Manly and the Northern Beaches of Sydney
Visit Manly and the Northern Beaches of Sydney for the beautiful beaches, lagoons, lakes, outstanding national parks, the gorgeous coastal walks, cute penguins and fantastic views of Sydney Harbour. No wonder the locals call this “God’s Country”.
Walk from Manly Ferry Terminal (Manly Wharf) to Shelly Beach
When you first arrive in Manly you may not feel like it but you are still in Sydney. Manly feels like a seaside town rather than part of the largest city in Australia. The ocean side is east of the ferry terminal (Manly Wharf). Just cross the road and walk the length of the “Corso”. Fairy Bower, on route to Shelly Beach, would be my choice for lunch and the kiosk on Shelly Beach [pictured below] is also worth considering but either, or, or not Manly boasts a million and one places to eat so you won’t go hungry.
As you approach Shelly Beach look out for the sea rock art to your right (Shelly Beach is an excellent spot of diving). Once you’ve reached Shelly Beach you can walk up to and across the car park for cliff top views out to sea.
North Head (not far from Manly) will provide you with a stupendous view of Sydney Harbour. If it’s wet or very windy you might want to postpone this for another day. Too far to walk, either drive, cab or bus it from Manly Ferry Wharf.
Follow this link for more information on North Head
The forty kilometre trip up to Palm Beach from the city will make you feel at Home whilst your Away – if you like your Aussie soaps that is. 🙂 Classic beach destination, Palm Beach should be on everyone’s top ten (ranked No. 8). An hour plus drive from the airport Palm Beach was my first stop and should be yours to if you love beautiful beaches. This is a very idyllic place with more than its fair share of resident millionaires. Palm Beach is at the end of the peninsular so the ocean beach and Pittwater are a short stroll apart. You can hire a boat and go for a paddle down Pittwater and grab a coffee and a snack at the Boathouse on the water’s edge. Whale beach is said to be ‘better’ beach than Palm. Visit both and see what you think.
Always Wear Sunscreen
Australia excels in all things and is sadly top of the skin cancer league. Slap it on every time you step outside – the sun here is a killer. As anyone whose experienced it will testify, sunstroke is extremely unpleasant and will cost you at least a day or two of your holiday as you recover so please wear a hat.
Bilgola Beach can be found just south of Palm Beach and Whale beach. A beautiful spot surrounded by bush and if you’re lucky, peace and quiet. Bilgola is an excellent chill out if you avoid weekends and/or arrive early. Bilgola has an ocean pool if you don’t like the look of the Bilgola waves and a good kiosk.
Follow this link for more information on Bilgola Beach
Aquarium – Manly Sea Life Sanctuary
A visit to Manly’s Sea Life Sanctuary is a good lousy weather activity. Having the sharks and manta rays swim so close is almost as good as being in the water with them. Speaking of which – you can. If you’re really adventurous you could go for a dive in the tank… rather you than me. 🙂 Aim to be there during feeding times but just make sure it’s not you on the menu. 🙂 Click below for more information:
If you are concerned that a shark might consume part of you person or persons of interest or even persons of no interest just follow the link below:
Manly to Spit Bridge Walk
The Manly to Spit Bridge walk is one of the classic Sydney walks. If you commence from the unflattering named Spit Bridge you will wind your way alongside Middle Harbour outwards and end up walking alongside the harbour beach towards the ferry terminal. Ideally catch the ferry back into Sydney. Even more ideal would be time to relax on the wharf with an ice-cream or a cold beer before your journey back, after all you would have earned it.
Even after death no-one wants to leave Manly. The Quarantine Station or Q Station at North Head is apparently quite scary!
The Northern Beaches has many other wonderful attractions and great things to do. These include Parasailing, Water Skiing, Diving, Exploring Narrabeen Lagoon, Church Point, West Head and many more. Follow the top 100 list from the top things to do on-wards or use the search box at the top of this page for particular activities and places of interest.