Clontarf Beach is one of the best Sydney beaches for kids of all ages, but especially for little kids, babies and toddlers.
This Middle Harbour beach has no surf at all, and a very gently sloping beach. There’s a netted harbour pool which is handy as Middle Harbour has the reputation for being sharky.
There’s a lovely playground which has a boat theme, ideal for the surrounds. Then there’s the beautiful grounds of Clontarf Reserve, ideal for picnics. There’s a good cafe/restaurant here plus a kiosk serving hot and cold drinks and snacks, hot chips, and, most crucially, ice blocks.
NB The playground is being rejuventated and is closed from April 2021 – hope to bring news of opening of new playground soon..
This is a top spot for school aged kids too, we have often had picnics with school friends here. Even as they get older the kids love a play here and when bolder they adore a leap into the water from the Baths. Adventure!
Clontarf Beach, Baths and Reserve
Clontarf Beach Address: Sandy Bay Road, Clontarf 2093
A safe and popular spot, most young kids will be found splashing in the sea or digging in the sand at the pool enclosure in front of the reserve.
Clontarf has nice views of the Spit with its busy boats and cars racing over the bridge. There are big shady trees on the reserve where parents and carers can spread blankets and towels and easily keep an eye on children in the pool enclosure.
The beach and Clontarf Reserve are a safe distance from the car park behind. There’s heaps of space for ball games on the reserve.
The playground is large and has great equipment on a ship theme, with plenty of shade. There are showers by the pool enclosure.
Most popular in summer, this is also a lovely winter spot on a sunny day… and yes, lots of kids will be splashing in Middle Harbour so long as it’s sunny.
There are sandy beach areas to the right and left of the netted baths, good for swimming though the netted baths are safest. The area between the baths and the boat club makes a great play space at low tide.
Cafes: Kiosk open daily 10am–4pm sells hot and cold snacks and drinks. There’s also Clonny’s, a real sit-down restaurant, find Clonny’s website here.
Toilets: Toilet block on reserve has changing rooms, showers and toilets, a little walk from the baths and playground
Shade: Not on the beach but lots of shady trees on the reserve
Playground: Yes, large and shaded
Shark net: Yes
Mum’s report: Great spot for a mothers’ group or playgroup to meet up for a morning at the beach
Extra: A short drive away are the fantastic views from Tania Park. Clontarf is at the end of the Manly Scenic Walk. You can walk a few km to get to lovely, secluded Castle Rock beach with older children.
Parking: Pay carpark by the beach
Bus stop nearby: Yes
It is a wiggly road down to the beach so I do advise using Google maps for Clontarf Beach directions.
What the kids love doing at Clontarf
- charging around on the wide expanses of sand at low tide
- playing on the beach and splashing through the shallows
- terrorising innocent starfish
- making dens in the bushes
- playing in the fab playground
- games of rugby league and soccer on the grass and on the sand too
- generally running around in the fresh air
What the adults love doing:
- lying about doing nothing, we deserve it
- long swims parallel to the beach
- solving the problems of the universe over coffees and ice blocks
- telling the kids to put more sun block on and find their hats
Are you a Clontarf regular?
See you there one sunny day.