With the Hurley Australian Open of Surfing set to return to Manly Beach from 7-15 February, we’ve got Manly on our minds right now! Whether you’re visiting Sydney or you’re a local wanting to play tourist in your own city, this gorgeous seaside spot has so much to offer. Especially if you’re as into your wellness as we all here at Sporteluxe! So to entice you to jump on the iconic Manly Ferry (which as an awesome little adventure in itself!) we’ve put together our top seven things to see and do in Manly.
It’s no secret we love our water sports here at Sporteluxe. And with so many beautiful little beaches surrounding Manly it’s not surprising that there is an array of water adventures to be had. Surfing being first and foremost! However, if you’ve never caught a wave in your life that’s no problem as Manly Beach is also home to the number one surf school in Australia, Manly Surf School.
Prefer to sit back and watch? Come along to see the world’s best surfers do their thing at the Hurley Australian Open of Surfing. Or check out the inaugural Sydney Surf Film Festival from 20 January – 1 February for two awesome weeks of surfing films, music and art.
Manly Kayaks is the place to go for kayak and stand up paddle boarding. Whether you want SUP lessons, a kayak tour, to try SUP yoga or simply to hire your own, they’ve got you covered. Their kayak yoga, Pilates and fitness classes, which see you kayak over to a pristine beach and then get your sweat on with a class, are also an amazing experience.
Scenic coastal walks are one thing Manly definitely isn’t short on. However, if you’re after a quick walk filled with beautiful views and sculptures along the way, the 15 minute Cabbage Tree Bay Eco Sculpture walk from The Manly Surf Club to Shelly Beach is our pick. Make sure you pack your swimmers so you can dive into the crystal clear water at Shelly Beach afterwards. If you need to refuel The Bower Restaurant is a great café with incredible views of Cabbage Tree Bay.
Want an insider’s guide to Manly? Uncover lots of local hidden gems (and get a bit of exercise at the same time) by doing a tour with Manly Bike Tours.
If you’d prefer to go it alone they also have a bike hire option, so you can rent a beach cruiser for a few hours and get exploring!
Great dining options abound in Manly, but our current fave hotspot for a sophisticated-yet-relaxed lunch served with killer water views is Papi Chulo at Manly Wharf. The fit out is cool and the fare South American-inspired. There are lots of meaty options for paleo lovers but plenty of fresh seafood on offer too. Think tuna ceviche, oysters with green apple mignonette and snowcrab with green mango. Yum!
Possibly the coolest health haunt in Manly, The Shop Next Door is a wholefoods café attached to a hip surf store. They serve Orchard St juices and smoothies, great coffee and brewed chai (there is even the option of fresh almond milk) and have an amazing selection of raw treats such as Spring Wellness bliss balls. Perfect for an afternoon pick-me-up after a day of Manly adventures. The breakfast menu is also delicious too so you could always begin your day there.
Why would one voluntarily jump into a tank (sans cage!) with Grey Nurse sharks you might ask? Because it’s a once in a lifetime experience that’s why! Having done the Shark Dive experience at Manly SEA LIFE Sanctuary we can attest it’s an adrenaline rush like no other that also gives you a new respect for these incredible creatures.