Parsley Bay Reserve, Beach + Playground in Vaucluse

If you’re looking for a hidden Sydney gem for kids, or for somewhere to snorkel, Parsley Bay Reserve with its beach, playgound and cafe is for you. Its only drawback is that it can get busy and parking can be tricky. Take a day off everything and come during the week!

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This photo is from the wonderful book Wild Swimming In and Around Sydney.
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This lovely picture was posted to this blog’s Facebook page by a reader – gorgeous!

Parsley Bay Beach + Playground

Horler Avenue, Off Parsley Road, Vaucluse 2030

A gem, a diamond, a jewel! This big rectangle of emerald lawn and the tawny beach by the sparkling sapphire sea are a delight for local families.

There is a playground, a kiosk and walking tracks (with steps) through the bush. An extra attraction for the young is the bridge over the water linking The Crescent and Fitzwilliam Street. It can be accessed from the beach by steps and provides a safe thrill for those who love walking over water.

Parsley Bay is a narrow finger of water with a shark net across the entrance.

There is excellent snorkelling in the bay and tropical fish can be seen in summer. Around the reserve you might see an Eastern Water Dragon in summer- they are harmless lizards so don’t panic.

Picnic tables are in the shaded area by the playground and near the kiosk. The beach itself is good, not wide but quite deep.

Read about the history of Parsley Bay here.

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Cafe Zio Gianni at Parsley Bay

Cafes: Kiosk near the playground

Toilets: Toilet, change and shower block by the carpark

Shade: Trees provide shade around the edges of the lawn

Playground: Yes, a lovely playground was upgraded in 2019.

Shark net: Yes

Mum’s report: Teaching the children to snorkel here is great fun.

Parking: Free carpark open 7am–6pm in winter, 7am–8pm in summer, entrance Horler Avenue off Parsley Road.

Bus stop nearby: Yes

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Parsley Bay Map

Here’s a 6 minute video about Parsley Bay, made by local residents.

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Have you visited Parsley Bay with kids?

Any special memories there for you?

Click here to find all the best wild Sydney places for swimming with kids.

Check out more fab Sydney playgrounds here.


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    1. says: Seana Smith

      Yes, as at most beaches in Sydney. I am currently at the Gold Coast and almost fainted to see so many dogs on the beach, on leash is allowed I think, except between the flags. Wish that were the case in Sydney.

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