Last updated: September 9, 2021
Sydney is blessed with lots of beautiful beaches, some big and world-renowned, others much smaller and not so well-known. With so many quality beaches on offer, Sydney is almost unrivalled in the world.
Whilst it’s nice to spend a day at Cronulla Beach, Manly Beach, Coogee Beach or Bondi Beach, chances are you’ll be surrounded by thousands of other beach-goers and sunbathers.
Luckily though, there are beaches in and around Sydney that are still a bit of a secret. Beaches with very few facilities, but where you can still appreciate Sydney’s natural beauty in peace and quiet.
We have listed our 17 favorite secluded beaches in Sydney where, with a bit of luck, you can still go for a quiet swim.
Check out our list of top beaches in Sydney for some good ideas. Or if you’d like to travel a bit further, have a look at our list of great beaches in New South Wales.
Top 17 Sydney Secluded Beaches
Underneath each picture below is a link to the map location of the corresponding beach, so you know where to find it.
Be mindful that most of these secluded beaches are unpatrolled, and don’t have surf life saving services available. So if you’re planning to go for a swim, please be cautious and ideally bring someone with you.
1. Milk Beach, Vaucluse
Overlooking Hermit Bay and Sydney Harbour and located right in front of the historic Strickland House, Milk Beach is a 50 metres long and 5 metres wide strip of sand, quietly tucked away in Vaucluse.
The best way to get to the beach is by doing the Rose Bay to Watsons Bay walking track starting at the Rose Bay ferry wharf. A refreshing swim after a bit of hiking makes the experience even better.
Keep in mind though that while Milk Beach is a beautiful secluded beach, it’s not always as quiet as it once was.
It can get a bit crowdy on warm summer days, but regardless, it’s still a beautiful spot to go for a refreshing swim and enjoy the Sydney Harbour views.
2. Whale Beach, Northern Beaches
Not as famous as its bigger neighbour Palm Beach in the Northern Beaches region, Whale Beach is a beautiful 600 metres long strip of sand.
Whale Beach has a pleasant and secluded atmosphere, and usually doesn’t get super crowded. There is also a man-made 25 metres long rock pool, located at the southern end of the beach.
3. Queens Beach, Vaucluse
Queens Beach is a tiny secluded strip of sand along the Hermitage Foreshore Walk in Vaucluse, not too far away from Milk Beach.
In our opinion, Queens Beach is quieter (and also smaller) than Milk Beach, so if you really want to have a beach all to yourself, Queens Beach may just be the better choice.
The views from the beach to the city and Sydney Harbour are superb, and make the secret beach experience all the better.
When visiting Queens Beach, just be mindful of the tides, because part of the beach may actually disappear at high tide!
4. Reef Beach, Balgowlah Heights
Reef Beach is a very small strip of sand at Dobroyd Head, boasting scenic views of Sydney’s North Harbour and Manly Cove on the opposite side.
A wooden walkway just behind the beach forms part of the popular walking track between the Spit Bridge and Manly Beach.
Reef Beach used to be a popular nude beach in the 1970’s and 1980’s, but nude bathing has been prohibited there since 1993.
5. Fairlight Beach, Fairlight
Fairlight Beach is an 80 m long stretch of sand with a small rock pool, located in the suburb of Fairlight, just west of Manly Beach.
The beach can be accessed via the Fairlight Walk, which is the very last section of the Spit Bridge to Manly coastal walking track.
6. Kutti Beach, Vaucluse
The best thing about Kutti Beach is that most people can’t find it, apart from the locals of course.
Quietly hidden away between Parsley Bay Reserve and Watsons Bay, Kutti Beach can be really hard to find. Until now that is…
The beach is accessible via a narrow staircase right next to the Vaucluse Amateur Sailing Club located at the end of Wharf Road. It may look like a dead-end, which it essentially is, but don’t walk away as the staircase is right there.
Kutti Beach is also one of Sydney’s very few dog-friendly beaches, so there’s a big chance you’ll have to share the sand with a bunch of happy dogs.
7. Collins Flat Beach, Manly
Located just a few minutes from Manly between North Head and Little Manly Cove, secluded Collins Flat Beach is a great spot to escape the crowds and enjoy a quiet swim.
Bring a picnic blanket, a bottle of wine and take in the peaceful surroundings with scenic Harbour views, moments away from civilisation. Believe it or not, there is even a small waterfall!
Note that Collins Flat Beach is also referred to as simply Collins Beach or Collins Flat, depending on who you ask or where you look.
8. Lady Martins Beach, Point Piper
One of Sydney’s best kept secrets in the wonderful world of beaches is Lady Martins Beach in Point Piper.
You can access this long but very narrow strip of sand by heading down a little lane next to the Royal Prince Edward Yacht Club on Wolseley Road.
Keep in mind though that this really is a narrow beach, and you can only access it (and lie on dry sand) when the tide is low.
The beach is named after the wife of Sir James Martin, Premier of New South Wales in the 1860’s and 1870’s.
9. Store Beach, Manly
Store Beach is a little strip of sand just off Manly’s North Head in Sydney’s Northern Beaches. The best way – or perhaps the only way – to get to this gem of a beach is via water.
Hire a kayak from Manly Wharf and paddle towards North Head. You’ll find the beach close to the old Quarantine Station.
Fringed by bushland, hidden away from civilisation, chances are you’ll have this beautiful spot all to yourself. Pack a picnic, relax on the beach, and watch all the boats go by.
If you’re a after a secluded beach with better access and more facilities, choose Little Manly Beach instead. It’s only a couple hundred metres away from Store Beach, and is a great strip of sand for families.
10. Hermit Bay Beach, Vaucluse
The small strip of sand facing Hermit Bay in Vaucluse is the third secluded beach along the Rose Bay to Watsons Bay walking track, located between Queens Beach and Milk Beach.
Facing Sydney Harbour and the city skyline, the views you get to enjoy from Hermit Bay Beach are sensational.
Slightly north of the beach is a beautiful grassy area, the perfect spot for a picnic after a nice relaxing swim at the beach.
And if you’d like to walk a little further, Shark Beach and Nielsen Park are not too far away. Shark Beach is a family-friendly strip of sand with an enclosed swimming area, and a cafe just behind the beach.
11. Double Bay Beach, Double Bay
With a beautifully secluded location along the foreshore of Double Bay right next to the ferry wharf, Double Bay Beach is a rather quiet stretch of sand.
It’s the perfect beach to go for a quick swim and to relax and enjoy the scenic views from the sand or from one of the benches along the promenade.
12. Clareville Beach, Clareville
Facing Pittwater, Clareville Beach is a quiet and secluded strip of sand just south of the Palm Beach peninsula.
With its sheltered waters, Clareville Beach is a popular spot to start a stand-up paddling or kayak session on Pittwater.
Swimming at the beach is very safe too, and with a car park, a grassy reserve, and a picnic area just behind the beach, Clareville is a perfect weekend destination for families.
13. Bellamy Beach, Rose Bay
Bellamy Beach is a bit of a hidden secret, quietly tucked away between Point Piper and the western end of Rose Bay.
Apart from swimming, Bellamy Beach is a also a great spot for kayaking and stand-up paddling, with a canoe and kayak rental service located north of the beach.
Bellamy Beach can be accessed via a set of stairs towards the end of Wunulla Road, or otherwise via Rose Bay Park along New South Head Road.
14. West Head Beach, Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park
With panoramic views of Pittwater and the Barrenjoey Headland, West Head Beach is a true hidden gem in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park with beautiful emerald green water and hardly any tourists around.
To get to the beach, follow the short bushwalking track from the West Head Lookout. A set of stairs will eventually get you on the beautiful sand, ready to go for a quiet swim.
15. Resolute Beach, Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park
If you’d like to walk a bit further, Resolute Beach is also a fantastic secluded strip of sand, located a few hundred metres south of West Head Beach.
Resolute Beach is one of the highlights on the Resolute Beach Loop Trail, which starts and ends at the Resolute Picnic Area.
16. Wattamolla Beach, Royal National Park
The lagoon with its calm water is the perfect spot for kayaking, swimming and snorkeling.
Wattamolla also has great facilities, such as a large picnic ground with BBQs, and a toilet and shower block. While it may get busy in Wattamolla during weekends, the area is quite big so that there is always enough space for everyone.
Have a look at our list of secluded beaches in Royal National Park for more ideas.
17. Maitland Bay Beach, Bouddi National Park
The Maitland Bay Track is a popular bushtrail in Bouddi National Park that takes you right down to the beautiful beach of Maitland Bay, one of the prettists secluded beaches north of Sydney.
Because the beach is so long and wide, it won’t be a challenge to find a private spot with no one else around.
While you’re there, make sure you go and explore the eastern end of the beach where you can find the remains of the S.S. Maitland Shipwreck that ran aground in May 1898. At low tide, some of the remains of the shipwreck are still visible.