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About Manly Beach
A popular holiday resort location, Manly Beach has an authentic assortment of attractions for both tourists and non-tourists. Situated on a narrow isthmus between the Pacific Ocean and Sydney, Manly Beach is one of Sydney’s finest beaches. With Sydney’s excellent climate and surrounded by evergreen trees, Many Beach is a wonderful seaside destination.
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Manly: A Scenic Break from the Big City
Manly has been a coveted holiday destination for Sydneysiders since the 19th century. Easily accessible by ferry, the town has gained an international reputation for its great surf and scenic surrounds.
Families also come to Manly to relax on the endless stretches of beach, and art enthusiasts will be able to browse the town’s numerous galleries filled with local works. Beyond the beach, there are many ways to stay active in Manly. You start by renting a bike and exploring the 20+ trails leading along the cliffs and headlands, offering dramatic seascapes and views all the way to the Sydney CBD.
When it comes to holiday rentals, Manly offers a range of seafront apartments, luxury cottages and even penthouses with vistas to remember for a lifetime.
Manly Surf and Swim Beaches
Manly’s main beach attracts a varied crowd, from families to surfers. The foreshore is lined by cafes and ice cream shops, and there is ample shade provided by the swaying palms. While the kids build sandcastles, watch pro surfers show off their skills. Surfers can also hit the more secluded, nearby Freshwater Beach. Each February, Manly hosts the Australian Open of Surfing.
From the main beach, you can walk along the sand to natural rock pools, or stroll further down the foreshore to Shelly Beach. This family-friendly stretch is protected from larger swells by reefs, so it is a popular spot for swimmers and snorkelers. Here, you will find plenty of public BBQ equipment and grassy areas for picnics.
Manly Holidays for Families
There are many activities for families visiting Manly. If your kids or teens fancy swimming with grey nurse sharks and stingrays, head to Manly’s Sea Life Sanctuary for the world’s first Shark Dive Xtreme attraction. If you’d rather stay out of the water, pay a visit to Manly’s colony of Little Blue Penguins. You can also go for a tour of the sanctuary to learn all about marine life and how to protect it.
On weekends, Manly plays host to an arts and crafts market, showcasing local designers’ and artists’ creations, among many other homemade goods. This all-day market keeps things lively with performances to entertain children of all ages and is only steps from the foreshore ice cream parlours.
Manly’s surf schools also have programs for children, including full day to week long surf camp sessions. Group and private lessons are available.
Manly Walks, Hikes and Bike Rides
Manly, which encompasses a part of the Sydney Harbour National Park, is laced with walking and cycling tracks. As you hike or bike, take in sweeping ocean views from the cliff tops or uncover secluded coves and beaches dotting the coast. From some of the lookouts, you will be able to see all the way to Sydney’s CBD. Throughout migration season, Manly’s cliff tops are the perfect spot for whale watching.
Rent a bike at one of the stands in town and set off for the day, or join a guided biking tour to discover the 20+ trails in the Manly area. To best view these contrasting landscapes, hike along the 10km Manly Scenic Walkway, which will lead you through bushland and rainforest and past Aboriginal heritage sites, as well as provide views of the Sydney Harbour.
Art & Cultural Experiences in Manly
Wander through town to discover Manly’s art galleries and to meet the town’s artists. Galleries focus on contemporary Australian art, with particular emphasis on pieces by Manly residents. To find out more about local talent, visit the Manly Art Gallery and Museum.
In town, visitors can undertake several self-guided heritage walks. Stops include historical buildings and sites of significance to the community.
Manly has raised a number of Australian poets, philosophers and sport stars, and you can get to know their stories by following the Manly Heritages Plaques Walk, which runs for 4km along the foreshore. Another star-studded stroll is Manly’s Pathway of the Olympians, which commemorates the town’s medalists over the last century.
Getting to Manly
The easiest way to get to Manly is to hop aboard the ferry, departing from Sydney Harbour. The ride lasts approximately half an hour, and provides prime views over the city, harbour, nearby islands and iconic Sydney sights, such as the Opera House and Harbour Bridge. The ferry rivals many Harbour sightseeing cruises and is often considered an attraction in its own right.