Best Sydney Beaches for Kids

Best Sydney Beaches for Kids 

The Best Sydney Beaches for Kids is a hard list to make because there are so many great beaches in Sydney. But, for a beach to be great for kids, it needs to:

  • be shallow for a long way or enclosed
  • have good sand to play on
  • be sheltered from the elements
  • have a source of coffee or food for their carers

We spent most of our summer (and Spring and Autumn too) and even a portion of winter on the beach. Consequently, we are often asked where are the Best Sydney Beaches for Kids. Here is the answer to that question.


Just a note on harbour beaches – it is not a good idea to go swimming within 3 days of heavy rains.


The 5 Best Sydney Beaches for Kids 

1. Little Manly 

Hands down Little Manly is the winner of the Beach Sydney Beaches for Kids. It is sheltered from currents and rips as it is in the harbour but it still has great tidal changes.

The enclosed area is shallow but gets deep enough for you to jump off the enclosure. The beach itself has a section that attracts families so your kids will be sure to find some friends to play with.

There is a stretch of sand for the walks in the family, a small grassy area with shade and a great kiosk.

For the full review of little Manly, click on the picture of Little Manly below.

 The Best Sydney Beaches for Kids is a hard list to make because there are so many great beaches in Sydney. But, for a beach to be great for kids, it needs to meet strict criteria. We spend most of the Spring and Summer on the beach, and a portion of the rest of year so this is something we know!

2. Clontarf Reserve 

Oh Clontarf, how I love it. This is a perfect enclosed Middle Harbour beach for kids. I have spent hours and hours there. What’s even better is it is one of the few beaches I can take the kids to alone (without another set of hands) and actually get to have a lie on the beach without tearing off after the kids the whole time.

Clontarf also has a great playground and a little kiosk that serves ice cream, coffee and food. Their hot fries are amazing!

Just click on the picture below for a full review of Clontarf.

Sydney's Best Beaches for Kids - Clontarf

3. Parsley Bay, Vacluse

There are two Parsley Bays in Sydney and they are very very far apart from one another. So make sure you’re heading to the right one and double-check your GPS.

Parsley Bay, Vacluse is a little sanctuary, when you park and before you hit the beach, you are surrounded by big tall trees and foliage. The whole setting makes you feel like you’re in a forest. Once you’ve walked out of the forrest, past the playground and kiosk you’ll find yourself on a massive patch of grass. This is perfect for playing or picnicking.

The beach is shallow and the sand is super soft.


If you’re looking for a full review, just click on the picture of Parsley Bay Beach below.


Best Sydney Beaches for Kids - Parsley Bay in the Eastern Suburbs

4. Shelly Beach, Manly  

Shelly Beach used to be my favourite of all the kids beaches in Sydney. The water is always beautifully translucent. The setting of Shelly Beach makes it look like it belongs to a Thai Island. It is really stunning.

While the sand does get a bit Shelly towards the sea its still walkable and there is plenty soft sand further up the beach for the kids to play on.

There is no playground and parking can be a little insane at the top of the hill was it gets on the weekends and during the holidays.

An awesome addition to Shelley Beach, that the other beaches don’t have, is that there is a Boathouse Restaurant right on the beach.


5. South Curl Curl

This one is good for the whole family because it has so many aspects to it. There are the waves for the adults and the open water for those who want to play in the waves. For the kids, there is an amazing ocean pool.

Like many of the Northern Beaches, there are ocean pools. Here there are two ocean pools that are connected. One is deep and long for swimming lengths and the other is perfect for little kids. It may even be my favourite kids ocean pool. It has a sandy bottom most of the time, is shallow the whole way through and has the tide coming through it.

There is also coffee on the beach. They make a fantastic bacon sandwich for kids too.


The next Best Sydney Beaches for Kids 

Chinamans Beach

This is a completely secluded beach, hidden by Roscherville Reserve. There is plenty of space and its shallow for a long way. For the full review and information head over to the full post on Chinamans Beach.


Clareville Beach

Clareville is a beach on Pittwater. Out of all these beaches it is the best hidden and some of these are really well hidden. The Clareville Beach review is a work in progress so if you’d like some more information just send me an email and I will be sure to respond.



Murray Rose Pool 

I have tried to visit this beach so many times and have never been able to get to it but I have a great friend who would live on this beach with her kids. This is a great enclosed harbour beach.


Balmoral Beach 

I think if I didn’t include Balmoral Beach on this list there would be something seriously wrong. Balmoral is absolutely gorgeous. There are various parts of the beach because it is a long strip of shoreline so you can pick which type of beach you want to swim in: the enclosed area, sheltered area, whichever picks your fancy or faces the direction which shades you from the sun more.


Camp Cove, Watsons Bay 

This is a great little beach in Watsons Bay that isn’t as full as Watson’s Bay is on holidays and weekends. It just a walk from the wharf and is actually the start of the Heritage Walk so most people walking to the beach or past it are actually not going to the beach.

There is a little kiosk that sells ice creams but if you’re in Watsons Bay you have to eat at Doyles Fish and Chips.

Below is a picture of Camp Cove, unfortunately I don’t have a full review on it but send me an email and I will be sure to give you as much info as I can.



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