Manly Beach is top of the list of best Sydney beaches. It is about an hour drive from Sydney’s city, or accessibly by ferry to Manly at Circular Quay. The regular ferry is a 30-minute ride priced at $7.60 for Single Adult one-ride and the fast ferry is an 18-minute ride priced at $9.75 for Single Adult one-ride.
Unlike the infamous Bondi beach, which (if you haven’t been) is full of youngsters walking around in their bikini and board shorts, tattoo parlours and inaccessibly crowded beaches, Manly beach is a more peaceful and calm place to spend your day, despite the longer and more complicated commute (but how many times a year do you get to ride the ferry?).
From the wharf off the ferry onwards, the town looks European-inspired and slightly resembling a calmer Surfer’s Paradise, if you’ve ever been to the Gold Coast. Regardless, there are so many things to do in Manly Beach with a clean strip of shops – everything you can find in Sydney’s CBD with a less hectic shopping experience, cafes, restaurants and bars – with fresh seafood, themed cocktails and gorgeous views, the beach – which is perfectly spaced for you to be in the atmosphere of a visited beach but have enough space between your towel and the next person’s, and surfing or kayaking – just for fun.
We recommend the Manly 16ft Skiff Sailing Club for food, drinks and views at your seat – see upcoming reviews for our “Places to Eat” feature on Manly Skiff Club.
Honestly, Manly is the perfect, picturesque getaway with a more peaceful and relaxing vibe. It’s a place with passers-by and strollers stopping for picnics on the grass or sand and dog-walkers sitting by the seaside, letting their toes get wet. A weekend off in a Manly beach house would be the dream, but for now a ferry-ride day trip will have to do.