Last updated: August 18, 2023
Sydney is blessed with many 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.
Fortunately, there are still beaches in and around Sydney that are a bit of a secret. Beaches with very few facilities, and where you can still appreciate Sydney’s natural beauty in peace.
We have shortlisted our 17 favourite secluded beaches in Sydney where, with a bit of luck, you can still go for a quiet swim with no one else around.
Top 17 Sydney Secluded Beaches
Be mindful that most of the below secluded beaches are unpatrolled and don’t offer surf life-saving services. 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 crowdy on those 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 typically doesn’t get overly crowded.
There is also a beautiful man-made 25 metres long rock pool located at the southern end of the beach if you’d like to swim lanes.
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 want to have a beach all to yourself, Queens Beach may 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, 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 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 famous walking track between the Spit Bridge and Manly Beach.
Reef Beach used to be a popular nude beach in the 1970s and 1980s, but nude bathing has been prohibited there since 1993.
5. Fairlight Beach, Fairlight
Fairlight Beach is an 80m 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 last section of the Spit Bridge to Manly coastal walking track.
There is also a small rockpool which is more of an ocean bath, perhaps not large enough for lane swimming but nice enough for a relaxing dip.
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 between Parsley Bay Reserve and Watsons Bay, Kutti Beach can be quite challenging 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 road, which it 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 an excellent spot to escape the crowds and enjoy a quiet swim.
Bring a picnic blanket and 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 1860s and 1870s.
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, you might have this beautiful spot all to yourself. Pack a picnic, relax on the beach, and watch all the boats go by.
If you’re after a secluded beach with better access and more facilities, choose Little Manly Beach instead. It’s only a couple hundred metres from Store Beach and is an excellent 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 relatively quiet stretch of sand.
It’s the perfect beach to go for a quick swim, relax, and enjoy the scenic views from the sand or one of the benches along the promenade.
If you’re feeling hungry or just want to have a nice coffee, the Double Bay town and shopping centre is only moments away.
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.
Besides swimming, Bellamy Beach is 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, which is signposted.
A steep set of stairs will eventually get you onto the beautiful sand, where you can settle in and 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 lovely secluded strip of sand, located a few hundred metres south of West Head Beach.
Resolute Beach is also one of the highlights on the Resolute Beach Loop Trail, which starts and ends at the Resolute Picnic Area.
West Head and Resolute Beach are very similar, but if we had to pick a winner, it would be Resolute Beach.
16. Wattamolla Beach, Royal National Park
Located along the iconic, 26 km long Coast Track in the Royal National Park, the Wattamolla Beach area including a lagoon and waterfall is an oasis of natural beauty.
The lagoon, with its calm water, is the perfect spot for kayaking, swimming, and snorkelling.
Wattamolla also has excellent facilities, such as a large picnic ground with BBQs and a toilet and shower block. While it may get busy in Wattamolla on the weekends, the area is quite big, so there is always enough space for everyone.
Have a look at our list of secluded beaches in Royal National Park for more ideas to go swimming.
17. Maitland Bay Beach, Bouddi National Park
The Maitland Bay Track is a popular bush trail in Bouddi National Park that takes you right down to the beautiful beach of Maitland Bay, one of the prettiest secluded beaches north of Sydney.
Because the beach is so long and wide, finding a secluded spot with no one else around won’t be a challenge.
While you’re there, make sure you 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 shipwreck’s remains are still visible.
Check out our list of top beaches in Sydney for ideas. Or, if you’d like to travel a bit further, have a look at our list of best beaches in New South Wales.