Balmoral Beach is a little local gem that tourists tend to not know about when they visit Sydney. It’s a beautiful, sheltered bay area comprising of Balmoral Beach and Edwards Beach, separated by a little outcrop called Rocky Point, which is a favourite spot of mine for a picnic.
When I’m at home in Sydney in summer, you will most definitely find me at the beach. Usually it’s with a book in hand, a cooler bag full of fresh fruit and a pile of sunscreen because I am one of those people who pretty much turns into a lobster as soon as I’m in the sun.
Since I’ve lived in Sydney, I’ve spent most of my time based on the North Shore (Sydney is basically split depending on what side of the Harbour Bridge you live on). The good news is that in Sydney, you’re never too far from a body of water to swim in and on the lower North Shore, Balmoral Beach is pretty much the pick of the beaches.
So what to do in this Sydney summer heatwave, but spend the long, hot days lazing on the white sand of Balmoral Beach? Seriously, it’s been unwaveringly warm for the last week here with temperatures consistently over 30 degrees Celcius (that’s over 86 degrees Fahrenheit for all you US based readers) and we’ve all been baking. That’s December in Sydney for you!
How to get to Balmoral Beach
“I’m sold! How do I get there?” I hear you ask! If you’re like me and staying on the North Shore, then there are a few buses that will get you to Balmoral Beach. The 257 Bus will bring you right down to the Esplanade, which is the easiest option. If you’re on the south side of the harbour, you can either grab the bus (the 245 from Wynyard Station) OR what I’d really suggest is for you to take a ferry to Tooronga Zoo and catch the 258 bus from there just to get some of that Sydney Harbour goodness on the way.
Why Balmoral Beach?
I love Balmoral Beach for its proximity, that’s for sure. But it is also an excellent option for a few other reasons. Balmoral Beach is a bay, so its easy to swim around without feeling like you’re getting beaten up by the surf (like at Bondi). This means it’s pretty safe for everyone to swim at, including kids. Balmoral is also not a tourist beach like Bondi, where it can often seem impossible to find a patch of sand to claim as yours for the day. There’s usually plenty of sand to go round at Balmoral as it is mostly used by North Shore locals.
What to eat at Balmoral Beach
There are a couple of really nice spots to eat on the water at Balmoral Beach, too. If a picnic on the beach or at Rocky Point isn’t your thing, then I’d definitely suggest a cocktail at the Bather’s Pavilion or a long lunch at the Boathouse which extends out over the water with a pier running parallel to the restaurant. For a more low key meal, grab some fish and chips and eat in the park overlooking the water.
My Beach Recommendations
- Sunscreen! Australia’s sun can be very unforgiving so make sure you take plenty of sunscreen and continue to re-apply it throughout the day
- Parking is usually terrible around Sydney beaches in Summer, so definitely take public transport or an Uber if possible to avoid spending hours looking for a park.
- Take your rubbish with you. Balmoral Beach is a great spot for a picnic and a day of eating and drinking in the sun, but please make sure that you leave nothing behind that could damage the environment.
- Bring an Esky or cooler bag. Australia is HOT in the summer and any yummy cheese platter or champagne picnic will NOT stay cold for long unless you’ve got the right equipment.
- Take a book. One of my absolute favourite things to do at the beach is to soak up the sun whilst being transported into the world of a good book.
- Keep an eye on your kids and your friends. I usually head off to adventure or relax solo, but its really important to be aware of your surroundings at the beach. Too many people drown each year in Australia. Balmoral isn’t a patrolled beach either, so its up to us to keep each other safe.
- Most importantly… enjoy your day at the beach!
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I’ve hardly been to any of the Sydney beaches – oh, I went to Bondi once, but I think that’s it! I live only metres from the beach when I’m at home, so I guess I search out other things when I travel. Balmoral looks lovely though, rural almost. Definitely a better option than the crowded tourist beaches.