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Palm Beach family weekend

Thursday, May 27, 2010
Palm Beach, Sydney's northernmost beach, is where the rich and famous go to unwind, play and tan. It stretches more than 2km and is a world away from the city which is only an hour away. The beauty of the Barrenjoey Peninsula is that there are two beaches — the calm and chilled out Pittwater on one side and Palm Beach on the other for surfers and those who like to catch a wave.

Jason Dundas is pretty much a south-of-the-Harbour-Bridge boy, but after spending time at Palmie, he could just be convinced it is a special place.

There are some pretty impressive homes at beach level and clinging to the cliffs and the locals are quite pleased that there isn't a lot of tourist accommodation available.

Iluka Resort Apartments

One of the few places to rent, Iluka Resort Apartments back onto Pittwater's Snapperman Beach. They offer four-star one- and two-bedroom security apartments and are perfect for families. Modern and self-contained, they have a kitchen, lounge and dining room, balcony or courtyard and bathrooms have spas or showers. They are air-conditioned, linen and bath towels are provided and there is television and DVD player.

Decor is modern and blinds let you take advantage of the views. Location couldn't be better. Iluka opens onto Palm Beach's main street of boutiques, gift stores, cafes and restaurants. There's a general store close by and it has very good gourmet foods.

Guests enjoy an outdoor heated pool and spa, barbecue area and underground secure parking.

Palm Beach Fish & Chip Shop

A bit of an institution around the area, this little gem has been serving some of the best seafood since the 1950s. Their menu has kept up with the times and gone are the days when a piece of battered fish and some chips wrapped in newspaper was the way to go.

Now chilli prawns are their speciality, fish is cooked in a light beer batter and they have fresh salads and gourmet burgers. They serve coffee, milkshakes, ice-creams and even have a liquor licence. Diners can sit outdoors and enjoy the views of Pittwater.

The Basin

This is well-known and popular for its sheltered sandy beach and inland lagoon. It can be accessed only by boat and is the only place you can camp in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park. The park lies where the Hawkesbury River meets the ocean and there is a tight cluster of winding creeks, sheltered beaches, hidden coves and wide expanses of deep blue water. Wildflowers grow on sandstone ridges, dense bush clings to the slopes and there are mangroves on the tidal mudflats.

Day visitors enjoy picnics there and you will share your spot with friendly wallabies. You need to take your own food and drink — there are no shops.

Palm Beach Ferry

If you don't have your own boat to take you to The Basin, stroll to the quaint blue boatshed with a wooden jetty and the Palm Beach Ferry will get you there. They leave on the hour from 9am and it's a very enjoyable trip.

Newport Arms Hotel

An institution on the Peninsula, the Newport Arms is an adventure in itself. Since 1880 the landmark has been home to Australia's largest waterfront beer garden. On the shores of Pittwater, it's a great place to take the family and enjoy stunning views of Bayview, Church Point, Scotland Island and the Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park.

Grab yourself a table and order a drink and meal and let the children enjoy the playgrounds and games. There's live music on weekends, dress is as casual as you fancy and the choice of food and drink is huge.


Palm Beach, about an hour north of Sydney's CBD.


Iluka Resort Apartments start at $290 a night with a minimum two-nights stay for one bedroom and $380 for two bedrooms.

Palm Beach ferry to The Basin and Mackerel Beach costs $6.80 one way ($13.60 return) for adults and $3.40 ($6.80 return) for children.

Virgin Blue has one way flights to Sydney from:

  • Canberra $85
  • Mebourne $89
  • Brisbane $92
  • Hobart $105
  • Adelaide $115
  • Darwin $229
  • Perth $239

For further information
Virgin Blue
Ph: 136 789

Iluka Resort Apartments
1097-1101 Barrenjoey Road
Palm Beach 2108
Ph: (02) 9974 3733

Palm Beach Fish & Chips
1104 Barrenjoey Road
Palm Beach 2108
Ph: (02) 9974 1110

Newport Arms
2 Kalinya Street
Newport 2106
Ph: (02) 9997 4900

Newport Palm Beach Ferry
Pittwater Park
Barrenjoey Road
Palm Beach 2108
Ph: (02) 9974 2411

Palm Beach Food and Drink

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