Little Bay Beach

Sydney, New South Wales

With its golden sands and sheltered coast Little Bay beach is a Sydney hidden gem. It also was once neighbour to the world's largest art project.

- © Val in Sydney

What Is Little Bay Beach?

Little Bay beach is a semi-circular stretch of coastline south of Sydney harbour that is sheltered from the weather by long headlands on either side. It is a popular spot for swimming and rock-fishing but is not without its dangers.

In February 2022 a swimmer was killed there by a shark. This was the first time this had happened in Sydney's coastal waters since 1963.

On the southern side of the beach is a weathered ring of rocks, 'Little Bay Baths', which was created in the early 1900s to provide shark-free swimming for nurses working at the nearby Coast Hospital.

The History Of Little Bay Beach

The area was used as a smallpox sanitation camp in 1881-2, when Coast Hospital was first established. After this it again became an important treatment centre during the Sydney bubonic plague outbreak in 1900, and after WW1.

Alongside the hospital, the area surrounding Little Bay Beach also features a historic cemetery and an Interdenominational War Memorial Chapel. What it is most famous for however is having its cliffs wrapped in fabric for 10 weeks during 1969.

The Big Art Project Of Little Bay Beach

In 1968, artists Christo and Jeanne Claude approached Australian collector John Kaldor, asking him to find them a bit of coastline to wrap. This was the beginning of what would go on to become 'Wrapped Coast- One Million Square Feet, Little Bay, Sydney, Australia'.

The project was pretty much what it says on the tin: Christo, Jeanne Claude and a horde of workers descended on Little Bay and wrapped 1m square feet of its coastline in erosion control fabric.

Why? You ask.

'We make beautiful things unbelievably useless,' Christo said of his work in an interview a few years ago, and that's about the only explanation we ever got.

How To Get To Little Bay Beach And Practical Info

To get to Little Bay Beach, take bus 393 from Railway Square, or any of buses 394, 398, 399, L94 and X94 from Circular Quay. The beach does not allow dogs, booze or glass bottles and is not patrolled by life-savers. There are no toilets on the beach but there are some nearby.

- © TotyVox

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What you need to know

Little Bay Beach
4R Coast Hospital Road, Little Bay, NSW, Australia
Tips before you visit