The first of its kind on the northern beaches, Collaroy Beach is an all abilities playground – both in and out of the water.
All abilities playground
Collaroy Beach is the first Sydney beach with an all abilities playground. If you are a carer of a person with a disability of any age, Collaroy Beach will let them experience what able-bodied people take for granted for years: the thrill of a ride on a swing and the salt water.
It is also a fantastic spot for children of all ages. A beach renowned for smallish waves (except when an east coast high takes place at the same time as a king tide), a fabulous ocean pool, rock pools, lawns, barbecues and an all abilities playground, there really isn’t much not to like.
Okay, there is the seaweed. Unfortunately it has a tendency to accumulate on the sand in front of the surf life saving club where the swimming flags are usually stationed. However, there are other spots to swim, which I’ll get to in a minute.
Firstly, the colourful playground is located right next to the beach and has a wonderful collection of equipment including a rope climbing frame, water play area, sensory carved sandstone structures and music elements, and large flat swings including a Liberty swing.
Outside the playground is a large grassy area to run around on, picnic shelters with barbecues, while benches line the waterfront where you can sit and be mesmerised by the ocean.
For those in a wheelchair, you can make use of the FreeWheeler beach wheelchairs to have a swim either in the beach or the ocean pool. Both have ramps for easy access.
When the beach is patrolled by council lifeguards (ie in the summer season), they will loan you the FreeWheelers. Outside of patrolled times you will have to contact Northern Beaches Council or call 9942 2111.
Around the headland
Our favourite spot to go for a swim is around the headland (of course!). Walk towards the southern end of the beach and past the pool, or climb the stairs for a short walk over the headland and take in the expansive views from north to south.
From the headland you can descend stairs to the pool, or walk a bit further for stairs that descend onto The Basin – a small, unpatrolled beach (see main picture). This is a bit of a favourite spot of ours because it is protected from the bulk of the swell but you still get a few waves for body surfing.
Just to the south of the pool is a fabulous rock platform. When the tide is out it makes for hours of exploring and play. Although not seen often, if you do see a small octopus that has beautiful purple rings on it, don’t touch it! The blue-ringed octopus can kill.
Further to the south is Fisherman’s Beach where you can launch boats, kayaks and SUPs, and and Long Reef Headland, where you can take a picturesque walk and maybe even spot a whale.