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If you are looking for a day trip from Sydney or Manly, head north to the beautiful Northern Beaches suburb of Palm Beach. Palm Beach is approximately 30km (18.6 miles) north of Manly and 45kms (28 miles) from Sydney’s CBD and is easy to reach, either by a scenic drive or bus. For the more adventurous, why not take a 20-minute spectacular flight by seaplane from Rose Bay, arriving underneath the historic Barrenjoey Lighthouse. Palm Beach was first made popular by starring as “Summer Bay” in the long running Australian TV series, Home and Away. People now flock to Palm Beach to enjoy the laid-back lifestyle, the beautiful scenery or in the hope of spotting a Home and Away star.
Dive into one of the many experiences Palm Beach has to offer.
No visit to Palm Beach is complete without walking up to the iconic Barrenjoey Lighthouse. Only a 1km (0.6 miles) walk to the top where you will enjoy panoramic views over Ku-ring-gai National Park, the Northern Beaches and the Central Coast. On the way down, make sure you stop to photograph the magnificent views back across Palm Beach with the calm waters of Pittwater on one side and the Pacific Ocean on the other.
If you are interested in history, join a guided walk of the lighthouse operating every Sunday from 11am – 3pm. Between the months of May and November, keep your eyes peeled for breaching humpback whales as they migrate up and down the New South Wales Coast.
Home and Away
The Australian TV show, Home and Away has been filmed in Palm Beach for over 30 years and to many fans, it has become a dream to visit the key sights of ‘Summer Bay’. If you are hoping to watch filming of the show, the best days to see the crew in action are between Monday and Wednesday. Take an “Official Home and Away Tour” to view all the filming spots in one day. You’ll visit the Summer Bay Surf Club, Alf’s Bait Shop and the iconic rock pool. The tours depart from Sydney on a daily basis and during the summer months, you will need to book in advance to ensure you secure a seat.
Fantasea Cruising offers guests an unforgettable opportunity for a scenic, educational and up-close encounter with our favourite charismatic creatures of the sea, the ‘humpback’ whale. With whale watching cruises departing from Palm Beach most weekends of both the Northern and Southern Migrations, now is the perfect time to book your whale watching cruise. So get on board, the whales are waiting for you.
Enjoy the Local Beaches
Whilst you are in Palm Beach, be sure to take a dip at one of the local beaches, either in the waves at the Surf Beach or relax in the calm waters of Pittwater on the other side of the narrow peninsula. The north end of Palm Beach is a popular surf spot, whilst the south end and the 50m rock pool is more popular with swimmers and families.
Catch a Ferry
If you want to spend the day on the water, Palm Beach has a small wharf and an iconic ferry that will take you to small-secluded spots on Pittwater or various small beachside villages on the Central Coast. If you wish to experience Australian animals in the wild, ferry across to The Basin where you can spot Tree Goannas, native birds and even wild wallabies. You can also camp here overnight.
Sailing on Pittwater
Discover the highlights of Pittwater’s scenic bays and beaches and escape overnight or just for a few hours on a luxury day cruise or overnight stay. Enjoy 360° waterfront views of Pittwater whilst relaxing on deck with a glass of your favourite bubbly. Michael of Taylor Made Escapes will accompany you to skipper the boat, ensuring there’s nothing for you to do except enjoy your experience.
Kayak around Pittwater
Kayaking around Pittwater is the perfect way to spend a morning out on the calm waters. Join a tour with Pittwater Kayaking Tours to enjoy the breath taking views of Ku-Ring-gai National Park, Palm Beach and Barrenjoey. They offer either an early sunrise tour or a three-hour morning tour to enjoy the beauty of Palm Beach. If you choose the morning adventure tour, you will also stop for a bushwalk at Resolute Beach.
Palm Beach Market
If your trip coincides with the fourth Sunday of the month you can’t miss the iconic Palm Beach Market open to tourists and locals alike who all stream to the attraction and idyllic setting of this outdoor market. The market offers customers a choice of high quality homewares, fashion and jewellery along with speciality food items to make your tastebuds tingle in delight. Palm Beach Markets are the perfect day out to mingle with local artisans, shop for delicious foods and even fit in a walk or swim at the beach.
Eat + Drink
With lots of fabulous restaurants, Palm Beach has great eateries for you to enjoy before exploring the famous sites. Depending on which side of Palm Beach you are, you can be sure to seek out a restaurant or cafe to suit your needs.
Grab a coffee and cake at the local favourite, The Boathouse. It is also a great spot for lunch on their deck with views across Pittwater to Kur-ring-gai National Park.
At the wharf you are spoilt for choice with some of the best Fish & Chips on the Northern Beaches. For something a little more fancy Barrenjoey House is an historic restaurant, bar and guesthouse offering lunch, dinner. Stay for happy hour and chat the sun as it sets over the horizon.
If you plan to stay for the whole day, you should pop over the headland to Whale Beach for either lunch or dinner at the award-winning restaurant, Jonah’s. Jonah’s serve contemporary Australian cuisine with an Italian influence and has a stunning view overlooking the ocean and Whale Beach.
Looking for somewhere to stay? Palm Beach has plenty of options for you to enjoy from high-end hotels and holiday houses to relaxed bed and breakfasts. Jonah’s has 11 luxuriously appointed ocean-retreat rooms. Another great option is Barrenjoey House which overlooks the serene Pittwater and Palm Beach wharf. There is a choice of seven beautifully designed guest rooms available with an upstairs shared lounge, exclusive to Barrenjoey House guests. If you want to catch a ferry and stay offshore, you can either stay in a rustic cottage at Currawong Beach Cottage or camp at the Basin Campground located in Kur-Ring-Gai National Park.
How to get there
Palm Beach is 30km (18.6 miles) from Manly and 45km (28 miles) from Sydney’s CBD.
Travelling on Public Transport?
- Catch a 199 bus from Stand G in Manly.
- Catch a B1 bus from Wynyard in Sydney CBD to Mona Vale and change to the 199 bus to Palm Beach.