Most kids like playing in sand, even if some of us parents prefer to not have to deal with sand in our car etc afterwards! I know my kids can still easily spend a good hour or two at the beach playing in the sand – building sand castles and collecting shells.
Now we don’t always want to swim as well as build sand castles, like on a sunny winters day. Nor do we (or can we) travel to a ocean beach. Thankfully, there are a number of good spots to do this along Parramatta River, which means only a short trip. And we can visit all but one of these spots currently as they are within our 10km exercise radius (covid restrictions).
I’ve been wanting to share this list for a while now. Grateful for lockdown and a sunny winter’s day for the inspiration and time to finally get it done! But a little word of warning first… it’s common to find rubbish along these beaches (just like at ocean beaches unfortunately). I find it best to do a quick scan and remove any items that the kids may hurt themselves on, like glass or broken hard plastic.
Here are our top 7 favourite sand castle building spots. Most will have sand still at high tide, but best visited at a lower tide. And please let me know if you have one not on the list!
1Cabarita Park Beach, Cabarita
Address: 172 Cabarita Road, Cabarita | Summary: Cabarita Park Beach is right near Cabarita Wharf and absolutely FULL of shells. This park has a lot going for it, including a kiosk, swimming centre, playground, BBQs and toilets. Plus the longest beach along Parramatta River! There’s plenty of room to spread out, but still keep a safe distance from anyone else. And there’s also shade under the beautiful trees. You can actually swim here too. The only downside is the metered parking. | More Details |
2Bayview Park, Concord
Address: end of Burwood Road, Concord | Summary: Bayview Park has two ‘beaches’ – one in front of the playground (where a new netted swimming spot will soon be) and the other near the boat ramp. There’s a good amount of on-site parking, plus toilets and BBQS. | More Details |
3Salton Reserve, Drummoyne
Address: St Georges Crescent, Drummoyne | Summary: In between the Drummoyne Sailing Club and Birkenhead Point Brand Outlet is Salton Reserve and a lovely beach area. It has great views out over Cockatoo Island and a fun little nautical themed playground. | More Details |
4Wangal Reserve, Mortlake
Address: end of Hilly Street, Mortlake | Summary: Wangal Reserve is on the point at Mortlake, overlooking Putney, and right near the Putney Punt/ Car Ferry. It has great views out of the river, and a good spot to watch the ferries go by. There’s also a fab nature based playground here and toilets. Downside is there’s very little parking. | More Details |
5Bedlam Bay, Gladesville
Address: 14 Campbell Drive, Gladesville | Summary: This is somewhat of a hidden gem… though not for long with plans underway to turn it into a swimming spot. It’s probably has the smallest ‘beach’ of the ones on this list but it makes up for it in spades with the tranquillity and fact that there’s a nice walk around to it from Banjo Paterson Park. | More Details |
6Kissing Point Park, Putney
Address: Waterview Street, Putney | Summary: Kissing Point Park is rather unassuming from the outside, but ticks a lot of boxes for families with young kids. There are two largish beach areas on either side of the wharf, playground, toilets, two on-site parking areas, walking path, exercise equipment and beautiful fish statues. | More Details |
7Memorial Park, Meadowbank
Address: Meadowbank Crescent, Meadowbank (next to Meadowbank Wharf carpark) | Summary: The beach in front of Memorial Park has prime position to watch trains crossing the bridge and ferries going underneath. It was enclosed late last year to allow for it to be trialled as a dog off leash area. The trial was to end in April but not sure what’s happening at the moment. So best to avoid it if your kids are comfortable around dogs. Back up in main part of the park, there are toilets, playground and picnic shelters. | More Details |