Must see attractions in Manly

  • Top ChoiceSights in Manly

    North Head

    About 3km south of central Manly, spectacular North Head offers dramatic cliffs, lookouts, secluded beaches, pretty paths through the native scrub, and sweeping views of the ocean, harbour and city. It's great to explore by bike or on foot, along the Manly Scenic Walkway. Grab a map and plot your own path through the headland, which takes in former military barracks, WWII gun emplacements, a quarantine cemetery and a memorial walk commemorating Australia's military. At the tip, Fairfax Lookouts offer dramatic clifftop perspectives.

  • Sights in Manly

    Q Station

    From 1837 to 1984 this sprawling historic complex in beautiful North Head bushland was used to isolate new arrivals suspected of carrying disease. These days it has been reborn as a tourist destination, offering appealing accommodation and various tours. Shuttle buses whisk you from reception down to the wharf, where there's a lovely beach, a museum in the old luggage shop telling the site's story, an information desk and a cafe. Nearby is a bar and restaurant.

  • Top ChoiceSights in Manly

    Manly Beach

    Sydney's second most famous beach is a magnificent strand that stretches for nearly two golden kilometres, lined by Norfolk Island pines and midrise apartment blocks. The southern end of the beach, nearest the Corso, is known as South Steyne, with North Steyne in the centre and Queenscliff at the northern end; each has its own surf lifesaving club.

  • Top ChoiceSights in Manly

    Store Beach

    A hidden jewel on North Head, magical Store Beach can only be reached by kayak – you can hire them from Manly Kayak Centre – or boat. It’s a breeding ground for fairy penguins, so access is prohibited from dusk, when the birds waddle in to settle down for the night.

  • Sights in Manly

    Shelly Beach

    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 marine life, so it offers wonderful snorkelling. It's a popular place for picnickers.

  • Sights in Manly

    Reef Beach

    This beautiful little cove is on the Manly Scenic Walkway in the Sydney Harbour National Park. It's got turquoise water and great views across to Manly.

  • Sights in Manly

    St Patrick’s College

    Southeast of Manly’s centre, this enormous Gothic Revival college (1889) lords over the rooftops from its hillside position. It used to be a seminary but is now a management college; it doubled as Jay Gatsby's house for Baz Luhrmann's 2013 film version of The Great Gatsby. You can roam the grounds and admire the building from outside.

  • Sights in Manly

    Corso

    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 bars. Kids splash around in the fountains and spaced-out surfies shuffle back to the ferry after a hard day carving up the swell.

  • Sights in Manly

    Fairy Bower Beach

    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 nymphs of Helen Leete's bronze sculpture Oceanides (1997) stand on the edge, washed by the surf. Fairy Bower is best reached by the promenade heading around Manly Beach's southern headland.

  • Sights in Manly

    Manly Art Gallery & Museum

    A short stroll from Manly Wharf, this passionately managed community gallery maintains a local focus, with changing, locally relevant exhibitions and a small permanent collection that includes an excellent ceramics gallery. There are lots of old Manly photos to peer at too.

  • Sights in Manly

    Washaway Beach

    Rugged and beautiful, Washaway is a secluded little spot within Sydney Harbour National Park, near Grotto Point on the Manly Scenic Walkway. As its name implies, you may not find it at high tide.

  • Sights in Manly

    Manly Cove

    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 location, the clear waters have plenty of appeal.

  • Sights in Manly

    Forty Baskets Beach

    Found on the Manly Scenic Walkway, just before heading into the Balgowlah Heights section of Sydney Harbour National Park. The picnic area is cut off at high tide.

  • Sights in Manly

    Clontarf Beach

    A long, low-lapping elbow of sand with bobbing yachts offshore, pretty Clontarf is popular with families, and has grassy picnic areas and a cafe.