The Best Free Things To Do On The Northern Beaches

  • Mums & Bubs
    All Ages

There’s nothing quite like venturing into unchartered waters, especially if you don’t have to leave the state. Venturing to Sydney’s Northern Beaches is a great day out for the whole family and – despite what they say – you don’t need your passport to cross over the Sydney Harbour Bridge!

If you’re trying to think of something new and adventurous to do with the kids, the Northern Beaches has tonnes of fun and FREE things to do. Get ready to start ticking off the list!

Visit The Markets

You might be surprised to discover that the Northern Beaches host some of the best markets in Sydney! From weekly farmers markets to monthly boutique markets and special events, there’s always a market popping up on the Northern Beaches. The most well-known market on the beaches is, of course, the Beaches Market. Held every Friday rain, hail or shine at Pittwater Rugby Park in Warriewood, the Beaches Market sells everything from farm-fresh produce to freshly baked treats, homewares, gifts, furniture and clothing.

The Palm Beach Markets are another popular hotspot and held on the 4th Sunday of every month at Governor Phillip Park in Palm Beach. The drive out to Palm Beach is well worth it for the fun atmosphere, a vast range of foods, fresh coffee, homewares, clothing, and of course the stunning views don’t suck!

If you’re looking for a market a little closer to home, Manly Markets are held every Saturday and Sunday right in the heart of Manly and feature a smorgasbord of emerging designers, artists and fresh food purveyors. And don't forget to check out the iconic Taste Of Manly Food And Wine Festival held in May each year. 

Go To The Beach

Clareville Beach

A given when you’re visiting the Northern Beaches! From expansive hotspots to secluded coves, the Northern Beaches is loaded with fantastic beaches to suit all tastes. For kid-friendly beaches, check out the shallow waters at Narrabeen Lagoon, Clareville, and the Pittwater side of Palm Beach. For somewhere a little more off the beaten path, Paradise Beach in Avalon is super secluded and great fun for all ages.

For more information on beaches along the Northern Beaches, visit the council website.

Visit Some Gnome Gardens

Possibly the cutest adventure we’ve ever heard of, Collaroy Plateau’s Garden of Gnomes is a magical outing for the kids. No one really knows how this little treasure trove of statues started, but hey, we don’t hear anyone complaining! Located along the famous Long Reef Headland Walk, the aptly named ‘Long Reef Gnomesville’ is a whimsical display of donated gnomes that just appeared out of nowhere and is slowly getting built up by visitors leaving their own gnomes behind. How cute!

Feed The Ducks

The friendly ducks and ducklings that waddle along the Narrabeen Lagoon Trail at Narrabeen Lakes are a much-loved (and very well fed!) institution on the Northern Beaches. If you’re planning on visiting the popular Narrabeen Tramshed Café and Park, stopping off to feed the ducks is a must. The kids will love how responsive the ducks and their oh-so-cute ducklings are when they spot some carrots or lettuce in hand!

Read our tips on what to feed ducks! 

Go For A Bike Ride

Another highlight of the Narrabeen Lakes is the 8.4-kilometre Narrabeen Lagoon Trail that winds around the tranquil waters and makes for a great family bike ride. The track is relatively flat, so fitness shouldn’t be an issue, besides you’ll be too busy taking in the stunning water views to worry about keeping speed! Aside from views of the lake, the Lagoon Trail winds through lush rainforest and rugged bushlands. If you don’t own your own bike, you can hire them for the day from Northern Beaches Cycles from just $15 for 2-4 hours.

For more information on the Narrabeen Lagoon Trail, visit the website.

Visit Rock Pools

Mona Vale Rock Pool

The Northern Beaches has an impressive 15 rock pools dotted along the coast, so you’re sure to find one to your liking. Aside from being pretty cool to explore for eager little eyes, rock pools are excellent swimming spots for beginners or those afraid of the waves. If you’re visiting for the day, the kids will love exploring the hundreds of nooks and crannies in the rocks and unearthing hidden sea urchins and mysterious shells. A lot of the rock pools also have smaller paddling pools to one side so you can avoid the crowds and bigger waves. The surrounding rocks can get quite slippery, so make sure you and the kids are wearing aqua shoes.

For more information on rock pools on the Northern Beaches, visit the council website.

Other Places To Explore On The Beaches

Kid-Friendly Cafes On The Northern Beaches
Sydney Beaches With Pram Access
Rock Pools To Check Out With Kids

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