A ‘Manly’ day out by the beach…

Our first Sydney beach encounter was in the oceanside suburb of Manly – the southernmost of Sydney’s Northen Beaches. We took the ferry over from Circular Quay ($13.20 return) – a 30 minute journey through the Harbour, past sailing boats, kayaks and beautiful views!

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Once we pulled up at Manly Cove we headed straight over to the visitors information centre for a map and some advice on the best walks to do in the area. The assistant there was really friendly and helped us chose which section of the ‘Manly Scenic Walkway’ we wanted to walk. If you’re planning a trip over to Manly and aren’t sure where you want to go, here are all the details of our route!

We first walked through the main shopping street of Manly (‘The Corso’) towards Manly Beach. Despite the weather being slightly overcast it was still warm and the beach was packed with sunbathers, swimmers and surfers making the most of the rolling waves.

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After spending some time on the beach we continued our walk South, past Cabbage Tree Bay Aquatic Reserve, and onto Shelly Beach. This beach is a fraction of the size of Manly Beach and is set in a beautiful cove, protected from the waves and strong current. This makes it a great location for snorkelling and has a much more relaxed vibe to it.

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Around the back of the beach is a set of stone steps leading up to the cliffs of Shelly Headland. There are several lookouts at the top of the cliff giving great views over Sydney’s Northern Beaches, as well as out to sea.

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From the cliffs we wandered through Sydney Harbour National Park, where we spotted a few native creatures including the Australian Water Dragon.

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The walk through the national park took us the best part of an hour before we reached the Gatehouse visitor centre in North Head. From here we walked a few hundred metres down the main road, then turned into Collins Beach Road in the second half of the National Park. The road wound its way down to Collins Beach where we crossed the sand and followed a stone stairway up to Little Manly Point. From here, it was only another half an hour’s walk back to the ferry in Manly Cove via Stuart Street and East Esplanade.

We had a fantastic day and at two and a half hours long, our walk gave us more than enough time to take in some of the best Manly sights. Whilst we haven’t visited Bondi Beach yet, we’d definitely recommend that anyone travelling to Sydney has a day out in Manly!

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