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Manly Beach Sydney| Travel Guide

From the golden sand of Manly beach to vibrant Manly Restaurants, this bustling town offers visitors a slice of coastal paradise.

Manly is arguably the most famous destination along Sydney's Northern Beaches. Fringed by striking Norfolk Pines, Manly Beach is a top pick for surfing, bathing and sand castle making.

Northern beaches local Michelle spends a lot of time in Manly. You can find her foraging for coffee whilst wrangling her two young boys or taking a dip in the ocean, trying to decide where to go for breakfast.

Manly Beach
Manly Beach

Manly Corso

Take a walk along the Corso, connecting Manly beach to the harbour-side beaches and wharf. The Corso’s flanked by shops, boutiques, cafes, ice creameries and laneways that snake off into smaller backstreet pockets brimming with urban outlets. 
Kids will love the bubbling water features at the beach-end of Manly Corso, soothing hot soles during the summer months. Plus, they’ll have fun winding through the equipment and down the slide of the central playground. An accessible children’s playground is located along a coastal path that fronts the beach all the way from the Southern end of Manly to Queenscliff beach.

Fika Swedish Kitchen, Manly. Destination NSW
Fika Swedish Kitchen, Manly. Destination NSW

Places to eat in Manly

BREAKFAST

Enjoy breakfast at Ruby Lane Manly on Pittwater Road. Great for locally sourced, organic food. Order the Smash 'n' Hash for a hearty protein hit, plus single origin coffee with your choice of alternate milk. Kids will love the 'Dippy Eggs' and healthy smoothies on offer. This place is popular with Manly locals, so get there before 8am for a pre-surf brekkie and avoid the crowds. $$$$

If simple baked goods and stellar coffee is more your bag, head to Berkelo Bakery Manly on Whistler Street. With 3 sister locations already established in Brookvale, Mosman and Mona Vale, the Berkelo food philosophy is well known on Sydney’s Northern Beaches. Berkelo are passionate about health, sustainability and whole foods and their crowning glory is their freshly baked bread. Their naturally leavened loaves do not contain any commercial yeast or additives, refined sugars or artificial sweeteners. So grab yourself a fresh loaf, some flaky croissants and a Single O coffee for a truly local food experience in Manly. $$$$

LUNCH

Located on Market Lane, close to Manly Library Fika Kitchen is hard to miss due to its breezy vibe, industrial style Fit-out and popular food philosophy. Swedish word ‘Fika’ translates as ‘taking a break for coffee and a bite to eat’, and this places obliges in a big way. Traditional Aussie staples are served with a Scandinavian twist including Äggs on Toast and house rolled Swedish Meatballs that come with buttery mash, gravy and traditional pickled condiments on the side. Finish with a Vanilla Bun to go, to be enjoyed somewhere peaceful whilst soaking up those Manly Beach views. Pure joy.  $$$$

Happily situated across from Manly Beach is Manly Wine. Here you can kick back and enjoy sparkling ocean views whist drinking and dining. This place has a relaxed, airy atmosphere and menu inspired by the coast. Enjoy share plates, substantial mains like Baked and Fried Dory or simply choose some Fries to complement your Semillon or Riesling whilst soaking up the beach vibes. $$$$

DINNER

Grab dinner at Ironbark Manly. This place is always filled with families due to its relaxed dining atmosphere and rustic charm. Kids will be kept busy with a selection of colouring materials and they'll stay happy with the arrival of their Smiley Faced pizza. The bonus for parents are the kids meals are free per purchased main meal. $$$$

If you’re feeling fancy, Hugos Manly is an iconic restaurant located in prime position on Manly Wharf. Book a booth outside and enjoy the glow of the sun as it sets on a warm summers evening. The food menu heroes an array of fresh seafood dishes, gourmet pizzas and tempting sides, best enjoyed paired with a fruity cocktail. This place is supremely popular, so it’s best to book ahead to avoid disappointment, particularly when requesting an outside dining spot. $$$$

Cabbage Tree Bay Aquatic Reserve, Manly. Destination NSW
Cabbage Tree Bay Aquatic Reserve, Manly. Destination NSW

Manly Beachfront Walk

Ride a bike or walk along the beachfront path that stretches all the way from Queenscliff Beach at the North end, right the way through to Shelly Beach. (Note bikes and scooters are-prohibited along the path to Shelly Beach on busy weekends). 
Jutting proud and inviting from the coastal promenade Fairy Bower Ocean Pool of turquoise blue begs you to take a dip. The perfect reward on hot summer day.
Take the Eco-Sculpture walk along Cabbage Tree Bay where Sculptor Tim Johnman has created a series of eight unique marine sculptures to spot along the path. These creations are a great surprise for inquisitive kids as they walk along. Make sure you bring swimmers’ as you won’t be able to resist a cooling dip in the clear, calm waters of Shelly Beach.
You’ve likely worked up an appetite, grab a Breakfast Flatbread and barista coffee to go from the Boathouse Kiosk, or dine-in and enjoy the breezy Hamptons-style setting and more extensive menu choices.  
TIP: Get to the Boathouse early if dining-in for breakfast, this is a popular locals spot and it gets busy!

Sydney Harbour, Manly. Destination NSW
Sydney Harbour, Manly. Destination NSW

Manly to Spit Walk

To truly appreciate Sydney’s coastline on a sunny day take the Manly to Spit Bridge walk. 10km one-way, the walk should take about 3-4 hours depending on fitness levels (and time taken to pause and soak up the gorgeous coastal pockets on route).  Highlights include Clontarf Beach, Reef Beach, Crater Cove, Aboriginal rock engravings, Eastern Water Dragons and colourful wildflowers
Take swimmers and a towel, as you’ll want to stop and enjoy a swim or two at the beaches and coves along the way. 

North Head Manly, Destination NSW
North Head Manly, Destination NSW

North Head

North Head is a must-visit for expansive views across Sydney Harbour, out to South Head. The kids will love spotting the Manly Ferry on the choppy harbour as is chugs along its journey through the Heads to Sydney Harbour. Perfect for nature enthusiasts; North Head is a place rich in native wildlife including the Long-nosed Bandicoot. Take a walk or sit and enjoy a dreamy summer sunset.

Manly Beach
Surf breaks at Manly Beach

Manly Beaches

MANLY BEACH
Sydney has plentiful surf beaches and Manly Beach is one of the best. Great for novice to expert surfers, the whole family will love getting to grips with a surfboard at the Southern end - which is a little more sheltered. For expert tuition try Manly Surf School, it's one of the most popular schools along this particular stretch of golden sand. Check out our guide to the best surfing beaches in Sydney.
LITTLE COLLINS BEACH
If you’re looking for a beach that’s less crowded than Manly Beach and Shelly Beach, pack a picnic and make your way to Collins Flat Beach. Nestled between North Head and Little Manly Cove, this stretch of sand offers calm water perfect for swimming and is preferred by young families due to its sheltered shores. Access by car can be tricky as parking spots are limited, so you might want to hire a bike from Manly Bike Tours for easy access to explore without the worry (or cost) of parking.

Manly Markets
Manly Markets

Manly Markets

Take a stroll in Manly on a weekend and you’ll discover the Manly Fresh Produce Markets. Held at the Manly Plaza every Sunday between 8am – 2pm, regardless of the weather, you can find some of the best locally sourced produce to buy and take home. Take your pick from organic fruit and vegetables, cold pressed olive oil, cheeses and fresh flowers, direct from local farmers and fresh produce makers. 
If artisan, handcrafted goods are more your thing Manly Marketplace is open every Saturday and Sunday on Manly Corso. The open-air stalls are brimming with gorgeous eco-friendly goods, handmade jewellery, vintage apparel and Aboriginal art. Many of the stallholders are budding designers and micro business owners who are passionate about their trade and sharing it with the local community. 

Novotel Sydney Manly Pacific
Novotel Sydney Manly Pacific

Manly Accommodation

If you’re planning a trip and require Manly accommodation, Accor has a variety of Manly Beach accommodation and North Head Sydney accommodation. 
For spacious, luxury waterfront accommodation in Manly try The Sebel Sydney Manly Beach. Looking for spacious, modern accommodation with family perks? Novotel Sydney Manly Pacific is sure to be your best option. For those looking for a more unique and peaceful location, Q Station Sydney Harbour National Park is a gorgeous destination nestled atop North Head with panoramic views of sparkling Sydney Harbour.

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