Collaroy generally has smaller waves, making it good for surfers learning their trade. There are cafes, a rockpool, a pub and decent eating options, or you can catch a flick in the little art-deco cinema nearby. Also in the area is Long Reef Beach, which has rock pools, a golf club, a headland walk (perfect for whale watching) and a beach club.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Northern Beaches attractions

1. Narrabeen

1.34 MILES

Immortalised by the Beach Boys in 'Surfin’ USA', long, spectacular Narrabeen is hard-core surf turf – get some experience before hitting the breaks. Not…

2. Dee Why

1.59 MILES

A no-fuss curve of family beach fronted by chunky apartments, some good cafes and ubiquitous surf shops. Grommets (young surfers) hit the waves and mums…

3. Curl Curl

2.69 MILES

Attracting a mix of family groups and experienced surfers, Curl Curl is a large, sloping beach with rocky saltwater pools at each end, a swampy lagoon and…

4. Freshwater

3.52 MILES

This discreet, southeast-facing sandy bay just north of Manly has a cool ocean pool and plenty of teenagers. Good for learner surfers.

5. Manly Beach


Sydney's second most famous beach is a magnificent strand that stretches for nearly two golden kilometres, lined by Norfolk Island pines and midrise…

6. Corso

4.66 MILES

The quickest route from the Manly ferry terminal to Manly’s ocean beach is along the Corso, a part-pedestrian mall lined with surf shops, pubs and sushi…

7. Manly Art Gallery & Museum

4.79 MILES

A short stroll from Manly Wharf, this passionately managed community gallery maintains a local focus, with changing, locally relevant exhibitions and a…

8. Shelly Beach

4.79 MILES

This pretty, sheltered, north-facing ocean cove is an appealing 1km walk from the busy Manly beach strip. The tranquil waters are a protected haven for…