Manly & Northern Beaches

Shelly Beach
Spit to Manly Walk

On the northern edge of Sydney are a string of spectacular beachside suburbs that will make you feel a million miles away from the city.

Jump on one of Sydney’s famous ferries and head across the harbour to Manly. This laid-back suburb is surrounded by water, with the harbour on the west and a huge ocean beach to the east. It’s a favourite of surfers, snorkellers, families and anyone looking for a little getaway in the heart of the city. Manly is the start of a 30-kilometre stretch of coastline known as the Northern Beaches. This is truly another side of Sydney, a series of small coastal communities more akin to Queensland than the capital. Admire the million-dollar waterfront mansions, surf at secluded breaks and soak up the sun.

How To Get There

Catch the ferry from Circular Quay to Manly. It’s a beautiful journey through  Middle Harbour that takes about  30 minutes.

Top 5 Things to do

  1. Snorkel at Shelly Beach, off the southern end of Manly, where the calm waters are teeming with fish. Join a tour with Ecotreasures for a guided adventure.
  2. Catch a wave at the birthplace of Australian surfing, Freshwater beach. Hawaiian Duke Kahanamoku surfed in front of thousands of spectators here in 1914. Beginners can take a lesson with Manly Surf School.
  3. Take a tour of Q Station, the historic quarantine centre perched on North Head that housed new arrivals to Sydney from the 1830s until 1983.
  4. Play a game of beach volleyball on Manly Beach. Eight courts are set up on the sand year-round and are free to use.
  5. Tackle the Manly to Spit Walk, a 10-kilometre trail that winds through the inner harbour, past gorgeous beaches, historic lighthouses and scenic lookouts.

Top 6 Places to eat & drink

  1. Manly Wharf Bar. A very popular pub set right on the wharf next to the ferry terminal with multiple indoor and outdoor spaces.
  2. 4 Pines Brewpub. The original Manly craft brewery (there are now at least nine) and the birthplace of one of Australia’s most popular beer brands.
  3. Garfish. Exceptional seafood grilled, spiced or wood roasted served in a breezy dining room overlooking the harbour.
  4. The Boathouse Shelly Beach. A casual café and kiosk just steps from the sand, perfect for everything from coffee to cocktails.
  1. Pilu at Freshwater. Stylish Sardinian fine dining overlooking the water – a favourite destination for a long lunch.
  2. Norma’s Deli. If you like yia-yia’s food then this Greek-Australian semi-subterranean diner will do the trick. is the ultimate guide to visiting Sydney. It provides up-to-date information on attractions, places to visit, restaurants, shops, visitor information and transport. The site is published by Cruise Media Australasia, a Big Splash Media company. Editor-in-Chief and Publisher: Peter Lynch.

All map distance references are taken from the Sydney Overseas Passenger Terminal, Circular Quay.
Images courtesy Destination NSW

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