Location: Southern Beaches
A great destination for a day out, particularly in summer, Cronulla is the only Sydney ocean beach to have a direct rail service. Surfers looking for good waves but less crowds find Cronulla fits the bill perfectly.
If surfing is not your scene, Cronulla has other alternatives on offer. A walking path around the shoreline of the Cronulla peninsula from the railway station or Cronulla Park is pleasant and easy and when you've finished, there are plenty of restaurants and cafes offering everything from light refreshments to candle-lit dinners.
Make a day of your trip to Cronulla by including a 20 minute (each-way) ferry ride to the village of Bundeena on the opposite shore of Port Hacking.
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A popular walk around the Cronulla peninsula, taking about 2 hours. The walk starts on Cronulla Beach. On they way you'll pass beaches and ocean pools before reaching Bass and Flinders Point, which explorers Matthew Flinders and George Bass sailed past in the whaleboat Tom Thumb in March 1796 when they explored and named Port Hacking. The Esplanade is the walkway that leads from Cronulla Beach past Shelly Beach and Oak Park, around the cliffs to this lookout. The lookout provides a view of the Port Hacking estuary, the Royal National Park and Bundeena.
Further around the point is the pretty Gunnamatta Bay and Gunnamatta Park (waterside fossicking, picnic areas, kiosk, childrens play areas).
Just down the hill from Cronulla train station on Gunnamatta Bay are the ferries to Bundeena. Bundeena is a pleasant village located in the Royal National Park across the waters of port Hacking south of Cronulla. Bundeena on the opposite shore of Port Hacking. Bundeena has a lovely village feel to it, and there are some nice cafes and the RSL Vlub to enjoy lunch or afternoon tea. Extensive beaches on Port Hacking provide safe and calm waters to swim in and for children to play.
An extensive, well signposted Aboriginal engravings site is located on the Jobbon Headland 300 metres north of Jibbon beach, a short walk from the village.
Bundeena is an ideal starting place for walks through the Royal National Park via the walking trails to Marley Beach and Burning Palms. Maps and guides available from stores in Bundeena.
A short walk from the Cronulla shopping precinct and railway station, this well shaded park on Burraneer Bay is great for a family outing, featuring plenty of calm, shallow water for the kids to play in and a deeper, shark-proof ocean pool on the boardwalk. The park has extensive grassed areas, picnic facilities and a cafe. The only drawback is that, as with all landlocked bays in residential areas, there are no strong currents to remove bacteria brought into the bay from stormwater drains, so avoid swimming here after rains. Nearby is a small beach at the head of Burraneer Bay.
Gunnamatta Park: UBD Map 334 Ref P 14. Tonkin Street, Cronulla.
Facilities: toilets, showers, kiosk, shady, grassed picnic areas.
Public transport: train to Cronulla. Walk south from station along Cronulla Street, Nicholson Parade.
Darook Park is on Salmon Haul Bay, which lies on the eastern side of the tip of the Cronulla peninsula on Port Hacking. Darook Park has a sheltered swimming area, but limited facilities. SUBD Map 354 Ref P 4. Nicholson Parade, Cronulla. Public transport: train to Cronulla. Walk south from station along Cronulla Street, then to the end of Nicholson Parade.
Located beyond the sandhills of the southern end of the Kurnell Peninsula. May be accessed only by 4WD from Captain Cook Drive or on foot via the oceanside 10-km walking track between Kurnell and Cronulla. Also known as North Wanda Beach. Limited surfing conditions as beach is protected from the swell by Merries Reef. Popular for fishing, jogging, walking, boat mooring.
UBD Map 335 Ref F 6. South of Kurnell.
Water pollution levels are low but rips on this popular surf beach are not uncommon, so be sure to swim within the flags of the Surf Lifesaving Club, located at the southern end. Ideal for board surfing, bodysurfing and sailboarding.
Wanda Beach: UBD Map 335 Ref E 7. Marine Esplanade, Cronulla.
Facilities: parking for 400 vehicles, surf lifesaving club, toilets, changerooms and kiosk at surf club.
More isolated than North Cronulla, its southern neighbour, Elouera is still a popular surf beach. Troughs form between the beach and an offshore sandbar when the swell is up, making for great surfing conditions beyond the sandbar, but with them come some pretty strong currents and rips. Only strong swimmers should venture out beyond the bar.
Elouera Beach: UBD Map 335 Ref C 9. Mitchell Road, Cronulla.
Facilities: surf club with kiosk, parking.
North Cronulla Beach
Similar to Elouera Beach, but busier due to it being located at the end of Kingsway and in closer proximity to Cronulla's shops, cafes and restaurants. Great surf beach, but swim between the flags and watch out for The Alley, a particularly strong rip at the southern end of the beach.
North Cronulla Beach: UBD Map 335 Ref C 10. Prince Street.
Facilities: surf club with kiosk, parking, hotel nearby.
A great destination for a day out, particularly in summer. Surfers looking for good waves but less crowds find Cronulla fits the bill perfectly. If surfing is not your scene, Cronulla has other alternatives on offer. Ferries regularly depart from a wharf on Gunnamatta Bay near the railway station for a trip across the water to Bundeena in Royal National Park or for a leisurely cruise around Port Hacking. A walking path around the shoreline of the Cronulla peninsula from the railway station or Cronulla Park is pleasant and easy and when you've finished, there are plenty of restaurants and cafes offering everything from light refreshments to candle-lit dinners.
Public transport: train to Cronulla station. Most places of interest listed under Cronulla are within walking distance of the station or centrally located Cronulla Park.
South Cronulla Beach
One of Sydney's most popular and crowded beaches. Great for swimming, sunbaking, riding boogie boards. Many features make it popular for families. UBD Map 335 Ref B 13. Laycock Avenue.
Facilities: ocean swimming pools, park with picnic facilities, toilets, nearby shops, cafes, restaurants, 3-km coastal walking path. Surf club with kiosk.
Shelly Park Beach
South of the main beach, Shelly Park has a 30-metre long ocean pool, ideal for toddlers. Nearby Blackwoods Beach is protected by a reef, which makes it ideal for open swimming and snorkelling, and of course surfing beyond the reef.
Facilities: two free barbecues, a shaded picnic area, picnic tables, toilets and showers.
Shelly Beach: UBD Map 33 Ref A 16. Ewos Parade, Cronulla.
Oak Park Beach
Located at Glaisher Point, there is a small beach towards the point, and a rock pool beyond the rocky shore line. The swell is slight, and being surrounded by rocks, the pool is an ideal launch pad for snorkelling.
Oak Park Beach: UBD Map 355 Ref B 2 . Ewos Parade, Cronulla.
Facilities: large park with room to play group sports, barbecues, picnic tables, toilets, showers, shops 50m away.
Port Hacking is very much the forgotten waterway of the Sydney basin, and few visitors take the limited opportunities available to them to explore this pretty corner of suburban Sydney. One such opportunity is a cruise of Port Hacking, which leaves from Cronulla Wharf, just a short walk down the hill from Cronulla railway station. The three hour narrated tour on an older style small ferry explores Port Hacking river up to the shores of Royal National Park. The tour is covers the Aboriginal history of Port Hacking as well as its natural beauty. The tour is reasonably priced and represents great value for money.