Having just walked up to the Barrenjoey Lighthouse it was time for a more relaxing stroll along Palm Beach, or Palmy, the most northern of Sydney’s north shore beaches.
Coming down from the lighthouse we crossed over the Pittwater Peninsula via a path skirting (though not entering) some sand-dunes at the northern end of the beach. If you had not planned on walking up to the lighthouse at some point during you visit to Palm Beach please re-consider. While not an easy walk, it is short and so well worth it for the views. My main picture above is taken from along the lighthouse walk.
I do not lie on beaches through I love walking on them and this is exactly what I did here – a walk of a couple of kilometres (one way) – listening to and enjoying the Pacific waves breaking just off the beach and ebbing onto the lovely clean golden sandy beach. Though it was a warm weekend the beach was almost deserted until I arrived at the southern end where most people park their cars or alight from the city bus service. Even there the beach was far from crowded if you compare it to the likes of Bondi or Manly on even an average weather day. Granted it takes 90mins to get here by bus. Also located at the southern end of the beach are toilets, changing facilities and a small number of eating options. It being to early for lunch we enjoyed an ice-cream and a cold drink at the reasonably priced and welcoming Sugar Palm Restaurant, before continuing on with our walk to Avalon Beach via Whale Beach.
Palm Beach is popular with surfers and quite a few were out enjoying the waves when we visited. The surf is better towards the northern end of the beach while the more sheltered southern end is more conducive to swimming.
Also at the southern end is a 35 metres rock pool – a familiar sight on many of Sydney’s ocean beaches. A rock pool is a swimming pool filled by sea water from crashing waves and high tides which provides a more genteel option to swimming in the open ocean.
Those of my readers who watch the soap ‘Home and Away’ will, some perhaps unknowingly, be familiar with Palm Beach, though they will know it better as Summer Beach, its stage name, if you like. Fans of the show can visit the Summer Beach Surf Life Saving Club about half way along the beach where other parts of the set are also located. You might be lucky and catch some filming if you visit on a week-day.
Finally, as we approached the southern end of the beach we could not help but be drawn by the number of multi-million dollar mansions which dot the leafy ridge behind Ocean Road and the distant headland separating Palm Beach from Whale Beach, the next beach down the coast towards Sydney. Palm Beach (as in the suburb) has some of the most expensive property in Sydney and, as I have indicated elsewhere on this blog, a top of the range BMW appeared to be entry level, in terms of cars, in this rather exclusive suburb. The odd vehicle on the streets that fell below this entry level surely belonged to poorer visitors who would leave before dark.
Seriously, a beautiful beach in a lovely area, worthy a day of your time if you want to get away from the more touristy city beaches.
L90 bus (90 minutes) from Wynyard Station in the city centre. Unless your budget extends to a taxi or a A$400 (return) seaplane flight, this is the only public transport option. Thankfully it runs regularly from very early morning to late at night. There is also ample paid parking (A$4 per hour or A$20 for a full day) at various points along Palm Beach should you chose to drive (approx 1 hr).