I should probably be writing a blog about gemstones or at least some jewellery pieces since that’s the nature of my business. However, let’s talk about the nature that we are surrounded by, and which is all around us in local area! Once the Sydney lockdown is over, wherever you are located you can use this guide to visit my neighborhood and enjoy some of the mentioned locations from this blog! If you didn’t know yet, Gems to Jewels “Headquarters” (ha-ha – I’m one woman show!) are located on the glistening Northern Beaches of Sydney. I’ve lived on the northern beaches practically my whole entire life and moved about 7 times at least (that I can remember) around the area from Newport to Collaroy and from Avalon to Seaforth, all around and a lot. Whilst moving and being an explorative child, I have always loved reading the map (yes back in those days we only had maps from a directory) no smart phones! So, I found some cool locations to chill at, away from the crowds! Especially during the hot summer days when everyone would go to the beach. But even these supposedly “unknown” or lesser-known locations would fill up on such days as Australia day – the hottest day sometimes of summer!
In no particular order here is my list of the 10 most unknown, secret, hidden (you got the point) away from the crowd and nice beaches to come to relax and chill at.
1. Collins Flat
There are 2 ways to get to Collins Flat beach which is located in the suburb of Manly but actually looks out towards the city. You could either come to park at Stuart Street in Manly – there’s a little loop for parking and then take the trail to walk about 5 minutes maximum to the beach. The other way is to come to most end of Collins Beach Road also in Manly and park anywhere if possible – sometimes lucky and some days not so, then take the little stairs and a walk/hike of 5 minutes down the hill to come to the “paradise looking” secluded beach! Bring food with you and drink because there are no cafés here, and no toilets either. Some summer days a boat will come by selling ice cream! Enjoy this gem location! My most favourite but shhhh don’t tell others! The best part because this beach is on the harbor, there are no waves, no need for lifeguards and very safe to swim.
2. Bungan Beach
Now this beach is located deep on the peninsula of the northern beaches just before Newport Beach, but this is so hidden (it’s right in front of you sort of) but you might drive past it and end up on Newport beach. It’s just off the main Barrenjoey Road in Newport, if you just go to Beach Road Newport and then take the little walk down a trail which will lead you to Bungan Beach. Again, no cafes there so bring your own snacks, but Newport shops are close by if you’d need to grab some charcoal chicken or pizza! There is a toilet facility located on the beach so that’s a good plus, the waves are huge here so watch out and no lifeguards on duty so no flags.
3. Fisherman's Beach
If you didn’t know this was a beach, you’d probably just walk by it, but it’s a cute spot to relax on and watch the sunrise. Come here early on in the day to just read a book or for some meditation. This place is located in Long Reef and just next to Collaroy beach. Either can park nearby or take a walk from Collaroy beach to Fisherman’s and from Fisherman’s there’s a nice walk past the Golf Club up the Long Reef headland. To get to Fisherman’s just come to the end of Anzac Avenue (towards the beach) or anywhere along Seaview Parade, Long Reef and you’d see the open space, small waves and great for wind surfing.
4. Little Manly
This place is a must to visit, it’s s local and fun and it’s hidden but at the same time only locals know of its existence and if you do too then you’re lucky! It has a little café and also change rooms/ toilet facilities, close to Manly shops if you need to bring some takeaway food. Park at the parking lot on Stuart Street, Manly which is just a drive up the road from Manly Wharf and there you have it! A kid’s park, playground, some grass area and the beach has a net from sharks. Lots of kids and also adults too love jumping off the poles into the water – it’s amazing fun!
5. Castlerock Beach
This is quite a little hike and a beautiful one, but it’s just a shortcut of the whole hike (which is from The Spit Bridge to Manly) and here’s where you can enter to get there from Ogilvy Road (walk straight down the trail, don’t take any turns) or Duke Edinburgh Parade in Balgowlah Heights and there will be a walkway from the street (so be prepared to walk) quite thin strips/ walkways but doable and then you’d come to the Castle Rock Beach point. Be prepared with own snack and also there are no cafés of any amenities. The view and the water makes up for it all, it’s very secluded and feels like another country (that’s exactly what we need right now! – ha-ha) Enjoy!
6. Washaway Beach
This one is a hidden gem spot along the long walk trail “The Spit to Manly Walk”. But the scenery when walking down to this hidden location is breathtaking, it’s like another world or country! The clear turquoise waters seen from the top – just above this Washaway beach is mesmerizing. It’s best during low tide, and when the sun is out so try to be here in the early hours of the day when it’s sunrise and the area gets most of it’s sun. As it’s a pristine location and completely isolated.. wild in a way, bring your own snacks and no there are no amenities here either… but this is the place for meditations, to be with your own thoughts and do yoga and just be alone with your thoughts. To get to Washaway Beach it’s best to take the hike – as it’s located along the walk - The Spit to Manly or you can do part of the walk joining midway from Balgowlah Heights either from Barrabooka Street and walk down the trail or Cutler Road (where the Grotto point Lighthouse walk starts) and walk on the trail in the direction of The Spit and down to the Washaway Beach.
7. Reef Beach
If Washaway beach is busy… this one is also along the track of The Spit to Manly walk so come to this little hidden treasure this is cute and small will also make you feel like you’re on a little secluded island, far away from all this crazy times. Just along the walk of The Spit to Manly you’d be able to access this beach from the trails from the start or if you join the trail on Beatty Street in Balgowlah Heights the south end… there are 2 ends to Beatty Street so be careful, join the trail from the other side, which is South sort of side.
8. Forty Baskets Beach
The first time I’ve been brought here was with my class when I was in primary school and it became my most favourite beach in Sydney, the calm water with no waves, and also a shark net just in case… it just felt so much fun and safe. There are so many beach shells on this one if you’re like me into seashells, all different kinds to see! A place of relaxation and it has amenities whilst it’s still a hidden treasure and secluded. Only locals would know of this one and still because this is so out of the way it is not crowded and lovely to be alone or come with your kids and have them play around in the sand as you relax. To get to Forty Baskets beach is easy, but parking can be quite a situation… It is along the walk as mentioned earlier in other location The Spit to Manly walk but also can be accessed through Beatty Street in Balgowlah Heights and then walk down the little trail which will come to Forty Baskets Beach! Enjoy!
9. Fairlight Beach
Did you know that Fairlight has a beach?? No!? Well, this cute suburb which is just up the hill form Manly actually has a beach of their own. Very family friendly area, known by the locals and even has a large rockpool! The waves are pretty calm on this beach and has some grass area to sit on. It’s a perfect vacation style beach to go to on the weekend and explore. This beach has amenities so some comfort for the family, but parking could be hard. As it is a hidden spot in the suburbs of Northern Beaches the only parking is to find along the streets. Located in the suburb of Fairlight try to park on Lauderdale Avenue or Fairlight Crescent (closer to the entrance of the beach) and still be prepared to hike so try your best not to carry a lot with you!
10. Turimetta Beach
Last but not least!!! Not quite known, Turimetta beach is seccluded and it has some wild waves but it’s a long pristine beach to an open Tasman Sea! Very secluded and away from the noise of the traffic. No lifeguards or flags located on this beach so must be very competent swimmer to be out here or just enjoy relaxing on the sand on a hot day. This beach is located in Warriewood and can be accessed through Narrabeen Park Parade. No amenities or cafes on the beach so be prepared for couple of hours of pure relaxation. Best to experience this beach on a warmer and less windy day as the waves and the wind can really turn up a notch there.
There you have it, now you know the hidden locations and gem places of the Northern Beaches, Sydney and where you can spot the fellow locals! haha Hope you’ll enjoy the revealed locations of the Northern Beaches hidden treasures! And if you have any to do, let me know!