According to legend, Avalon was the earthly paradise chosen by King Arthur as his final resting place. Seeing Avalon Beach, first from my walk along Bangalley Head and then from walking along the beach itself, I couldn’t help wondering if this was Arthur’s Avalon. Admittedly, I do wonder a lot sometimes.
Avalon Beach is one of a number of Sydney’s gorgeous Northern Beaches any and all of which offer a restful alternative to, or great addition to, a visit to Sydney’s more frequented Bondi and Manly beaches.
In the 1990s an episode of the American television show, Baywatch, was filmed here and producers sought to permanently relocate the show to Avalon from its Californian base, to save costs. The offer was rejected by the local council and the show settled in Hawaii. Was it an opportunity lost or peace and quite retained? On Palm Beach, a couple of beaches further north, beach-goers seem to co-habitate reasonably well with the cast and crew of the well known Australian soap opera, Home and Away.
While there is development around Avalon Beach it is set back a little further than on others of Sydney’s beaches, being separated from the beach by the Des Creagh Reserve which sports some sandhills on which a regeneration program has worked a treat for the local flora.
Though I didn’t eat here, various food outlets, including that within the Surf Lifesaving Club, are easily accessible from the southern end of the beach.
Avalon, at roughly 500 metres long, is a life-saver patrolled surfing beach. While the best long board surfing is at the northern end, I understand the beach caters for various types of ride, if that’s what surfers do/call them!
Various types of surfers are attracted to Avalon, including a growing number of older people who, I noted, manage to get out of each others ways with varying degrees of success. While I was indeed once sighted, by friends in Papua New Guinea, driving along with a surf board attached to the roof of my car I will admit that I was transporting it for a surfer friend and that I have never set foot on a board. Accordingly, I will not crash into you should you take your board to Avalon. As there is plenty of space for everyone to surf you can join the aged surfers or not, as it pleases you.
There is a 25 metres rock pool at the southern end of the beach, fed by ocean water, for those who prefer a more genteel swim when the surf’s up. Toilet and change room facilities are available.
For those not into swimming or surfing a walk along the fine golden sand is a treat and there is plenty of shade, provided by some gorgeous Norfolk Pines, under which to sit and relax, read a book, or enjoy a picnic. Additionally, there are lots of rocks at either end of the beach, bordered by 60m high sandstone cliffs and the rock platforms of Bilgola Head, should you wish to scramble across them or go fossicking. Be very careful of the waves and tide, if you do.
Getting to the Beach
Avalon is well served by public transport with buses stopping within 50 metres of the beach (south end). I suggest you use the more direct services such as the L90 or the L88 from or to Wynyard Station in the city. Trip time approx. 85mins.
Street parking (I didn’t note if it was paid or not, though suspect it would be paid) was available at the southern end of the beach while at the northern end there is a small paid car park where, I sort of fancied, you would be somewhat frowned upon if you didn’t turn up with a surfboard attached to your vehicle.
I approached the beach on foot from the north, following the Sydney Coastal Walk which runs from Burrenjoey in the north to Cronulla Beach to the south of the city – a distance of around 100kms, though that depends on detours taken en route. For me Avalon Beach was the finish point on day one of this walk.
This is my last Sydney – NORTHERN BEACHES review.
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