Palm Beach, New South Wales

Palm Beach
Sydney, New South Wales

A view of Palm Beach from Barrenjoey Lighthouse
Coordinates 33°36′04″S 151°19′18″E / 33.60111°S 151.32167°E / -33.60111; 151.32167Coordinates: 33°36′04″S 151°19′18″E / 33.60111°S 151.32167°E / -33.60111; 151.32167
Population 1,601 (2001 census)[1]
 • Density 616/km2 (1,595/sq mi)
Established 1911
Postcode(s) 2108
Area 2.6 km2 (1.0 sq mi)
Location 41 km (25 mi) north of Sydney CBD
LGA(s) Northern Beaches Council
State electorate(s) Pittwater
Federal Division(s) Mackellar
Suburbs around Palm Beach:
Broken Bay
Pittwater Palm Beach Tasman Sea
Clareville Avalon Whale Beach

Palm Beach is a northern beachside suburb of Sydney, in the state of New South Wales, Australia. Palm Beach is located 41 kilometres north of the Sydney central business district, in the local government area of Northern Beaches Council, in the Northern Beaches region. Palm Beach sits on a peninsula at the end of Barrenjoey Road, between Pittwater and Broken Bay.[2] Palm Beach is sometimes colloquially referred to as 'Palmy'.[3]

Palm Beach is used for exterior filming of the soap opera Home and Away, as the fictional town of Summer Bay.


Palm Beach is bounded by Broken Bay to the north, the Tasman Sea (within the South Pacific Ocean) to the east, Whale Beach, Avalon and Clareville to the south, and Pittwater to the west. Barrenjoey Headland, which is in the north of the suburb, is part of Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park. The headland at the northernmost point rises quite sharply from the beach to over 100 metres (330 ft) above sea level, and features an operational lighthouse. The narrow sandy isthmus or tombolo linking the south side of the headland to the rest of Palm Beach had extensive fencing and shrub planting undertaken during the 1980s to combat sand erosion.


There are five localities at Palm Beach:


Barrenjoey Headland and Station Beach viewed from West Head


Origin of the name

The southern end of the Palm Beach is marked as Cabbage Tree Boat Harbour on a map of 1832. Palm Beach was later named after the Cabbage Tree palms livistona australis that were near Cabbage Tree Boat Harbour. The plant's species name gave origin to Livistona Lane, off Palm Beach Road.

European settlement

The Southern end of the ocean beach is marked as Cabbage Tree Boat Harbour on a map of 1832. Palm Beach was later named after the Cabbage Tree palms livistona australis. Palm Beach, Barrenjoey and most of Whale Beach (400 acres) was granted to James Napper in 1816. During the 19th century, a few Europeans and Chinese lived at Snapperman Beach catching and drying fish.[4]

In 1900 all land, except Barrenjoey Headland, which had been purchased by the government in 1881, was divided into 18 large blocks, listed as good grazing land, and offered for sale. None sold. In 1912, the land was offered again in smaller residential blocks, offering fishing, sailing, golf and rowing. Most houses were built from local sandstone, other materials were shipped in. Some were guest houses but most were second homes for those who could afford them.

Palm Beach wharf was the terminus reached by boat from Newport or Bayview. Hordern and Wiltshire Parks and Mackay Reserve were donated by RJ Hordern, who lived at Kalua, opposite the beach. Since World War II the area has become more residential but still remains a secluded peninsula at the northern point of Pittwater.

Timeline of history

The view south from Barrenjoey Headland

Commercial area

Facilities in Palm Beach include a milk bar, a large RSL, hairdresser, beautician, preschool, and a number of cafes, restaurants, and bed and breakfast establishments.


The nearest primary school and high school for people residing in Palm Beach is

Avalon Public School - which is a co-educational primary school catering for students K - 6

Barrenjoey High School - which is a co-educational high school catering for students 7 - 12


Palm Beach Seaplanes operate seaplane services from Palm Beach to Rose Bay in Sydney's Eastern Suburbs, Cottage Point and Berowra Waters. Palm Beach Water Airport is located at the north end of Governor Phillip Drive and Golf Drive, just south of the headland. The Palm Beach Ferry runs a service from a wharf in the town centre to Ettalong, Great Mackerel Beach, Currawong Beach, Coasters Retreat and The Basin.[5]

Palm Beach and Hawkesbury River Cruises runs a ferry service from Palm Beach wharf to Patonga. Barrenjoey Road provides access by bus or car. Bus routes servicing Palm Beach, are operated by Sydney Buses. Routes 190 and L90 go to/from city Railway Square.


The population of Palm Beach is 1,607.

Palm Beach features everything from cottages to grand estates, owned by some of the country's most affluent people. Many affluent and famous people can also be found holidaying at Palm Beach in summer.

Sport and recreation

Palm Beach has a number of parks, beaches, and sporting areas, including part of the Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, and the beach which gives the area its name. Careel Bay Ovals Sporting Complex includes facilities for rugby league, soccer and tennis.

Palm Beach has a golf club, sailing club, surf school and two surf lifesaving clubs. The North Palm Beach Surf Life Saving Club, is a set for television soap opera Home and Away and has 'Summer Bay Surf Club' painted on the beach side. Palm Beach Surf Life Saving Club, founded in 1921, is patrolled by paid surf lifesavers on weekdays during summer and by volunteers from the Palm Beach SLSC on weekends. The Surf Club is one of the biggest in NSW, with members coming from all over Sydney. The beach also attracts rock climbers, due to there being two sandstone boulders with highly featured vertical and overhanging features allowing for bouldering.

Palm Beach Panorama



  1. Australian Bureau of Statistics (9 March 2006). "HPalm Beach (State Suburb)". 2001 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 30 June 2007.
  2. Sydway street directory, 11th Edition 2006, Maps 159-160
  3. "Palm Beach". Retrieved 6 June 2013.
  4. The Book of Sydney Suburbs, Compiled by Frances Pollon, Angus & Robertson Publishers, 1990, Published in Australia ISBN 0-207-14495-8, page 198
  5. Palm Beach Ferries Web site
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