Parsley Bay is a little hidden gem in Sydney located in the Eastern Suburbs. You’ll never find crowds here as tourists are unfamiliar with this area – it’s only really locals who venture down to this little slice of paradise.
Where is Parsley Bay?
Parsley Bay is located in Vaucluse in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs – it lies halfway between the Hermitage Foreshore Walk and Watson’s Bay.
How to get to Parsley Bay:
Despite being very well hidden, Parsley Bay is very easy to get to.
Take the 324 or 325 bus from Wynyard Station in the direction of Watson’s Bay.
If you get the 325 it will go along Vaucluse Road and drops you off right next to Parsley Bay (get off the bus at Fitzwilliam Road).
If you get the 324 it will go all the way along New South Head Road and into Old South Head Road so you need to get off at the stop “New South Head Road at Clairvaux Road”. From here it is a pleasant 15-20 minute downhill walk to Parsley Bay, passing by beautiful houses.
So if you want to do less walking it is better to get the 325 if possible! You can check the timetable here.
The bus journey should take around 45 minutes and you need to use an Opal card to travel. Do note, taking the bus coming back into the CBD will take longer especially if you will be travelling at peak hours when the traffic on New South Head Road heading back towards town can often be quite bad.
To get to Parsley Bay from the CBD it is pretty much a straight line going east. From the CBD head towards the Eastern Suburbs. Get onto New South Head Road in Kings Cross and keep going on this road past Double Bay and Rose Bay. When you get to Vaucluse either turn off onto Vaucluse Road or Hopetoun Avenue. If you go via Hopetoun Avenue you’ll see the most beautiful view of Sydney on your left hand side from Johnstons Lookout.
There is a free parking area on Hopetoun Avenue by Parsley Bay Reserve that closes at sunset and has space for around 20 cars. You’ll also find some places to park your car in the surrounding streets (Parsley Road and The Crescent). Just observe street signs to make sure you are authorised to park there.
The most scenic way to get to Parsley Bay is to get the ferry but it takes longer as the ferry goes to Watson’s Bay. Ferries are from Circular Quay or Manly if you care coming from the North Shore. From Watsons Bay Wharf it is a 20 minute walk to Parsley Bay.
The ferries to and from Manly are roughly every hour, starting around 11am and finishing at 6pm usually, so definitely look at the timetable if you plan to use this service. If you will be getting the ferry to and from the CBD ferries are roughly every half an hour, but sometimes it can be an hour in between services so check the timetable here. The ferry usually stops off at Rose Bay first.
You may like to take the bus to Parsley Bay and then take the ferry back from Watson’s Bay when you are ready to go back to the CBD.
Finding Parsley Beach Bridge & Beach
If you want to get onto the Parsley Bay Bridge, when you are walking along Fitzwilliam Road right by the bus stop you will see the house number 43A. The pedestrianised turning onto the bridge will be just after this building – you’ll see some steps next to the house that lead down to the bridge. There is a blue sign that directs you to Parsley Bay Reserve at the top of the steps to guide you too.
If you want to get onto Parsley Bay Beach you can either walk across the bridge, turn right and go down to the beach or you can carry on walking on Fitzwilliam Road. Go past the turning for the bridge, turn left down Parsley Road then turn left into Horler Avenue and this will lead you onto Parsley Bay Beach.
If you are coming from the opposite direction (Watson’s Bay side as opposed to Rose Bay side), you’ll find a pedestrianised access down to Parsley Bay on The Crescent.
Parsley Bay Bridge
The Parsley Bay Bridge is a suspension bridge that goes over Parsley Bay.
Note jumping from the bridge into the water is prohibited. The water is extremely shallow and death or permanent damage can occur.
Once you have crossed over the bridge you can either turn left to take you back onto the street (The Crescent) which takes you in the direction of Watson’s Bay, or you can turn right and walk along Parsley Bay Beach. You can walk on the footpath under the rock on the right hand side of the beach and it will take you round to the little jetty and then back up to the road via some steps. Parsley Bay Bridge looks particularly picturesque from here.
Parsley Bay Beach
Parsley Bay Beach is really picturesque and often you will have the place to yourself! The enclosed bay is surrounded by beautiful headlands and houses and really gives you those Mediterranean vibes!
The water is clean, shallow and calm here at Parsley Bay Beach and it is really good for snorkelling. Although currently at the time of writing the shark net here is damaged so do exercise caution if you do go in the water.
Parsley Bay Reserve
In Parsley Bay Reserve just behind the beach you will find a playground and several picnic tables in the shade – perfect if you are bringing the kids or having a picnic (please dispose of any rubbish in the bins provided)! Parsley Bay Cafe Kiosk is also located here so you can grab a coffee and some food here if you wish! Opening times are 9am until 4pm. You’ll also find toilets here at Parsley Bay Reserve.
Can I bring my dog to Parsley Bay Reserve?
Dogs are not allowed at Parsley Bay Reserve or on the beach. Head to nearby Kutti Beach if you want to bring your dog on the beach as this is a dog friendly beach (click here to see more of Sydney’s dog friendly beaches). Kutti Beach is on the way to Watsons Bay, right in between Parsley Bay and Watsons Bay. It only takes 10 minutes to get to Kutti Beach is either direction. From here you can then walk the short distance to Watson’s Bay.
Access to Kutti Beach is on Wharf Road. Walk to the end and then take the steps down by Vaucluse Sailing Club which lead you onto Kutti Beach. The steps are quite hidden behind the white picket fence on the left hand side.
What other Sydney Coastal Walks can I do near Parsley Bay?
Hermitage Foreshore Walk
The Hermitage Foreshore Walk is right next to Parsley Bay and is one of Sydney Harbour’s best coastal walks. You’ll find all the information you need about the Hermitage Foreshore Walk here.
If you are doing the Hermitage Foreshore Walk, carry on a little further (less than a 20 minute walk) and you’ll come to Parsley Bay Reserve. The route to Parsley Bay from Shark Beach is mostly on streets so you won’t get much of a coastal view along the walk – although you’ll have had lots of the Hermitage Foreshore Walk! Go up the hill at the end of Shark Beach (either onto Coolong Road or Greycliffe Avenue) and turn left once you get onto the road. Walk down Wentworth Street, past the Beach Paddock and Vaucluse House. Keep following Wentworth Road round until it turns into Fitzwilliam Road.
Watson’s Bay Walk
The walk up to Hornby Lighthouse from Watsons Bay is a popular walk. It is a 3km loop track so will take you around 45 minutes in total to walk there and back from Watsons Bay Wharf. At the end of the walk is the super Instagrammable Hornby Lighthouse – click here if you want to see all the best Instagrammable places in Sydney!