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Sun, Surf and Sand: Sydney's Best Beaches

Bondi Beach Surfing

Courtesy of Tourism NSW

Hang ten on the booming surf of Bondi Beach.

May 01, 2009

You can't travel to Sydney without checking out one of its famous beaches. Whether you want to learn how to surf, scuba dive or just lay on your towel and revel in the smell of sunscreen and ocean breeze, there is a beach to suit all your needs right outside of Sydney. Here are three top choices:

Bondi Beach
As Australia’s most popular beach, Bondi is just a 20-minute drive from Sydney’s central business district. Part of a large moon-shaped bay, Bondi stretches to almost one kilometer of golden sand. The booming surf provides great conditions for boogie boarding and riding the waves on your long board. The shoreline is backed by parklands that are ideal for walking, rollerblading and biking. Cool down with some gelato or a frozen drink at one of the many restaurants and bars found on Campbells Parade, a strip that runs along the back of the beach.

Manly Beach
Just a 30-minute ferry ride from Circular Quay, Manly Beach is a jewel of the north shore. Choose from 18 coves, beaches and inlets for swimming. Shop and dine out on the plaza called The Corso near the back of the shoreline. Take the “Millionaires Walk” from the promenade down a footpath that follows the shoreline over to Fairy Brower Beach and Shelly Beach for views of glossy real estate and sparkling waters. At Oceanworld Manly, get up close and personal with Australia’s sea life.

Coogee Beach
For a family-friendly and quiet beach, take the bus 45 minutes from Circular Quay to Coogee Beach. Unlike the big swells you’ll find at Bondi Beach, Coogee Beach is calmer and sheltered from rough seas by Wedding Cake Island. The southern coastline is made up mostly of cliffs, but the northern slopes are shaded and ideal for picnics. When you want a calm and relaxed day with the family, Coogee is your beach of choice.

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