Something of a hidden gem, this gorgeous harbourside park with a sandy beach was once part of the then 206-hectare Vaucluse House estate. Secluded beneath the trees is Greycliffe House, a gracious 1851 Gothic sandstone pile (not open to visitors), which serves as the headquarters of Sydney Harbour National Park. Despite Shark Beach's ominous name, there's really nothing to worry about – there's a net to put paranoid swimmers at ease.

Visit on a weekday when it’s not too busy: just mums with kids, retirees and slackers taking sickies from work.