Attracting a mix of family groups and experienced surfers, Curl Curl is a large, sloping beach with rocky saltwater pools at each end, a swampy lagoon and appropriately curly waves. There's a cafe at the southern end of the beach, but shops aren't handy.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Northern Beaches attractions

1. Freshwater

0.85 MILES

This discreet, southeast-facing sandy bay just north of Manly has a cool ocean pool and plenty of teenagers. Good for learner surfers.

2. Dee Why

1.09 MILES

A no-fuss curve of family beach fronted by chunky apartments, some good cafes and ubiquitous surf shops. Grommets (young surfers) hit the waves and mums…

3. Manly Beach

1.91 MILES

Sydney's second most famous beach is a magnificent strand that stretches for nearly two golden kilometres, lined by Norfolk Island pines and midrise…

4. Corso

1.98 MILES

The quickest route from the Manly ferry terminal to Manly’s ocean beach is along the Corso, a part-pedestrian mall lined with surf shops, pubs and sushi…

5. Shelly Beach

2.12 MILES

This pretty, sheltered, north-facing ocean cove is an appealing 1km walk from the busy Manly beach strip. The tranquil waters are a protected haven for…

6. Manly Cove

2.13 MILES

Split in two by Manly Wharf, this sheltered enclave has shark nets and calm water, making it a popular choice for families with toddlers. Despite the busy…

7. Fairy Bower Beach

2.14 MILES

Indulge your mermaid fantasies (the more seemly ones at least) in the pretty, triangular ocean pool set into the rocky shoreline here. The life-size sea…

8. Manly Art Gallery & Museum

2.14 MILES

A short stroll from Manly Wharf, this passionately managed community gallery maintains a local focus, with changing, locally relevant exhibitions and a…