RDM Votes: 15 Favourite Beaches

posted in: Activities, Life | 0

Nothing says summer like a trip to the beach. Wondering where RDMs like to head with the kids for a day of sun, sea and sand? Here are the top 15 favourite beaches, as voted by RDMs!


1. Balmoral Beach, Mosman

Distance from Ryde – 18km / 25 mins

Balmoral beach is located on the harbour in a cove, so it’s sheltered from the wind. Soft sand, gradual shallows and an enclosed swimming area make it an excellent location for a family beach day.

Facilities: toilets, several kiosks, enclosed swimming area, playground, nearby cafes and restaurants, car park.

Top tip: parking can be tricky here (and expensive) so get there early or park on the residential streets up the hill (if walking is possible). 




2. Clontarf Beach

Distance from Ryde – 23km / 31 mins

This beach is an ideal place to introduce your children to a paddle in the sea as it’s on the harbour so has little / no waves. The netted swimming area is shallow which is great if you have more than one child to handle.

Facilities: toilets, kiosk, netted swimming area, car park, playground and reserve.                           

Top tip: take a picnic blanket and a ball/toys so you can relax in the reserve once you’ve had enough sand and water.


3. Freshwater Beach

Distance from Ryde – 26km / 35 mins

This is the first beach up from Manly. It is s broad and shallow so perfect for paddling, with some gentle waves that can help introduce children to bodyboarding.

Facilities: toilets, kiosk, playground, rock pool, car park and lifesaving club. More café and restaurants a few minutes walk away.

Top tip: when the tide is out the water can be a bit of a trek from the car park over the sand so get your bags organised to avoid having to make several trips.



4. Dee Why Beach

Distance from Ryde – 25km / 38 mins

A long and deep sandy beach which caters for all ages. The surf is decent for surfing so not ideal for very young paddlers but there’s the rock pool as a great alternative.

Facilities: toilets, kiosks, plenty of cafes and restaurants along the front, car park, rock pool, playground and lifesaving club.

Top tip: make a pit stop at the great enclosed playground on the southern end of the beach




5. Terrigal Beach

Distance from Ryde – 76km / 67 mins

Great beach in a lovely town with plenty going on, not too far from Sydney. The beach extends northwards to Wamberal and has relatively calm wave breaks.

Facilities: toilets, kiosk, car park, plenty of cafés and restaurants along the front and a lifesaving club.

Top tip: the lagoon to the north of the beach is a great place for splashing about with younger children.



6. Manly Beach

Distance from Ryde – 25km / 35 mins

Long and not too deep, this is a great beach alongside an awesome promenade.

Facilities: toilets, plenty of cafes and restaurants along the front, playground, beach volleyball and a lifesaving club.

Top tip: make sure you allow time to take in a bit of shopping in the pedestrian streets including at the regular Sunday artisan markets.


7. Whale Beach

Distance from Ryde – 40km / 48 mins

Generally quieter beach on the Northern Beaches as it’s a little way off Barrenjoey Road and doesn’t have a great deal of choice of cafes etc. But still a lovely beach for a play with smaller surf than Palm Beach.

Facilities: toilets, kiosk / café, car park, small playground, rock pool and lifesaving club.

Top Tip: avoid the weekend traffic on Barrenjoey Road by getting up to the beach early (before 10am).




8. Avoca Beach

Distance from Ryde – 81km / 73 mins

Lovely surfing beach (more in the north of the beach as the south is slightly protected by a headland).

Facilities: toilets, café, car park, playground, natural rock pool and lifesaving club.

Top Tip: stay closer to the southern end of the beach, nearer the facilities and car park.



9. Newport Beach

Distance from Ryde – 33km / 37 mins

A long, wide beach offering plenty of sandcastle making opportunities. Can be windy with decent surf.

Facilities: toilets, kiosks, car park, playground, rock pool, lifesaving club and plenty of cafes and restaurants on the main road.

Top Tip: stop off at the newly renovated Newport Arms for lunch or tea.




10. Palm Beach       

Distance from Ryde – 42km / 48 mins

The famous Summer Bay (you may even get a glimpse of some Home and Away filming if you head there on the right day) beach which wraps around the Barrenjoey Lighthouse for as far as you can see!

Facilities – toilets, rock pool, car parking, cafes and shops on the front and lifesaving club.

Top Tip: avoid the weekend traffic on Barrenjoey Road by getting up to the beach early (before 10am).




11. Umina Beach

Distance from Ryde – 75km / 64 mins

A long sandy beach, perfect for swimming and surfing.

Facilities – toilets, café on the beach, playground and skate park, car park and lifesaving club.

Top Tip: dogs are allowed on the beach which you may consider a positive or negative!


12. Collaroy Beach

Distance from Ryde – 32km / 37 mins

A long beach which extends to join with Narrabeen Beach. It has an awesome playground just on the front.

Facilities – toilets, kiosk, car park, playground, rock pool and lifesaving club. Plenty of café and restaurant options nearby.

Top Tip: you can park in the clearway for free!


13. Shelly Beach, Manly

Distance from Ryde – 26km / 85 mins

Nice, shady beach in a cove with calm waters.

Facilities: toilets, kiosk, café / restaurant nearby and car park.

Top Tip: take a bush walk around the headland for spectacular views of North Head and the Northern Beaches.



14. Clovelly Beach

Distance from Ryde – 23km / 32 mins

Small beach located in a deep bay so well protected.

Facilities: toilets, kiosk, playground, on-street parking and lifesaving club.

Top Tip: take your snorkels with you as it’s reputed to be an awesome location to watch sea life!


15. Clifton Gardens Reserve, Mosman

Distance from Ryde – 20km / 28 mins

Calm like Balmoral but without the crowds (but shhh don’t tell everyone!).

Facilities: toilets, kiosk, netted swimming area, playground and car park.

Top Tip: consider combining this with a trip to nearby Taronga Zoo!



Despite being inland, Ryde certainly has a wealth of choice where beaches are concerned, particularly around the 45 minute driving time. But wait! There’s more! Other beaches mentioned by RDM’s, but not receiving that many votes, included:

  • Clareville Beach Reserve, Clareville – Northern Beaches
  • Beach at Pearl Beach – Central Coast
  • Mona Vale Beach, Mona Vale – Northern Beaches
  • Greenwich Baths, Greenwich (currently closed for renovation)
  • Toowoon Bay, The Entrance – Central Coast
  • Coogee Beach, Coogee – south east Sydney
  • Avalon Beach, Avalon – Northern Beaches
  • Narrabeen Beach, Narrabeen – Northern Beaches
  • North Curl Curl Beach, Curl Curl – Northern Beaches
  • La Perouse Beach, La Perouse – near Port Botany
  • Blue Bay. The Entrance – Central Coast
  • Stanwell Beach, Stanwell Park – south of Sydney
  • Bundeena Beach, Bundeena – south of Sydney
  • Fairlight Beach, Fairlight – near Manly
  • South Curl Curl Beach, Curl Curl – Northern Beaches
  • Copacabana Beach, Copacabana – Central Coast



Leave a Reply