Today was a day completely devoted to Manly, Sydney. Manly’s a beachside Sydney suburb with a beautiful sprawling beach, a palm fringed promenade, and several chilled bars and restaurants. It was a slice of just what we needed after the past few hectic days which were spent zipping around downtown Melbourne and Sydney.
The Manly Ferry
To get there, we boarded the Manly Ferry from Circular Quay, which is pretty cheap and a treat in itself. Just take a look at these views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the CBD. I’d highly recommend going to Manly simply for the ferry ride and its picturesque journey out of Sydney.
There’s something so peaceful about watching the Harbour Bridge slip out of sight and the CBD come into full view whilst bobbing up and down on the ocean. Half an hour later, we landed in Manly.
Arriving in Manly, Sydney
We walked along the leafy promenade, past bustling shops and eateries, in search, once again, of the beach and the ocean. We picked a great day to visit Manly, with barely a cloud in the sky.
Manly’s most famous for its beautiful stretches of beach, which attract tourists from all over the world. There’s Manly Beach, the primary stretch of pine tree-lined sandy beach, and also rock pools and sandy beaches like Fairy Bower and Shelly Beach. You can also find a few beaches on the harbour side of Manly. In fact, the pine trees are pretty symbolic of Manly and help to make its beaches so iconic.
Manly to Shelly Beach
With such beautiful sunny weather, we decided to take a bit of a stroll, picking the popular Manly to Shelly Beach coastal walk. The scenery just gets better and better, the more you walk.
The walk itself only takes around 15 minutes, from the Manly Surf Club. Along the way, there’s the Cabbage Tree Bay Eco-Sculpture Walk along the coastline. It tells you all about the nature and wildlife you can discover in the area along with adorable sculptures and facts. You can also simply sit on a bench, people watch, and wild the world away.
If you’re feeling active and need a cool down, take a dip in the freshwater Fairy Bower baths.
Shelly Beach, Manly
At the end of the Manly to Shelly Beach coastal walk, you’ll find glorious Shelly Beach. One of Sydney’s most gorgeous beaches, it’s part of Cabbage Tree Bay, which is a protected marine reserve. It’s pretty popular with snorkellers and scuba divers thanks to the incredible marine life in the beach’s shallow waters. Of course, you can always stop off for a barbecue on the beach once you’re finished in the ocean.
The beach’s sparkling water is super clear so it’s little surprise its so great for snorkelling and diving. Once you get to Shelly Beach, there are some incredible lookout areas on the headland across the Northern beaches of Manly. Simply follow the bush track and enjoy the views.
Dinner at Manly Grill, Sydney
After all that walking, we worked up a bit of an appetite. Courtesy of my parents’ recommendation (thanks to their previous visit to Manly), we knew exactly where to go and headed straight for the Manly Grill.
With views of the coast and the promenade, it’s the perfect spot for people watching and al fresco dining. It offers some great food. Of course, we all went for steak.
I picked the Steak Oscar, a fillet steak topped with a crab cake and asparagus. It’s served with one of the best jacket potatoes I’ve ever had and sour cream, drizzled in béarnaise. It was incredible! I’d highly recommend the restaurant to anyone visiting Manly.
After all that amazing food, we headed back to the ferry. It was such a great day, so I’ve got a feeling this won’t be our last visit to Manly.
An Evening in Sydney
We rounded our day off with a wander around Circular Quay in the evening. Sydney Harbour Bridge looks so pretty at night, and Luna Park twinkles underneath it. I saw climbers on the bridge, and felt slightly nervous in anticipation of my own Sydney Harbour Bridge climb in a few days.
On St Patrick’s Day, Sydney Opera House glows green. Looks pretty cool doesn’t it? A wonderful ending to another epic day in Sydney.
Have you been to Manly, Sydney? If so, where would you recommend visiting? Which is your favourite beach?