Sydney’s northern beaches are where the city goes to play. While each have their unique merits, Manly’s proximity to the city center and its excellent surf makes it one of the most popular beaches in the country. Boutique retailers, lively cafés and a range of al fresco dining options line the streets giving the area a vibrant atmosphere. The suburb of Manly is quintessentially Sydney: laid back, stylish and fun.
Arrive in Manly from Sydney’s center by catching the harbor ferry. More than just a form of transport, the half hour trip follows one of the most scenic routes across the harbor. Some of the city’s best photo opportunities are passed before you even get off the boat. Manly may be only a stones throw from Australia’s biggest city, but you’ll feel relaxed immediately.
Hop off the ferry and explore Manly Cove, a small but picturesque inlet and beach on the calm waters of Sydney Harbour. Relax by the water, take a swim or grab a bite to eat in one of the restaurants.
Follow "The Corso" through to the surf beach. This pedestrian mall is an excellent place to shop, eat or drink. Street performers and eccentric locals are frequent at The Corso and it has long been an excellent location for people watching. The nearby Manly Art Gallery and Museum is a great destination for art lovers.
Once at the surf beach, learn to surf under the comforting gaze of Sydney’s world-famous lifeguards. A number of operators conduct lessons on the beach, and hire boards are available for the more experienced. While the weather remains mild year round, wetsuits are recommended for the winter months. In summer temperatures regularly rise well above 30 degrees celcius (86 Fahrenheit) and sun protection is a must. Once you’ve ‘slip slop slapped’, lay down your towel and catch some rays on Manly’s soft sands or take a swim to cool off. Don't forget to always swim between the flags.
Take advantage of one of the great restaurants, pubs and bars along the esplanade for a perfect finish to the day.