Part of Sydney’s idyllic Northern Beaches, Manly stands out with its range of pristine beaches, eclectic eateries, historical sites and backpacker culture. The suburb is nestled on its own peninsula overlooking Sydney Harbour and is one of Sydney’s best outdoor playgrounds.
Things to do in Manly
Manly embraces that iconic Australian coastal lifestyle with a collection of notable beaches, bays and points. On one side you’ll find wide ocean-facing beaches, such as Manly Beach, which offers surfing, snorkelling, parasailing and other water sports. For calm waters head to the harbour side and relax at Cabbage Tree Bay, a diving mecca home to 435 species of marine life.
Wander a few metres off the sand and you’ll be surrounded by Manly’s numerous shops and eateries. The Corso is a pedestrian-friendly strip with designer boutiques and award-winning restaurants, while the Esplanade reveals water-front cocktail bars, coffee shops and fine-dining establishments.
Love sightseeing? Spend a day immersing yourself in Manly’s history around Sydney Harbour National Park. Not only does it have hiking trails and wildlife viewing, but it’s also near the Barracks Precinct and Gun Position historical sites. If you’ve got time, visit Manly Sea Life Sanctuary, a rehabilitation facility where you can watch penguin feedings, dive with sharks and observe seahorses.
If you’re visiting during rugby league season, drive about 15 minutes to Brookvale Oval and watch the Manly Sea Eagles take on Australia’s best football teams. Catch the ferry back to Sydney and enjoy the scenic ride past iconic landmarks, including the Sydney Opera House and Royal Botanic Gardens.
Getting around Manly
Manly enjoys a range of public transport, including State Transit buses and multiple ferries departing from Manly Wharf. You can walk to most of the beaches and attractions or catch a cab for longer journeys.