Cronulla is a beachy surf suburb south of Botany Bay, its long surf beach stretching beyond the dunes to the Botany Bay refineries. It can be an edgy place (captured brilliantly in the 1970s cult teen novel Puberty Blues), with dingy fish-and-chip shops, insomniac teens and a ragged sense of impending ‘something’, which in 2005 erupted into racial violence. That said, the beach is beautiful, with a pleasant promenade, and it's easy to reach by train from Bondi Junction.

In 2008 it became the second Sydney beach to be declared a National Surfing Reserve.