Manly – New South Wales, Australia
With an unexpected day to explore, we decided to take advantage of the network of ferries and visit Manly and the popular beaches there. Known as the birthplace of surfing in Australia, Manly is home to beaches, a downtown full of shops and food, and walking trails.
The ferry system is easy and expansive – there are so many ferries constantly coming in and out of the Quay that go all over. Tap to pay works on all public transit here and that includes the ferry – just tap your phone and off you go. The ferries are also a great way to see the harbor and coastline so even if you do not have a particular destination in mind, you should definitely ride a ferry while visiting Sydney.
The ferry to Manly is only 20 minutes so this was a great way to spend a few hours seeing a new part of Sydney. When we arrived, I was surprised how bustling and active the downtown was – so many shops and places to eat! I had worried it was going to be like our trip to St Kilda where nothing was going on but this was certainly not the case.
We made our way to the beach to watch the ocean and see the surfers. Fortunately the sun came out and made the ocean pop with aqua colors – just beautiful.
The downtown area is quite dense – with so many options, it was really hard to decide on a snack. After swerving through the streets, we found Rollers Bakehouse. Kevin grabbed a coffee and we split a stracciatella pastry pastry topped with tomatoes and cantaloupe – it was a great savory pastry and completed our hobbit lunch.
After, we returned to the beach for a coastal walk that took us up and over the cliffs. The views were wonderful and it was a very relaxing walk.
We had a great time in Manly and understand why this is such a popular spot. I can only imagine how hopping this spot is in the summertime. It was so easy to get here from Sydney and makes for a great afternoon, day, or even overnight.