The jewel of the Northern Beaches, Manly juts its way out into the Pacific Ocean some 30 minutes by ferry from downtown Sydney. A beautiful arch of yellow sand, it’s one of the prime summertime spots in the city. It’s famed for its rolling surf swells and bustling promenade, attracting families to its sunbathing spots, swimmers to its clear shore waters, backpackers to its beer bars and board riders to its world-class reef breaks.
Manly Beach offers a fine escape from the hustle and bustle of the Sydney metropolis. The action centers on the sands, which come backed by a tree-lined promenade affectionately called the Corso. This is home to ice-cream stands and cafes, oodles of beachside bars and boardwalk sections for strolling. Surfing is one of the top draws, with the rollers around Queenscliff in the north beckoning expert wave riders with their reef breaks and challenging left-to-righters. The smaller Shelly Beach on Cabbage Tree Bay is great for families, complete with its barbeque opportunities and calm waters. There are surf schools offering tuition and plenty of paddleboard and kayak rentals to boot. For something a little less energetic, travelers can settle down amidst the backpacker haunts and eateries of Fairy Bower, a lively little cove that’s popular with scuba divers and whale spotters. Bike tours are one of the most popular ways to see the area, taking visitors past sites like the Barrenjoey Lighthouse and the historic Q Station – now a hotel come heritage attraction. Microbreweries dot the shoreline Corso too, along with al fresco restaurants with views over the Sydney Harbour.
Manly Beach is best accessed via ferry from downtown Sydney. Regular departures leave from Circular Quay. There are both public and private boat options during the week. The journey typically takes between 20 and 30 minutes. Cycle paths connect Manly to central Sydney too, while there’s paid parking at Whistler and Manly beachfront itself.
Famed for its beautiful sands and seas, Manly has been a much-loved resort spot in Sydney for more than 100 years. In the early 1960s the beach hosted the first ever World Surfing Championship. Since then it’s drawn surfers of all shapes and sizes and become famed for its quality surf schools and water sports. Today, the spot draws more than eight million people a year to its sun-kissed shores!