Nestled at the very tip of the ‘insular peninsula’. Palm Beach is famed as the filming location for Aussie soap Home & Away. This Sydney suburb is one of the city’s wealthiest with good reason. Ocean-gazing mansions teeter on cliff edges and gargantuan palm trees rustle languidly in the breeze. Boats are used both as runarounds and for leisurely afternoons on the water. Quite simply, Palm Beach is The Hamptons of Sydney. Even though the Home & Away connection tempts tourists, there are still many things to do in Palm Beach Sydney to experience this idyllic beachside suburb and surrounds like a local.
Things to do in Palm Beach Sydney
Many of the things to do in Palm Beach Sydney centre around the water; from the famed Palm Beach itself to fun adventures on Pittwater.
Barrenjoey Lighthouse Walk
You’ll need an activity to burn off all that decadent food consumed during your stay in Palm Beach. So, grab your runners and enjoy a walk to Barrenjoey Lighthouse, situated at Sydney’s most northern point.
Built from sandstone in 1881, the lighthouse, oil room and keepers’ cottage remain untouched in the original stone finish. There are two routes to reach it; a steeper, shorter climb (not suitable for prams), or a slightly longer climb with steps.
Once you do reach the top, you’ll be blown away by the vista. Pittwater is off to the right and the Pacific Ocean to your left. You will enjoy views across to Broken Bay, Ku-rin-gai Chase National Park and the Central Coast.
Go Paddleboarding on Pittwater
If waterborne activities are more of your thing you can hire a paddleboard or tinnie from Alf’s Bait Shop at The Boathouse. Yes, the real Alf’s Bait Shop used in Home & Away. Spending the afternoon cruising the many secret coves and beaches along the Pittwater Basin is one of the best things to do in Palm Beach.
Where to Eat and Drink in Palm Beach and Surrounds
The Newport has long been a local favourite, particularly with families and larger groups. The sprawling beachside pub is definitely worth stopping by for a tipple or a long lunch.
Settle into the main communal deck and enjoy views over Pittwater for breakfast, lunch or dinner. There are plenty of menu options from fresh seafood to pub grub and plenty of activities for the kids too.
2 Kalinya Street, Newport
For a fine dining experience, make a beeling for the more refined 1930s inspired dining room of Bert’s Bar and Brasserie. Merivale’s Justin Hemmes rarely gets it wrong and Bert’s is a testament to that. The need for more of a white tablecloth dining destination with a relaxed Northern beaches feel has more than filled the gap he found yearning in this part of Sydney.
Undermaster sommeliers Franck Moreau and Adrian Filiuta, Bert’s balances older homegrown vintages with new, exciting produce from further afield. They also utilise the latest technology, pouring their wine using a Coravin; a device that allows a wine pour without pulling the cork, preventing oxidation.
2 Kalinya Street, Newport
The beautiful waterside location of The Boathouse Palm Beach sets the tone for a relaxing breakfast or lunch at this relaxed cafe.
The menu features fresh, colourful delights while showcasing local produce and seafood finds. Another great spot to take the family, make sure you get here early, particularly on the weekend as they don’t take reservations and space fills up fast.
Governor Phillip Park, Palm Beach
From The Newport, it’s a short drive down Barrenjoey Road and a left up the snaking Surf Road to reach Jonah’s. Jonah’s is one of Sydney’s most spectacularly located fine dining restaurants.
Dine on fruits de Mer at you gaze out across neighbouring Whale Beach. Or, tuck into the sumptuous rib eye in red wine jus. The Chocolate Cremoso with wattleseed ice cream, coffee and marsala sabayon is the icing on the proverbial cafe. It should bee washed down with a Late Harvest dessert wine from the Centennial Vineyards in the Southern Highlands.
If you’re strapped for time, Jonah’s also offers a ‘fly-in’ package with Sydney Seaplanes. You will be fed, watered and back to the harbour in style, within four hours.
Related: 5 Breathtaking Sydney Coastal Walks
Clareville Beach is a local gem and the perfect spot for those looking for somewhere off the beaten track. 15-minutes drive south of Palm Beach, snake the bushland curves bound for the Clareville Kiosk. Snag yourself a lobster roll there and plan an afternoon of paddleboarding or fishing off Taylor’s Point Wharf.
This quiet and secluded suburb has one of the area’s most picturesque coastlines. With fibro surf shacks nestled next to waterside mansions, it’s a hidden location that guarantees you’ll always find a spot of sand to yourself.
Palm Beach Accommodation
Check in to Barrenjoey House, a 1920s guesthouse recently transformed by new owners, The Boathouse Group into a seven-bedroom boutique hotel. It comes complete with a sun-drenched terrace and Hamptons-themes communal lounge space.
Resplendent with whitewashed floorboards, clamshells, decorative dishes stacked high with citrus fruit and nautical trinkets. Rooms overlook the stunning Pittwater Bay. They come with a fully stocked mini-bar and breakfast options to tide you over until service begins at the restaurant downstairs.
There you’ll find a menu peppered with freshly baked flatbreads, oysters and kingfish. Wash it down with a carefully crafted cocktail or a glass of wine from their extensive international selection.
1108 Barrenjoey Rd, Palm Beach
With sandy feet, peeling noses and full bellies, the hour drive back to central Sydney is a scenic one. You’ll wind your way through the Bilgola Bends and down into the more densely populated suburbs of Collaroy, Dee Why and Balgowlah.
Palm Beach is known as the home of the wealthy. But, it’s also a relaxing getaway destination for Sydneysiders who enjoy nature, good food and switching off.
How to Get to Palm Beach Sydney
Palm Beach is 40 km from Sydney’s CBD, an easy 65-minute drive. Allow a bit longer and hop on the B Line bus from Wynyard Station in Sydney’s CBD, which drops you off on Barrenjoey Road, right overlooking the Pittwater Basin.
Lauren is a UK to Sydney expat and is inspired by the great outdoors, adventures, good food and telling stories through words and beautiful visuals.