Maroubra Beach

Sydney, New South Wales

With its waves crashing “like thunder” it’s no wonder Maroubra Beach has been designated a National Surfing Reserve.

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Discover Maroubra Beach

Less famous than Bondi and more laid-back than its neighbour Coogee, Maroubra Beach is a pristine stretch of sand and surf on Sydney’s eastern coast. This 1.1-km-long bay is framed by dunes, bushland, and a rugged headland. In 2006, Maroubra was designated as the first New South Wales National Surfing Reserve, a tribute to its world-famous surf culture and consistent waves. As a top destination for surfers of all skill levels, the sea is dotted with boards from dawn each day. The beach’s southern reef produces the premium waves but it’s important for swimmers to stay between the red and yellow flags for safety! Read on to learn more about Maroubra Beach.

Maroubra Beach 2
- Tibor Kovacs

The History of Maroubra Beach

Indigenous Land

Before British colonisation, the area now known as Maroubra Beach was inhabited by the Murro-ore-dial clan of the Eora people. The name "Maroubra" is believed to derive from Moorooboora, a clan leader whose name signifies a pathway to an initiation ground at Boora Point, now part of a national park. However it has also been argued that it comes from an Aboriginal word meaning “like thunder” referring to the sound of the powerful waves crashing onto the shore.

Early Settlement

The first British house in Maroubra was built by pioneer Humphrey McKeon, in 1861. The late 19th century saw further settlement, with workers arriving to support the wool scouring industry at the northern end of the bay. These early developments set the stage for the area's gradual transformation from rugged coastline to a busy suburb.

Hereward Shipwreck

Maroubra Beach gained significant attention in 1898 when the Hereward, a fully rigged iron ship, was wrecked at the beach's northern end due to gale-force winds. Efforts to refloat the ship were unsuccessful, and over time, the wreckage was gradually claimed by the sea. By the mid-20th century, only remnants of the ship were visible, and in 1950, concerns for safety led to the remains being blasted. However, large swells occasionally reveal parts of the Hereward.

Maroubra Beach 3
- Timothy M Roberts

20th Century Growth

Residential development in Maroubra, instigated by real estate developer Herbert Dudley, began in the 1910s. His efforts led to the extension of the tramline to Maroubra Junction in 1912, which facilitated easier access. By 1921, the tramline reached Maroubra Beach.

Between 1925 and 1934, South Maroubra hosted the Olympia Motor Speedway. Although it was short-lived due to safety concerns, its legacy is commemorated by Coral Sea Park, named after the 1942 Battle of the Coral Sea. The area saw formal completion as a residential estate in 1961.

Recent Years

In the early 2000s, Maroubra faced challenges, including its association with the 2005 Cronulla Riots. Despite this, the suburb continued to grow and in 2006, Maroubra Beach was designated as a National Surfing Reserve, recognising its importance to Australia's surfing culture. The beach remains a popular destination for both experienced surfers and beginners.

Maroubra Beach 5
Maroubra Beach from Jack Vanny Memorial Park - Martin7d2

Things to do at Maroubra Beach


Maroubra Beach is famous for its strong waves, making it a popular spot for surfing. Always swim between the red and yellow flags in the lifeguard-patrolled areas to ensure safety.

If you're new to surfing, Sydney Safe Surf School runs private and group lessons right on Maroubra Beach. The surf school caters to all ages and skill levels, providing a safe and fun way to learn to surf. They also offer holiday camps for kids and packages for special events like birthday parties.

Playground and Outdoor Fitness

The Arthur Byrne Reserve has a large children’s playground designed in a nautical theme. The playground includes different play structures, a climbing frame, a surfboard rocker, and more, all surrounded by shaded seating and picnic areas. It’s a much loved attraction by families.

Adjacent to the playground is an outdoor gym equipped with a range of strength and cardio equipment, perfect for a quick workout while enjoying the view.

Maroubra Beach 1
- BronHil

Skateboarding at Maroubra SkatePark

Just south of the Pavilion, Maroubra Skate Park is a popular spot for skaters of all ages. The skate park has approximately 1,100 square metres of skateable area, including a large bowl with different depths, half pipes, and rails. It's a vibrant place where local skaters and bikers like to show off their talents.

Southern Maroubra

Unlike the northern end of Maroubra Beach, which is bordered by residential homes, the southern end is surrounded by parkland and open fields, leading to Magic Point headland. South Maroubra's "The Village" shopping area, holds annual events like Christmas Carols, and has a strong community feel to it. The Arthur Byrne Reserve Coastal Track behind South Maroubra Beach is a must. This scenic walk is used by casual walkers and avid hikers.

Things to do Near Maroubra Beach

Arthur Byrne Reserve

Arthur Byrne Reserve, located directly adjacent to Maroubra Beach, is the large grassed parkland surrounding South Maroubra. It is ideal for picnics and barbecues as it has picnic shelters, BBQs, and toilet facilities. It also has grassed areas for kite flying, informal ball sports, and jogging. The park's native trees and shrubs provide ample shade for those looking to get out of the sun that normally dominates the beach scene.

Mahon Pool

Mahon Pool is a rock pool carved into a rock flat at the base of a steep hill, just north of Maroubra Beach. Unlike other Sydney rock pools, it stands alone, making it a perfect spot for those who hate getting sand in their toes, sandwiches, and everywhere else in between. Visitors can lay out and sunbathe on the surrounding rocks or relax on the grassy hill above and soak in the ocean views.

Jack Vanny Memorial Park

Perched on the northern headland, Jack Vanny Memorial Park offers panoramic views of Lurline Bay and is part of the Eastern Suburbs coastal walk. The park's steps lead down to Mahon Pool.

Wylie's Baths

Wylie's Baths, located below the Maroubra to Bondi coastal walkway, is a heritage-listed ocean pool that dates back to 1907. This spot, once developed by champion swimmer Henry Wylie, remains largely unchanged and offers a unique swimming experience with spectacular views.

Eastern Beaches Coastal Walkway

At the southern end of Maroubra Beach, the Eastern Beaches Coastal Walkway through Malabar Headland National Park is a rugged walking trail with stunning views. This walk is especially rewarding during the annual whale migration from May to November, when visitors can spot humpback whales breaching offshore.

Maroubra Beach 4
Wylie's Baths Near Maroubra Beach - John Jones

Eating at Maroubra Beach in Sydney

Maroubra Beach has everything in the way of food places from beachfront cafes to upscale dining and everything in between. Here’s a guide to some of the best places to eat and drink around Maroubra Beach:

  • The Bay Hotel & Diner: a beautifully restored 1920s building right across from the beach. It's family-friendly, with a separate children's play area.
  • Maroubra Seals: perfect for a relaxed dining experience with a variety of menu options.
  • The Pavilion Beachfront: on the beachfront as stated, this place has impressive breakfast and lunch menus along with premium ocean views.
  • The North End Cafe, Chalk Espresso Cafe, and Pool Cafe: these cafes are popular spots if you’re looking for a quick bite, coffee, or something sweet.
  • Golden Unicorn: renowned for its yum cha, drawing lines of eager diners. The barbecue pork buns and mango pancakes are crowd favourites.
  • The Grumpy Baker Maroubra: a must-visit for the rye bread lovers. This branch offers breakfast, lunch, coffee, and lots of sweet treats.
  • Fish Market Maroubra: family-owned and operated since 1979, Fish Market Maroubra is the go-to spot for fresh seafood. Choose from classic fish and chips or grilled skewers and salads. You can also take home a tray of your favourite seafood to enjoy later.
  • Mie Kocok Bandung: a Maroubra staple, named after its signature dish, "shaken noodles,” which is an all-in-one beef noodle soup made from fresh, handmade noodles.
  • Pacific Square and Maroubra Junction: more dining options can be found at these nearby shopping centres.
Maroubra Beach 6
- Timothy M Roberts

Events at Maroubra Beach

  • Film and Television: Maroubra Beach gained fame as the location for the television series Heartbreak High, filmed at Maroubra Bay High School.
  • Music: German musician Edgar Froese had a track titled "Maroubra Bay" on his 1975 album Epsilon in Malaysian Pale, inspired by his visit during Tangerine Dream's Australian tour. And songs like "Stomping at Maroubra" by "Little Pattie.” reached No. 2 on the Australian Top 40 in 1963.
  • Recreation: The beach hosts several sporting clubs, including the Maroubra Surf Life Saving Club and the Maroubra Bodyboard Club. It's also home to the NRL club South Sydney Rabbitohs.
  • Winter Swimming: Clubs like the South Maroubra Dolphins Winter Swimming Club and Maroubra Seals Winter Swimming Club compete at Wylie's Baths and in the Winter Swimming Association of Australia Championships.
  • Other Major Events: In 2007, it was the venue for Round Three of the Beach Cricket series, attracting international teams from Australia, England, and the West Indies. It was also the venue for the 2004 Snickers Australian Open, won by surfer Kelly Slater.

Visiting Maroubra Beach

An ideal day at Maroubra Beach involves a mix of surfing, swimming, walking, and dining. Compared to other Sydney beaches like Coogee or Bondi, Maroubra is more relaxed, making it perfect for families and those who like a quieter beach experience. Visitors can enjoy ocean views from lookout points, indulge in yum cha or a beachside café treat, and unwind at one of the local, family-friendly watering holes.

Maroubra Beach is easily accessible, located just 15 kilometres southeast of Sydney's Central Business District. The beach has ample free parking, including lots adjacent to the main beach, Jack Vanny Reserve, and South Maroubra Beach. Lifeguards from Randwick City Council patrol the beach year-round, and volunteer lifesavers ensure safety during the daylight saving months.

Maroubra Beach
- Claudio Forghieri

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What you need to know

Maroubra Beach
Marine Parade, Maroubra New South Wales 2035
-33.948738, 151.257095
Tips before you visit