Clifton Gardens Beach, Reserve + Playground
Clifton Gardens is probably our family’s favourite Harbour beach… right up there with Balmoral Beach for us.
The kids’ primary school Picnic Day has always been held at Clifton Gardens too, and it’s been a school holidays regular haunt.
Clifton Gardens Reserve has the lovely playground, plus a kiosk, so it’s a terrific destination at any time of the year.
The only downside to Clifton Gardens is the high cost of the large car park, it’s extortionate… but so handy.
Whenever my kids are at a beach, they seem so free, we all do. ‘Stay wild, ocean child’ is one of my fave beach quotes. What is yours?
Clifton Gardens Beach and Baths
Morella Road Clifton Gardens 2088
One of the loveliest harbour beaches, a long slim stretch of sand with a lengthy jetty, a swimming enclosure, a playground and the huge Clifton Gardens Reserve behind.
Clifton Gardens is a secluded beach and you have to wiggle through the back streets of Mosman to find it, do check out the map below. This is part of its charm, it feels like a secret hideaway.
From the beach there are wonderful views over to Neilsen Park and the Eastern Suburbs, as well as the constant buzz of the harbour with the Manly ferries ploughing by.
Rocky bush-covered headlands enclose each end of the beach with bush behind, so the birdlife is plentiful and one feels far away from the big smoke.
The swimming enclosure covers one-half of the beach, the other half is open. The jetty is used by fishermen and is a lovely area for children to explore with their parents.
There is often a bit of litter and debris in the baths area, but on the other hand the jetty is great for jumping off!
The large and flat reserve has lots of lovely trees, picnic tables, an excellent playground, read more here, and space for games, bikes and general zooming around.
The carpark is at one side of the reserve and there is no other road so this is a very safe place for kids.
Are dogs allowed at Clifton Gardens? Not on the beach, but yes on the reserve. Dogs are allowed to be exercised off the leash all day Monday to Friday, and before 9am and after 4pm Saturday, Sunday and Public Holidays on the grassed areas.
Clifton Gardens Walks: there are beautiful walks that you can start or end at Clifton Gardens, see book mentioned at the end of the post
Clifton Gardens Cafe: Bacino Cafe Kiosk is at the end of the beach, so handy for a cuppa, but you need to cross sand, not easy with a stroller!!
Toilets: Yes, very large ones with change rooms and showers
Shade: Trees on reserve, plus some shade from the cliffs at the eastern end of the beach
Clifton Gardens Playground: Yes, there’s a large climbing and slide structure at the eastern end of the reserve, plus swings and rockers, read all about it here.
Shark net: Yes
Mum’s report: This is a lovely safe spot for kids. But do watch the jetty—it’s nerve-wracking watching a toddler set off at high speed along the jetty alone! Once you have older children the jetty is the main attraction for them.
Extra: Taronga Park Zoo is a short drive away
Clifton Gardens parking: Pay carpark by beach, it is extremely expensive to park here, all day will cost $28
Clifton Gardens opening hours: the car park gate at the Morella Road entrance to Clifton Gardens Reserve is locked at 9.30pm and opened at 6am each day.
Bus stop nearby: Yes
When you visit Clifton Gardens Sydney Harbour spreads out before you, busy and colourful, yet you feel so far from the city. It really is a special place.
Would you and he kids leap off the jetty here?
Or play in the shallows instead?
You might also like to look through the list of family-friendly walks described here on Hello Sydney Kids.