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TRAVEL & LEISURE

Sydney's Best Beaches for When You Want to Play Games with Your Mates

These sandy spots have plenty of space for games, whether you want to play some volleyball, a few overs of beach cricket or just throw a frisbee around.
By Marissa Ciampi
December 26, 2019
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Sydney's Best Beaches for When You Want to Play Games with Your Mates

These sandy spots have plenty of space for games, whether you want to play some volleyball, a few overs of beach cricket or just throw a frisbee around.
By Marissa Ciampi
December 26, 2019
  shares

It's no secret that Sydney is home to some of the best beaches in the world — in fact, it's often a point of pride (and bragging). While just lounging, reading and swimming at these stretches of coastline is usually more than enough fun, a whole summer of it can start to feel — dare we say — tedious. If you're looking ahead at three full months on Sydney sand, it's time to take full advantage of all that our coastline has to offer.

For starters, that means investing in some equipment and getting your game on. But not all Sydney beaches are created equal when it comes to sports. To help you narrow it down, we've put together a list of the best beaches for group games this summer. So, grab your mates and your beach cricket set and hit the sand.

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Destination NSW

MAROUBRA BEACH

This kilometre-long stretch of sand is an ideal spot for group hangs. You won't get the crowds that take over some of our other beaches such as Bondi, Bronte and Tamarama. Here, you can really spread out and take on larger-form games like soccer, or even dodgeball, without worrying about disturbing a nearby sunbather. After you've got your heart pumping, take a short stroll to Mahon Pool, which is tucked away on the beach's northern headland, for a secluded dip. Friends who love a surf should bring their boards, too. Not only is this one of Sydney's great surf spots, it's also one of only 21 National Surfing Reserves in the country.

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Paros Huckstepp

MANLY BEACH

Another stunning stretch of Sydney sand, Manly Beach is hard to beat in charm — from the ferry ride over from the city to the busy promenade, the tree-lined beach and the clear blue waves. While it may not be as convenient as, say, Bondi if you're a south-of-the-bridge dweller, it certainly is still one of Sydney's most famous beaches — so, give your mates a new excuse to venture over the bridge and take things up a notch with a spot of beach sport in between quick dips and ice cream breaks. The beach's proximity to the shops also means you don't have to travel with a bunch of equipment, either, as you can just grab it on the way. We recommend a few games of Flick 'n' Sticks — all you'll need is a set of poles (or foraged sticks for the frugal), cups and a few frisbees. Or, head to the permanent beach volleyball nets. If your legs start to tire of the sand, take your gaming up to the grass at the Manly Bowling Club, which is just a short walk off the beach.

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Destination NSW

COOGEE BEACH

The golden curve that is Coogee Beach has long been a go-to for groups. It's got a local feel to it, but still draws its fair share of travellers, making it an ideal spot to make some new mates over a friendly game. Set up several Survivor-style obstacle courses and see who is crowned champion. Or, if the beach isn't bustling with sun-kissed bodies, dive into a game of beach volleyball (as long as an organised competition isn't going on). Afterwards, grab a round or two at Coogee Pavilion, which is set to unveil three new venues within its middle floor come January.

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BALMORAL BEACH, MOSMAN

If you're looking for a more low-key option for your group games, head to Balmoral. This relatively isolated lower north shore beach usually has calm waters and rarely sees people packed on the sand like sardines. You'll find swimmers doing laps, people tanning and families sitting in the shade of umbrellas — it's a laidback spot, so come here for more relaxed games rather than rowdy ones. Try your hand at a few rounds of cornhole or Bulzibucket (you don't even need all the gear, you can simply dig holes in the sand). A light-weight spikeball set is another good option here. Plus, Balmoral has the added benefit of being close to Taronga Zoo, in case hanging out with some adorable animals is also on your group's bucket list.

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Destination NSW

DEE WHY BEACH

Dee Why is a sporting beach through and through. It's the site of the annual Ocean Thunder Surfboat competition and was once home to major surfing comp Beachley Classic. Essentially, it's a beach set up for those who want to get active. While you could sign your group up for the Sun Run (coming up on February 1, 2020), you can also just head here for a day of leisurely beach games. Just next to it is Long Reef Beach, with the two stretches of sand separated by a shallow lagoon, so there's heaps of space. And you'll even find an outdoor table tennis spot, so you don't even need to bring any equipment to get competitive with your crew. There's also a playground for obstacle course-style games as well as barbecues for post-game feasts.

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COLLAROY BEACH

Just north and around the headland of Long Reef Beach you'll come to another top-notch location for some friendly competition: Collaroy. Collaroy has the benefit of being slightly sheltered, so playing games that involve lightweight or excess equipment is often pretty good here, such as spikeball and frisbee. Plus, it stretches into Narrabeen Beach, giving you just over 3.5 kilometres of continuous beach to play on. After you've worked up a sweat, you can head to one of the beach's many barbecuing and picnic areas or head into The Collaroy for a cold beer. And be sure to stick around for sunset, as this beach offers some of the best.

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Destination NSW

SHARK BEACH, VAUCLUSE

This tiny 220-metre sandy harbour spot is just right for those looking for a bit of variety on their next trip to the beach is just right for ocean games. First up, its waters are surrounded by shark nets, so, unlike the name suggests, you don't have to worry about any unwanted sea creatures interrupting your game. Secondly, it's located at Nielsen Park in Vaucluse and is part of Sydney Harbour National Park, making it a picturesque playing spot. Of course, the small size means it's ideal for smaller scale games, so we recommend bringing along a couple of friends instead of a big ol' group. But you can always move into the adjoining park if you're looking for more space — or some shade.

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Top image: Raider or Gin/Flickr.

Published on December 26, 2019 by Marissa Ciampi

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