Suburb Profile: Whale Beach

By Jonathan Fletcher

Whale Beach is one of my favourite spots to spend a sunny Sunday with my wife and kids.

There is something magical about it… I’m not sure if it’s the dolphins you see riding waves alongside surfers, the rock pool nestled into the southern corner, or the sparkling calm that seems undisturbed in this tucked away beach.

Where is Whale Beach?

Whale Beach is one of the best-kept secrets in Sydney, a 60 minutes drive and 40 km north of Sydney’s CBD, Whale Beach has become a favourite weekend getaway for Sydneysiders and tourists alike. It’s also become a coveted area for families, retirees and couples who want to enjoy the pristine Northern Beaches while still being in close proximity to the bustling city life.

The crescent of Whale Beach wraps around Dolphin Bay, spanning from Little Head in the North to Careel Head in the South. There are 600 metres of pristine sand, it’s quiet during the weekdays with mostly locals surfing and walking, then busier on weekends with families and holidaymakers coming from near and far to enjoy a quintessential Aussie beach day in a perfect location.

With Palm Beach to the North and Avalon Beach to the South, there’s a coastline of ocean views.

A short history of Whale Beach

Whale Beach was originally part of the Palm Beach estate with Palm Beach and Newport, and in 1816 was granted to James Napper.

Heritage listed Careen House, a single-story bungalow made from sandstone blocks that were quarried at the site, is located on Whale Beach, designed by the architect Alexander Stewart Jolly in 1931.

Whale beach also has its own surf lifesaving club, formed in 1937, with a very prominent and recognisable clubhouse.

In the 1950s when transport became more convenient and cars were more common, the area transitioned to a residential suburb.

Things to do in Whale Beach

Having spent many an early morning and lazy Sunday afternoon with the family soaking up the sun, walking along the rocks and enjoying the surf I have to say the main attraction of the suburb is naturally, the stunning Beach, with its peaceful sandy shores. It’s a welcome space for morning walks and beach activities. Its slopes rise to 100m metres akin to hidden destinations along the Amalfi Coast. The back of the beach is lined by houses, making it the perfect backyard for lucky beach lovers.

A 25-metre-long man-made rock pool can be found at the Southern end of the beach, making the perfect spot for swimming, rock walks and crab hunting. The main beach is also patrolled on the weekends. With the average waves rolling in at 3 to 5 feet, the beach is also a popular surf spot thanks to the local break called the “Wedge,” and flags are set to keep swimmers from entering the few rips that are common to the beach. Fishing is also popular.

Overlooking it all sits Jonah’s, a boutique luxury ocean retreat that has played host to 90 years of clientele, including Lord Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh, Sir Anthony Hopkins, Joan Collins, Members of the Royal Family of Monaco, Elle Macpherson, Mick Jagger, Jerry Hall, Bono, Rod Stewart, Justin Bieber, Rachel Griffiths, Jack Thompson, Sir Michael Caine, Engelbert Humperdinck, Ava Gardner, Dame Shirley Bassey, Googie Withers and John McCallum and Kevin Spacey, One Direction and Gerard Butler – just to name a few!

You can stay in their accommodation with its unbeatable ocean views or dine at their restaurant which showcases the best in Modern Australian cuisine. Weddings and special events are also a specialty of Jonah’s, with the naturally spectacular landscape offering the perfect backdrop to make any event memorable.

Moby Dicks on Whale Beach Road also offers a scenic alternative for weddings and special events. Right next door is Whale Beach Deli, where you can pop in for a coffee or brunch in the cosy branch of the peninsula’s much loved Boathouse Group.

Several playgrounds and picnic areas also surround the coastline, allowing people of all ages to make the most of the idyllic scenery.

Whale Beach Surf Lifesaving Club also offers a range of training and courses, such as the Bronze Medallion, Resuscitation courses, First Aid courses and Surf Rescue Certification.

Whale Beach transportation

Whale beach is easiest to access via car, but like its surrounding suburbs, it benefits from the buses provided by NSW public transport. Walking and biking are also a popular way to explore the coastline.

Buses travel regularly from Whale Beach to Manly if you want to visit other beaches for a change of scenery. A city bus which terminates at Palm Beach is also a convenient alternative to the 60-minute drive.

The ample local parking near the beach make it a car-friendly suburb as well.

The Whale Beach property market

Geographically, Whale Beach provides the perfect hilly canvas for properties with sweeping ocean views. The narrow strip of land is covetable due to its ideal position, with ocean views possible at almost all angles, especially for Eastern facing properties.

Family homes and weekenders dominate the area as 96.6% of Whale Beach properties are houses, with the average number of bedrooms being 3.5. This makes the area conducive to families, older couples and holiday makers who are looking to set up on the beach.

Recognised as one of Sydney’s highest median sale prices, Whale Beach has jumped from $3.5 million in February 2019 to $4.71 million in May 2019, making the area a worthwhile investment if you can get your hands on the right property.

Given the small area of Whale Beach, there were just 232 properties noted in the 2016 census. I recently sold one of these rare gems at – 179 Whale Beach Road.

This 4 bedroom property I am currently selling at 132 Whale Beach Road with a magnificent ocean outlook is set to become someone’s perfect weekender.

What’s the locals’ verdict?

Whale beach is the perfect place to find a quiet coastal family home or weekender so beautiful you will never want to leave. If Whale Beach sounds like the ideal place for you, get in touch with me today.