Hi Seana here, with my keen swimmer’s cap on. I’m very excited about a new book which is just about to hit the shelves:
This would make a fantastic present for any Sydney family. I know I will be using it to explore new places; who doesn’t love to swing over a water hole or float lazily down a river.
Sally has put together a post just for blog readers, with her handpicked selection of five of the best unique spots that will delight Sydney families. Take it away Sally!
Wild swimming is swimming for pleasure in natural waters.
If you’re a parent who loves wild swimming you need not be limited by your nippers, because wild swimming isn’t just good for adults, but kids too.
Together you can share in the fun of exploring new places, get out as a family and enjoy Sydney’s beaches, sea baths, rivers and lagoons.
Here are five unique swimming spots for your family
You can drive right to this secret treasure of the Eastern Suburbs, and with so much to offer it’s difficult to understand why Parsley Bay is not more well known!
A net encloses much of the bay, and its narrow finger pokes so far into Vaucluse that the water is unfailingly calm and protected. The sandy beach slopes gradually into the 180m enclosure, making it ideal for paddlers.
To keep the older kids amused there’s also a wharf adjacent to the net, which is great for jumping off.
For confident swimmers the net itself even provides interest, with seahorses often found clinging to it – so be sure to pack the goggles!
Refreshingly, Parsley also lacks the glamour or social scene that accompany most other beaches and pools in the area – you’re ok wearing your nanna swimmers here, so what are you waiting for?!
Facilities: Toilets, kiosk
Walk-in: Easy, 2 mins, 100m (one way)
Shade: Grassy flat with plenty of shade
Read more and see more pix on my Parsley Bay post on this blog.
The Basin, Pittwater
Despite its relative proximity to Sydney, The Basin carries a wonderful sense of being far removed from it, as the usual way in and out is by ferry. The regular 20 minute service from Palm Beach is fantastically scenic, so you shouldn’t hear any “Are we there yet?”s!
Travelling in this way really makes you feel like you’ve arrived somewhere special. And special it is! Come as a day tripper or stay overnight as a camper. See post about camping at The Basin here.
The idyllic spot is set within Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park and is characterised by its Norfolk Pines, and friendly resident wallabies that loll in the sunshine on grassy flats.
The water in the 500m saltwater lagoon is as safe as it gets with incredibly placid water and gently tapering sandy floor, as well as a shark net spanning the narrow entrance to Pittwater.
Facilities: Toilets, showers, picnic tables, BBQs, campground
Walk-in: Easy, 5 mins, 200m (one way)
Shade: Grassy flat with plenty of shade
National Park fees apply, with additional fees and booking required for camping – contact NPWS
Wattamolla always seems to turn it on. Not only is it beautiful, but this wild swimmers’ paradise is large and varied enough to satisfy the whole family. And with grassy flats, a huge sand bank and a shady casuarina grove, it’s one of the very best places in Sydney to spend the day!
Follow the line of cars in Royal National Park to this coastal lagoon nestled in a protected cove and hugged by a wide sand bar.
The lagoon stretches for 300m and is excellent for youngsters as it rarely gets too deep to stand. The water is usually deliciously warm in summer, making it a good choice for babies and tots too.
A waterfall provides jumping opportunities for adventurous tweens and teens, with various heights up to 10m.
Though officially prohibited, revellers can always be found hurling themselves into the water with whoops of delight!
Facilities: Toilets, picnic tables, BBQs
Walk-in: Easy, 10 mins, 300m (one way)
Shade: Plenty of shade in casuarina grove at far end of sand bar
National Park vehicle entry fees apply – contact NPWS
Read the NPWS Visitor Info here, and NB Wattamolla can be very busy and sometimes is access is closed when there are too many visitors
Honeymoon Bay is the stuff of postcards – a 90m-wide wineglass-shaped bay with crystalline water that’s probably calmer than you’ll find in your bathtub!
Despite its name, this Jervis Bay gem is not the place for a quiet romantic getaway – but for a family holiday it can’t be beaten!
The basic campground, which hides in the bush behind the beach, is extremely popular, and the joyful warbling of children is ever present.
There really is something for the whole family, with gradually shelving sand, great snorkelling, low jump rocks and interesting headlands to explore.
Walk-in: Easy, 5 mins, 250m (one way)
Shade: Shady pockets on the beach throughout the day
Open only to the public when not in use by the Department of Defence (usually Friday to Sunday evening), and during public and NSW school holidays. Camping fees and booking required – contact 02 4448 3411
It couldn’t be easier to get a dose of the bush here, because despite its National Park location, you can practically drive right to the waters edge at Ingar Dam.
The dam has a real peacefulness to it, but the big draw card for families is its bush campground. Come here if you like the idea of escaping the city with the kids for a weekend of back-to-basics camping, surrounded by the smells of the bush, and punctuating your day with swims.
The 70m long dam occupies a sunny hollow in the Blue Mountains, and is edged by reeds and ferns. The water is generally not overly deep, making it good for children and paddlers. In the sandy shallows, rope swings dangle from the overhanging trees and allow you to zoom out over the inviting, luminous green water.
The small (free!) campground is very popular, especially on summer weekends and holidays. Though you can of course visit as a day tripper, bring your tent so you can enjoy Ingar to its fullest.
Facilities:Toilets, picnic tables, wood BBQs, car-based campground
Walk-in: Easy, 1 mins, 50m (one way)
Shade: Plenty of shade around the dam
NPWS recommends access by 4WD vehicles only
Thank you so much for this post Sally, you’ll inspire many adventures I am sure.
Click on the book cover to go straight over to Booktopia !
And here’s a photo for your favourite Pinterest boards.
Last Updated on