Malabar Beach, rock pool and playground, a must visit for young families  

Malabar Beach with its rock baths and terrific playground makes a wonderful place for Sydney families to explore. Malabar Beach is a very popular spot with residents that have young families. Plan a visit to Malabar and feel like a local for one day. In this article, you will find all you need to know, including where to park.

Malabar Beach playground 11
This laid-back beachside suburb is one of the best kept secrets in Sydney

By Mireia Garriga Seguranyes

Every time that we are out and about to explore new places for Hello Sydney Kids, we do not really know what to expect until we arrive at the location. After spending a fabulous day, I can assure you that Malabar Beach is one of the Eastern Suburbs’ hidden gems. Maybe, the reason why is because its waters were not swimmable until recently or, maybe, it is because Malabar Beach is close to the very popular Coogee and Maroubra beaches that usually attract all the crowds.

Anyway, this southeast-facing beach and surroundings has managed to keep its local charm. Thanks to the rocky headlands at either end, the cliffs protect the bay so the waters usually are calm and safe for swimming, snorkelling, scuba diving, kayaking and paddle boarding.

Malabar Beach is not patrolled (even though it has a lifeguard tower) so you do need to make sure you keep an even closer eye on all members of the family.

Malabar has excellent facilities otherwise, including public toilets, showers and change rooms. Furthermore, it is wheel chair and stroller friendly thanks to its beach matting.  Directly behind the beach, there is a fantastic fenced playground, too. On the northern side of the bay, you will find a boat ramp and easy access to good spots for rock fishing. And, if you prefer swimming in rock pools, Malabar rock pool is located on the southern foreshore below Randwick Golf Club.

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Although the beach normally has calm waters, be aware that suddenly it gets quite deep

Malabar Beach

1-3R Fishermans Road, Malabar NSW 2036

Malabar Beach and surroundings has so much to offer! We not only loved the beach but also the playground in Cromwell Park and the rock pool with million dollar views.

The beach was as good as we imagined. Look at these pictures!

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In the morning, the visibility was really good with placid conditions until a summer afternoon storm approached. My daughters enjoyed exploring the beach and swam a lot. After lunch and spending a great time at the playground, we headed to the ocean pool, which is a 5-10 minute walk from the playground. 

Note: Malabar Beach used to have a high level of pollution because of the sewage treatment plant. The beach was so polluted that it was officially closed from 1949 to 2000. Thanks to the commitment of the NSW Government and Sydney Water, the water quality has dramatically improved, having, most of the time, four stars ratings.

If you are concerned about the pollution, I encourage you to check this website from the NSW Government – Office of Environment and Heritage which is very handy. Check “City beaches” here

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We always have the scooters with us. Therefore, it was easy to convince our daughters to go and check the pool!
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Malabar Ocean Pool

Bay Parade, Malabar NSW 2036

Malabar Ocean Pool is located near Malabar Beach in Long Bay directly below Randwick Golf Club. With spectacular views over Long Bay and onto the Randwick Rifle Range, it is a very special place to swim because of the dramatic scenery. 

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We found lots of algae, but I am not quite sure if it was one off event

The pool is quite big and surprisingly deep. Despite the quiet waters of the bay, there may be a swell present even if the wind is calm and there are no sea waves. Be cautious if you go with little kids.

Do be aware that blue-ringed octopus are sometimes spotted in this ocean pool.

Malabar Beach playground
Behind the rock pool, there is a secluded area that is good for swimming at high tide. Note: it is next to the cliff, so swim at your own risk

Tip: Take the kids to the toilet before you go, as there are no toilets at the pool, just an outdoor shower.

Cromwell Park (South) and Playground

4R Dacre Street, Malabar NSW 2036

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Another good reason to visit Malabar Beach is its fenced playground at Cromwell Park South overlooking the beach

The playground has a good range of equipment suitable for toddlers up to middle school aged kids. Well designed, it has a padded ground, generous sails that provide lots of shade in summer and several benches for the parents to sit down, and a fountain inside the fence.

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There is a main structure that has a slide, a climbing frame, a robe bridge and “walking on” beams. Also, the playground has elements for role-playing such a beach hut house, a little train and a car that my daughters loved. Besides the mentioned equipment, there is a very cute dolphin bouncing seat, a set of swings for older kids and a baby one.

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Right next to the playground, there is a picnic area with some electric barbecues and undercover tables.

Mum’s report:  Malabar Beach is a under-rated beach, despite the water quality has improved over the years and it has the same general recommendations than other beaches that have a creek nearby now. 

Malabar beach is great, especially if you have a young family because its calm waters and facilities. It has a fully fenced playground with generous sails, picnic tables, and barbecues. Also, the amenities block with public toilets, showers and change rooms is at reasonable walking distance from the beach. And, there is a café near by, too. Furthermore, it features a big rock pool for those who prefer swimming in a pool instead the ocean.

Extra:  Malabar Beach was named after the Burns Phillips ship SS Malabar, which was wrecked on the north side of Long Bay on 2nd April 1931. Nowadays, there are two shipwrecks in the bay, the Malabar and the Goolgwai, both popular with divers.

If you go to Malabar outside summer, you might want to discover the Western Escarpment walking track at Malabar Headland National Park which connects South Maroubra beach with Malabar Beach.

Nearby, there is Little Bay, which is also a fabulous beach to go with little kids. You can find our  Little Bay post here.

And, for information about Maroubra, we have it all covered with this article, too. 

Bus stop nearby: several bus routes go to Malabar Beach from Sydney CBD. The closest bus stop is on Raglan Street near Bay Parade and Dacre Street (routes 399 and X99). Note: if you travel by public transport, please check the latest updates.

Parking: limited street parking along Dacre Street and Bay Parade, as well as a small parking bay on Fisherman’s Drive near Cromwell Park and another one opposite to the Beach Café on Bay Parade.

However, during summer, you might prefer to go straight at both ends of the bay, because there is a car park near the boat access ramp and another one just above the rock pool.  

Finally, before you go to Malabar Beach, take into account:

  • Randwick City Lifeguards or Surf Lifesavers do not patrol the beach.
  • Dogs, alcohol and glass bottles are not permitted on the beach area. However, dogs are welcome in the park but should remain on leash and away from the playground and beach.
  • Shade is quite limited on the beach. 
  • Don’t pack too much, as it can be difficult to find a car park close by.
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I cannot still believe that Miss 8 year old and 6 year old ventured to swim from the rocks to the beach!

Secluded beaches with placid conditions like Malabar Beach are the best for young families.

Which is your favourite one? We would love to hear from you!

PS If you enjoy snorkelling adventures, you might also like to check out our post on Gordons Bay here.

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    1. says: Seana Smith

      Ah yes, thank you I will write something into the post about these and post some photos. I last saw one at gorgeous North Curl Curl pool, but there are signs there and I know all about it so I was totally transfixed and excited.

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