Palm Beach North
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Palm Beach North is a wind-blown beach bordered by a raised bank of grass and wildflowers. Sandy paths lead down to the beach and along to the magical sand dunes. Take a walk with your family to the dunes and delight in nature. You can also take a hiking path to Barrenjoey lighthouse, a 2km return trip (see open hours below). The lighthouse, made of Hawkesbury sandstone, was built in 1881.
Because of its relative seclusion, Palm Beach North is often the venue for the filming of TV commercials. The longest running Australian soap opera, Home and Away, is also filmed here. Check out full episodes on Youtube and you can see some of the great beach scenery. Unlike most soap operas, this one appeals to young people, which makes it fun to watch. (Enjoy the Palm Beach scenery at 05:55 on the Youtube link).
There is a great kiosk at Palm Beach North called Dunes. It has a restaurant plus a snack bar with beautiful outdoor seating overlooking grassy Governor Phillip Park. What's wonderful about this area is that you are on a thin strip of land with water on both sides: Palm Beach on the east, a park with tall Norfolk pines in the middle, and stunning iridescent Pittwater on the west. Grab a pine-lime ice pop with vanilla icecream in the middle (called a Splice) from the snack shop and sit and take in the peaceful atmosphere. This is the life!
If you walk south down the beach you will come to Palm Beach South, which is less windy and is great for swimming. The shallow part of the water continues for quite a while, making it nice for kids. There is also an ocean swimming pool on the far south end.
If you walk toward the Pittwater side, near the main road you will find Governor Phillip Park, with an amazing playground for kids. There are swings, huge rowboats made of gorgeous wood, two space nets (rope climbeys), a see-saw, and spinners.
On the north end of the Pittwater side, you will find the Boathouse, everything a restaurant should be- surreal views of blue-green water and miles of pristine coastline far off in the distance, outdoor seating with plenty of white decor that offsets the amazing colors of the water on all three sides of you, and reasonably-priced good food. Plus, you pay up front so you don't have to wait for the waiter. Relax and enjoy!
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Palm Beach is the northernmost beach on the Barrenjoey peninsula. Follow Barrenjoey Rd north all the way until it veers right to cross over to the ocean side of the peninsula. After the driveway with the sign for "Barrenjoey Boathouse" on the left, turn left into the next driveway and there is plenty of parking right beside the beach.
Barrenjoey lighthouse is open on Sundays 11-3 with tours every half hour. Cost to enter is $3.
Dunes Restaurant and Kiosk, 1193 Barrenjoey Road, Palm Beach, call
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Overall Visitor Rating: Unrated.