What to do and see in Manly, Australia: The Best Places and Tips

August 5, 2017 Mollie Coke

Discover the best top things to do in Manly, Australia including Champagne Sailing Sydney, Manly Sea Life Sanctuary - Shark Dive Xtreme, Balmoral, Local Eyes Sydney, Hayden Orpheum Picture Palace, Sydney Harbour, Shelly Beach, Sydney Private Sailing, North Head Sanctuary, North Head.
Restaurants in Manly

1. Champagne Sailing Sydney

15 Amiens Rd, Clontarf, Manly, New South Wales 2093, Australia
Excellent
95%
Good
4%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 140 reviews

Champagne Sailing Sydney

Luxury yacht and catamaran charters for 2 to 43 people on beautiful Sydney Harbour.Half day and overnight packages, corporate charters,romantic packages and christmas partys.Perfect for couples,families, bucks/hens partys, weddings, proposals and corporates. Flexible and friendly service,clean & comfortable boats, pick up at various locations on Sydney Harbour.

Reviewed By Chloe P - Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

We had the most wonderful time out on Sydney harbour with Robbie and Monnie celebrating my husband's 30th birthday. Juliet and Tim were amazing to deal with from my very first enquiry. Unfortunately due to terrible weather we were unable to take our sail when we had hoped in November but Juliet an Tim did everything they possibly could to accommodate us at another date. When we finally did get to go the wait was more than worthwhile. Not only were we upgraded to their beautiful larger boat but we felt like royalty the whole time. Robbie and Monnie were incredibly attentive but at the same time gave us enough space to make it still feel very romantic.
We were able to take whatever food and drinks that we liked on board which was fantastic. We also opted for their beautiful seafood platter and enjoyed oysters, smoked salmon, a beautiful salad and they most delicious barbecued salmon and prawns! It was brilliant! We could not have asked for anything more. I can't thank Champagne sailing enough for such a beautiful night. I don't think there are many other companies in Sydney who offer the same service. We are planning on coming back to do it again with friends!

2. Manly Sea Life Sanctuary - Shark Dive Xtreme

West Esplanade | Manly Sea Life Sanctuary, Manly, New South Wales 2095, Australia +61 2 8251 7878
Excellent
84%
Good
11%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 443 reviews

Manly Sea Life Sanctuary - Shark Dive Xtreme

Take the plunge with Shark Dive Xtreme for the opportunity of a lifetime! Come face to face with huge critically endangered Grey Nurse Sharks, sea turtles, stingrays and a vast array of other marine life. Experienced instructors will prepare you by teaching the basics of SCUBA diving in the classroom and training pool so you feel confident before meeting the sharks. The 2.5 hour experience includes a 30 minute dive in Shark Harbour, the 4 million litre ocean tank. Friends and family are able to watch all the action from the underwater viewing tunnel. Take the challenge a step further with Shark Feed Xtreme, a unique opportunity to be in the tank to watch the sharks and fish being fed. Shark Dive Xtreme is great for first time and experienced divers. All equipment is supplied, just bring swimmers and a towel. Optional in-water photos are available to view and purchase following the dive. Bookings are essential. Medical restrictions apply.

Reviewed By AjKamath - Bengaluru, India

Was always a dream to swim with these magnificent and amazing creatures and this was the perfect first time! The booking process was super easy and despite a slight issue with the booking, due to over booked slots, the people at Manly Sanctuary were just so nice and made sure I got a great deal for the next dive! I didn’t mind the wait as I was able to fit in a bit of snorkeling :)
The dive itself is totally worth it and the sharks are absolutely HUGE!! It’s everything you want to experience and more... the StingRay, the huge Turtle and the other smaller sharks all add to the fun. However, the Grey Nurse Sharks are the stars and makes you truly realize how big and powerful these creatures are and makes you respect them and understand them more. Definitely will go back and do it again... highly recommended activity for diving enthusiasts and non divers (the team is amazing with first time divers!!!) and shark lovers.

The Esplanade, Balmoral, Mosman, New South Wales 2088, Australia
Excellent
67%
Good
28%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 555 reviews

Balmoral

Reviewed By lucass_10 - Kyoto, Japan

Lovely beach to visit particularly if you have non-swimmers and/or small kids. Water quality is OK but quite variable. Avoid after any rain as there are multiple storm water drains that discharge to the beach right around the baths. Note that the baths are NOT near Balmoral Bathers. There used to be another set of baths (shark nets) near the Balmoral Bathers but they were removed a few years ago. The water quality is generally better at the northern end. Being a fairly swish area the food and parking prices here are eyewatering. The local parking cops are brutal (and they have to be to deal with the locals) so don't risk not buying a ticket. Well worth dropping everyone at the beach and heading away from the beach for free parking.
Public toilets are located in several locations along the beach, some with hot showers.
There are several places around the baths (i.e. the southern end) that have shade from trees on the beach courtesy of some very nice old fig trees.
My tip is get there early (before 8) and get away by about 11 as the hoards descend. Less wind, less chance of getting burnt and much easier to park. Bring your own food and save a small fortune. For the more adventurous snorkelling is OK - particularly beneath the timber decks around the baths where a surprising number of fish (and the odd octopus and seahorse) hide in the shade. If the conditions are good (and there isn't anyone fishing) the snorkel around the "island" is also not bad.
The other thing to note about Balmoral is that it is very protected from southerly and sou'westerly winds when many people would assume that it is too windy or cold to go to the beach. Equally, it gets a bit windy when the northeaster kicks in.

4. Local Eyes Sydney

Balgowlah, Manly, New South Wales 2093, Australia
Excellent
100%
Good
0%
Satisfactory
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Terrible
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Overall Ratings

5 based on 18 reviews

Local Eyes Sydney

Local Eyes hosts both small groups (7 to a maximum of 10) for our day tours up to 240 people on our boat charters. Our philosophy is “doing is better than just seeing”. We specialise in hosting International and Interstate Visitors, Corporate Hosting and Spousal Programs. We specialise in Boat cruises, Drive and Walk Tours, Private hosting and local Learning Experiences.

Reviewed By LJW221 - Sydney, Australia

What a fabulous way to see beautiful Sydney Harbour! Our hosts Jamie and Alex were so friendly and relaxed and made us feel right at home on the superb Local Eyes cruiser. The visit to Sydney Fish Markets was an experience and the lunch was beautiful. What a great day. Thankyou Jamie and Alex!

5. Hayden Orpheum Picture Palace

380 Military Rd, Cremorne, North Sydney, New South Wales 2090, Australia +61 2 9908 4344
Excellent
72%
Good
24%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 242 reviews

Hayden Orpheum Picture Palace

Reviewed By sydneysider48 - Sydney, Australia

With delightful art deco interiors and comfortable Seating, this is a great cinema complex with a number of separate cinemas allowing a large variety of films to be shown simultaneously. We are regulars. Prices are very cheap if one buys a book of ten tickets and drinks can also be purchased to take into the cinema.
The only disadvantage is the INNUMERABLE advertisements through which one is forced to sit before the actual film starts. It's right over the top and with the prices charged the huge additional revenue should not be necessary - or it should be netted off the price of the ticket to compensate patrons for their pain in suffering the mindless advertising.

6. Sydney Harbour

Sydney, New South Wales, Australia +61 2 9240 8500
Excellent
81%
Good
16%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 18 reviews

Sydney Harbour

Secluded Beaches, quiet coves and soaring headlands predominate this harbor, which is considered one of the world's most beautiful.

Reviewed By FrankieLankie - Hong Kong, China

Started the day walking from Paddington to Hyde Park (about 20min). We started at Hyde Park and strolled through this great park. We then headed towards the Domain, which then led us to the Royal Botanical Garden, which then led us to the Sydney Harbour.
Here you can go to the Opera house (left) or we went (right) over to Mrs. Macquarie’s chair/point.
From the point we headed back towards the botanical Gardens and stopped by the art museum for a snack. The cafe was great and just what we needed.
After this we headed back to our place in Paddington.
Was a great day for sight seeing the best of Sydney.
ENJOY!

7. Shelly Beach

Manly, New South Wales 2095, Australia
Excellent
67%
Good
28%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 1 reviews

Shelly Beach

Reviewed By stinkwink - Sydney, Australia

From Manly Beach walk on the Marine Pde to reach Shelly Beach. The stroll itself is very entertaining, watching the seabirds, the amazing rock formations, the snorkellers at Cabbage Tree Bay Aquatic Reserve, and the little sculptures on the side of the footpath. Shelly Beach, though its name implies that the sand is made up of crushed shells and is, therefore, a bit rougher than the velvety sand of other Beaches, its perfect location compensates for everything. There is a shade of the cabbage trees; the Boathouse Kiosk serves food and drinks. The rocks encompassing the little bay are excellent protection against the bigger waves. Real family beach, where the little folk can splash about safely. It's a real paradise for snorkeling, so do not forget your equipment at home.

8. Sydney Private Sailing

Clontarf Marina | Sandy Bay Road, Clontarf, Manly, New South Wales 2093, Australia
Excellent
100%
Good
0%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
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Overall Ratings

5 based on 19 reviews

Sydney Private Sailing

Reviewed By 835Cilla64 - Sydney, Australia

Recently a group of women all of us in our sixties had two days of tuition with Annie on her yacht Topcat learning crewing. It was a wonderful experience and we had so much fun. Annie is a very good teacher, calm, informative, patient with...MoreThanks you very ladies for your kind review. l always really enjoy teaching women of all ages and being able to give them the confidence to know that they can sail just as well as the boys!

9. North Head Sanctuary

North Head Scenic Drive, Manly, Manly, New South Wales, Australia
Excellent
68%
Good
28%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 215 reviews

North Head Sanctuary

Reviewed By DaisyQ3 - Port Macquarie, Australia

What a humbling experience walking through this amazing memorial to Australian servicemen and women who fought for our country!
At the beginning there's a lookout with magnificent views of the harbour entrance to south Head and beyond.
It was an excellent opportunity for the children to find areas commemorating different wars and look for local RSL Club sites. They found a plaque for their grandfather!
A peaceful, thought provoking and picturesque experience!

10. North Head

Scenic Drive, Manly, New South Wales, Australia +61 2 8969 2100
Excellent
70%
Good
27%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 340 reviews

North Head

Reviewed By Dabblings - Sandhurst, United Kingdom

Take ferry to Manly, cross the road & catch bus 135 which goes half hourly from south of wharf at east Esplanade Stand B out to North Head Sanctuary Visitors Centre. This is opposite the ferry exit on far side of road by Grinti's cafe with black & white sunshades. On a Sunday the buses don't run until 11am. Self guided walks 1.5 - 2 hours, past forts, gun emplacements, underground tunnels (only on Sunday tour), fabulous views over the harbour. Then there's a loop road/walking track which will take you to Fairfax Lookout - 1km & 17 mins walk.

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