One of our most popular articles lists the closest beaches to Parramatta that are great to visit with young kids. But with Sydney traffic being what it is, ‘shortest distance’ doesn’t mean ‘fastest to get to’. So here are the quickest beaches to get to from Parramatta, avoiding toll roads and using average travel times for weekend mornings. The list has a mix of river and ocean beaches and there are lots of different features so you should find one or two to suit your family.
And you may be surprised to find that going west will get you to a lovely swimming spot with a sandy ‘beach’ much faster than heading to the ocean. But of course, heading towards the ocean has the added benefit of being about 5-10 degrees cooler than Western Sydney! Thankfully there are some lovely ocean beaches to the north and south of Sydney that you can drive to in about the same time as the more popular (and harder/ more expensive to park at) Sydney beaches.
To make it easier to decide which beach to visit, and check travel times, we have mapped the 30 quickest beaches to get to from Parramatta avoiding tolls. So if you don’t mind going on toll roads, your travel time to some beaches will be quicker.
Travel times can vary a lot depending on when you head to the beach and where you live. And it’s important to keep in mind that you can spend a long time searching for parking at some Sydney beaches. So a trip to a beach north or south of Sydney may actually prove quicker and more relaxing, even if it takes about 15mins more to drive there.
List of Quickest Beaches to Get to From Parramatta
Below is the list of the 15 quickest beaches to get to from Parramatta (avoiding tolls), with basic information for each beach and a link to a full review. For each beach, there’s a rough guide on how long it will take to get to that beach (quickest and slowest travel time) from Parramatta CBD, based on going in the morning on a weekend.
Note: It is advised not to swim at a number of these beaches for 3 days after heavy rain. You can check water quality at Beach Watch.
Cabarita Beach is the most western spot you can currently swim at in Parramatta River. It was given the swimmable tick in 2015 and we have seen pods of dolphins there, which is a great sign. The beach is right near the ferry wharf and you can also drive or catch the bus. The beach is covered with lots of shells and there’s a little shade under trees.
2Greenwich Baths | Greenwich (30-60mins)
Greenwich Baths is a picturesique swimming spot on Sydney Harbour, overlooking the CBD. There is a small entry fee but its worth the convenience of what’s on offer. We recommend visiting at low to medium tide, as at high tide there can be very little beach.
- Key features: free beach toys available to use, toilets, swimming lanes, kiosk, beach lounge chairs and some shade on the beach.
- Parking: free unrestricted street parking (difficult to find on weekends and holidays)
- Beach: short, unpatrolled beach with shark net and waves from passing boats
- Address: Albert Street, Greenwich
- More Info
3Jellybean Pool | Glenbrook (35-50mins)
Jellybean Pool is a natural swimming spot along Glenbrook Creek in the Blue Mountains National Park. It’s accessed by short bushwalk (100m) down stairs.
- Key features: .tranquil natural swimming spot, bushwalk, toilets (at entrance to the National Park)
- Parking: onsite paid parking – $8 per day or free with National Parks pass
- Beach: sandy, pebbly unpatrolled beach with varying depth
- Address: Jellybean Road, Blue Mountains National Park, Glenbrook
- More Info
4Northbridge Baths | Northbridge (35-60mins)
Northbridge Baths is in a quiet part of Sydney Harbour, surrounded by trees. There is free parking, a . Keep in mind that there are no waves, no kiosk and it’s unpatrolled.
5Simmo’s Beach | Macquarie Fields (35-60mins)
We only very recently found out about Simmo’s Beach. It’s on the Georges River at a lovely reserve. The walk down to the beach is via a steep set of stairs but there are railings and they are good, wide stairs. There’s only a little shade on the beach so recommend bringing some with you. The water starts off shallow and then slowly gets deeper. We hear Simmo’s Beach is very popular on weekends in summer but it was almost empty when we went in the spring school holidays.
6Macquarie Beach | Windsor (35-65mins)
Opposite Windsor, on the banks of the Hawkesbury River, is Macquarie Park. There’s lots of ‘beach’ but no shade, unless you go further along around the corner. So best to bring a beach tent or umbrella. The water is brown and the depth does vary quickly so best to check the depth where you are before the kids go in (if they can’t swim).
7Yarramundi Reserve | Richmond Area (45-65mins)
Yarramundi Reserve has a relaxing ‘beach’ along the Grose River. It’s such a gorgeous spot with shallow water, rock dam to play with and plenty of room for families to spread out along the banks. Plus, dogs are welcome.
8Kyeemagh Beach and Baths | Brighton-Le-Sands (35-80mins)
In front of Cooks Park, and right near Sydney Airport, you’ll find Kyeemagh Beach. It’s a great spot to watch planes take off and land. There is no shade on the beach but some in the reserve behind.
9Carss Park | Georges River (40-75mins)
We are surprised to learn recently that one of our favourite family spots from when we lived in the Sutherland area is actually only 28kms from Parramatta! It’s on the Georges River, not far from Hurstville. Carss Park is the total package park for families, like Cabarita Park and Lake Parramatta Reserve.
10Balmoral Beach | Mosman (40-80mins)
Balmoral Beach is a very popular Sydney Harbour beach with families…. so be prepared for a hard time finding parking on weekends if you don’t go early.
11Chinamans Beach | Mosman (40-80mins)
Chinamans Beach on Sydney Harbour is a tranquil spot, just near the busier Balmoral Beach. There’s no shade on the beach but some in the reserve behind.
12Brooklyn Baths | Brooklyn (45-75mins)
About 25mins along the M1, on the lovely Hawkesbury River, you’ll find the Brooklyn Baths. It’s a netted, tidal swimming spot with a little beach. The views are gorgeous from here and a little walk away are some yummy fish and chip cafes. The only downside is finding parking on weekends.
13Clifton Gardens Beach | Mosman (45-80mins)
Clifton Gardens on Sydney Harbour is understandably very popular with families. The tranquil spot is home to a lovely calm beach and it ticks a lot of boxes. But parking is hard to come by (particularly on weekends) and expensive.
- Key features: fenced shaded playground, large grassed area, bbqs, picnic tables, kiosk, toilets and jetty. Plus, there’s a little shade at each end of the beach.
- Parking: (expensive) metered parking at the beach and unrestricted/ free parking up the hill if you are happy to walk. It’s best to get there before 10am to get a car spot near the beach.
- Beach: sandy unpatrolled beach with lots of shells and shark net at one end. There are just waves from passing boats.
- Address: Beach Wky, Mosman
- More details
14Clontarf Beach | Clontarf (45-85mins)
Clontarf Beach is another beautiful Sydney Harbour beach that ticks a lot of boxes for families with young kids. And is very popular and busy on weekends and holidays.
- Key features: netted swimming area, shaded playground, toilets, yummy kiosk and views of the Spit Bridge.
- Parking: expensive onsite parking but there’s free street parking a little walk away if you get there early.
- Beach: nice sandy unpatrolled beach with only waves from passing boats
- Address: Sandy Bay Road, Clontarf
- More details
15Ramsgate Beach Baths | Brighton-Le-Sands (45-85mins)
Ramsgate Beach Baths are along Brigton-Le-Sands at the southern end.
- Key features: shaded and semi enclosed playground, picnic tables, bbqs and toilets.
- Parking: limited off street parking
- Beach: beautiful sandy unpatrolled beach with shark net
- Address: 275 The Grand Parade, Ramsgate Beach
- More Info
Other Nearby Beaches
Now there’s a number of beaches that are about 50-100mins away from Parramatta, depending on traffic. And we know lots of local families that love travelling north or south of Sydney to visit a beach with free parking, playground, cafe and general waves. Even if they are about 15mins more than going to the very popular Sydney ocean beaches (with hard to find and expensive parking).
Here are the next 15 quickest beaches to get to from Parramatta:
- Narrabeen Lagoon (45-85mins)
- Manly Dam (45-90mins)
- Dee Why Beach (45-90mins)
- Collaroy Beach (45-90mins)
- Stanwell Beach (60-90mins)
- Shelly Park Beach (50-100mins)
- Clovelly Beach (50-110mins)
- Coogee Beach (50-110mins)
- Bondi Beach (50-110mins)
- Bronte Beach (50-110mins)
- Whale Beach (55-110mins)
- Ettalong Beach (65-100mins)
- Bulli Beach (65-100mins)
- Austinmer Beach (65-100mins)
- Umina Beach (65-110mins)