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Neighbourhood Guide: Narrabeen, Collaroy and Mona Vale
By Concrete Playground
May 26, 2021
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By Concrete Playground
May 26, 2021
  shares

Often overlooked for flashier areas of the northern beaches — we’re looking at you, Manly and Palm Beach — Narrabeen feels like it’s just waiting to be discovered.

It’s hard to imagine why, though. In many ways, Narrabeen — and its neighbouring suburbs Collaroy (to the south) and Mona Vale (just north) — offers the best of the beaches lifestyle, with laid-back vibes, a buzzing shopping village and a host of outdoor spots to keep active, including one of the most famous surf breaks in the world.

Often overlooked for flashier areas of the northern beaches — we’re looking at you, Manly and Palm Beach — Narrabeen feels like it’s just waiting to be discovered.

DID YOU KNOW

Narrabeen was immortalised as one of the world’s great surf breaks thanks to The Beach Boys, who mention the beach in their 1963 hit ‘Surfin’ USA’. Over the years, North Narrabeen Break has been the stomping ground of some of the world’s very best surfers, while hosting local, national and international events.

GETTING AROUND

Public transport around the northern beaches is notoriously difficult — though, in many ways, you get the feeling that’s quite deliberate. The excellent B1 bus express service runs regularly from Wynyard to Mona Vale, while the suburban bus network weaves through many of the larger inland streets of the area.

PROPERTY PRICES

Despite steady growth, property in Narrabeen hasn’t spiralled out of control. According to Realestate.com.au, the past 12 months of sales has seen median house prices sit at $2.5 million with a compound growth rate of 6.8 percent over five years, while units have gone for $960,000 with 3.2 percent compound growth over five years. Check out NAB’s Property Report to learn more, then use its handy Home Loan Calculator to find out how much you can borrow. Or, book an appointment here.

LOCALS LOVE

It’s not just the beach that attracts people to Narrabeen — the proximity to green spaces is another huge part of the lifestyle here. Narrabeen Lagoon is a perfect spot for watersports, bushwalking and even fishing, and is surrounded by a near nine-kilometre boardwalk for joggers and cyclers. Elsewhere, the Bicentennial Coastal Walk is one of Sydney’s best waterside walks, while Jamieson Park boasts spectacular bushwalking trails.

Living in Narrabeen, Collaroy and Mona Vale

Discover the spots that could become your new local favourites.

Cafes

With many to choose from, finding your go-to brunch spot will take time in these parts. Start with these spots.

1. Stay Grounded Cafe & Diner

Pop in for an early morning coffee or stay late for a cocktail on weekends.

2. Outpost Espresso Collaroy

Prepare to have your life changed by this cafe's Nutella-stuffed cookie.

3. De'Assis Cafe

A friendly neighbourhood cafe for locals to eat, meet and work.

4. Cabana Beach Kiosk

Head here for a beer and a burger for $20 on Thursdays.

5. Driftwood Cafe & Homeware

Order a grazing platter to go or tuck into a smoothie bowl for the ultimate beachside brekkie.

Restaurants

Mexican food tastes better by the beach, as many of the area's eateries prove. See also: very, very good seafood.

1. Mexicano

North Narrabeen's local produce-focused eatery cooks up some of Sydney's best tacos.

2. Oceans

All-day dining and all-time views right across from Narrabeen Beach.

3. Two Hungry Bears

A no-fuss burger joint near the beach stacking sky-high buns.

4. Moonlight Social House Narrabeen

Head here for tasty pizzas, refreshing cocktails and a soothing ocean breeze.

5. El Gusano Taqueria

Swing by this Collaroy Beach taqueria on Tuesdays for $5 tacos and beers.

Watering Holes

This patch has all the major drinking occasions covered, from family-friendly pubs to cosy date night spots.

1. Narrabeen Sands Hotel

Pub food and live music right on the beach.

2. The Collaroy

The northern beaches boozer was acquired by Merivale and reopened all shiny and new.

3. Paddock & Vine

A Mediterranean-inspired small bar in Mona Vale with a top-notch list of Australian vinos.

4. Modus Operandi Brewing Company

Tuck into freshly brewed beers — and mac ’n’ cheese croquettes, salt and vinegar wings and soft shell crab burgers.

5. Park House Food & Liquor

The old Mona Vale Hotel has been transformed into a sleek new restaurant, cocktail lounge and burger bar.

Shops

Supporting small businesses is easy to do here with boutique florists, luxe homewares and more on offer.

1. Fleet Street Mona Vale

Find quality spirits and decent non-alcoholic options at this northern beaches bottle-o.

2. Kynd & Wylde

Keep your place feeling fresh with a floral subscription from this Mona Vale shop.

3. Arikaya Homewares

Grab a coffee and a gift all in one place.

4. The Wood Room

A sleek showroom specialising in Australian-made furniture tailored to fit your needs.

5. Home on Darley

A stylish homewares warehouse on the northern beaches.

Leisure and Wellness

Fill your time off with leisurely market strolls, exercise and plenty of fresh seaside air.

1. Jamieson Park Paddle

Level up your paddle boarding game with a lesson from an expert.

2. Berry Reserve Markets

Uncover hidden treasures on the third Sunday of each month.

3. The Beaches Market

Fill up on farm-fresh produce every Friday morning.

4. Yogi Shed

Turn your world upside down and learn the practice of headstands and handstands.

5. Plank Pilates Studio

Try a one-on-one pilates consultation for a personalised and purposeful approach to movement.

Outdoor Spots

Living on the northern beaches means spending plenty of time in the sunshine. Coastal treks and bush walks await.

1. Turimetta Headland Walk

Take a picnic to the top of the headland and soak up uninterrupted views of Long Reef.

2. Narrabeen Lagoon

Enjoy walks, water sports and leisurely paddles at this sprawling coastal lagoon.

3. Bicentennial Coastal Walk

Tackle the headlands from Palm Beach to Manly.

4. Fishermans Beach

Escape the crowds at this private beach between Collaroy Point and Long Reef Point headlands.

5. Jamieson Park Walk

Rare ecological communities dot the path of this accessible trail at Narrabeen Lagoon.

Living in Narrabeen, Collaroy and Mona Vale

Discover the spots that could become your new local favourites.

CP's Picks

These are our favourite things to do in the area.

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