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If there’s one thing Sydney can boast, it’s having an abundance of beautiful beaches dotted along its harbour and coastline. With over 100 beaches to choose from, you could live here for years and never visit them all. But while most Sydney beaches are stunning, they can get very busy due to the huge amount of tourists that flock here.
Since I’m more of a hidden-gem kind of girl than someone who likes being amongst the crowds on Bondi, whenever I house sit in a new area, I take a look on Google maps and try to spot a beach I haven’t heard of. I came across Kutti Beach in Vaucluse towards the end of last summer, and the first time I went down for a look I actually assumed it must be privately owned and didn’t go down the steps until I’d done some research on it!
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Kutti Beach is definitely open to the public though, and if you’re looking for a secret spot that only the locals know about, I’d highly recommend heading down there. Vaucluse itself is a quiet, well-to-do suburb next to the busier Watsons Bay, and it’s easily accessible from the city.
Kutti Beach is a small stretch of sand backed by grand homes and palm trees with beautiful harbour views; when the tide’s in the water is so green you could almost be on a Greek island, particularly with the Mediterranean-looking white house at the end. Since the beach is hidden away at the end of a residential street, most people wouldn’t even know it exists!
How to Get to Kutti Beach
Kutti Beach lies at the end of Wharf Road in Vaucluse. You can either get the 325 bus from the city and get off on Hopetoun Avenue (or the 324 and walk from Old South Head Road); get the ferry to Watsons Bay and walk 800m from there; or drive. If you do come by car, Wharf Road can get pretty packed as it’s a very narrow, winding residential street, but you should find unrestricted parking available on either Hopetoun Avenue or The Crescent.
Once you near the end of Wharf Road, you’ll get a great view of Watsons Bay over a big stone wall.
Keep going and you’ll see the wooden Vaucluse Amateur Sailing Club building and a white picket fence. Go right up to the building, and on the left there’s a very narrow set of steps leading down to the beach.
The gate at the bottom is unlocked and just swings open. And when I say the steps are narrow, I really mean narrow! You might have to do a side-shimmy to get down there!
At the bottom of the steps follow the path along the wall to the beach. The tide is out in the picture below, but if it’s in the water will come right up to the path.
What to Do at Kutti Beach
Kutti Beach is very chilled out, and most people come for a quiet time reading or sunbathing; there’s no music pumping out like at some of the more well-known beaches! Since it’s quite small, there’s much more room when the tide’s out, although it does look particularly beautiful when the water comes in over the rocks and you get the light and dark patches (see my picture at the very top).
Even though Kutti Beach isn’t touristy, it’s well known by the locals, so don’t expect to have it to yourself on a hot day. Even on weekdays you get a few young families and older teenagers visiting. There are no facilities there, so you’d need to head to nearby Watsons Bay for toilets and cafes (here’s my guide to Watsons Bay, including where to eat and drink).
You can sunbathe on the sand, or there’s a wooden boat ramp people like to lie on, along with some very cool sunloungers, though I’m sure these belong to the owners of the house behind!
Being a harbour beach, rather than facing the ocean like Bondi and Coogee, the water is really calm and great to swim in. It would be perfect for paddle-boarding too.
Dog Friendly Kutti Beach
Kutti Beach in Vaucluse is one of those rare beaches in Sydney that allows dogs (Gibsons Beach just round the corner in Watsons Bay is too). They’re supposed to be on leash but being such a hidden beach, people don’t really keep to the rules. As a house and pet sitter (read my guide if you want to become one too and get free travel accommodation) I think it’s great when dogs get to enjoy the Sydney outdoors too, especially as it’s such a strict city with regards to where dogs are allowed and where they can be off leash.
If you don’t like dogs it’s probably not the beach for you, as there’s usually quite a few down there. If you’re a dog owner and your dog likes other dogs, or you just enjoy being around dogs like I do, it’s perfect as they all play together in the sea and random people will play fetch with them all. It’s like being in a big communal doggy day-care centre!
If you want to discover more hidden Sydney beaches, check out my guide to Sydney’s south-eastern beaches from Maroubra to Yarra Bay, or my guide to the beautiful Bundeena if you want an easy Sydney day trip.