Manly is a charming seaside town located just a short drive away from Sydney.
Manly is a fantastic destination for a motorhome hire road trip, with its beautiful beaches, lively promenade, and variety of outdoor activities. Whether you’re looking to surf, hike, relax, or explore the history of the area, there’s something for everyone in Manly.
With a motorhome, you’ll have the freedom to explore the town and its surrounding areas at your own pace, and you’ll have all the comforts of home on the road.
Here are a few of the sites and attractions to explore in Manly, New South Wales.
Manly Beach is one of Australia’s most famous beaches and a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Manly. With its golden sand, crystal clear water, and stunning views, it’s no wonder that this beach is a popular spot for swimmers, surfers, and sunbathers alike. And with plenty of cafes, restaurants, and shops nearby, it’s the perfect place to spend a day.
If you’re feeling adventurous, why not try your hand at surfing? Manly Beach is a popular destination for surfers of all levels, and there are plenty of surf schools in the area offering lessons and equipment hire. And if you’re not a fan of surfing, there are plenty of other water activities to try, such as paddleboarding, kayaking, or even snorkelling.
But Manly Beach isn’t just for water activities. The area is surrounded by a lively promenade filled with cafes, restaurants, and shops. You can grab a delicious meal at one of the beachside restaurants or take a leisurely stroll down the Corso, a pedestrian mall filled with street performers and souvenir shops. And if you’re a fan of sea life, make sure to stop by the Manly Sea Life Sanctuary, where you can see sharks, sea turtles, and a variety of fish up close.
If you’re looking for stunning views of the ocean and the surrounding area, a trip to North Head is a must. This scenic lookout is located on the northernmost point of the Manly peninsula and offers panoramic views of the ocean, Sydney Harbour, and the city skyline. It’s the perfect place to take in the natural beauty of the area and snap some photos to remember your trip.
But North Head isn’t just for sightseeing. The area is also home to a variety of walking trails, ranging from easy strolls to more challenging hikes. You can take a leisurely walk along the Fairfax Walk, which offers stunning views of Sydney Harbour and the city skyline, or you can hike the challenging North Head Trail, which takes you through a variety of landscapes, including heathland and rocky outcrops. And if you’re lucky, you might even spot some local wildlife, such as wallabies or kookaburras.
If you’re looking for a break from the beach and the hustle and bustle of the town, a trip to Manly Dam is the perfect escape. This tranquil oasis is located just a short drive from the town centre and offers a variety of outdoor activities. You can go bushwalking on one of the many trails, or rent a kayak or canoe and explore the calm waters of the dam.
But Manly Dam isn’t just for outdoor activities. The area is also home to a variety of picnic areas, perfect for a relaxing day out with family and friends. You can bring your own picnic or grab some food from one of the nearby cafes or restaurants. And if you’re a fan of wildlife, make sure to keep an eye out for the many bird species that call the dam home.
If you’re interested in the history of Manly and the surrounding area, a visit to the Quarantine Station is a must. This historic site was used as a quarantine station for ships arriving in Sydney between 1832 and 1984, and it played an important role in preventing the spread of diseases such as smallpox and the bubonic plague. Today, the site has been transformed into a museum and cultural centre, where you can learn about the history of the area and the people who lived and worked at the station.
The Quarantine Station offers a variety of tours, including ghost tours, history tours, and even an overnight paranormal investigation. You can explore the various buildings and facilities that were used for quarantine, including the hospital, morgue, and disinfection and fumigation areas. And if you’re feeling brave, you can even spend the night in one of the haunted rooms and try to catch a glimpse of the ghosts that are said to haunt the station.
If you’re looking for a quieter and more secluded beach experience, a trip to Shelly Beach is a must. This picturesque beach is located just a short walk from Manly Beach and offers a more relaxed and peaceful atmosphere. With its crystal-clear water, gentle waves, and beautiful surroundings, it’s the perfect place to unwind and soak up the sun.
But Shelly Beach isn’t just for relaxing. The area is also home to some great snorkelling and diving spots, where you can explore the diverse marine life that call the area home. You can rent snorkelling or diving equipment from one of the nearby shops, or join a guided tour to explore the underwater world. And if you’re not a fan of water activities, you can take a walk along the coastal path and enjoy the stunning views of the ocean and the surrounding area.
Fairy Bower Pool
For a unique swimming experience, make your way to Fairy Bower Pool, located on the ocean side of Manly Beach. This historic tidal pool was built in the 1920s and is a popular spot for swimming and sunbathing.
The pool is surrounded by rocks and offers stunning views of the ocean, making it the perfect spot to relax and take in the natural beauty of the area. The pool itself is shallow and calm, making it ideal for swimmers of all levels. And if you’re feeling adventurous, you can try jumping off the nearby rocks into the ocean below.
In addition to swimming, Fairy Bower Pool is also a great spot for snorkelling and diving, with a variety of marine life to discover in the area. And if you’re looking for a bite to eat or a drink, there are a number of cafes and restaurants nearby where you can refuel after your swim.
Located just north of Manly Beach, Queenscliff Beach is a beautiful stretch of sand that’s perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and surfing. This secluded beach is less crowded than its neighbour, Manly Beach, and offers a more laid-back and tranquil atmosphere.
The beach is backed by cliffs and bushland, providing a beautiful backdrop for your day in the sun. The water is clear and inviting, and there are plenty of waves for surfers of all levels. If you’re not into surfing, you can take a leisurely swim in the calm waters or simply relax on the sand and soak up the sun.
There are also a number of walking trails in the area that offer stunning views of the ocean and surrounding bushland. You can take a stroll along the beach and enjoy the fresh sea air, or head up into the hills for a more challenging hike with breathtaking views.
Where to Stay
With lots of great options for camping and campervan sites in and around Manly, you can choose the perfect spot to suit your needs and budget.
NRMA Sydney Lakeside Holiday Park: Located in North Narrabeen, just a short drive from Manly, this holiday park offers a range of accommodation options, including powered campervan and camping sites. The park is situated on the shores of Narrabeen Lake, offering stunning views and easy access to the beach and other local attractions.
NRMA Sydney Lakeside Holiday Park, North Narrabeen: Another option in North Narrabeen is the NRMA Sydney Lakeside Holiday Park. This family-friendly park offers a range of accommodation options, including powered and unpowered camping sites, as well as cabins and villas. The park is situated on the shores of Narrabeen Lake, offering stunning views and easy access to the beach and other local attractions.
Manly Beach Holiday Park: Located just a short walk from Manly Beach, this holiday park offers a range of camping and motorhome sites, as well as cabins and villas. The park is situated in a great location, close to local restaurants, bars, and shops, as well as the famous Manly ferry wharf.
Lane Cove River Tourist Park: Situated in the heart of Lane Cove National Park, just a short drive from Manly, this holiday park offers a range of camping and caravan sites, as well as cabins and safari tents. The park is surrounded by beautiful natural scenery, with plenty of walking trails and wildlife to explore.
Ingenia Holidays Sydney Hills: Located in Dural, just a short drive from Manly, this holiday park offers a range of camping and caravan sites, as well as cabins and villas. The park is set on a peaceful and secluded property, with plenty of space to relax and enjoy the natural surroundings.
Where to Eat
There are plenty of great dining options in Manly to suit every taste and budget. So be sure to try out some of these local favourites and discover the delicious food scene in this charming seaside town.
Hugos Manly: Located on the waterfront, Hugos Manly is a popular restaurant and bar that serves up delicious Italian-inspired cuisine. From fresh seafood to wood-fired pizzas, Hugos has something for everyone, and the views of the harbor and the city skyline are hard to beat.
Papi Chulo: If you’re looking for some great barbeque and smoked meats, Papi Chulo is the place to go. This restaurant is known for its delicious meats, which are cooked low and slow over an open fire. They also offer a variety of sides, salads, and cocktails to round out your meal.
Manly Fish Cafe: For some of the best fish and chips in town, head to Manly Fish Cafe. This casual eatery offers a variety of fresh seafood, including fish and chips, prawns, calamari, and more. Grab your food to go and enjoy it on the beach or take a seat at one of the outdoor tables and enjoy the ocean breeze.
Barefoot Coffee Traders: If you’re looking for a great cup of coffee, Barefoot Coffee Traders is the place to go. This trendy coffee shop offers a variety of specialty coffees, teas, and other beverages, as well as a selection of pastries and light bites.
Hemingway’s Manly: For a great meal and a lively atmosphere, Hemingway’s Manly is the place to be. This restaurant and bar offers a variety of international cuisine, including burgers, pizza, and more. They also have a great selection of craft beers and cocktails, as well as live music on weekends.
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