A perfect Harbour Beach on Sydney’s North Shore
A harbour beach within a reserve, next to a playground and a cafe. Clontarf Beach is a great day out with the kids. There is an enclosed area for kids to swim in directly off a big grassy patch in front of the playground. The little one and I discovered Clontarf Beach and reserve in Winter. We have since been back on numerous occasions.
Clontarf Reserve is a perfect place to visit for a family day out. It has plenty of things for you to do, somewhere to eat and decent amenities. It is one of the great beaches I take tourists to when they visit Sydney with kids.
Where is Clontarf Beach
As you can see from the map below Clontarf beach is directly opposite the Spit. If you’re standing on the beach you can just see Chinaman’s beach in the distance.
How to get there
If you want to head to Clontarf’s enclosed swimming area, the cafe and the covered playground the best address is Sandy Bay Road, Clontarf, 2093.
On Sandy Bay Road you will wind down until you see a big car park beyond a municipal gate (which should be open). That is the entrance to Clontarf Reserve.
Apple maps has Clontarf Reserve in its directory.
While the map below shows Clontarf Beach to be at the very bottom. The enclosed bath is where the big blue dot is in the below picture. This is where you should aim to go.
There is plenty of parking. It is ticketed though and we paid $8.59 for 2 hours worth of parking. We were able to secure a great parking close to the beach and playground so I didn’t have to carry too much too far.
Come to think of it, I think it is the shortest distance I’ve walked from car to beach in Sydney other than the parking which is on the main Manly, Newport and Palm Beach beaches. Despite its close proximity to the beach, the beach area is set off from the parking so you don’t have to worry about the kids running into the road or parking.
Clontarf Beach Features
Leaving the parking, walk past the cafe on your left and the playground on your right and you will walk directly onto the sand. If you keep going you will walk into the enclosed swimming area.
When the tide is low there is plenty of sand to sit on and build sandcastles or just dig to your heart’s content.
The below pic is from when we visited in Winter and at low tide. On either side of the enclosed area there are open spots to swim in but there are a great number of boats moored so you will have to be careful.
There are no waves really and the area is perfect for little swimmers or someone who isn’t keen on wild water.
Right behind the enclosed swimming area is a big open patch of grass which features a playground and a cafe serving coffee. We have tried the coffee and the ice creams many a time! The cafe is called Clonny’s and looks pretty cool but we haven’t tried it out – yet 🙂
The playground is quite serious. It is completely enclosed with slides, swings, climbing frames all on top of a natural sandpit. I actually owe the playground its own review.
The reserve itself is lovely – it has:
- big open spaces for playing and picnicking,
- plenty of trees for shade and a big gazebo,
- benches and seating dotted all over the reserve,
- 6 BBQs, and
- a number of toilets, even disabled toilets.
The area we spent the morning at is not the only swimming spot. Around the corner, beyond the bathrooms is another sandy beach which is the beach marked in the 3rd map above. The pics below are of that swimming area.