Wednesday, 20 April 2016

# 13 - Manly Beach

If you've been reading any of my other posts, you may have already seen me mention Manly in #24 Spit Bridge to Manly walk, and #19 Manly Scenic Walkway.  If so, you'll be expecting some bad puns about the name of this particular attraction.  Well, I hate to disappoint, but I will be steering clear of any such cheap attempts at humour this time.  If I do insist on putting any puns in, you can rest assured they well be strictly of the awesome variety.

I have absolutely no idea what this sculpture on the right is supposed to be
Manly Beach is located about 12km or so North East of Sydney CBD.  You can reach it by bus, but the far more popular method of transportation is to take the extremely scenic ferry ride instead.  There are two options for this - the standard commuter ferry and the Manly Fast Ferry.  I've reviewed each of these separately, as they are both considered things to do in their own right, and with good reason.

No need to remove your jacket just because you're going for a paddle
It is worth noting that Manly Beach is not the first one you see when you get off the ferry.  You have to walk along a street called The Corso, which runs from the ferry wharf on one end, to Manly Beach on the other.  Once you get there, you are met with a long but relatively narrow stretch of sand, with constant waves crashing in off the Pacific Ocean.  There is a row of shops, cafes, restaurants and apartments on the front line of the beach, with a row of trees on the opposite side, then the beach itself.

The quality of sand writing at Manly is not the greatest
If you follow the beach to the South, you can continue on past the Manly Life Saving Club (feminine lives will be left to fend for themselves), and round a path to Shelley Beach.  To the North, you can continue on to Freshwater Beach.  Manly Beach is a very lively beach, and there is often something happening.  There are usually plenty of surfers to keep you entertained, and in fact the Australian Open of Surfing is held here in February.  

Plenty of room to park your bike
Although Bondi Beach is probably the most famous beach in Sydney, Manly Beach is probably the most recommended beach.  I am in two minds about whether I agree.  On the plus side, Manly has the benefit of a beautiful journey to get there.  It has loads of nice things in the surrounding area, including Shelley Beach, Freshwater Beach and the Manly Scenic walkway.  It has all the amenities you could possibly need, and many you don't.  Importantly for us, it has nice bars close by to the beach to enjoy a beer while you listen to the waves.

One of the smaller beaches beside the ferry terminal
However, it is just a little bit too busy for me.  This is obviously a personal preference, but I just have a preference for beaches that are a little quieter.  When we went to Manly, we tended to prefer Shelley Beach, as it was usually (although not always) a little quieter.  We loved Manly as a whole, but the beach just wasn't the highlight for us.  Of course, the constant crowds suggest that there is a good chance that you will feel differently.  It's all about opinions...

Sticky out rocks - great for getting pictures back towards beaches
What is your opinion?  Do you think Manly Beach is the best beach in Sydney?  As always, please leave any questions, comments or Manly related puns in the comments below.

That boat is just asking to get nicked

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