Mini Guide to Manly Beach, Sydney

Mini Guide to Manly Beach, Sydney

Did you know that Sydney is home to more than 100 beaches! I know shocking that there are more beaches than just Bondi. In December I had friends over from the Netherlands and I took them to Manly Beach for a day. We took the ferry back and enjoyed the harbour views on a budget.

Here’s what to do if you want to experience another one of Sydney’s famous beaches:


Since I live on the North Shore, the easiest way to get to Manly is hopping on a bus. However, for most people, the best way of getting to Manly is by taking a ferry ride.

FERRY RIDE FROM CIRCULAR QUAY TO MANLY:  There are two ferries that you can take. The Fast Ferry as well as the Standard Ferry.

The Manly Fast Ferry which takes you to Manly from Circular Quay, fast (only a 20-minute ride). The fast ferry does not take the Opal Card and cost about $15 per person.

There is a regular ferry (not fast) but it will take you to Manly as well. The regular ferry, however, takes twice as long; approximately 40 minutes. This ferry uses the Opal card which is great for all Sydney public transportation! Take the regular ferry if you have an Opal card (HIGHLY recommend purchasing) and the trip will only cost you $7,60-

No matter what ferry you choose, you’ll get an incredible view of the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge on the way to the beach! I took the slow ferry and the views are so stunning that you don’t even realize the time.

So I suggest you take the slow one! It will save you a few bucks and you get to enjoy the scenery a bit longer.


SHOPS | During our walk from the docks to Manly beach, we walked through The Corso. This place is full of shops and eateries!  Conveniently located between the main beach and Sydney Harbour, it offers opportunities for shoppers and food lovers. It’s the quickest route to the beach and is entirely worth the walk-through.

SWIM & SURF |  An obvious one, but you have to take a dip at the famous surf beach – if it is open. The day that I was there it was closed due to massive swell and dangerous currents. If you are a surfer you would have had the time of your life that day. You can hire a board for an hour for $15,- if you are keen.

SCENIC BOARDWALK | Walk from Manly Beach to Shelly Beach and enjoy the stunning ocean scenery. This is a short fifteen-minute walk which begins at 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. Gain insight into Cabbage Tree Bay’s unique marine life, plants, animals, history and attractions through eleven unique sculptures along the way.

FAIRY BOWER POOL | While walking up the scenic boardwalk you can take a dip in natural saltwater but man-made, rock pool! You’d think the water is nice and warm, but it is absolutely freezing in there! Still worth a dip if you don’t like to swim in the ocean like my friend (We don’t talk about here, she is crazyyyyy)

EAT | Manly is home to some really good restaurants. From delicious Japanese at Sunset Sabi to amazing seafood at Garfish Manly Manly has it all. There are also lots of different prices ranges available, so you can pretty much make it at expensive or cheap as you’de like.

WATCH THE SUNSET | When heading back to Circular Quay from Manly, time it where it’s close to sunset to get some gorgeous shots of Sydney Opera House! Everyone’s experience will be different but this was something that had me overcome with joy and reinvigorated with a passion for traveling. The beautiful sight of seeing the sun fall behind the city skyline was incredible, to say the least.

MANLY TO SPIT COASTAL WALK | If you are sporty and it is not 40 degrees you can opt to do the manly to spit walk. This is an amazing 10K walk wish will take you around 3-4 hours. It offers stunning harbor views pretty much throughout the walk.



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