Excursion 2: Ferry to Manly and North Head

We will catch a bus (or light rail) to Circular Quay and then a ferry across Sydney Harbour to Manly. From there, there are several options. The UNSW people leading this outing plan to walk a couple of blocks down the main street, The Corso, to the famous Manly Beach. We then plan to walk east around the coast to the beautiful sheltered Shelly Beach. There is a cafe at Shelly Beach, and several cafes along the way. This is in total about 25 minutes of level walking with glorious views.

You might prefer to explore the Manly area on your own - see suggestions below.

The return trip:
After exploring Manly, we plan to catch the 6.10 pm ferry (F1 route) from Manly Wharf back to Circular Quay to connect there with buses or light rail. Meet at 6 pm near the information centre just outside the ferry wharf or meet on the ferry. Alternatively you may wish to make your way home in your own time.

What to bring:
Sunscreen, sun hat, water bottle. If you might choose to swim or kayak then bring suitable clothes and towel.

Travel Cost:
We travel by bus (or light rail) and F1 Ferry and for this you need an Opal Card (or a contactless credit or debit card). If you tap on and off (on each trip) on the same card there is a daily limit of $16.10 and this will be used for this trip. If you make your way back in your own time, note that there are two different ferry services which run to Manly - the F1 service which we will be using and the Manly Fast Ferry. The Manly Fast Ferry takes 20 minutes rather than 30 minutes and you can still use your Opal card, but the trip costs $9.70 each way and is not included in the daily cap.

Some things to do in Manly:

  • In Manly there are lots of shops including a variety of good souvenir shops and many eateries.
  • Next to the ferry wharf (just to the east) where you can hire a kayak or an SUP board for an hour or two and explore Sydney Harbour at water level. For more information see manlykayakcentre.com.au
  • Ocean swimming. Walk down the Corso to the beach. Manly Ocean beach is famous for swimming and surfing. There are red and yellow flags on the beach to indicate the safest place to swim (‘between the flags’). The beach is patrolled by life guards. Alternatively walk to popular Shelly Beach which is usually quiet water for swimming but is not patrolled by life guards. The ocean rock pool is not available as it closed for cleaning on Wednesdays.
  • If you feel more adventurous, you could explore North Head which has historical buildings, fabulous views across the Harbour and out to the sea, a National Park with bush walks etc. Allow an hour to walk to the end of North Head. The path is sometimes rocky or sandy and there are some steps. Alternatively there is a bus 135 (which goes from from the bus stop opposite the ferry wharf, outside the Crinitis cafe) which is scheduled hourly. There is a good cafe at North Head with modern Italian and Australian food. There is a good brochure about North Head available electronically or you can pick up a copy from the information centre outside the ferry wharf.

More material:

  • We prepared a pdf of the information given here.
  • There is a pdf brochure about Manly and North Head.
  • There is some information prepared by the city of Sydney including a link to a free map of the walk here.