Manly beach Australia is a favourite Sydney beach and one of the best destination for swimmers, surfers, divers, walkers and families with children.
This is not just one single beach, there are several of them, some in the harbour, others along the open span of the Pacific ocean.
That is why anyone can find something interesting to do in the area, whether they want to relax, sunbathe, enjoy water and its sports or go to the Oceanworld, one of the great Sydney attractions.
The beach that is in all the pictures and captures the imagination of surfers all over the world is the main Manly beach on the ocean side.
It is actually a strip of sand split in three. From north to south there is Queenscliff, which has a rock pool, North Steyne and South Steyne. The beach is always full with sun lovers, swimmers and surfers.
South Steyne beach
The only safe place to swim is a narrow strip between the red and yellow flags. The rips are strong and it is easy to get caught in one. If you don't have a minimum knowledge of how to get out of it, it is better to swim at other beaches in Manly, that are sheltered, such as Shelly, Little Manly or Manly Cove.
So how do you get out of a rip? Avoid the beaches where rips happen frequently. But if you do get caught, the general advice that life savers give is not to panic and not to fight it... Easy to say but everyone is different.
So don't fight it, don't swim against it, swim parallel to the shore and eventually you should get there, further away from where you started, but still on the shore.
Probably the most dangerous thing that can make things worse when you are in a rip is a panic attack. You need to stay calm, as the rip will weaken and you should be able to swim back.
Better avoid it and go to other more friendly beaches. And there are plenty of them.
Coastal walk to Shelly
Shelly is a small beach between two heads that form a cove with rather shallow waters, almost no waves, good for families with kids.
Snorkelling along Sydney beaches - Shelly
And it is good for snorkelling or scuba diving. With lots of rocks in the water along the walkway between Manly and Shelly, the water is always full of snorkelers and divers.
Another sheltered beach is Manly Cove. It is a small sandy strip close to the wharf on the harbour side. There is an enclosure in the water which forms a pool and makes it safe for children.
Oceanworld is very close. You can go there just to watch marine life, stingrays and sharks or to... swim with them. We haven't tried but those who have say it's safe and lots of fun.
Oceanworld - Manly Cove
Manly is the place to go if we want to see some spectacular views of the harbour and City. Just take the road to North Head, enter the Harbour National Park and you will be blown away by the sight.
You can walk the track if it is a cool day and you are fit and used to long walks. Otherwise take the car, as the road is a bit steep and long. And have some coins for parking, as the credit card does not always work in the ticket machine.
Fly to Sydney.
If you are there take Sydney ferries from Circular Quay. It is a 30 minutes trip with great views of the harbour.
Get off at the wharf and walk to your left to go to Manly Cove beach and Oceanworld on the harbour side. Cross the street to The Corso, which will take you to the main Manly beach on the ocean side.
You can also take the bus or drive there.
And if you want to swim in another iconic place, try Bondi Beach and see which of the two you like best.