming and surfing. If you prefer dry land, you can follow the walking track at the South end which leads to neighbouring Newport beach.
Great Mackerel Beach
Located on the western shores of Pittwater in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, Great Mackerel Beach is a secluded spot, perfect for fishing or relaxing on shore. There is no road access, so your best option is the Palm Beach ferry or even better, a private cruise with Taylor Made Escapes. Our Stay & Play package is the perfect solution for an overnight stay with dinner in the restaurant and a 2-hour cruise included. Discover the details of our Stay & Play package.
Want to know more about the area? You can find our Top Ten Things to do on the Northern Beaches here.
Learn more about our range of accommodation packages and rates here.