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.

If you need some surfboard wax, you’re in the right place, but don’t expect to see much Sydney glamour here – the mood is suburban and relaxed.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Manly attractions

1. Manly Beach

0.11 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…

2. Manly Cove

0.24 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…

3. Manly Art Gallery & Museum

0.34 MILES

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

4. Fairy Bower Beach

0.48 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…

5. St Patrick’s College

0.58 MILES

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…

6. Shelly Beach

0.66 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…

7. Store Beach

1.01 MILES

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…

8. Reef Beach

1.01 MILES

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.