Many Mosmanites swim year round and the colder months are actually the best time to have a beautiful local beach mostly to yourself.
If you love a dip, fishing or snorkelling, check out the best public beaches around Mosman. There are plenty of family-friendly options as well as hidden spots that are off the beaten track.
Balmoral Beach and Balmoral Baths
Probably the best-known swimming spot in the area, Balmoral is popular with locals and visitors. Avoid driving there at peak times on busy days as it can get crowded – you are better off catching public transport or booking an Uber.
The beach at Balmoral is not a surf beach so it is ideal for children and less experienced swimmers. Towards the south is Balmoral Baths, a netted pool surrounded by a promenade that was built at a time when open sea bathing was illegal in Australia. Rockpools further down provide entertainment for the kids.
Balmoral has a stretch of sand, lots of shady spots and plenty of dining options on the streets lining the beachfront. Check out the Balmoral Beach Club to be part of swimming races and sporting events.
Another surf-free beach in Sydney, Clontarf is popular for swimming, family picnics and birthday parties.
Located to the north of The Spit, Clontarf Beach is either accessed by boat from the south or via Balgowlah/Balgowlah Heights.
Trees give the area around Clontarf Beach plenty of shade and it can be easier to find parking there than at the more popular Balmoral, although it’s a challenge on busy days.
If you’re keen to go snorkelling, Clontarf is recognised as one of Sydney’s best places for it.
This is a ‘secret’ beach which can only be accessed on foot via the nearby Rosherville Reserve. The closest parking is via McLean Crescent, but it is limited.
Locals head here to swim in the calm waters, go fishing and host small gatherings. Unlike Balmoral and Clontarf, there isn’t any food readily available at Chinaman’s Beach.
Hayes Street Beach
This small strip of sand is another best-kept local secret, this time in the nearby suburb of Neutral Bay.
About 50 metres wide, Hayes Street beach is accessed, unsurprisingly, via Hayes Street near the Neutral Bay ferry wharf. Because it is quite small, this beach is not recommended for large group gatherings.
Athol Bay/Athol Beach
Another little gem is the beach at Athol Bay, down near Taronga Zoo. Reviews highlight the view, which looks back towards the Sydney Harbour Bridge but also mention that there are no amenities on site.
If you arrive on a summer’s day you will notice this is a popular pull-up spot for boats. During the quieter months, you may be lucky enough to have the sand to yourself.
Ideal for families and out-of-town visitors, Chowder Bay is part of the Sydney Harbour National Park.
At this spot, which is accessed from Morella Road in Mosman, you will find a wharf, enclosed baths similar to Balmoral Beach, changing rooms, a lovely playground and some food outlets. It is a popular spot for snorkeling, swimming and fishing.
Venture into the water with a mask and snorkel to spot decorator crabs, rays, an array of fish including leatherjackets and ‘old wife fish’, plus sea slugs and cuttlefish. Remember (and remind your kids) to look but not touch.
Not so suitable for kids! Obelisk/Cobblers Beach is one of Sydney’s few nude beaches and is also in the Sydney Harbour National Park. Small, secluded and quiet, this spot is accessed by foot, with nearby parking on Chowder Bay Road.
Dog friendly beaches
Want to take your furry friend for a splash? According to Mosman council, unleashed dogs are permitted on the beach and in the water all day Monday to Friday, and before 9am and after 4pm on Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays in the following areas:
- Sirius Cove
- Spit West and Spit East Reserves
Dogs are permitted off-leash on the beach and in the water east of the Clifton Gardens jetty at the following times:
- Before 9am and after 4pm weekdays during winter
- Before 9am and after 6pm weekdays during daylight savings summer months (Oct – Mar)
Dogs must be under the effective control of a competent person at all times. You will find more information here: https://mosman.nsw.gov.au/index.php?s=file_download&id=352.
Want to know more about Mosman amenities and attractions? Contact De Brennan Property.