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Sydney. It seems to be the place that everyone wants to run away from. Including myself. After growing up in the inner city, and a long stint living on the beautiful Northern Beaches, I couldn’t wait to ‘escape the rat race’ and move somewhere quieter. But now that I’ve been away from my home town for several years, I can truly appreciate it’s magnificence.

Sydney, with all it’s faults, is a place of incredible natural beauty. It’s not hard to find a little piece of paradise in this town, and if you know where to look, it’s even possible to find a quiet spot to relax.

The Sydney Supershow is almost upon us, and it’s the biggest show of the year. With people coming from all over Australia to attend, I thought I’d let you know about a few of my favourite hidden waterside gems, so that you too, can fall in love with Sydney again.

Resolute Beach

Photo Credit: Andrew Gregory

Resolute beach is a secluded little jewel in Pittwater, north of Sydney, surrounded by the Ku-Ring-Gai National park, and accessible by boat or foot. It’s an 8km hike from the picnic area, so you would be best to make an entire day of it. It’s a serene and peaceful beach, flanked by bushland on one side and clear, emerald green water on the other. It offers beautiful views of the famed and exclusive Palm Beach, and is a sensational spot to while away a perfect Sydney summers day.

The Basin

Photo Credit: NSW National Parks

The Basin is a spectacular picnic area and camp ground, also located in Pittwater, and also only accessible by foot or by boat. If you’d like to walk, it’s a fairly easy 2km hike down the hill, and you can stop and see some ancient Aboriginal rock carvings on the way. However, if you don’t fancy walking and you don’t have a boat either, the Palm Beach ferry stops there regularly, and is happy to accommodate you and all your gear. With BBQ facilities, showers and toilets, you won’t need to take much with you to feel comfortable. The Basin is the perfect spot to swim, go bushwalking, or just relax and unwind under a shady tree. Just watch out for the goannas!

Collins Flat

Photo Credit: Kokkai

Whether you’re looking for the ideal spot to have a romantic picnic for two, or you have a family with young kids who need calm waters to splash in, Collins Flat, near Manly, is absolutely perfect. You can swim, snorkel, kayak around the bay, splash around in the nearby waterfall, scramble over the rocks or just lay on the sand and soak up the sun. Collins Flat is reachable by boat or it’s a short walk from the nearby carpark. There are no facilities, so take everything you need with you.

Clifton Gardens

Photo Credit: Kidtown

Clifton Gardens, located in Mosman’s Chowder Bay, is the ideal place to spend a day with the family. It offers something for everyone here. For the young ones, there’s a sheltered, netted swimming area on a blindingly white sand beach, and a new shady playground. The older kids will love jumping off the pier into the crystal clear water below, snorkelling, playing basketball in the court or riding their scooters. And adults are well catered for too, with the nearby kiosk serving great coffee, lunches and ice cream.

Parsley Bay Reserve

Photo Credit: Hello Sydney Kids

Parsley Bay, located in Vaucluse, is cemented in my memory as one of the most beautiful places I have ever visited in Sydney. As a child, this gorgeous harbour beach and parkland area took on an almost ethereal beauty-filtered sunshine through the trees, lush green lawns leading to a small and secluded beach, with clear water sheltering hundreds of little starfish on the rocks. Parsley Bay is still not well known to most Sydneysiders, so if you get there at the right time of day, you might find you get this little gem all to yourself.

Gordons Bay

Photo Credit: This Island Life

Gordons Bay, a secluded oasis located just north of Coogee beach, is one of the best snorkelling spots in Sydney. Follow the series of sunken drums, linked by a 500m length of chain, each offering information about the local marine life. You will likely have to lay your towel on the surrounding rocks as there isn’t a lot of sand, but, when you get there and feast your eyes upon the clear turquoise water, you’ll instantly feel as if you’ve been transported to the rocky beaches of the Mediterranean.

Jibbon Beach

Photo Credit: Sydney.com

Jibbon Beach, located on the east side of Bundeena in the Royal National Park, is a beautiful beach with loads of Aboriginal history. An ancient midden runs the entire length of the beach, and on one side are several rock engravings, giving you an insight on how the first inhabitants lived and ate. If you’re feeling brave, keep walking down the beach and across the headland until you find Little Jibbon-an official nude beach.

Darook Park

Photo Credit: Visit Sydney Australia

 

Overlooking Port Hacking, Darook Park is one of the prettiest locations in the Sutherland Shire. It’s a shady, sheltered and secluded beach with no waves, beautiful scenery, and all the essential amenities including toilets etc. Grab a picnic basket and a nice bottle of wine, relax and soak up the rays in this magical spot.