Manly Cove or Kai’ymay is a sandy cove on the harbour side of Manly and is one of the first beaches you will see as you arrive by ferry from the city of Sydney. Manly Cove is a key site of the earliest contacts between Aboriginal people, and the British people who arrived on the First Fleet in 1788. Governor Phillip noticed a group of 20 strong men wading out towards their boat and was impressed by their form. He later wrote that he named the place ‘Manly’ for their admirable manly qualities.
Today, Manly Cove is a busy place, every half an hour, the ferries arrive and tourists and day-trippers disembark to explore beautiful Manly. Manly Cove is the perfect beach for families with young children as it usually has relatively calm waters with the western half protected by a shark net and boat access further on. There are also plenty of grassy shaded areas with picnic tables and benches. The walkway along the beach represents the pathway of Olympians and celebrates more than 100 years of Manly residents who represented Australia in the Olympic Games, both Summer, and Winter. From the first Manly Olympian Stan Rowley in 1900, Manly has had a local representative at most Summer Olympics. Since 1992 the Steggall family (Zali and Zekke) has done the suburb proud in the Winter Olympics. There are now more than 80 plaques on the walk, a living history, continuing to expand after each Olympic Games.
If you continue further west along the walkway, you will reach the Manly Art Gallery and Museum, the centre for arts, culture and creativity on the Northern Beaches.
Manly Cove is also the beginning of the Manly to Spit Bridge 10km one-way scenic walk. Make sure you call in at the Manly Visitor Information Centre, to collect your free map of the walk and learn tips from the locals about what to do and where to eat or drink in Manly.