australia's surfing coast

from eden to bondi, to byron bay & beyond

Palm Beach

Palm Beach - // Australia's surfing coast //

The geographical exclamation point that is Barrenjoey Headland marks the end of both Sydney’s northern peninsula and the 2.3km strip of sand labelled Palm Beach.

The headland is an imperious barrier to the summer nor’easter but loves a north swell, so this end of “Palmy” usually offers the choicest pickings for board-riders. Kiddie’s Corner at the south end sounds cosy and it is, but this sheltered swimming spot gets a few breakers when the wind and swell come in from the south. It’s also a favourite with surf instructors teaching younger kids, for its easy paddle-out and, usually, gentle waves. By contrast, the middle of the beach and Barrenjoey Headland break hard when the swell is up, and anything more than three metres can produce fast-barrelling tube rides.

Behind the beach, the rarefied wealth and society that characterises this postcode are not immediately apparent, but some of Australia’s most rich and famous live or holiday here and you can find yourself waiting for your fish and chips alongside Nicole Kidman or tennis champion Lleyton Hewitt. Palm Beach is further distinguished as the “Summer Bay” filming location for Australia’s long-running TV soap series Home and Away.

Getting there:
Palm Beach is one of Sydney’s northern suburbs, about 50 minutes' drive from the city centre; buses run regularly.

Learn to surf school:
Manly Surf School

Things to do and see in Palm Beach