a weekend exploring palm beach, whale beach & avalon

This weekend, Joe and I went on another little adventure in an outer suburb of Sydney. We stayed in Avalon at this cute & modern Airbnb loft and spent most of our time exploring the beaches nearby -- Avalon Beach, Whale Beach and Palm Beach. These three beaches are what are considered the northern most of Sydney's famous Northern Beaches. Palm Beach was definitely my favorite of the three areas as there was tons of outdoorsy stuff to do, but all of them were absolutely gorgeous!

Scroll all the way to the bottom for my curated travel guide!

Getting there was really easy as we took the bus (and brought our surfboard on it haha!), which was a direct 1 hour ride from Manly to these northern beaches on the peninsula. It's a 45 minute drive, so we opted to save some $ to spend on a fancy dinner instead (more on that in a bit!), and take Sydney's public transport. The B Lines & 199 buses get you RIGHT to the area. We took them a lot between beaches as well as it's such a straight shot.

Our awesome Airbnb loft - linked above!

The beaches here are perfect for beginner surfers like us, offering a slow & long wave. We got a lot of practice in! We also did another lighthouse walk in Palm Beach, which definitely rivals the one in Byron Bay that we recently did. At the top, you can see the wedge of land between Palm Beach's ocean side & harbor side (harbour for my aussie readers). It was GORGEOUS!

La Bannette's quiche lorraine


This area is quite upscale & the houses and restaurants definitely show off for you. Along the beach you'll find lush jungles with houses peaking out that overlook the ocean. VERY LUSH greenery & fancy-ass houses. I'd love to be adopted by one of those aussie families so I could move right in! The cafes & restaurants are all very charming & boasting their unbeatable views. We decided to splurge on a fancy, fine-dining dinner experience overlooking the ocean at Jonah's and it was amazing. The food was so fresh -- lots of seafood. We did a 3 course tasting menu & shared a bottle of prosecco & got to watch the sunset over Whale Beach. So romantic!!

My Northern Beaches To-Do List


  • Beach House (Avalon Beach) - breakfast & coffee ON the beach; you cannot get closer to the view than this spot!

  • La Bannete (Avalon) - an amazing French bakery!!

  • Jonah's (Whale Beach) - definitely the highlight of my food experience on this trip! Choose from a 2-6 course meal & enjoy the most breathtaking view. This place is pricey, so be ready to #treatyoself. They also have a really cool bar and outside lounge. I'd at least swing by for a drink to see the views. Keep in mind it's more upscale, so don't show up in shorts & sandals!

  • The Boathouse (Palm Beach) - this is the same restaurant group that owns The Boathouse in Shelley Beach (Manly) & as all their establishments do, has the prettiest flowers and amazing views off of a dock. You can watch the seaplanes take off and land while you eat or drink! Highly recommend getting the coconut water & Boat House salad!

  • Swell Cafe (Avalon) - a great little coffee house in the heart of Avalon!

  • There's another cafe which I didn't get the name for on the corner of Ocean Rd. & Ocean Pl. (Palm Beach) - it's a breakfast and lunch nook as well as a smoothie & juice bar with outdoor seating located right on Palm Beach


  • Definitely go to all 3 beaches & take a dip in each of their ocean pools:

  • ​Palm Beach

  • Whale Beach

  • Avalon Beach

  • ​Do the Barrenjoy Lighthouse walk for some amazing views of Palm Beach

  • Take the ferry or charter a fishing boat to Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park where you can do some hiking & see kangaroos on the beaches

  • ​Visit West Head Lookout for a gorgeous view

What's your favorite getaway from Sydney?! Leave me a recommendation on where to go next in the comment section below!

Next, check out my coastal walk, food & adventure guide from Dee Why to Manly!

#australia #travel #oceania


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