Remember how fabulous summer holidays were when you were a child? Long days in the sun, sand in your bathers, and ice cream as the sun set on the horizon. Friends you’d only just met, calling across the camp site for you to come and play down by the water as your mum lathers you with sunscreen and tugs a hat down on your head – didn’t you just want those days to last forever?
On a side street along the Peninsula of Sydney’s Northern Beaches this fun summer childhood still exists. Parked by North Narrabeen Beach, at the mouth of Narrabeen Lake, you could be forgiven for thinking you were in an idyllic beach side town away from the city. But for the young and the young-at-heart, Sydney’s Lakeside Holiday Park in Narrabeen offers the perfect opportunity to relax, unwind and relive childhood moments of summer freedom.
Camping or Holiday Luxury
If the thought of sleeping on the ground, mosquitos and tent pegs makes you break out in a sweat, do not despair! Sydney’s Lakeside Holiday Park offers luxury villas and cabin accommodation to sleep a family of six. Onsite facilities are excellent, including everything you could want to keep the kids occupied just a stones through away.
During Australia’s Summer Holiday break from December through to the end of January, the Park is a hive of activity. Fortunately for the more astute traveler, the park is big enough to get away from the screams of delight and sounds of children playing, especially if you bring your own Camper or Caravan accommodations.
Things to do in Narrabeen
Sydney’s Lakeside Holiday Park is bordered by sports fields, playgrounds, bike paths and the water – so there is something for everyone to enjoy. Whether it is kicking a football on the grass, fishing in the Lake, or going for a long walk along the headlands, North Narrabeen is a holidaymaker’s heaven.
Sydney’s North Narrabeen is renowned for its consistently big surf and for being the home to many a World Championship Surfer. The swell wraps perfectly along the rocky shore line to create waves for beginners to only the brave depending on the weather forecast.
Beaches are patrolled by the Warringah Council Lifeguard Service all through the Summer season, from the first day of Daylight Savings in October to the last day of Summer in March to ensure the safety of children and adult swimmers alike. Rated a 7/10 for dangerous conditions by Surf Life Saving Australia, it is advised to only swim between the flags when heading to the beach in this area.
Luckily, the alternative and safer options for swimming in North Narrabeen are actually a lot more fun for a smart adventurer!
Sydney’s Famous Rock Pools
At the northern most point of this stretch of golden sand lies one of Sydney’s many man-made ocean rock pools, with varying depths this offers a great opportunity to swim laps for exercise or paddle in the shallows and cool off.
A boardwalk separates the paddle pool from the lap pool giving parents an easily accessible spot to keep a close eye on a young swimmer. Many a beautiful sunrise photo has also been taken from this vantage point, or up above on the cliff top platform, as the crystal clear waters on the morning surf showcase why Sydney is so famous for its beaches.
Public car parking is ample with ‘Pay and Display’ options for visitors. Facilities for barbecues, toilets, showers and picnic areas make this a great all day beachside event.
My favourite part of North Narrabeen is swimming in the lake on the south side of the entrance. Tucked behind the sand dunes near the mouth to Narrabeen Lake are multiple options for swimming, paddling and fishing.
The water moves aggressively in this area, but a short walk over the sand where the water rushes into Narrabeen Lake makes for an exciting float back around as the tides suck water through the deeper parts all around to the Lakeside Holiday Park banks – so much fun if you’re in a blow up boat or floating device as little effort is needed to travel and keep cool in the clean water.
Kids entertain themselves in the sand by the lake, daring to jump from the nearby overpass, or go fishing along the many spots on offer. There are 3 playgrounds in the area also, for that child who prefers to keep their feet dry or climb a giant jungle gym. Bike tracks are available for safe off road biking trails along the lake and back streets of Narrabeen.
If you still want to get some of that city action while you are in Sydney’s North Narrabeen, fortunately you won’t have to travel too far. Great food, entertainment or a good old pub meal are only a walk or quick drive away.
South of Narrabeen Lake along Ocean Street are 3 exceptional options for dining out at night. Mexicano offers authentic tapas and margaritas, the quality of which is demonstrated through Friday and Saturday night wait times. If you have a special occasion to celebrate this is the place for couples to go.
For the traveler with children, the nearby restaurants of Oceans Narrabeen Cafe or AJ’s Cafe present food all the family can enjoy. Slightly further south along Ocean Street past the Narrabeen Surf Life Saving Club, you can find the The Sands Hotel – sure to fix any sports fanatics craving for Big Bash Cricket on a big screen TV.
Quiet Living by the Beach
The main attraction of North Narrabeen and Sydney’s Lakeside Holiday Park however, is not the many things that you can do to keep yourself and the kids busy all through January. Instead it is the quietude, the late night sounds of cicadas, the many ducks with their ducklings in a row, the friendly holiday-makers with their camping chairs and morning “hellos!”, and the slow pace of a beach side village where it feels like summer could last forever.