See expert surfers ride the waves at Manly Beach, where the Australian Open of Surfing is held in February. Buy fish and chips on the lively Corso and head to the beach to enjoy them and watch all the action.
You’ll find plenty of beachside cafés, bars and restaurants. There are popular pubs on the Corso, such as the Ivanhoe Hotel Manly and Hotel Steyne. Manly Wharf, overlooking Sydney Harbour, also has quality restaurants, such as Papi Chulo. The 4 Pines Brewing Co serves its own craft beers opposite the wharf.
Things to do in Manly
Manly Beach is one of Australia’s most famous surfing beaches - the first world surfing championship was held here in 1964. With a tree-lined promenade and a long stretch of fine soft sand, the beach is a popular destination for backpackers and families.
For a delightful day out, take a ferry at Circular Quay, near the Sydney Opera House, for a 30-minute trip across Sydney Harbour to Manly Wharf. Walk from the wharf up the Corso, a lively shopping and pedestrian boulevard that leads to Manly Beach.
At the northern end of the beach is Queenscliff headland, where an offshore submerged reef, or bombora, creates the kind of waves prized by top surfers. A short stroll south from the Corso brings you to pretty Shelly Beach, a sheltered area popular for snorkelling, diving, barbecues and picnics.
Dive Centre Manly offers scuba diving courses for beginners and guided dives for certified divers. For surfing lessons, check in at Manly Surf School. Accommodation options range from luxury hotels to youth and backpacker hostels.
Explore the coastline on a bicycle from Manly Bike Tours, heading north to Freshwater Beach, the historic home of Australian surf culture. Both Manly and Freshwater beaches are on the National Surfing Reserves as significant surfing locations.
In addition to water-based activities, such as kayaking and snorkeling, there are lots of things you can do around Manly. Get involved in a game of beach volleyball or hire a bike. EcoTreasures offer plenty of coastal walks to and from Manly that help you discover the true beauty of the area.
Waterside dining in Manly
With such a prominent beach lifestyle, it's no surprise that Manly's seaside dining is in a league of its own. With small cafes serving some of the best coffees in Sydney, takeaways offering locally caught fish and a number of up-market restaurants along the beach and the wharf, you're never short of options.