15.0kms · 22 mins by car
75,522 population (2011 Census)
Manly - Gateway to the Northern Beaches
A short 30 minute ferry ride across the world’s most spectacular harbour, Manly Wharf is a great place to start your Northern Beaches experience.
Manly is a must visit Sydney destination offering waterfront restaurants, attractions, adventure and entertainment for young and old. The whole family is invited to dine in one of the many restaurants and cafés, pick up some fish n’ chips, relax on the wharf, enjoy sensational views and simply take in the ambience of this cosmopolitan resort-style location.
Leave the car at home. In Manly, everything is within easy walking distance from The Manly Corso, the central focal point of Manly. The Corso is a part-pedestrian mall lined with popular surf shops, pubs, cafes, fashion and other exciting retail outlets. The Corso remains the most popular, as well the fastest route to Manly’s Ocean Beach.
At the end of The Corso you can choose to venture either north or south along the aptly named North Steyne and South Steyne Reserves.
South from Manly Corso: Experience the Manly to Shelly Beach / Cabbage Tree Bay Eco-Sculpture Walk. This is a short fifteen minute walk which begins at South Steyne, passing the Manly Surf Club at the south end of Manly Beach. The Cabbage Tree Bay Eco-Sculpture Walk hugs the coastline all the way to Shelly Beach, passing Fairy Bower Rockpool and ‘beachy’ cafés. Gain an insight into Cabbage Tree Bay’s marine life, plants, animals, history and attractions through eleven unique sculptures along the way to Shelly Beach. Shelly Beach is a renowned spot, popular for snorkelers and surfers.
North from Manly Corso: Manly Lagoon Reserve, namely Lagoon Park, is also a great place to visit for families. Manly Lagoon is home to breeding grounds and habitats for a wide range of fish species, as well as seagrasses, birds, and other animals. The reserve stretches from Pittwater Road on one side, to North Steyne Road on the beach side. There are plenty of grassy areas around the park. Start a game of cricket or relax while the kids are entertained on the playground. The pathway along the Lagoon is a great place to ride bikes or scooters. At the end of the reserve, at Keirle Park, you will find an outdoor exercise equipment area, Skate Park and a large oval. On the opposite end is Queenscliff Beach. The beach is accessible by heading north along the footpath. Journey back to Manly following the path under Queenscliff Bridge and continue along North Styene returning to Manly Corso.
A short 15min walk starting from the Manly Cove’s East Esplanade will take you to Little Manly. On the way, enjoy the view watching the boats, paddle boarders and kayakers. Upon reaching Manly Yacht Club, turn left on to Stuart Street and head towards Little Manly. Little Manly is a great alternative to that of the popular Manly Beach, especially for families with younger children. Enjoy gorgeous harbour views and picnic areas while allowing the children play in the park or swim in the waveless beach.
Beyond Little Manly, North Head is accessible from Marshall St, Darley Road. North Head is part of the Sydney Harbour National Park and is one of the best locations on the Northern Beaches to watch the sunset. Here you will experience awe inspiring panoramic views of Sydney Harbour and the city skyline. The walk to North Head from Manly’s town centre takes around 25 minutes and passes the International College of Management Sydney and Manly Hospital.
Around Manly Cove
Manly Wharf sits on the shore of Manly Cove. At Manly Cove you can enjoy well landscaped, large shaded grassy areas, perfect for picnics. Within water at Manly Cove there are no waves, plus a shark net makes it an ideal place for younger children learning to swim.
Older children will love the slides and adventure at Manly Water Works located along West Esplanade, open between October school holidays and Easter.
Nearby is the Manly Art Gallery & Museum featuring a great selection of art, beach culture collections and ceramics. The exhibitions change regularly, so there is always something new to see.
Opposite the gallery and Water Works is the Manly SEA Life Sanctuary, formerly known as Oceanworld, only 4 minutes walk from Manly Wharf. The Sanctuary features Penguin Cove, Underwater Sydney, Shark Harbour and Shark Dive Xtreme, (for those brave enough to go diving with the sharks).
For those wishing to venture a little further, continue walking from Manly SEA Life Sanctuary around Manly Cove and discover the shores of Fairlight. Enjoy walking along the rocks or having a splash in the calm and sheltered rocky beach. Fairlight is also a great place to simply sit back and admire the view.
Of course one of Manly's favourite attractions is Manly Beach! Manly Beach is one of Australia's most popular and well know surfing beaches. Check out: Manly Beach >>
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