Manly and Northern Beaches

Info
Intro

This is a part of Sydney that tourists usually only experience a small slice of. Manly is a must see for everyone in Sydney but there are plenty of beaches up the coast here that are equal to Manly in terms of surf and natural beauty. There are some good bars in Manly and a couple of good spots to drink up the coast. Not many good places to eat.

Girls

Manly Beach in the summer is the place to be. Plenty of girls up and down the beach and especially around The Corso. By night The Corso is pumping. Friday is particularly busy. Sunday is better up the coast at The Newport Arms & Mona Vale Hotel.

Beaches
Manly

This is probably the most famous beach in the country. A long stretch of sand lined by tall pines. The surf is amazing and there are varied and interesting breaks along the length of the beach. Lots of bikinis in the summer. Plenty of shops around to grab an icecream or to rent boards. You can park easily or take the bus or ferry. At the northern end is Queenscliff which has a great ocean pool. ..

Curl Curl

Beautiful beach with some of the biggest waves in Sydney. There are swimming holes at both ends of the beach. You can climb up around the headland on the northern side which is just beautiful.

Shelly Beach

Follow the path from the southern end of Manly Beach and you will pass a nice ocean pool. Continue on to the end for this beautiful beach. Great snorkelling here and an awesome place for a BBQ. There is sometimes surf right out around the point but it is a long paddle. Busy on Sunday evening when it is a bit of a party spot. Walk along the headland trails for some great views.

Freshwater

Beautiful beach which is surprisingly quiet. The surf is perfect for beginner and intermediate surfers. There is an Olympic length ocean pool which is lit up at night. Plenty of space to park & to BBQ.

Dee Why

Very popular beach. If you want somewhere quieter then the try northern end of the beach. It is called Long Reef Beach. Long Reef is a great surf spot.

Collaroy

Another beautiful long surf beach that is popular in the summer. Collaroy turns into Narrabeen as you head further north. The surf is so good in Narrabeen that the Beach Boys gave it a shout out.

Turimetta Beach

A little beach just past North Narrabeen. Much quieter than other beaches around here mainly due to a few steps to get down to it. Great place to get away from the crowds and swim, sunbathe or surf. No lifeguards at this beach and the currents can be strong.

Warriewood

Smaller beach popular mainly with locals. Few tourists come out here although it is one of the most beautiful beaches in Sydney.

Mona Vale

Beautiful beach split in two by a headland with a great ocean pool. The northern end has better surf.

Bungan Beach

Short, steep walk down from the road. Quiet beach which is a fair walk from the road. Good for swimming or surfing.

Newport Beach

Busy beach. There is a good reef break at the northern end known as The Peak. There is also a great ocean pool at the southern end.

Bilgola

Beautiful beach which is a great place to watch the sunrise. Not the best surf here but the rockpool at the southern end is nice.

Avalon

Beautiful beach with a headland at both ends. There is a nice ocean pool at the southern end and good fishing off the headland. Surf is very good here. Nice longboard waves on the northern side but surfers here can be quite parochial.

Whale Beach

Decent waves and plenty of parking at this beautiful beach surrounded by cliffs. The wedge is a famous break which is pumping in the right conditions.

Palm Beach

Beautiful beach with a lot to offer. Lots of surf and a beautiful headland to walk along. It can get very busy on the weekend. This beach has everything. Nice calm beach on the harbour side as well as a wharf to fish off.

Spit to Manly Beaches

There are several gorgeous beaches along this walk. Castle Rock a short walk from the end of Ogilvy Rd in Clontarf. Forty Baskets Beach near Beatty St in Balgowlah Heights. Fairlight Beach near Arlington Dr in Fairlight. There are a few other beaches along the walk.

Manly Wharfside

Calm beach split in two by Manly wharf. Not great for swimming but a nice spot for a BBQ.

Little Manly

Popular small beach with a swimming enclosure. You can sometimes see little blue penguins here.

Collins Flat

Another popular calm swimming beach. On the northern headland there is a jumping platform. If you don't want to climb up these rocks and dodge the sea urchins you can walk around Spring Cove Ave.

Store Beach

To the south of Collins Flat this gorgeous quiet beach is usually only accessible by kayak (or SUP) but it is worth the paddle. At low tide you can walk around here from Quarantine beach. It is a beautiful beach ringed by forest and never has a crowd.

Quarantine Beach

The next beach to the South of Store Beach. You can walk down from the North Head Scenic Dr.

Nightlife
The New Brighton Hotel

Draws a young crowd partly because they have the cheapest drinks around. $7 for a pint. Lots of different areas here and a rooftop as well.

The Steyne Hotel

Packed on the weekends this huge bar has live music and a free BBQ on Saturday. The rooftop is a great place to hang out. Popular with locals on Wednesday for the quiz.

The Ivanhoe

Another big busy bar with lots of talent. Cheap drinks and burgers on Wednesday. Lots of live music and a rooftop with a view of the ocean.

4 Pines Brewing Company

Locally brewed beers on tap and nice pub food.

The Wharf Bar

Busy little bar especially good on Sunday. Lots of pretty girls packed in here.

Collaroy Hotel

Good place for a quiet beer looking out over the beach.

The Newport Hotel

Huge beer garden which is super busy on Sunday. Good burgers here as well.

Attractions
Spit to Manly Walk

Amazing city walk that takes at least 4 hours one way. It will probably take you longer because there are so many nice beaches to stop and swim at. You will see some Indigenous rock art along the way. The walk runs from the northern end of the spit bridge to Manly Harbour beach. You can start from either side.

Manly Surf School

Running lessons from the North Steyne Life Saving Club at the end of Pine St Manly. They also have locations at Long Reef, Collaroy & Palm Beach.

Manly Surf Guide

Book online (manlysurfguide.com.au).

Diving

Lots of great dive sites around here including Long Reef, Shark Gully and the Pinnacles.

Dive Centre Manly

Pro Dive

Quarantine Station Ghost Tour

This is the building where people were quarantined on entering the country. Many are said to have died here and you can book a ghost tour (qstation.com.au/ghost-tours.html).

Manly Whale Watching

2 hour whale watching tours from $65 and a range of more expensive options.

Manly Dam

There are plenty of other access points to the series of great mountain bike trails here. Some walks as well. You can also kayak in the reservoir.

Narrabeen Lagoon Trail

You can start at any point around the lagoon but the most common starting point is at Middle Creek Reserve off Wakehurst Parkway. Great trail for walking, running & cycling. Lots of spots for a BBQ and you can fish or kayak in the lagoon.

Food
Jerrys Famous Pizza

Delicious pizza for takeaway or dine in their nice little restaurant. Proper pizza joint with friendly staff.

Salty Rooster

Delicious burgers and salads right by Queenscliff beach.

Costis Famous Fish Cafe

Fresh, cheap, delicious fish & chips. Best value food in the Northern Beaches.

Collaroy Beach Club

Beautiful location for slightly expensive but well made pub meals. Cheap beers at the bar next door.

Olivers Pies

Sydney's best pies hidden away in a little shopping strip in Avalon. Pick one or two up after a surf.

Accommodation
General

Most of the beaches from Freshwater north have free parking between 7pm & 7am. Generally the best place is by the surf club. Toilets, showers (beach showers) & rubbish bins are easy to find. Many of these beaches have BBQs. Some of the better spots are below.

North Curl Curl Beach

Lots of free parking between 7pm & 7am in a quiet spot. With showers, toilets, BBQ and a beautiful beach right at your doorstep.

Long Reef Beach Surf Club

Lots of parks but no shade. Showers and rubbish bins.

Whale Beach

Amazing place plenty of shaded parks right on this beautiful beach. Wake to the sunrise here. Very quiet. Toilets, BBQs, no showers.

Boardrider Backpacker

Bit of a party hostel in a great location. They have a nice rooftop terrace and will help you find work. Free breakfast.<

Manly Backpackers

Decent place with a BBQ in a good location.

Manly Bunkhouse

Nice, clean and quiet hostel.

Manly Astra

Great place. It's clean and has everything you need.

Sydney Beachouse YHA

Beautiful spot with a pool and great common areas. Good sociable vibe but not a party hostel. Short walk to the beach and they can help you find work