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Manly Beach may sound like an odd name, but it was actually named after the rather attractive, virile indigenous people who were first encountered in the pioneering days of Australia. The beach itself has also been something of a pioneer, being one of the first resorts in Australia where people could swim and surf. Today, the location is better known as a salubrious Sydney suburb offering an idyllic lifestyle to natives and visitors alike. If you’re looking for some of the best historical architecture Australia has to offer, some of the best beaches in the world, exquisite dining, indulgent shopping, or a good healthy bush walk, Manly Beach has really got it all.
Ferries literally take visitors right up to the beach at Manly Cove, which is perfect for families as the waters are gentle; perfect for leisurely swimming, fishing and sailing. Children will love to explore the rocky coves and pools in the cove. It’s also a perfect spot for picnic and something nice and chilled to drink.
If you are looking for more excitement on the water and you’re a surfing newbie, there are plenty of surf schools around the Manly Beach area that can teach you the art of catching a wave.
The suburb of Manly is full of quirky charm, yet not short on things to do. There are a number of ocean front pathways that are perfect for cycling. The Manly Art Gallery and Museum is packed with interesting exhibits, with a focus on work by local artists. North Head offers spectacular views over the entrance to Sydney Harbour.
If you’re travelling with children, there’s plenty to keep them occupied in the Manly Bay region as well. There are plenty of family-friendly play areas designed with children in mind in the area.
At night, there’s a great choice of upmarket pubs and restaurants offering delicious cuisine. For something a bit less formal, follow your nose to the Manly Fish Café where you can enjoy their irresistible fish and chips, reputed to be the best in the whole of Sydney, if not Australia.
Manly Wharf is a 30-minute ferry ride from Circular Quay. It can also be accessed by bus, and metered parking is available.
Make the most of your time at Manly Beach. Here is a list of the top things to do:
Why not consider trying a Manly Beach & Sunset Cruise or a 5-Day Sydney & Surrounds Backpacker Adventure Tour?
Take a look at our Sydney things to do page to find more activities while you're here.
With direct access to the beach, this Manly hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Manly Wharf, Manly Beach and Shelly Beach. Curl Curl Beach and Warringah Mall are also within 3 miles (5 km).
Situated near the airport, this guesthouse is within 1 mi (2 km) of Manly Wharf and Manly Beach. Shelly Beach is 1.3 mi (2 km) away.
Located in Manly, this beachfront motel is in the city centre and within 1 mi (2 km) of Manly Wharf, Manly Beach and Shelly Beach. Curl Curl Beach and Warringah Mall are also within 3 miles (5 km).
Located in the heart of Manly, this apartment building is within a 15-minute walk of Manly Wharf and Manly Beach. Shelly Beach and Taronga Zoo are also within 6 mi (10 km).
Situated on the Strip, this lodge is within a 15-minute walk of Manly Beach and Manly Wharf. Shelly Beach and North Head Quarantine Station are also within 3 mi (5 km).
Offering direct access to the beach, this Manly hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Manly Beach and Manly Wharf. Shelly Beach and North Head Quarantine Station are also within 2 mi (3 km).
Offering direct access to the beach, this Manly apartment building is within 1 mi (2 km) of Manly Wharf and Manly Beach. Shelly Beach and Dee Why Beach are also within 3 miles (5 km).
Nestled on the beach, this Manly hotel is just steps away from South Steyne Beach and Manly Beach. Fairy Bower Beach and Manly Wharf are also within 10 minutes.