A day in Manly Beach. What to do for one day around Manly? The beaches, the national parks, some shopping ? Here are some of my favourite spots around Manly!
A day trip in Manly
I have to admit, Sydney is far from being one of my favourite cities in Australia. Manly beach, however, is definitely my favourite neighbourhood of Sydney. Because it may be in Sydney, it has everything the CBD doesn’t have, and doesn’t have any of the things I don’t like about the CBD. So it’s like heaven for me!
Manly is a cute and cosy suburb situated in the north of Sydney, mainly known for the surf action. To get there, you need to take the ferry in Circular Quay, and enjoy a short 40 minutes trip through the beautiful bay of Sydney. The ferry is around $7.50 with the Opal card (which I highly recommend to travel through Sydney). If you can afford it, you can take the fast ferry. You’ll reach Manly in 20minutes, but it will cost more than the regular option. I think it’s a lot better to save money and enjoy the view of the Opera and the Harbour Bridge!
A street, a couple beaches, and a park : what more do we need?
Once you get off the ferry and make your way out of the wharf, you have two choices:
Keep walking straight through the Corso and to the famous beach, or catch a bus to go get yourself lost in the Sydney Harbour National Park.
Where to go in Manly?
You can get some food for the day anywhere around the ferry, along the Corso. There’s even a shopping mall! So basically, all your needs are covered. Whether you need a sandwich for the day, a swimsuit, some surf gear, anything it’s there!
However, keep in mind that because it is a very touristy area, it’s not cheap!! So if you’re traveling on a budget, come prepared! Make some lunch at the hostel beforehand, it will be cheaper than buying bread and food once in Manly.
If you choose to go see the beach first, here’s what I love doing :
Walk the Corso and enjoy the shops around, grab a sandwich at Coles on the way, and make your way to the beach. Enjoy the surfers and the view, you can even get a Starbucks and enjoy your coffee watching the ocean!
It is the perfect beach to sunbathe and enjoy a summer day. You can lay on the beach or walk around under the heat, the wind will keep you cool.
Then keep walking on the right of the beach, along the coastal walk. You’ll find a cute pool in between the beaches :
It’s called Fairy Bower Pool. It’s a rock pool perfect to take a dip safe from the waves, and take some photos.
Keep walking, and you’ll end up on the cutest beach ever : Shelly beach.
Shelly beach may be tiny, it’s as beautiful as its big sister Manly beach. But much much less crowded and family-like. It’s cute, quiet, and the water is hot, what more can we ask for? It’s the perfect place for a quiet day at the beach.
Sydney Harbour National Park
Aaaand it is also the way to my favourite thing about Manly (sorry, it’s not the beach: the National Park !!!
There are a few trails around to hike to the Shelly Head Lookout, which gives you an amazing view of Manly. Or you can also go off the path and see where you end up as i did !
I hiked a few times around there. Honestly, I am not sure exactly where I went. I was just walking along the way enjoying the view, taking photos, but I loved it all. It’s a great way to escape the busy city life of Sydney. Go and enjoy nature and quietness for a few hours. It’s also a very good place to go to escape the heat when summer becomes unbearable!
If you keep walking your way across the national park, you can do the whole round, just following the cliffs. Enjoy the views of the wild ocean on one side, and the skyline of the city behind the harbour on the other. The views are breathtaking. You can walk a couple hours around and enjoy nature and all the plants beaten by the strong winds all year long.