Bondi Beach to the north is arguably the most famous beach in Australia. Bronte which is immediately to he south is a flat beach with excellent but hideously overpriced cafes. Tamarama which sits nicely between these two is in my opinion the nicest beach in Sydney.
Firstly, I have to open this account with one important and overarching statement: I hate going to the beach. That is, I hate going to the beach as a concept, not specifically any particular beach. If this is true, why then would I include Tamarama in the ten? I personally don't think that you can describe Sydney without doing so.
For many Sydneysiders, summers are marked with seemingly endless days burned into the memory, of swimming at the beach, surfing, developing skin cancers etc, and generally having a whale of a time. I can not swim and rather do not like the idea of being pricked by a million small particles in the wind. For me, going to the beach is a tedious affair and to be perfectly frank, I'd rather be back in the pavillion with a copy of Ulysses by James Joyce, a cup of Russian Caravan and a nice buttery scone.
Tamarama is a quiet, tucked away beach. Although it has no largish pavillions, it has a bus stop and is very easily accessable by road. Also, because it's protected by two very big headlands on either side, the long sweeping winds that you get at Bondi or even South Steyne, never show up. Most of the time the windsocks hang limp.
If you do decide to walk from Bondi, you'll can walk all the way down past Tamarama, Bronte, Waverley Cemetery and end up in Clovelly. Incidentally, this walk also hosts "Sculpture By The Sea" in the springtime, which I'm led to believe is Australia's largest outdoor and most attended art exhibition in the country.
Being a rather narrow and funneled beach, the breakers come right up to the shoreline, which means that surfers get more value for their efforts than elsewhere. Actually I should point out here that on a per mile of beach basis, Tamarama is the most dangerous beach in the world. During heavy swells, it's probably best that most swimmers do not go out, because rips of up to 4 knots can develop and waves as high as 15 feet have been recorded.
If you intend to take your car, then park all the way back in Birrell St. The very steep walk down through Tamarama Park passes through a its own micro-climate and in doing the research for this I discovered that that small park has its very own sub-species of Soft Tree-Fern, the Dicksonia Antarctica Tamarama. Whether or not it is native to this particular micro-climate or from somewhere else (we will stop the boat ferns) is unknown.
Apart from that, there's little else to tell. Obviously the people that live there, moved in because they want to be close to the ocean. There aren't any real shops to speak of at all in the suburb, and the houses themselves are all either sitting on small blocks or are squished up apartment complexes.
Except maybe this:
Who put the bomp
In the bomp bah bomp bah bomp?
Who put the ram
In the Tamarama ding dong?