Manly Australia

"Manly Australia - a delightful seaside town with great beaches, walks and nightlife!"

Any visit to Sydney should include a trip over to Manly on the ferry. The journey itself is lovely (especially on the way back when you get to see the Opera House and Harbour Bridge in all their glory).

Then when you get here you can enjoy the beaches, cafe culture a bike ride and more...

Getting Here On The Manly Ferry

You can obviously drive or take a bus to Manly Australia but nothing beats getting the ferry.

It leaves from Circular Quay very regularly and there are two options - the Manly ferry or the Manly Sea Cat.

The Manly Ferry is slower and cheaper - if you have bought a weekly pass that covers buses and ferries, then Manly would be included in your ticket. (This is definitely the best way to travel rather than buying a ticket every journey you make)

On Sundays families can pay a flat fee of $2.50 per person to get on a ferry - a good option.

The ferry runs every half hour on the hour and 30 minutes past the hour with a few extra ones around rush hour for workers in the week.

The Manly Fast ferry is about 15 minutes quicker but is not included in your travel ticket and is more expensive. Good if you have limited time or are in a rush to get back. They run every hour.

Things to do in Manly Australia


The Main Beach in Manly Australia is worth visiting. It's a good size, has great waves for surfers and is lined with shady trees for those wanting to keep out of the sun.

Behind the beach on Steyne Street is a long strip of cafes, restaurants and bars where you can enjoy uninterrupted views of the beach. Some are certainly for the young but there is something for everyone.

Take a stroll from the main beach that follows the coastline along to Cabbage Tree Bay and then to the small beach called Shelly Beach. This is one of my favourite beaches. It is small but there are no waves so swimming here is great - another good beach to bring the kids too.

There is "The Kiosk" here too that serves snacks but also has a nice restaurant attached to it too. It is often used for weddings and functions on key days though.

On the Harbour side of Manly (V's the Sea side of Manly) you will also find some other beaches- Manly Cove which is where the ferry comes in and then further round is Little Manly Cove,Little Manly Point and Collins Beach on the edge of Sydney National Park.

See my section below on how you can do a 3 hour walk around Manly to take in all of these beaches.


Manly has a few hills but is reasonably flat and there's over 20 km of dedicated tracks so cycling is a great way to see this seaside town.

You could hire a bike or take part in an organised tour. The tours are generally good as you don't have to worry about getting lost or missing the best bits.

Manly Bike Tours is the best one and you can choose to just hire a bike and they'll give you a map, or take part in the tour that leaves every day from 10.30am and costs about $90 and includes cycle hire etc.

It's easy to find - not far from the beach on East Esplanade.

Bike hire will cost about $30 for the entire day. Get a hybrid bike rather than going for the cheapest option - you'll thank me half way round and the next day! You probably only need a couple of hours unless you plan to stop off at each of the beaches as you go.


The strip behind the main beach on Steyne Street is OK but ask the locals and they try to avoid this strip - over priced and not as good as some of the eateries down the side streets. Lose yourself in some of the streets behind the Corso and Steyne Street and you will find some great places. Here are a few to try and discover:

  • In Situ - Sydney Road. A firm favourite with the locals. Great any time of the day for breakfast or lunch but then turns funky after dark. A bar and a place to eat
  • Jellyfish 93 North Steyne. Whilst this is on the front of the beach, it is a long way down, away from the crowds. Getting a table is not that easy so get here early. Good for any time of the day
  • Chat Thai, Manly Wharf - A great Thai restaurant. It's sister restaurant in the city is well known and now all those dishes are available here in Manly. They are particularly famous for their lamb marinated in lemongrass and mint
  • Ribs and Rumps -right on the front and therefore a bit overpriced. But it does GREAT steak and ribs. A good option if you want the views
  • Malacca Straits Satay Restaurant Sydney Road - great value for money lasksas

  • Walks Around Manly

    There is a well known walk called The Spit to Manly Walk It takes about 3 to 4 hours and most of it is very easy. There are a couple of sections that require a bit of hill climbing on some rocky steps but otherwise it is along designated tracks.

    Total KM is 9.5km and it takes you along beaches and the middle harbour with great views of Sydney. It is a stunning walk and well worth it.

    It's hard to get lost once you start in the right place and there are generally lots of people doing the same thing. We got a little lost around middle harbour but just asked somebody to point is in the right direction. We didn't take a map or anything.

    Best thing to do is park your car near the Spit Bridge or get a bus there from Wynyard bus numbers between 169 and 190. I think it's better to start at The Spit and then end in Manly as then you can have lunch or a drink in one of the lovely cafes or restaurants.

    From here you follow the water through middle harbour, bushlands and then finally through to Manly. The route goes:

  • Spit Bridge
  • Ellery's Point Reserve
  • Fishers Bay
  • Clontarfs Beach
  • Castle Rock
  • Reefs Beach
  • Wellings Reserve
  • Harbour Reserve
  • Manly Cove
  • It's a one way trek rather than a circular loop so if you do need to go back to your car, you can get a bus (numbers 143, 144, 169, E69 and E71 ) or we got a taxi for less than $25. See map below for more details. Click on the blue marker and use the zoom key to access.

    View Untitled in a larger map

    Another more sedate route would be to stay in Manly and walk around the beaches highlighted above. The walk could start from the ferry point and then:

  • Along the Corso
  • Right onto South Steyne along the main beach
  • Along the path past Cabbage Tree Bay to Shelly Beach
  • Up along the residential streets of Bower Street to see some of the amazing houses
  • Onto Darley Road via Addison Road and Fairy Bower Road to see the Victorian architecture of St Patrick's Seminary
  • Collins Beach Road down to the beach
  • Walk along the shore line to Little Manly Pint and up to Little Manly Cove for GREAT views
  • Onto Stuart Street through to East Esplanade which will take you back to the Ferry Port. See map below. Click on the blue marker and use the zoom key to access.

  • View Manly Walk in a larger map

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