Debbie Kruger
If you've come here hoping this is the section with naked babes, forget it. I just wanted to showcase some of the fantastic beach scenes in and around Sydney, because growing up in a city famous for its beaches has always been an essential part of who I am. I have never felt comfortable living too far inland. So other than my foray into London life, I have always been drawn to other places renowned for coastal beauty, such as Byron Bay and Los Angeles.
Strangely, though, despite my ever vivid memories of a childhood filled with trips to the beach and seaside holidays, and teenage years full of days at Manly, Harbord, Long Reef and even further up the Northern Beaches peninsula with my school friends, I have absolutely no photos of frolicking at the beach until my post-HSC trip with a group of friends to Shoal Bay, a few hours north of Sydney, in November 1979.
Deb at Shoal Bay
Deb at Shoal Bay, November 1979
Back then Shoal Bay was a tranquil haven with inauspicious accommodations, including the caravan park where my friend Vivian's parents' caravan housed us during that holiday when the Mother Drinking Team made its presence known at the Nelson Bay Hotel. You had to be there. We sure were.
Emanuel, Clare, Meredith and Willy
Emanuel, Clare, Meredith and Willy at Shoal Bay
Vivian and Willy
Vivian poses as the Impudent Strumpet while Sculptor Willy looks on. We never could get those Othello quotes out of our heads.
I only went back to Shoal Bay once after that for a holiday, in November 1986. It was still a low-key place and the weather and water were perfect. This is the only picture you're going to get of me in a swimsuit, okay?
My very favourite beach in the 1980s was about an hour and a half north of Sydney, on the NSW Central Coast — the fairly rugged, deserted and in those days unappreciated Budgewoi Beach.
My family had spent many summers holidaying on the Central Coast when I was very young, but I first discovered Budgewoi on a little weekend away in 1981, and then found a true connection with the 8km stretch of sand and surf in January 1983 when I discovered the sublime experience of walking the full length of the beach and back with my Sony Walkman strapped to me, listening to the first five Little River Band albums sequentially. You had to start with "Long Way There" and finish with "Mistress of Mine" - there was no other way to experience it.
Deb at Budgewoi
Deb at Budgewoi, December 1981
Budgewoi was always a great spot for a bit of winter beach walking, too, and on this visit in 1985 my friend Peter and I sported matching red on a brilliantly blue day.
Deb at Budgewoi again
Deb kicking her heels up on Budgewoi
Peter at Budgewoi
Peter catching some rays on Budgewoi
Although I grew up on Sydney's north side and the Northern Beaches were my stomping ground, in the 1980s I lived on the Eastern Suburbs and so the beaches on that side were where I lapped up the smell of the ocean and the rays of the sun. Camp Cove at Watson's Bay was my favourite haunt, all year round.
Watsons Bay
Deb hanging out at Watto Bay, September 1986
Terri at Camp Cove
My gorgeous friend Terri on one of our many lazy Sundays at Camp Cove,
some time in the '80s
I tended to avoid Bondi Beach other than for restaurants and cafes, because in the 1980s there were major sewage issues, so much so that in 1989 a fundraising concert named "Turn Back the Tide" (aka Turn Back the Turds) was held on the sand there. During my short time back in Sydney in 1992 between living in London and Byron Bay, I spent time at Bronte Beach, especially doing breakfast at the Bronte Cafe (before it became cafe central as it is now) and Tamarama Beach (aka Glamourama Beach), where the view of the beautiful bodies was almost as good as the view of the surf.
Bronte Beach
The beautiful backdrop of Bronte Beach on a
Sydney winter's day in 1992

Tamarama Beach
Jeffrey looking beautiful at Tamarama, 1992

Bronte Cafe
Breakfasting with Tony G at the
Bronte Cafe, 1992
Terri, Taylor and Debbie at Bondi
Terri, Taylor and Debbie at Ravesi's, Bondi Beach, May 1999

Norm, Deb and Mike at Bronte
A very cold windy day at Bronte in May 2002
for Norm's 40th birthday. L-R: Norm, Deb and Mike

I started gravitating back to the Northern Beaches as I got older and the glamour scene of the eastern suburbs lost its sheen. I had spent so many weekends and school holidays during my school years on the various beaches in the Manly area, I had even supported the Manly Sea Eagles during my brief period as a follower of Rugby League. And now that I live back in Sydney on the north side, it makes more sense travel-wise to stick to my side of the harbour.
Since the Killara High Class of '79 muck up day beach breakfast at Shelley Beach, I have always had a fond spot for the gorgeous tranquil inlet around the bay from the Manly surf beach. Here's a gathering of old school pals after a beautiful brunch at Le Kiosk at Shelley Beach in 1992, posing for a picture at Fairy Bower.
Girlfriends at Manly
L-R: Melinda, Merryn, Meg, Carolyn, Debbie,
Leaine (not from KHS), Poppy (in stroller) and Robyn
Meredith and twin daughters Way up on the peninsular of the Northern Beaches it almost feels like Byron Bay. In some ways it's even more tranquil. My school friends Meredith and Richard, married and blissfully happy, found themselves a piece of that paradise and this is Meredith with her twin girls Meg and Gemma on the beach just across from their home.
Meredith is a very talented artist and has been painting scenes inspired by the Northern Beaches for some years now. As soon as she gets a website happening to showcase her work, I will link to it from here.
When my LA friend Judy came over for her first Australian holiday in January 1997, she was obsessed with the coast — and why wouldn't she be? Here we are on Manly Beach together having come over by ferry from Circular Quay in the city. I'm not quite sure why we are both in jeans and boots... it must have been one of those unseasonally cool days, because the beach doesn't look very crowded. Judy and Deb at Manly
Having moved back to Sydney in 2000 from Byron Bay, I was always seeking some peace and serenity away from the traffic and hustle and bustle. Balmoral Beach, is very genteel and gorgeous. I loved to have breakfast there and lie on the beach for hours during the summer. It's not Byron, but it's a true Sydney haven.
Balmoral Beach
Deb at Balmoral
Debbie and John Here I am on a lovely autumn day in 2002 at Balmoral with an old pal from Byron Bay, who also lives in Sydney now, an architect and industrial designer and heartbreaker named John. Watch out for him racing by you in the next City to Surf marathon.
In my 6-7 years back in Sydney, Balmoral was always my beach of choice and I rarely strayed. My favourite beaches were really back in Byron Bay or over in Hawaii... ! But in 2007 some special visitors to Sydney meant a bit of exploring of other beach areas.
Vanessa from Melbourne popped up in September 07 with her new French man, Pascal, to show him the Sydney sights. We did the Bondi to Bronte coastal walk. Here are V&P and Tamarama Beach behind them. Vanessa and Pascal
Bondi Panorama
Bondi Panorama
Bondi ocean and pool Love the blues at Bondi on a lovely spring day. This is a shot from above the Bondi Icebergs.
This shot from the south end of Tamarama shows the coastal walk hugging the cliff in the distance. Below is a close-up shot.
Tamarama Beach
Bondi to Bronte coastal walk

Debbie and Cyndy at Bondi When my cousin Cyndy came out to visit me from London in December 2007, she also had to see Bondi Beach. A blowy day, not so nice for walking, so we skipped the coastal trail this time. But we took in lots of beach while she was in town.
Balmoral was mandatory of course. After breakfast at the Bathers Pavilion we strolled along the promenade on a gorgeous Sunday morning. Cyndy was so enamoured she had to text her loved ones back in the UK to tell them all about it, and they had to text her in return, and much texting took place that sunny Sunday.
Debbie and Cyndy at Balmoral
Cyndy reads SMS at Balmoral
Debbie at Balmoral 2007 I wasn't texting anyone, I was just enjoying the sunshine at my favourite Sydney harbour beach and wishing I hadn't left my beach bag, including towel and sunscreen, back at the flat in Killara.
Next stop Manly Beach, favoured surf and sand spot of my youth. We walked around to Shelly Beach and back and got our feet wet. Only a couple of days since leaving icy England, Cyndy could hardly believe she was frolicking in the Pacific Ocean in summer.
Cyndy at Manly Beach
Debbie at Manly Beach
Cyndy sends SMS at Dee Why Next stop Harbord, followed by Dee Why... better send a text home to report on surf conditions.

We continued up the northern beaches to Avalon and Palm Beach, where we sat at Barrenjoey House and watched a spectacular thunderstorm, before heading home. Great day at the beaches.

So there you have it, a whole page of fully-clothed (or just about) beach-goers in Sydney. Whatever the drawbacks are of being in Sydney these days, being near the beautiful Pacific Ocean is not one of them. See you in the surf some time!

- Top of page -

About - PR Whiz - Writer - Broadcaster - Jetsetter - Homebody
Links - Contact - Site Map - Home