Beaches with Shade in Sydney
- Mums & Bubs
Summer days in Sydney can be stinkers! So, naturally, most of us head to our favourite beach to cool down and enjoy some family time. This is all good in theory until you arrive at the beach to discover there's nowhere to sit in the shade and you've forgotten your trusty umbrella at home. Trying to relax on the beach under the blazing hot sun isn't too enjoyable with kids in tow (and not exactly sun smart either!), so we decided to scour the coastline to find the top 11 beaches with shade in Sydney.
1. Clareville Beach
If you're venturing to the Northern Beaches with the kids and looking for a beach with shade, Clareville Beach should be top of your list. The lovely calm waters are perfect for little swimmers, paddleboarding, or just lazing about. The wide beach at Clareville is complemented by a large stretch of grass and tall trees providing plenty of shade throughout the day. Make sure you get there early as the beach gets busy.
2. Parsley Bay Reserve, Vaucluse
Parsley Bay is another popular and busy beach with shade in Sydney but well worth visiting if you get there early! The beach and bushland duo is a great spot to take the kids for a dip and you'll find shade from bordering trees, plus there's barbecues, picnic tables, and the Parsley Bay playground nearby.
3. Palm Beach
Another Northern Beaches gem, Palm Beach offers not one but two shaded beaches for hot summer days. Palm Beach is surrounded by water on 3 sides so there's plenty of opportunities for splashing. To make the most of the morning shade, we recommend venturing to the Pittwater side of Palm Beach either at Pittwater Park on Barrenjoey Road, or further north at Station Beach near The Boathouse. Pittwater Park has plenty of shady trees, grass for picnics, a small playground, and the kids will love watching the Palm Ferry making its way along the water.
4. Greenwich Baths
Greenwich Baths on Albert Street in Greenwich is another beach with shade thanks to neighbouring trees. This harbour beach has delightfully calm waters and is highly recommended for babies and toddlers. Make sure you get there early to secure a parking spot and a cool, shady spot in the sand.
5. Whale Beach
The luxuriously large Norfolk Pine Trees that hug the sand at Whale Beach on the Northern Beaches provide ample shade from the sun and the surf is terrific if you're heading out on your board. If you've got little ones who prefer calmer waters, Whale Beach also has a 25-metre rock pool on site.
6. Shark Beach, Vaucluse
Shark Beach is just as good as the many stunning pictures you've seen and is the perfect spot for a day at the beach with the family. While there isn't an abundance of shade on the beach itself, the adjacent Nielsen Park has plenty of shady spots on the grass and coffee nearby at The Nielsen. Finding parking at Shark Beach can be a pain on weekends, so make sure you get there early.
7. Clontarf Beach, Middle Harbour
Nestled in Middle Harbour, Clontarf Beach delivers plenty of shade, calm waters, beautiful white sand, a kids playground, picnic facilities, parking and a cafe on site - sublime! Like most shaded beaches in Sydney, Clontarf gets busy on the weekend but luckily it's quite spread out so you don't feel like you're wedged in like sardines. There's a little bit of shade on the beach early in the mornings but for later in the day, park yourselves on the adjacent grassy areas and enjoy your day outdoors.
8. Carss Park Beach
While Carss Bush Park is not so much a beach but more of a playground/park combo, and not so much seawater but the waters of St Georges River, it still gets a spot on our list of shady beaches because there's so much on offer when bringing the family down to Carss Park! Water play, playground, and a cafe are all on offer at Carss Park plus heaps of shady spots under the trees to keep away from the sun - enjoy!
9. Balmoral Beach, Mosman
A trip to Balmoral Beach is practically a rite of passage when living in Sydney with young kids, isn't it? Balmoral Beach is another family-friendly trifecta offering a beach, playground and access to great food and coffee. There is limited shade on the beach itself but plenty on offer near the playground and along the adjacent grassy knolls. There are several cafe spots on offer at Balmoral but our pick is, of course, the uber-popular The Boathouse Balmoral!
10. Shelly Beach, Manly
Shelly Beach in Manly is part of Cabbage Tree Bay, an underwater protected marine reserve and is only 30 minutes from the Sydney CBD. The crystal-clear waters at Shelly Beach are incredibly inviting on a summers day, plus the adjacent park offers shady spots to keep you out of the sun. Stop off at the Boathouse Shelly Beach (right next to the beach) for coffee or a light snack, and don't forget to pack your goggles for a bit of snorkelling. If you're planning on staying a while, go for a splash at the nearby Fairy Bower Rock Pool.
11. Wattamolla Beach, The Royal National Park
And if you're in the mood for a little family road trip, go for a spin down the coast and visit Wattamolla Beach in the Royal National Park. We strongly recommend getting to Wattamolla Beach early as this is a very popular spot on the weekends. The sprawling oasis on offer at Wattamolla Beach is definitely worth the drive and offers beach and lagoon swimming plus snorkelling, picnicking, sightseeing, and even a bit of fishing. Please note that Wattamolla Beach is only patrolled during the summer months.
Is your favourite beach not on the list? Let us know in the comments!
Want More Water Action?
Have you signed up to our newsletter? Join ellaslist to get the best family and kid-friendly events, venues, classes and things to do NEAR YOU!