Why fine dine indoors when you have free and easy access to Sydney’s best beach picnic spots? After all, Australia’s glittering Harbour City has no shortage of gorgeous beach assets. Whether you’re a tourist, sometimes visitor, or livin’ la vida local, here are seven beach picnic spots with great views in Sydney you’ll absolutely adore. Some are hidden gems. Others are seriously social (aka great for people watching!). All of them are our personal favourites for casual dining on a sunny day in the great outdoors.
7 of the best beach picnic spots in Sydney
IN THE NORTH
Location: 57 Narrabeen Park Parade, Warriewood, NSW 2102
This one is so magical, we used it as the location for our new Spring Summer 2021 campaign starring Alannah Walton. Tucked between better-known surfer hotspots, Narrabeen and Warriewood, Turimetta’s name apparently means ‘beautiful place’ in the language of its traditional Indigenous people. Settle your picnic rug amongst the wildflowers and winter-flowering banksias, before taking a post- roman tic picnic stroll down to the rock shelfat the southern end of the beach. There you’ll find its famous rock sculptures carved by local artists over the years. A perfect Sydney beach picnic spot turned photographer’s dream!
SEE THE BEAUTIFUL NEW MONTE & LOU SS21 CAMPAIGN SHOT AT TURIMETTA HERE
2. Chinaman’s Beach
Location: Cyprian Street, Mosman, NSW 2088
This pretty harbour beach with pearly white sand is a popular picnic spot in Sydney for those wanting a secluded place close to the city to set down their picnic rug and sunbathe. It’s also the only Sydney Harbour beach that still boasts sand dunes set back from its typically clear, clean harbour water. There are toilets, showers and BBQ facilities close by, too, along with pretty grassy areas with a canopy of native trees that supply natural shade.
3. Shelly Beach
Location: Bower Street, Manly, NSW 2095
Shelly Beach is possibly the most postcard oceanfront spot on the Northern Beaches, and a great picnic spot for families and lovers alike. Popular with snorkellers (it’s a protected marine reserve), this cute bay around 20 minutes’ waterfront walk from The Corso in Manly, has everything from BBQ facilities in its picnic area, nearby bush walking tracks, and a luxe café (The Boathouse Shelly Beach) if you crave a barista coffee after your picnic soirée.
IN THE EAST
4. Parsley Bay Beach
Location: Parsley Road, Vaucluse, NSW 2030
This one’s ideal if you’ve got small kids in tow. (Because not every picnic can be a romantic picnic, right!?) A popular family place with big green spaces, a shaded playground, shallow water, BBQ facilities, and a reasonably priced café for ice-cream on a sunny day, it is perfect for when you’re looking for a great picnic spot in Sydney that’s easy. Granted, you might have to beat a slew of local kids’ birthday parties if you want to nab one of the tables in the picnic area, but we prefer gorgeous rugs on grassy areas anyway.
5. Milk Beach
Location: 52 Vaucluse Rd, Vaucluse, NSW 2030
Pack your fanciest grazing platter; the view of Sydney Opera House, the Botanic Garden and the city’s beautiful skyline from Milk Beach is a million dollars. Then glance across the grassy area behind, and your view becomes of magical Strickland House, the heritage-listed property set in a secret garden that Baz Luhrmann used as backdrop for his film Australia. Glamorous as the great views may be, this 50-metre beach in the Sydney Harbour National Park is usually blissfully quiet, despite being just 10 minutes from bustling Bondi – making it the ideal romantic picnic spot to watch the sun set behind Sydney Harbour Bridge.
IN THE SOUTH
6. Wattamolla Beach
Location: Royal National Park, Sutherland Shire, NSW 2232
This amazing beach south of Sydney should be a natural treasure. It’s a trek to get there, but the emerald-green lagoon surrounded by cabbage tree palms, plus laid-back picnic area and BBQ facilities make it worth every minute of the trip. Throw down your picnic rug, unpack the hamper (sorry, no café here) and soak up the blissful energy of the shimmering water and green spaces. Note: you’ll need to BYO everything (even drinking water) – this great outdoors is the glorious real deal.
7. Garie Beach
Location: Garie Rd, Royal National Park, NSW 2508
It’s one more reason to venture into our amazing Royal National Park. This golden-sand beach is another of the park’s great picnic spots, but is more remote than Wattamolla and surrounded by rugged cliffs. (But fear not, there are still toilet and BBQ facilities, and the beach is patrolled by lifeguards in the summer.) Here’s the clincher: in-the-know locals will tell you this is the best picnic spot in Sydney if you want to watch the annual whale migration from May to November (they pass quite close to the beach). See you there!