On my recent trip to Sydney I spent time in Cronulla – an underrated and much maligned part of the city. This is due to the racially motivated brawls that took place there in December 2005 and the prevailing opinion that Cronulla beaches are for locals only. However, I thoroughly enjoyed being there and not only because I had the welcome company of my children. The beaches are beautiful, with tall cliffs that provide heaps of shade, and warm, clear water. The village is charming and there are plenty of good cafes and interesting shops, including a wonderful bookshop. I highly recommend a trip out there and it is the only Sydney beach with direct train access.