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 holiday 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 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.
If you feel like stretching your legs, Sydney’s Northern Beaches Walk from Barrenjoey to North Head takes four days. It combines with Sydney’s three-day Southern Coastal Walk to form Sydney’s Great Coastal Walk of approximately 100 kilometres from Palm Beach to Cronulla in Sydney’s southern suburbs.
The shorter Beach to Bay walk connects four reserves at Palm Beach: Hordern Park, Wiltshire Park, McKay Reserve and Dark Gully Park. It’s an easy and pleasant walk through rare spotted gum trees and where you’re likely to see many native Australian plants and animals.
Buses run from Circular Quay and Central Station to Palm Beach. The route travels past all of Sydney’s northern beaches on its way to Palm Beach, including Queenscliff, Harbord, Curl Curl, Dee Why, Collaroy, Narrabeen, Mona Vale, Bungan, Newport, Bilgola and Avalon. If you want a great view of them all take a sea plane flight along the coast.