Complete Beach Guide: Dee Why

Dee Why Beach is located20km north of Sydney Centre, middle of Northern Beaches. It’s a culturally diversified suburb in the Northern Beaches, and Dee Why beach offers something to everyone.

The surfing zone in Dee Why has two separate sections.

  • Dee Why Point
  • Dee Why Beach.

Dee Why Point is located next to the pool. You can see surfers and bodyboarders taking off the steep waves close to rocks. The main difference would be Dee Why Point offers quite consistent waves, but there are only limited take-off zones being point breaks.

Beginner surfers with little experience in point/reef break may need to avoid Dee Why Point. There are two reasons for this. Firstly, being close to rocks, you may get pushed into the rocks. Second, it’s highly competitive inside the take-off zone.

If you have never surfed a point break, picture this: 20 guys in the line-up and only the guy in the far left can catch the waves. You will have to position yourself, feel comfortable being close to people, and fight/compete for the wave when the chance comes. If you can overcome this huddle, you will be rewarded with good waves!

Dee Why Beach extends from the rock pool to Long Reef Beach, around 1.2km. The division is at the mouth of Dee Why lagoon. It’s much more beginner friendly and quite close to the parking.

Here are some differences between those two.

Dee Why PointDee Why Beach
Break Point Break close to rocks.
Steeper waves.
Can Barel
Sand Bottom Beach Break.
Mellower waves
Rarely Barrells
Left/Right RightLeft or Right
CrowdModerately Crowed but competitiveModerately Crowded
Surfers’ LevelHigh Moderate
Localism Present Nil


Dee Why Beach is accessible by Cars and public transport – bus only.

For Dee Why Point, Experienced locals jump off the rocks for fast access. Beginners should avoid this route. If you paddle out wide enough, you can generally get out there with your hair dry!


Parking can be challenging on good summer days and weekends. However, generally, it’s not that bad thanks to the large council car park.

Dee Why Car Park changing room and toilet

This council car park is free if you hold council parking permits. You may purchase the parking permit privately or through the Northern Beaches Council.

Most Side street car parking spots are 2 hours free. I will not take a chance if I am a visitor. Pay for the paid parking or make sure you return in 2 hours.

Best Surfing Condition

Dee Why Point Dee Why Beach
Swell direction NE, Also works well on South and Easterly swellNE
WindW, NW, N W, NW, N
Wave Size Can hold up to 8+ feet. Max 6 foot
TideMid tide, going from low to high Mid tide, going from low to high
SeasonAutumn / WinterAutumn / Winter


Dee Why point is reef/point break. Beginners should avoid it due to the risk of injury. Do not underestimate the power of waves and the mass of water. Surfing reef break has many potential risks, such as

  • Direct impact results in many body injuries like cuts, bruises, and even broken bones
  • Drowning: It’s a rare but real risk. People can lose consciousness from direct impact to the head, or their leash gets tangled in the reef, and they cannot release the leash in time.

There was one recorded fatal shark attack back in 1934. Please see here for more information about Shark Attacks in Sydney

Rip and current are not usually strong in Dee Why Point or Dee Why Beach unless waves reach 4 feet.

Crime: The crime rate is slightly higher in Dee Why than in other Northern Beaches Suburbs. However, it is still very low compared to other suburbs in Sydney. Common sense is required when you handle your valuables at the beach: do not leave things unattended.

Surfing Equipment Hire

There is no surfing equipment hire places in Dee Why.

Surfing Lessons

Dee Why is an excellent beach to learn how to surf. For some reason, many surfers go to iconic beaches such as Manly or Bondi for lessons.

You do not have to go to the most crowded surfing beaches to get the best lessons. You will have the best time if the instructors are competent and passionate.

Many people get hooked on the first lesson and decide to surf for years. Bring your positive attitude and have fun!

Few private companies offer lessons at Dee Why Beach.

  1. Manly Surf Guide
  2. Line Up Schools

Because it’s private lessons, you will need to bring some friends to make it more affordable. The price range from 95 dollars for a private lesson per hour to 110 dollars. If you have a group of 4 people, it will cost around 75 dollars for 1.5 hours of lessons. This is the same price as group lessons at Manly – usual groups between 5-10.

Best Cafe on Dee Why Beach

On the beachfront, there are several cafes loved by locals. Here are two of our favourites.

  1. French Basket: French Basket serves great coffee, French pastries, and light cafe meals.

2. Girdlers

Loved by locals for many years, it’s always packed with people.

Great coffee and breakfast/brunch menu.

Best Place for Kids

Michaela Howie playground is located on the south side of the beach, overlooking the beach. This playground is suitable for kids between 1-7 years old. It has swings, slides, pipes and a few benches for adults to sit and enjoy.

Grab a cup of coffee, let your kids go wild inside the protected playground, and enjoy the view!

Surrounding the playground is a slightly sloped grass area with a table tennis table. When the weather is good, it’s a fantastic place to spend your lazy afternoon.

Other Activities

  1. Dee why Headland walk: It’s a 1.6km one-way coastal walking track providing a spectacular view. It is a formed track with several stairs and steep areas. If you would like to learn more about it, see here and here is a brochure from the Northern Beaches Council.
  2. Fishing: Dee Why beach offers small – medium-sized breams and whitings. If you are an experienced fisherman, try rock fishing with the correct equipment.

Other Beaches Around Dee Why

Freshwater Beach

Curl Curl Beach


I have spent the last 15 years in Northern Beaches in Sydney and loves beaches. I have raised three beautiful children, all loving beaches and waves. I hope you share the same passion.

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