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An Hour From Campus: Balmoral Beach

By Cam Kennedy

Balmoral Beach may not be a hidden gem, but if you’re looking for serenity and beach vibes close to the CBD, it tops Coogee and Maroubra on any given day.

Getting There

Balmoral Beach is a 25-45 minute drive from Kensington (depending on traffic), including a toll-free drive over the Harbour. Parking close to the beach is expensive and time limited, with the free parking options up steep Military Road filling up quickly in the morning.

If you have time (and patience), there are a multitude of public transport routes you can take. The M30 will get you close enough to walk down the steep hill to the beach, and for those unwilling or unable, the 257 from military Road will also get you to the Esplanade.

If you’re lucky enough to have notched up your free travel, I’d recommend taking the Taronga Zoo Ferry across the harbour before hopping on a 238 that will drop you right at the foreshore.

Where To Eat

If you’re looking to treat yourself (or a significant other), the Bathers Pavilion is the brunch spot for you. With idyllic views of Hunters Bay and Middle Head, the pavilion that has long been an institution of Balmoral’s foreshore was built in the late 1920s. For those of you that like to sleep in, you can order breakfast until midday.

There are a handful of eateries constantly buzzing with trade along the Esplanade – coffee, cakes and the more obvious fish & chips. They’re reasonably priced, however if you’re pinching pennies there is a little outcrop of rocks appropriately called Rocky Point, where you can easily set up a picnic overlooking Sydney Heads.

What To Do

The sheltered bay and white sandy beach make for a perfect day of swimming and sunbathing, with plenty of taps and showers to rinse off. If you want to take a break from the sun, the Esplanade is lined with trees, which you can use as shade.

If you want to learn more about the history of the area, and have some energy to spare, take a hike to Middle Head Second Gun Emplacements. The four-kilometre round trip takes about two hours to complete, including the necessary stops to takes pics that’ll make your friends jealous.