For our family, an expedition to Palm Beach is a special treat. It feels like a holiday hot spot that’s a million miles away from home, but in fact it’s only 30 minutes up the road.
When my sister was over from Scotland earlier this year, she and I took a trip up there, just the two of us.
We had a long, long walk along the beach, body surfed in the waves between the flags and then did some laps in the iconic rock pool at Palmie’s southern end.
It’s a breathtaking place to just gaze out to sea, or north to the beaches of the Central Coast.
But my breath had already been taken when I realised that I had tucked the car keys with electronic lock into my cossie top and been swimming in the sea with it. Potential disaster!
I rushed out of the ocean and ran full tilt across the beach to the car, pulled out the keys, kissed the beeper thing and said a prayer… and it worked! Thank goodness that lock was waterproof.
You can be more energetic and do the walk up to the lighthouse that you can just see in the photo above.
But we were too lazy. A wander on the sand was fine for us.
Here’s all the info you need for a good day out at Palm Beach.
Palm Beach map:
Ocean Road Palm Beach 2108
Palm Beach lies at the northernmost tip of the northern beaches peninsula. From Barrenjoey Point with its lighthouse, the beach sweeps southwards in a rose-gold crescent to the shops, cafes and facilities set below the million-dollar-home-encrusted headland.
The safest place for children to swim on this famous surf beach is at the southern end, known as Cabbage Tree Boat Harbour, where there is some shelter plus a rock pool.
Walking the length of the beach is very popular, as is picnicking on the strip of grass between the beach and Ocean Road. There are two small areas of parkland at the southern end of Ocean Road, across the road from the beach, with picnic tables and short walks among the shady trees.
Cafes: Restaurant, cafe, takeaway and shops on Ocean Road. A short drive away is a lovely cafe at …..
Toilets: A block with toilets, showers and change rooms on Ocean Road, opposite the shops
Shade: None on the beach except in late afternoon, some on the grassy strip provided by trees
Playground: Not at the beach itself but Governor Phillip Park at Barrenjoey Point has a playground area beside picnic tables and barbeques near the turn-off.
Rock pool: A well-maintained pool at the southern end of the beach with change rooms, shower and toilets. It is not very deep but it’s more an adult pool than a children’s one. There are little rockpools nearby.
Shark net: No
Mum’s report: This is our favourite late afternoon or evening beach as there’s shade on the sand and then at dusk the sky matches the sand’s rich colour. Stunning.
Extra: Scenic walk to the lighthouse from Barrenjoey Point, although it is too rough for strollers. The Boathouse at Station Beach on the Pittwater side of Barrenjoey Point is great for family meals, as is Dunes Cafe.
Parking: Ticket parking along Ocean Road. Tickets last for 24 hours. Also a pay carpark at Barrenjoey Point.
Palm Beach by public transport: The L-90 bus goes from Wynyard to Palm Beach, a 42km journey. Check out all the stops and times on the L-90 webpage here.
Palmie’s a great place to visit all year round. People do swim in that rock pool all year round.
Will you be one of them?
Shall I meet you there for a splash one day?