Austinmer Beach is one of the most popular beaches on the coast attracting locals and many Sydney-siders. However, this small piece of paradise can be very busy so planning head, knowing where everything is, what to bring and do when you get there is essential to a blissful beach day.
I have collected my most frequently asked questions about Austinmer Beach and answered them below;
If you are coming directly from Sydney the best way to get to the beach is via the coast road. Turn off into the Royal National Park and take a scenic drive through the park until you cross Otford and get onto Lawrence Hargrave Drive this will take you on the breathtaking coast road and over the Sea Cliff Bridge. If you are coming from the South you will access Austinmer Beach from Lawrence Hargrave Drive either off Bulli Pass or accessed from the Princes Highway or Memorial Drive. If you are catching a train just walk down Moore Street cross over Lawrence Hargrave Drive and you will see the beach.
By Car to Austinmer Beach
Sydney to Austinmer is 1 hour and 20 minutes
Parramatta to Austinmer is 1 hour and 22 minutes
Campbelltown to Austinmer is 40 minutes
North Sydney to Austinmer is 1 hour and 30 minutes
The large car park at the beach can cater to crowds but get in early to ensure you get a spot. The car park offers free and un-timed parking. If you are there on a particularly busy day then try Moore Street for parking but be aware that some spots on Moore Street have time restrictions.
Austinmer beach is patrolled daily from 9 am - 6 pm during peak times (November-March). In the shoulder periods (Late September-November & March-Late April) the beach is patrolled from 9 am-5 pm. There are no lifeguards from late April through the winter to late September.
Public toilets are at the southern end of the beach. There are freshwater showers outside the surf club. There is a blubber also on the southern end.
The beach is surrounded by majestic Norfolk Pines which makes it not only stunning but provides shade over patches of grass and over a few picnic tables.
Austinmer is a reasonable surfers beach - best to check out Surf-forcast.com for accurate and up to date information.
If you are nervous about rips or have little ones, the ocean pool is a great place to have a splash and a cool down. Austinmer Beach has two ocean pools which are fed by the waves that crash over them although they are also regularly cleaned and refilled. The pool on the left is more shallow and suitable for kids but please note lifeguards do not patrol the pool. So if you want to be safe while swimming stay between the flags in the ocean.
Austinmer Beach would have to be one of the best beaches on the coast for kids. It offers a fenced-off playground which was newly installed in 2016, the beach is only a few steps away so sand castles and swings can be combined. There is a shallow ocean pool for splashing and cooling off. There are easily accessible toilets and showers. It has plenty of shade so you can keep little ones from burning. There is a choice of Gelato or Streets ice cream at either the cafe or the corner shop across the road. What more could a kid need?
'Little Austi' the next beach further north is where the locals head. The beach is quiet and a little more protected which is perfect for babies and toddlers. You can access it from Yuruga Street, Austinmer. Be aware that this is a dog-friendly beach which offers off-leash use at any time.
If you need an immediate coffee hit then you can simply cross the road to the Austi Beach Cafe however if you are prepared to wander a little further and explore - walk down Moore Street to Fireworks which also offers excellent coffee.
Austinmer Beach does not allow pets at any time. 'Little Austi' the beach further north allows dogs off-leash at any time.
There are no public BBQs at the beach. The closest public BBQ is at Thirroul Beach Reserve. So you could spend the morning at Austinmer and then move to Thirroul Beach, however, be aware parking at Thirroul can be problematic as it gets very busy.
You can cross the road and eat at Shell's Diner which offers fish and chips, hamburgers as well as salads and sandwiches. If you are looking for something fancier then the Austi Beach Cafe does both dine-in and takeaway meals and snacks. If you would like a glass of wine and to get off the sand for a bit The Headlands Hotel has a dining area and bar however prices can be considerably more than on the beach.
Funnily enough, I get this one all the time! Austinmer is a hotly sought after suburb and thus not the place to pick up a bargain. A property with ocean views will set you back anything from 1.5 million to 2 million. Further back off Austinmer Beach towards the escarpment will still set you back well over a million dollars. So save yourself the stress and book an Austinmer holiday home instead.
Nippers are held every second Sunday on the beach from 9 am so be prepared for hoards of cars, parents and kids running around.