One of Sydney’s favorite beaches, Manly Beach has a laid-back atmosphere that feels a world away from the city – yet it’s just a short ferry trip from Circular Quay. From the ferry, you'll pass the "heads", the sandstone cliffs where the harbor meets the ocean. Both North and South head have lookouts with expansive harbor and city views.
Situated seven miles north-east of Sydney on the lower Northern Beaches, Manly was named by Captain Arthur Phillip after his encounter with the confident and manly Aboriginal people of the Kay-ye-my clan who lived here. Surrounded on three sides by water, Manly is the perfect destination to enjoy both the harbor and the 18 ocean beaches, coves and inlets to swim, sail and surf. But as the locals know, Manly is more than Sydney's premier beach resort.
Beautiful beaches, tranquil bays, coastal walks, and buzzing cafes and bars – Manly combines the best of Sydney’s beach lifestyle with a relaxed village feel. Getting there is half the fun when you catch a ferry from Circular Quay – just 30 minutes later you’re at Manly Wharf, with its serene inner-harbor beach and waterfront restaurants and bars.
It's just a 5-minute walk along the Corso from Manly Wharf to the oceanfront promenade that's backed by a strip of parkland with Norfolk Island pine trees. This stretch of sand is made up of several ocean beaches - Queenscliff, South Steyne and North Steyne. Take to the surf at one of Australia’s iconic beaches. Manly Surf School has classes for beginners and advanced surfers throughout the year. Fairy Bower is a right-hand reef break that's popular with experienced surfers.
Explore Manly by foot, rollerblade or bike, with pathways and coastal walks taking you further north to Freshwater Beach or around the headland to Shelly Beach, a lovely sheltered sandy cove with plenty of colorful fish to tempt snorkelers and scuba divers. If you’d rather gaze at the marine life from safer ground, Manly SEALIFE Sanctuary never fails to delight with huge sharks, giant stingrays, turtles and shoals of fish being hand fed.