Our last full day in Sydney was spent at the beautiful Manly Beach. After eating a fulfilling brunch at The Boat House, we walked backed to the main beach area and enjoyed the rest of the day! Here’s what to do if you want to experience the world-famous beach:
HOW TO GET THERE:
FERRY RIDE FROM CIRCULAR QUAY TO MANLY: We used the Manly Fast Ferry which takes you to Manly from Circular Quay, fast (only a 20-minute ride). Unfortunately, when we asked the attendants in the area how to get to Manly Beach, they only told us this option. The fast ferry does not take the Opal Card. We ended up paying $15AUD per person not knowing there was another option.
YES! There is another option! There is a regular ferry (not fast) but it will take you to Manly as well. The regular ferry, however, takes twice as long; approximately 40 minutes. This ferry uses the Opal card which is great for all Sydney public transportation! Take the regular ferry if you have an Opal card (HIGHLY recommend purchasing)!
No matter what ferry you choose, you’ll get an incredible view of Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge on the way to Manly!
WHERE TO EAT:
MANLY WHARF: When you arrive, there is a lot of restaurants in and around the wharf. Once we got there, we actually went on Yelp and searched for a restaurant best suited for us.
THE BOAT HOUSE was our choice since it had a good rating on Yelp and looked appetizing. Check out our full review of the restaurant, here.
WHAT TO DO:
SHOPS: During our walk from the docks to Manly beach, we walked through The Corso. This place is full of shops and eateries! Conveniently located between the main beach and Sydney Harbour, it offers opportunities for shoppers and food lovers. It’s the quickest route to the beach and is entirely worth the walk-through.
SWIM & SURF at Manly Beach. Being from Hawaii, surfing was at the top of our agenda! We had to surf in Australia, it HAD to be done. Nothing is free of course; to rent a board from a beach shack will cost you $15AUD per hour, so be sure to use it wisely and timely! Beware of not only the cost of such activity or crashing waves and heavy current but also of dangerous aquatic life like the Portuguese man-of-war.
SCENIC BOARDWALK: Walk from Manly beach to Shelly Beach and enjoy the scenery. If you’re like Mary and enjoy long walks on the beach, a nice path up to Shelly Beach/Cove is just as enjoyable albeit, much more peaceful.
FAIRY BOWER POOL: While walking up the scenic boardwalk you can take a dip in a natural salt water but man-made, rock pool! We learned that it is common in Sydney that these type of rock pools are everywhere! We spent some time taking photos here and enjoying the water. It was freezing and felt colder than when I went surfing but also, still very worth it!
WATCH THE SUNSET: When heading back to Circular Quay from Manly, time it where it’s close to sunset to get some gorgeous shots of Sydney Opera House! Everyone’s experience will be different but this was something that had me overcome with joy and reinvigorated with a passion for traveling. The beautiful sight of seeing the sun fall behind the city skyline was incredible, to say the least.
It’s entirely possible to make Manly Beach a side venture or an all day tour but whatever you choose, it’ll be worth it. Don’t let the weather fool you too because it poured rain while we were at the beach but still enjoyed it quite a lot. A new and different experience can always be enjoyable, as long as it is looked at in the right way. Manly Beach is great for families or individual wander-lusters so be sure to make it a stop when you visit Sydney!
Check out other Australia related posts:
Guide to Tamborine Mountain
Guide to Byron Bay
10 Things We Learned from Australia
How To Explore Sydney: Opal Card + Public Transportation