Skip to main content

Looking for a way to get your steps up while you are in Manly? There are plenty of walks to escape the hustle and bustle of Sydney.  Take in historic sites, Sydney skyline views, hidden beaches and discover more of what Manly and the Northern Beaches has to offer.

Before you head out, visit us at the Manly Visitor Information Centre near Manly Wharf for detailed maps.

We’ve put together a list of the best walks in Manly.

Manly to Shelly Beach Walk

Take a stroll along the walkway to Shelly Beach past Cabbage Tree Bay Aquatic Reserve and enjoy the beautiful ocean views.

Put your feet in the coarse sand and jump into the calm waters of Shelly Beach. Grab your snorkel and mask to get up close and personal with some the Manly locals that live under the water in Cabbage Tree Bay.

One of the most popular walks on our list, the Manly to Shelly Beach walk should not be missed.


Distance 1km one way
Time20 minutes one way
Highlights Sculptures, Fairy Bower Pool, Cabbage Tree Bay
Difficulty Easy

North Head Sanctuary

The North Head Sanctuary walk is a nine kilometre walk that starts and finishes at Manly Wharf. It offers fantastic views of the ocean, Sydney CBD skyline and Sydney Harbour. This walk also forms part of the 80km Bondi to Manly walkway.

North Head is a perfect spot for history buffs, as the National Park is home to the old Quarantine Station, North Fort and the Army Barracks. There are also history tours available of the Quarantine Station, 3rd Quarantine Cemetery and the World War II tunnels.

Part of the North Head scenic area will be closed while upgrades are underway, for more information check the National Parks website.

Distance 9 km
Time3 hours round trip
Highlights Fairfax look out, Bella Vista, Q Station, Quarantine 3rd Cemetery
Difficulty Moderate

Manly to Spit Walkway

Manly Walks
Image courtesy of Destination NSW

The Manly to Spit walk is a ten kilometre coastal hike through the stunning Sydney Harbour National park and past some of Sydney’s most picturesque harbour beaches. Along the way you will enjoy panoramic views of the majestic entrance to Sydney Harbour. You can start the walk from either end, but we prefer to start the walk from the Spit Bridge. After the ten kilometres Manly has plenty of places to refuel, drink or to cool off after the three hour walk and it is easy to catch the ferry to the city.

This walk also forms part of the 80km Manly to Bondi walkway.

Distance 10km (one way)
Time3 hours
Highlights Sydney Harbour National Park, Dobroyd Head, Reef Beach,
Difficulty Moderate- Hard


Manly to Dee Why walk

Best Walks in Manly

The Dee Why to Manly walk is another fantastic coastal walk that has stunning ocean views the entire way. Be sure to pack your swimmers for a swim at one of the four beaches you’ll pass on the way. The walk has headland views, beach boardwalks and views up the Northern Beaches. It’s stunning from either direction, so it doesn’t matter where you start.

Distance 7km (one way)
Time1 hour 30 minutes
Highlights North Curl Curl Headland, Duke Kahanamoku statue in Freshwater, Worm Hole
Difficulty Easy


If you are looking for Sydney’s best bars and restaurants, then Manly Beach has you covered! From ocean sunrise breakfasts with coffee delights, to a smashed avocado for brunch, authentic Mexican for lunch, sunset drinks and fresh seafood with harbour views – Manly beats Bondi hands down with over 150 venues to choose from.