Palm Beach

Barrenjoey Peninsula, Nothern Beaches
Located at the tip of the headland on the ocean side, Palm Beach was once a haven for fringe-dwellers. These days, multi-million dollar mansions of the rich and famous line the ridge over one of Sydney's most busy (on weekends) and prestigious beaches.

Devotees of the TV soap, Home And Away, will recognise Palm Beach as Summer Bay. The northern end of the beach is exposed to the elements, which makes it the quietest section. Apart from the rubbish brought here by visitors, the beach is clean and the surf good, with an ocean pool at the southern end that is ideal for children. Parking fees apply.

The beach itself is patrolled by surf lifesavers, and has changerooms, toilets, showers, shops and cafes at southern end of beach.

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Whale Beach

The locality is situated near the tip of the Barrenjoey Peninsula, to the immediate south of Palm Beach. Whale Beach is one of Sydney's cleanest surf beaches, and its consistently great waves draws surfers from all over Sydney like a magnet. The good surf means the beach has its fair share of rips so stay between the flags. A rock pool at the southern end caters for children. Parking fees apply.
Beach facilities: patrolled by surf lifesavers, changerooms, toilets, showers, kiosk, grassed area, shop and cafes in neighbouring streets.

Koalas In The Wild

A small remnant of the Koalas which once occupied the whole of the Barrenjoey Peninsula and northern beaches has been given special legal protection as part of a last ditch effort to see if it is possible to recover the population from what otherwise would be certain extinction. This is the first instance anywhere in Australia that a specific Koala population has been given special legal protection.

The population occurs between Elanora Heights in the south and Palm Beach to the north, on the Barrenjoey Peninsula. In the thirty years between the 1940s and the 1970s, the population was estimated to be around 123 animals, the largest in the Sydney area, but in 1993 the number was estimated to have dwindled to as little as six.

The primary reason for the decline is the same as for the whole Sydney region, that of habitat loss and fragmentation as the Peninsula has become increasingly urbanised. Only 125 ha of natural bushland remain from the 705 ha on the peninsula in 1946. This has been compounded by road kills and predation by domestic dogs. The building of a retirement village along Avalon Parade at a time when there were not specific planning laws to protect Koala habitat was a major blow to the Barrenjoey Koalas. Local residents have planted 2,000 tress to maintain a food source for the colony. Sighting Koalas is never guaranteed but the most likely places to see them are Attunga and Hewitt Parks, Bilgola.

Koalas were once common in the bush of the Sydney region but extensive clearing of their habitat combined with hunting in Sydney's colonial years, road kills and predation by domestic dogs in more recent times has seen their numbers drastically reduced to the point where they have all but vanished. The Koala in NSW is therefore listed under the NSW Threatened Species Conservation Act as a species vulnerable to extinction.

Barrenjoey Headland

The headland at the northernmost point of Barrenjoey Peninsula rises quite sharply from the beach to over 100 metres above sea level, and features a highly photogenic operational historic lighthouse. The 1 km climb to the top of Barrenjoey Headland from the car park at Gov. Phillip Park, Palm Beach, is quite steep, but well worth the effort. The views north across Broken Bay to the central coast, west along the Hawkesbury River and south to Pittwater and Sydney Northern Beaches are spectacular.

Barrenjoey Lighthouse was the third light on the Headland and was completed in 1881. A customs station was established in 1843 at what was considered to be the back door of Sydney for smugglers. ts with cobbles, culverts and the remains of a stone bridge, and the reclaimed area at the end of the track is probably the base of the wharf.

Palm Beach Ferry
Palm Beach on the Pittwater side is home to a number of ferry services which ply the waters of Pittwater. One ferry travels between Palm Beach on Sydney s Northern Beaches to Wagstaff and Ettalong Beach on the lower Central Coast peninsula. Departing roughly every hour the journey is one of the most picturesque in the world. It spans across 4 waterways from Pittwater, Broken Bay, the Entrance to the Hawkesbury River and Brisbane Waters. Passing between the heads of Barrenjoey Headland and Box Head ensures that no two journeys are never the same. One day there might be some swell and the next day a millpond. Enjoy the opportunity to see the wildlife from birds to fairy penguins, turtles to seals, and dolphins to whales. Once at these destinations there are lots of activities to keep you busy for as long as you want to stay.

Another ferry departs hourly to Bennett Wharf and Bonnie Doon, The Basin, Currawong Beach and Mackerel Beach on the eastern shores of Pittwater. These wonderful isolated havens in the Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park are small communities which offer limited accommodation for people who wish to stay a while, or services to those who come across the water for day trips. Paths from all of these stops lead up the hills behind them into Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park. The park's numerous Aboriginal rock engraving sites can be accessed from the many pathways which wend their way through the bushland of the Park. West Head, at the north eastern corner of the Park, offers panoramic views to the Barrenjoey Peninsula and headland, across Broken Bay to the Central Coast, and along the waters of Pittwater and the Hawkesbury River. West Head has plenty of picnic facilities.

The round trip on the ferry takes approximately 45 minutes. The ferry wharf is at 1151-1153 Barrenjoey Road, Palm Beach.
Snapperman Beach

The jetty here is the best starting point for a trip around Pittwater or up the Hawkesbury as it is from here that the ferry leaves for Patonga, Bobbin Head, Cottage Point, The Basin, Currawong and Mackerel Beach. Very few people swim here, mainly because the surf beaches are just around the corner, but it is a popular spot to have a light tea and watch the sun set over West Head after a trek up to the lighthouse. Seaplane flights up the Hawkesbury River operate from the Sand Point Jetty (Iluka Road).
Facilities: toilets, boat ramp at Sandy Beach, shops, cafes and restaurant in Barrenjoey Rd.
Location: Barrenjoey Road, Palm Beach.

Station Beach

Located at the tip of the headland on the Pittwater side, the main attraction here is its boat launching facilities and offshore sports. Barrenjoey Beach is the ideal place to take advantage of the tides and winds which make Pittwater a major drawcard for yachtsmen and windsurfers. On weekends there's not much room for swimmers but that's ok, North Palm Beach is less than 50 metres away on the otherside of Governor Phillip Park. Beach Road, Palm Beach.
Facilities: toilets, changerooms, grassed areas, picnic facilities, boathouse and kiosk.
Public Transport: bus No. 190, L90 from Town Hall, Sydney.

Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park

Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park forms a buffer of natural bushland between Sydney's northern suburbs and the Hawkesbury River. Its river shoreline is a tight cluster of secretive, winding creeks, sheltered beaches, hidden coves, mangroves on the tidal mudflats and wide expanses of deep blue water, backed by heathlands on the sandstone ridges and dense forests on the slopes. West Head Lookout is situated at the far north east corner of the park, and offers spectacular views across Broken Bay to the central coast and Pittwater to the Barrenjoey Peninsula. On the way in you pass some of the best and most accessible Aboriginal rock art sites in the Sydney region. The lookout has toilets, good picnic facilities and is the starting point for numerous delightful bushland walking tracks.

Location: 7 km north of Pymble, 26 km north of Sydney. Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park Information Centre - Asquith and Bobbin Head. Phone (02) 9457 1049. General enquiries for West Head may be made to Garigal National Park on (02 94513479).

Home and Away locations

Home and Away is a long running soap that chronicles the lives, loves, happiness, and heart-breaks of the residents of Summer Bay, a small coastal town in New South Wales. The beach and most outdoor shots surrounding the town are filmed at Palm Beach, Barrenjoey Peninsula on Sydney's northern beaches. The most recognisable feature of Palm Beach from the TV series is the Surf Club. It is the North Palm Beach Surf Life Saving Club at Governor Phillip Park, Palm Beach.

Bushland around Pittwater is used for bush scenes. Caravan Park scenes were shot between 2007 and 2009 at Duffys Forest at Waratah Park Earth Sanctuary, where Skippy The Bush Kangaroo was filmed. Martha's Farm is at Windsor. The Bayside Diner was an iconic location in the show for 11 years before Colleen burnt it down in 2000, forcing Alf and Ailsa to move to the Beachside Diner. The building used as the original diner stands at the end of Etival Street, overlooking Careel Bay at the southern end of the suburb of Palm Beach.

The Beachside Diner is at Fishermans Beach in Collaroy, half an hour south of Palm Beach off Anzac Avenue. It houses a Surf Rescue base and also the Long Reef Visitor's Room, which opens on a regular basis to provide information and guided walks around the Long Reef reserve. The 2008 season marked the last time that the building was seen on screen. The Beachside Diner was deemed unsafe for use following an earth tremor, forcing the Diner to move to its new location at Palm Beach.

The Bible Garden

The Bible Garden is a quiet, contemplative, Christian garden made up of a series of gently descending, intimate grassed terraces that lead down to a viewing area providing spectacular views. The pond contributes to its tranquillity and provides a water habitat for biblical plants. Located in the northern Sydney region containing a Bible and a biblical plaque in an attractively landscaped setting, Gerald Hercules Robinson established the Bible Garden in the 1960s. He believed that The Garden and the view behind it provide a perfect example of the glory of God s creation .
Location: Mitchell Road, Palm Beach

Bicentennial Coastal Walkway

This walk consists of a series of headland pathways and lookouts connecting the ends of each beach form a continuous coastline route which stretches along Sydney s northern coastline between Manly and Palm Beach. It can be walked as a whole or in individual sections. The links on this page focus on the northern sections of the walk that fall within the Pittwater Council area. The walk begins at Barrenjoey Headland, just beyond Palm Beach, Sydney s most northern coastal beach. As most access to Pittwater was by ship, Barrenjoey Headland and Palm Beach were a focal point during the early settlement of the area. During the early part of the nineteenth century, it was mainly being used by fishermen. However a number of smugglers also called it home.
About Palm Beach

Fisherman and market gardeners have occupied the area since the turn of the 19th Century and it is probably after an unsociable one of these that the original name for the area - Cranky Alice Beach - came into common use. Farming and maritime activities practised here such as whaling, boatbuilding and repairs and fish drying by Chinese settlers continued well into the 20th Century when subdivision and land sales saw a change away from industry towards residential.

  • Get Directions

  • How to get there:
    Public Transport: bus No. 190, L90 from Town Hall, Sydney.

    The Name
    It is assumed the beach was named because of the extensive cabbage palm trees which were common here among the native vegetation.

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