How to Make the Most of Your Trip to Palm Beach
Barrenjoey Road, Palm Beach NSW 2108
Area: Northern Beaches
Palm Beach is located on the northern peninsula of Sydney’s northern beaches. This long beach is situated on the eastern, ocean side of the long sandy headland.
Palm Beach is situated approximately 45 km north of Sydney CBD. It is a beautiful long beach flanked by two ridges of dunes. The southern end of the beach has a patrolled surf lifesaving club and is a popular spot for swimming, surfing, windsurfing, and fishing. Boating is also popular in the sheltered waters of Pittwater. At the northern end of Palm Beach, there is a golf course and a number of bushwalking tracks through the surrounding Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park. Palm Beach is also a popular film location with TV shows such as Home and Away and movies such as Mongoose Junction being filmed there.
On the western side is Station Beach (also sometimes referred to as Barrenjoey Beach) and between them is a long grassy reserve with facilities such as BBQs, picnic tables and a playground. Also known as Summer Bay for Home & Away fans, the beach is popular among local families.
Slightly south of Station Beach is Snapperman Beach with Public Wharf.
Popular among surfers, the beach has fairly consistent surf, however the best conditions occur when a south east swell combines with an offshore wind direction from the west. Best time for surfing is during winter especially in June.
If you are only new to surfing, be wary of rips, as they can make surfing here dangerous.
Families with young children will find the rockpool at the northern end ideal for swimming. Alternatively head to Station Beach or Snapperman Beach which tend to be very calm.
Palm Beach at a Glance
|Park / Reserve:||Yes|
|BBQs:||Yes electric BBQs in reserve|
|Shade:||Yes under the trees|
|Swimming:||Yes at all 3 beaches|
|Beach patrolled:||Palm Beach is patrolled, however Snapperman and Station Beach are not patrolled|
|Cafes / Restaurants:||Yes several cafes|
|Toilets / Showers:||Yes|
|Parking:||Mainly paid parking|
Stand-up paddle boarding
Things To Do at Palm Beach
If you have young children, they will enjoy:
- swimming in the rockpool
- playing at the playground
- building sandcastles
- making sand angels
Older kids can:
- go bodyboarding
- throw a frisbee
- kick a ball
- observe creatures in the rock area
- draw pictures in the sand
- watch sea planes land and take off
Teenagers will have a lot of fun:
- stand-up paddle boarding
- body boarding
- kite surfing
- taking photos
Adults / parents / couples will enjoy:
- coffee at The Boathouse
- a walk up to Barrenjoey lighthouse
- a BBQ or picnic
- strolling along the beach
- catching ferry to Central Coast
- filming of Home & Away
Palm Beach Cafes
There are several great places to enjoy a light snack, lunch or dinner.
Known for its fresh, home made cuisine (try citrus chicken and carrot salad sandwich), fresh salads, tarts, quiches and great coffee, this little café is located at 1065 Barrenjoey Road. It generally opens at 6.30am, so if you need a caffeine fix early, this is the place to go.
The Boat House
Palm Beach is well known amongst Home & Away fans and is very popular with the locals. With beautiful décor, fresh flowers, cuisine and coffee to die for, this little gem is located at Station Beach. Whilst there is plenty of seating inside, outside and also on the pier overlooking the water, the café gets very busy, so during summer months and especially on the weekends, you may need to wait to get a seat.
If you want to enjoy a bit of The Boat House experience in your home, check out their new series of ebooks, which feature recipes, reviews, recommended podcasts, behind the scene content, Instagram accounts to follow and exclusive access to a Boathouse Instagram community.
Located at 1193 Barrenjoey Road, Palm Beach, Dunes has a relaxed atmosphere and offers beach friendly informal wining and dining. Their menu includes seafood, pasta, steaks and desserts to die for. Their signature cocktails can be accompanied by a delicious cheese board.
Water Sports at Palm Beach
Surfing – suitable for surfers of all levels. If you want to learn how to surf, Manly Surf school offers lessons. You can book through the Manly Surf School website.
Don’t have your own surfboard? You can hire one from Beach Without Sand, which is located across the road from the beach. Other than surfboards, they also stock wetsuits and clothing from well known brands including O’Neill, Hurley, RipCurl, Ocean & Earth and many others.
Bodyboarding – if you prefer body boarding, then Palm Beach is ideal. Go bodyboarding between the flags, especially if you are not a strong swimmer.
Swimming and diving into waves – the beach is patrolled so make sure you swim between the flags to stay safe.
Want to swim laps? You will find a rockpool at the northern end of the beach.
Station Beach has no waves and is ideal for standup paddleboarding, kayaking, canoeing, swimming. At times it can get windy and this makes it ideal for kite surfing.
If you have young children, the beach is safe for them to swim at.
Want to give kayaking or stand up paddleboarding a go but don’t have your own kayak, head over to Barrenjoey Boating Services, which is located next to The Boathouse Café. You can hire single kayak, double kayaks and stand up paddleboards
For those keen to go fishing, the shop also has bait and tackle, rods, reels, snacks, drinks and ice creams. If you are a Home & Away fan, you may recognise Summer Bay’s Alf’s Bait Shop.
Snapperman Beach is a small sandy area located at the southern end of Palm Beach. It is ideal for young children as the water is very calm and there is a small enclosed playground right near the carpark.
This beach is suitable for swimming, kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding or just floating around.
Snapperman Beach is not patrolled, so you will need to keep a close eye on your kids.
Just above the beach is a small reserve, which is a popular ceremony location. It offers a lovely sea and sand backdrop.
Palm Beach Golf Course
Palm Beach Golf is located at 2 Beach Road, Palm Beach and features a 9 Hole Golf course.
End your day on the course with a meal at the Golf Club, which offers casual dining with a view over the golf course.
Find out more at Palm Beach Golf website.
Barrenjoey Lighthouse is Palm Beach’s iconic attraction. It was built in 1881 and sits on top of Barrenjoey Headland. Walk up to the lighthouse from the Station beach car park takes approximately 30 minutes.
Palm Beach Playgrounds
For families with young children, there are a couple of small playgrounds – one located on Snapperman Beach and one in Governor Phillip Park.
Catch a Ferry from Palm Beach
Enjoy a great day out and catch a ferry from the Public Wharf located at Snapperman Beach.
Palm Beach River Cruises offers several destinations:
- Patonga Beach
- Cottage Point
- Bobbin Head
FantaSea Cruising will take you to:
- Coaster’s Retreat – The Basin – Currawong – Mackerel Beach
- Wagstaffe – Ettalong Beach
Getting to Palm Beach
The best and easiest way to get to Palm Beach is by car. Simply follow Pittwater Road to Mona Vale, then drive along Barrenjoey Road. There is a number of small car parks near Snapperman Beach, Station Beach and Palm Beach, but they can get busy, so it’s best to get there early, especially during summer months.
A regular bus service operates to Palm Beach. To plan your trip visit Transport NSW website.
FantaSea Cruising and Palm Beach River Cruises run operate ferry services to Palm Beach from Patonga Beach, Cottage Point, Bobbin Head, Coaster’s Retreat, The Basin, Currawong, Mackerel Beach, Wagstaffe and Ettalong Beach.
Check their website for ferry timetable
See Sydney’s picturesque coastline including Whale Beach, Avalon, Newport, Mona Vale, Narrabeen and Collaroy on a scenic sea plane flight.
Sydney by Seaplane offers 2 different flights from Palm Beach
15 minute flight takes you from Palm Beach along Northern Beaches
30 minute flight takes you from Palm Beach along Northern Beaches, up to Manly and towards Sydney Harbour including Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House.
Sydney by Seaplane also offers Palm Beach Day trips. Your pilot will take you to Palm beach then have brunch or lunch at one of the local cafes or restaurants, hire a kayak or a boat and fishing gear, play a round of golf at the Palm Beach Golf Course, hike to the historic lighthouse, go swimming in the ocean or relax and sunbathe.
Both flights take off from Pittwater, Palm Beach and can be booked at Sydney by Seaplane website.
Ivana Katz is a Sydney based website designer and travel blogger. Having her own business has given her the freedom to explore the world. She believes travel is the best teacher and her passion for adventure, writing and photography has taken her and her son to some amazing places, including Hawaii, Canada, Fiji, Greece and Czech Republic. Ivana’s favourite thing about travelling is learning, discovering hidden gems and creating memories. She loves nothing more than inspiring other women to chase their dreams and explore the world with their families and friends.
Governor Phillip Park