Summer's end is fast approaching in the Northern Hemisphere, and with that in mind, there is no better time to start planning a trip to Australia. Only, Australian summer (in your winter) means high tourist season in the Lucky Country, which in turns also means busy city beaches in Sydney.
You may have heard of a little place called Bondi Beach. It's the type of place that hits the dream lists for travelers to Australia, and rightfully so. The stadium style beach front, good surf waves, and a large gathering of people from all over the world add to the vibe.... but sometimes it is literally just too packed for its own good!
In those cases, I often recommend a little beach town up north of Sydney, only a short 30 minute ferry ride away from Circular Quay, called Manly. Not only can you enjoy the beach in Manly, but you can explore the city's offerings as well.
Visit Manly Sea Life Sanctuary
This aquarium is home to sea turtles, penguins and sharks to name a few. If you'd like a closer look at some endangered gray nurse sharks, the main feature is now the Shark Dive Xtreme – an attraction where you can literally dive with sharks. Heck, you can even make it a date night!
Take up kayaking
Manly Kayaks has two locations: One off the West Esplanade and another on the Manly Wharf. It's a great place to pick up some kayaking for a sea kayaking adventure, rent a stand-up paddle board, or sign up for a combined yoga and paddle group.
Visit Manly Markets
The Manly Markets run every Saturday and Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm. Here you can find a variety of stalls including food, produce, clothing, crafts and more. Plus, they're open air which means you get to partake in the market while still enjoying the pleasurable surrounds of Manly.
Take a walk
Manly boasts dozens of picturesque walks in its surrounds from paved strolls to harder journeys for hikers. Manly to Shelly Beach, for example, is a leisurely walk that takes about 40 minutes to complete, making it a nice addition to a Manly visit.
Have a drink at Wharf Bar
What better way to end the day in Manly than to sit back on the wharf with a cold beer in hand? The Wharf Bar has prime real estate, making it the perfect location to watch a sunset or be inspired by water views.
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