Located 12 km north of Sydney Harbour, Manly Beach is a place worth visiting for the ferry ride alone. The 30 minute trip offers spectacular city skyline and ocean views. The atmosphere here is way different from the popular Bondi coastline. There are more locals than tourists and surfboards are more popular than expensive bikinis. Manly Beach is a real paradise for surf addicts (and newbies). The first world surfing championship was held here in 1964. Waves, golden sand and ocean breeze are the highlights, together with the stunning Manly Scenic Walkway!
Ferry to Manly & Northern Beaches
Manly is Sydney’s only surf spot reachable by ferry. Might be a bit pricey but it’s totally worth it! Catch an early ferry at Circular Quay, near the Sydney Opera House and enjoy the 30-minute scenic trip across the harbour (fares range between $7.80 and $8.70 per trip).
Spot surfers in action in Manly’s waters
Feel like a local starting your day in The Corso. Order a ‘soy’ cappuccino in one of the many caffetterias and while sipping your coffee head to the beach to spot the best surfers in action. You will see some cool stuff here!
Explore the area: Manly Beach & around
Renting a bicycle is a great way to explore Manly’s hidden coves. Ride to Freshwater Beach and Little Manly Cove, alternatively walk to pretty Shelly Beach – a sheltered area named after the billions of shells lying on its shore. Explore the little bay with snorkels.
Feel adventurous on a surf board
Feeling adventurous? How about enjoy a relaxing picnic by the beach and then go for the thrill of a surf lesson? There’s no better place than Manly Beach to give surfboards a first go. Schools offer private and group lessons, from beginner to advanced level.
Manly Scenic Walkway at sunset
The epic Manly Scenic Walkway is one of the highlights of the area. It is divided in two parts and you can either download the map or pick one up from the Manly Visitor Center at the wharf. The western itinerary stretches for 10 km past beautiful million-dollar villas and the pristine Sydney Harbour National Park and at the Spit Bridge, where you can take a bus either back to Manly or into the city. The eastern loop, 9.5 km, known as North Head Circuit Track (3-4 hours walk) leads to the spectacular Fairfax Lookout and then back to Manly Beach via picturesque Shelly Beach and tiny Fairy Bower Beach. While walking take a look at the beautiful view of the sun setting on the water.
Enjoy Sydney harbour at night
Wow, that was an intense day. Time to catch a ferry back to Circular Quay and enjoy the beauty of the harbour at night. The Opera House, the Harbour Bridge, the lively and colourful Luna Park and the busy CBD that slowly goes to sleep.