Palm Beach, Sydney, NSW
A little over an hour's drive from the city, Palm Beach is at the exclusive end of Sydney's long stretch of northern beaches. It sits at the end of a long peninsula, with surf on one side and Pittwater on the other. Many of the country's wealthy have built their vacation houses here. Fans will also recognise Palm Beach as the mythical village of ‘Summer Bay' where the hit TV series Home and Away is filmed. The one and a quarter mile (two-kilometre) long, golden beach curves from Barrenjoey Head at the southern head of Broken Bay, to the sandstone rocks of Little Head in the south.
Palm Beach sits at the end of a long peninsula, with the ocean on one side and the tranquil waters of Pittwater on the other. Dramatic Barrenjoey Head looms over the northern end of the beach, with historic Barrenjoey Lighthouse and light-keepers' cottages at the end of the Barrenjoey Lighthouse Walk, a popular track for surfers, joggers and walkers. From the Barrenjoey Lighthouse, built in the 1880s, you can look over Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park and Broken Bay, or all along the dramatic coastline north of Sydney.
The North Palm Beach surf club is an ideal place to sit and enjoy the sweeping ocean views. The southern end of Palm Beach is more protected for swimming. Most of Sydney's northern beaches have ocean rock pools which are perfect for swimming laps or for young children.
In the village you will find one-of-a-kind designer boutiques, award-winning restaurants and charming guesthouses that serve up gourmet Australian fare complemented by panoramic Pacific Ocean vistas. In winter, it's the perfect place to spot migrating humpback whales.
The ‘still water' side of Pittwater has boat hire facilities as well as fishing, sailing, kayaking and diving and the elegant Palm Beach Golf Club. Governor Phillip Park has a delightful picnic and BBQ area.
Take the historic ferry from Palm Beach to pretty Ettalong, a popular picnic and camping spot for locals. There is also a scenic cruise from Palm Beach Wharf along the beautiful lower Hawkesbury River, which is a relaxing and great way to escape for the day.