One of Sydney's smallest beaches, with only 60 metres of sand
If you’re looking for a safe place to take your kids for a day at the beach, Clovelly beach is the answer. The area is well known for its clean sands, kid-friendly swimming, tidal rockpools, calm waters, parklands, fishing, snorkelling and diving - all packed into this tiny 60 metre gap in the coastline!
Northern side of Clovelly Beach facing Shark Point
Touted as one of Sydney’s smallest and most sheltered beaches, Clovelly is extremely popular with families who have young kids and is one of the few spots around that you don’t have to worry about waves or strong rips. It’s patrolled from September to April by the Clovelly SLSC which is one of the oldest in the country (founded in 1906). Clovelly officially received its name in 1914 after the surf club president at the time thought it had resemblance to his home town of Devon in the UK.
Clovelly SLSC, one of the oldest in Australia formed in 1906
You won’t find surfers, big groups of tourists or huge crowds like the surrounding beaches – just a bunch of locals taking their families down the beach for a fun day out on the weekend. You will find mini sculptures by the sea in the form of sandcastles, the unmistakable shrieks of kids yelling ‘Mum, watch me do this!’, parents sharing stories with their friends about how quickly their kids are growing up, and a relaxed, mellow vibe assisted by a gentle breeze. A westerly wind will help keep the waters calm, although it’s pretty much protected from most winds except for strong easterlies. It's favoured by locals during the winter months, as the SLSC shields you from the cold southerly winds and provides a great place to soak up all available sunshine out of the wind.
A great place to soak up the rays out of the wind
If you want alone time get yourself into the water for some snorkelling or swimming, or catch some rays on the concrete edges around the pool. There are easy stairs off the concrete to get into the water if the sand entrance is not your thing, and for those that don’t like the water you can grab a coffee from the kiosk overlooking the pool and just kick back and take it all in.
Despite being only 9km from the Sydney CBD, you’ll find an amazing variety of marine life in the water, creating a snorkelling experience beyond my expectations. Calm waters in this concrete bordered beach make for great visibility and you can see why it’s a popular location with SCUBA divers, both beginners and more advanced. Looking into the clear water it's easy to forget the bustle of life above, while sea plants gently sway to the rhythm of the ocean and schools of fish effortlessly glide in choreographed rhythm.
A typically calm day at Clovelly Beach
Other points of interest around the bay are the Clovelly Bowling Club, which sits right on top of the cliffs with a view of the water and the popular Clovelly Hotel, known as "The Cloey." The art deco themed Clovelly Hotel sits at the top of the hill above the beach and is a popular spot for locals and tourists, especially in the summer months or after a days horse racing at nearby Royal Randwick. There's something for everyone at the Cloey. The Public Bar is perfect for watching sporting events, also offering TAB and betting options. The Lounge Bar has a video wall but also hosts live music on the weekends. The Beer Garden is outside, with some shade and views of the water.
Sand, rock pools and concrete sunbathing platform - Clovelly truly has something for everyone
Clovelly Beach is easily accessible by bus. Catch the 339 or 400 bus from Bondi Junction and walk towards the coast to find the beach. Or if driving park in one of the back streets off Arden Street and walk down – parking can be hard especially in the summer months, so early is best.
I hope you enjoyed reading this article as much as I enjoyed writing it. Clovelly Beach is the perfect spot to take the kids for a safe day at the beach - kick back and watch them frolick about while enjoying a coffee and soaking up the sun out of the wind.
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