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The Northern Peninsula starts at Shelley Beach (Manly) and ends at Palm Beach. There are many patrolled safe beaches along this gorgeous stretch of coastline, and that’s not counting the beaches within Pittwater or on the fringe of Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park. So if you are a keen surfer, windsurfer, beach lover or just adore exploring new and interesting beaches, then hop in a car or ride a bicycle and enjoy the delights of this awesome peninsula, which houses some of Sydney’s best kept secrets and little gems, known usually only by the locals.
Cabbage Tree Bay which encompasses Shelley Beach was named after the Cabbage Tree Palm. The beach is the only west facing beach on Australia's east coast and is filled with unique marine life such as the Eastern Blue Groper, the Weedy Sea Dragon, Gloomy Octopus and Little Penguin. The bay is an ideal spot for scuba diving and snorkelling because of its clear and shallow waters. Shelley Beach is a haven for sun seekers. It is a popular sheltered beach so it is especially safe for families and children. This is a great beach for stand up paddling.
Famous Manly is everything Australian. It is a lively Sydney beach resort with excellent accommodation, restaurants, cafes and pubs. Its alive with screeching seagulls, long sandy beaches, small coves, inlets, swaying Norfolk Pines, bikinis, cold icy beer and surfboards.
To top it off, festivals, music, flip flops, pink zinc, fish and chips, yachts, boats, divers, fishermen, lifeguards and a National Trust Oceanfront Promenade are all part of Manly's culture.
Lets Eat :
Located in the centre of Manly Beach this is where most “Learn to surf lessons” are held. There are plenty of cafes opposite the surf club to have coffee or lunch. You will also find the Manly Malibu Board Riders Club here, which meet on the 1st Sunday on each month. North Steyne is known to get some excellent surf and when the high seas or tides are up, keen and brave surfers love to ride the “Bombora”, which is about a kilometre off shore.
Lets Eat: Hugo's www.hugos.com.au/manly
Novotel Sydney www.manlypacifichotel.com.au
Learn to surf - Contact www.manlysurfschool.com
Windsurfing hire/lesson/ beach tours: contact www.windsurfingreligion.com
The northern end of Manly is called Queenscliff Beach, which has a lagoon estuary that empties into the ocean. It is quieter than Manly and is used mainly by the locals. There is an ocean pool and a tunnel, which was once chiselled out by local fishermen as a short cut to Freshwater Beach. If visiting this beach take a stroll along the lagoon. A small shop is located across the road from the surf club.
Freshwater Beach is in the suburb of Harbord, it is tucked away between Queenscliff and Curl Curl Beach. It’s a lovely beach, which is well known for its excellent safe patrolled surf. There is a large rock swimming pool situated at the northern end of the beach. The famous restaurant now called Pilu is housed in a beautiful sandstone building overlooking the beach. Bookings are essential Tel: 9938 3331.
Just a few doors down, is the Harbord Hotel (known by locals as the Harbord Hilton) which is excellent for having a few beers or lunch at. Freshwater has a surf club with toilets and changing rooms. A lovely park behind the surf club is fabulous for a picnic. The surf Club has a small shop for buying light refreshments. If not driving then Freshwater can be reached by catching the bus 139 from Manly Wharf. You can also walk either through the chisel tunnel at Queenscliff or up the stairs leading from Queenscliff bridge over the lagoon.
Is divided up into three beaches, South Curl Curl, Curl Curl and North Curl Curl Beach and is approx 1.5 kilometres long. South Curl Curl can be very exposed to the weather and can get some very strong rips and currents. There is a rock pool, surf club and a café on the beachfront for light refreshments. Curl Curl has no surf club and is more suited for surf boarding. North Curl Curl is very sheltered and protected and is loved by families; there is a surf club, rock pool, shop and plenty of parking available.
If walking then Curl Curl Beach can be reached from Freshwater Beach along the headland, or by catching the Bus 139 from Manly Wharf.
Dee Why beachfront has now been upgraded with many trendy restaurants and cafes. It is very popular for breakfast and lunch. The beachfront is lined with large Norfolk pine trees similar to Manly Beach, and there are excellent facilities for having picnics with disabled access paths. The beach is approx 2km long, and has a fabulous rock pool overlooking the ocean, with an excellent walk along the headland to North Curl Curl Beach.
Dee Why lagoon is situated at the northern end of the beach and is a wildlife refuge, it sometimes opens up to the sea. It 's a favourite beach walk done by most Sydneysiders Dee Why to Long Reef and up to Long Reef Golf Course. Do not attempt to swim outside the flags, as this beach can be extremely dangerous for rips and currents.
If visiting by public transport catch the Bus 136 or 157 from Manly Wharf or the 177 from Wynyard. If walking from Nth Curl Curl follow the path along the headland.
Lets Eat: The Sand Bar on the Strand or any of the other fine cafes.
This amazing beach is favoured by fisherman, windsurfers, surfers, abseiling and kite surfers. The beach is also well known for its famous golf course, which sits proudly on the headland with the most amazing views. This beach can also be very dangerous with its constant rips and currents, so only swim between the flags. There is a surf club on the northern end with toilets and change rooms. Next door to Long Reef is a small beach called Fisherman’s Beach, which is apart of Long Reef Aquatic Reserve. It’s a great place for a picnic or just relaxing on the grassy area. It is also used mostly by boaties, divers and fisherman to launch their boats.
Is now very popular with backpackers, as Sydney Beachouse Backpackers (YHA) is located here. There are plenty of shops, cafes, and restaurants along Pittwater Road. This beach is popular for picnics as it has a charming grassy area with table and chairs, and a playground for children. There is a surf club, changing rooms and a delightful rock pool.
If travelling by Public Transport catch the 182 or the L87, L88 or L90 bus from Wynyard or the 155, 157 from Manly Wharf .
Lets Eat :
The Surf Rock Hotel www.surfrockhotel.com.au
Lets Sleep :
Other: www.outdoorshack.com.au - sports hire equipment
This beach is divided up to three beaches, South Narrabeen Beach, Narrabeen Beach and North Narrabeen Beach. It also is blessed with Narrabeen Lakes, which is a very popular spot for families and water sports, such as rowing, fishing, boating, windsurfing, canoeing, sailing, waterskiing, and kayaking. This is a great beach for learners. The Lakes are situated around numerous reserves, which also contain Narrabeen Caravan Park, which is a Sydney icon.
There are some excellent walking tracks around the lagoon and lakes. South Narrabeen Beach is located at the end of Clarke Street; it has a surf club with facilities. Narrabeen Beach also has a surf club with plenty of cafes and restaurants available. North Narrabeen is famous for being one of the best surf breaks in the world, many world championship competitions are held here regularly. The reason the surf is so good is because of “Shark Alley” a deep channel and with the lagoon emptying into the sea creates a sandbar, which then produces extraordinary waves.
By transport catch the 182 L87, L88 or L90 from Wynyard or the bus 155 or 157 from Manly.
Sand Bistro Narrabeen Sands Hotel www.narrabeensandshotel.com.au
BBQs: electronic BBQs are located on the reserves off Wakehurst Parkway.
Other: www.prokayaks.com.au - kayak hire.
Windsurfing and SUP hire or lessons available through www.windsurfingreligion.com
A tiny beach located below the steep cliffs, the beach is not patrolled and has been known to have numerous rips and strong currents, but it is used mainly by the locals as their secret spot.
A superb protected beach, as it has two headlands on either side. It also is known for the “blowhole" which many youngsters love to be adventurous and jump from the cliff into the hole. It is extremely dangerous and it has over the years, caused many serious accidents. There is a great walking track located on the southern headland and leads to North Narrabeen Beach. A surf club with facilities and a car park is also available on the beachfront. Catch the 157 bus from Wynyard.
This a long and slender beach, which has a surf club and facilities, it is liked mostly because of the rock baths located on a rock platform at the southern end of the beach. Mona Vale is also the gateway to Church Point , Scotland Island and Pittwater. If you have time travel along Pittwater Road to Church Point and have a drink at the Pasadena Hotel, another Sydney icon hotel, which has been operating for 75 years. You can catch a ferry to Scotland Island from here, and they also have accommodation available. A fabulous way to break up your trip to Palm Beach. From Church Point, you can drive further along to McCarr's Creek Road, and see the Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, there is awesome views of the area at West Head Lookout.
Catch the Bus 157 from Manly or the bus 185, L87, L88 or L90 from Wynyard.
Lets Eat :
Lets Sleep :
This little beach is amazing and can only be accessed by two steep walkways down a cliff, there is no road access. It is patrolled through the summer months and has a small picnic area and a children’s playground. If you want to have privacy and intimacy then this gem of a beach will suit you perfectly. You can also stay here if available at the Bungan Beach House.
Newport has about everything you need if you are a boatie, sailor, diver or surfer. Newport Beach lies between Bungan Beach and Bilgola Beach. It is the gateway to the beautiful waters of Pittwater, Brisbane waters, Hawkesbury River and Broken Bay. Newport Beach is situated on Barrenjoey Road and is a safe surfing beach with BBQ facilities and a surf club with changing rooms. On the western side of Newport lies Pittwater with some of Sydney's icon clubs and hotels, such as the Royal Price Alfred Yacht Club, the Royal Motor Yacht Club, and the famous Newport Arms Hotel, all providing excellent marina facilities.
If you are looking for somewhere to dine, then all of these places are fabulous offering gorgeous views of Pittwater, and all are waterfrontage. Catch the bus L87, L88 or L90 from Wynyard.
Lets Eat :
What a striking and elegant beach, nestled in a tropical oasis of palm trees between two headlands. It really is one of Sydney's best kept secrets, for those looking for an intimate beach, you cannot go past Bilgola. There is a steep drive down to the beach from Barrenjoey Road; you do have to be careful not to miss the turn off. Bilgola is named after an Aboriginal word meaning “swirling waters”. There is a surf club and a lovely quaint rock pool with limited parking available. Catch the bus L88 or L90 or the 191 from Newport Beach.
Situated between Bilgola Beach and Whale Beach this is an attractive place to stop and spend some time strolling through the shops. There are some excellent cafes and restaurants. The beach is favoured for picnics with beautiful shady trees, BBQ facilities with picnic tables. There is a pretty rock pool at the southern end of the beach. If you have time take a short drive down Avalon Parade and visit Clareville Beach, it’s an exquisite charming beach, oozing with heaps of character, and if you want somewhere special to eat then cannot go past Clareville Kiosk.
One of Sydneysider’s favourite beaches, nestled between Avalon Beach and Palm Beach. It also houses some of Sydney's most expensive real estate. The surf club was a popular club in the 50’s for families and today Whale Beach remains very popular amongst Sydneysiders. Whale Beach also houses one of Sydney ’s finest restaurants and B&Bs called Jonah’s, situated on the cliff overlooking the ocean.
Catch the L88, L90 bus or the 191 from Newport Beach .
Lets Eat :
Palm Beach is situated approximately 40km from Sydney CBD and is Sydney’s most northerly beach positioned on the Pacific Ocean foreshores; it has the magnificent waterways of Pittwater nestled behind, which is an inlet of Broken Bay. Barrenjoey Headland and lighthouse strongly dominates the end of the Northern Peninsula with its stunning views of West Head and Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park. Palm Beach is famous for numerous things, mainly being the location for the popular TV series “Home and Away”. It houses some of Sydney ’s most exclusive and prestigious real estate owned by well-known movie stars, writers and prominent Australian identities. Palm Beach is 3km long with a superb surfing beach; it also has a delightful 50 metre ocean swimming pool where you will find many recognized locals having their morning swim.
Palm Beach is an exclusive suburb saturated in an abundance of natural beauty; it is well worth a day trip to experience this tranquil peaceful and casual beachside village, or a better option is to have a weekend away. Palm Beach is uncomplicated to get to by public transport, just hop on the L90 from Wynyard Station; you could also get off and discover some other interesting suburbs such as Newport and Avalon Beach whilst waiting for the next bus. It takes approx 60 – 80 minutes depending on traffic as various parts of the road turns and winds around some rather spectacular scenery. Another alternative is to catch a Seaplane from Rose Bay it takes about 12 – 15 minutes, but this can be expensive.
Don't forget to take a cruise of the Hawkesbury River from Palm Beach Wharf. The ferry departs 11.00am daily and returns at 3.30pm. Otherwise, you can catch the twilight cruise on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays during school holidays which departs at 5.30pm and returns at 7.30pm, just in time for dinner www.sydneysceniccruises.com. There are plenty of excellent restaurants across the road from the wharf. Another option is to take the ferry ride over to The Basin, a beautiful beach tucked away in the National Park.
For those who drive, Palm Beach offers an arrangement where you buy a parking ticket ($5 for up to four hours) and it can be used in any of the car parks on the peninsula.
TOP HINT: Once you have explored all the Northern Suburb beaches to Palm Beach, park your car at Palm Beach Wharf and discover the wonderful little gems on Pittwater by catching a ferry from the wharf to any of these beautiful places.
This little beach is a real gem, tucked away in the Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park. It is a favourite for many as it offers a camping ground with showers and toilets. The beach is netted and very sheltered and protected from any wind. Most boaties like to moor here if a strong southerly is blowing. Bookings are essential for camping - Tel :9974 1011. There are some excellent walks through the National Park, which start from the back of the showers. www.palmbeachferries.com.au Please take your own food and water, as there are no shops at the Basin. In summer time, a motorboat shop comes in from Palm Beach with the basic essentials.
Ferries run hourly from Palm Beach Wharf 9am - 5pm Monday to Thursday. 9am-8pm Friday 9am to 6pm Saturday and Sunday.
Another beach which is part of the Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park. Access via Beach Public Wharf [Barrenjoey Road] by ferry or catch the 190 or L90 bus at Stand D from Wynyard Station. This is located on Carrington Street.
Lets Sleep: Currawong Beach Cabins
The Palm Beach ferry stops off at Mackeral Beach. Its a cute little beach to stroll along, and well worth the effort to stop and explore this quaint beach, until the next ferry arrives to take you back to Palm Beach.
This little gem of a beach is neatly tucked away in the National Park. The best way to reach it, is by catching the ferry from Palm beach Wharf. Patonga has some great walks, especially the wonderful Tony Doyle Walking Trail leads to a stunning lookout over Broken Bay. At the southern end of the beach, there is a caravan park with great facilities, with the ocean in front and a tidal inlet with mangroves and mudflats behind. A ferry service to Brooklyn which is a fabulous way to see the Hawkesbury River departs at Patonga Monday, Tuesday and Thursdays at 2.15pm. Saturdays - 11.45am, 2.15pm. Sundays - 11.45am.
Lets Eat: There is limited restaurants in Patonga, but there is a general store which sells fab fish and chips.
Lets Sleep: Patonga Beach Caravan and Camping Area - Bay Street Patonga Tel : 02 4379 1287
Ettalong is located at the ocean entrance leading into Brisbane waters. The Aboriginal word Ettalong means “Place for Drinking”. It is a desired beach for many Sydneysiders. A new ferry service operates daily scheduled departures from Palm Beach Wharf to Wagstaff and on to Ettalong. The 30 minute ferry ride offers stunning views of Lion Island and Broken Bay.
The beach is long and protected with a small village with plenty of cafes available for light refreshments. Take a stroll along the beach and take in the stunning views of Lion Island, Broken Bay and the Hawkesbury River. Weekend markets are held near the beach with over 200 stalls.
Lets Eat : Outrigger Hotel
Lets Sleep : Outrigger Hotel www.outrigger.com.au
To reach this beach, you have to catch the ferry to Ettalong, and then hop into a taxi to Pearl Beach. It's well worth the effort, as the beach is gorgeous, with million dollar waterfront beach houses hidden amongst tall Norfolk Pine trees. The beach is long and slender, with a lovely rock pool on the southern end.There are two cafes and one excellent restaurant called "Pearls on the Beach", this is highly recommended, as the views and food are absolutely stunning.
Lets Eat: www.pearlsonthebeach.com.au - 4342 4400
Opened Thursday to Friday for lunch and dinner - bookings essential.
The best place to start is at Manly Beach.There is only one main road, Pittwater Road which later turns into Barrenjoey Road at Mona Vale. All side roads will connect back, being a peninsula you cannot get lost. Just remember to head North, as the road terminates at Palm Beach.To see all the beaches, you have to divert sometimes off the main road.
1) Freshwater Beach - From Manly drive along North Steyne Road the beachfront, cross Queenscliff lagoon onto Greycliff Rd, turn right at the main intersection between Lawrence and Cavill Street onto Albert Street, turn left again into Moore Street, this will bring you to Freshwater Beach.
2) Curl Curl Beach - From Freshwater Beach head back to Albert Street, turn right at Evans Street, this will lead you onto Carrington Parade (Curl Curl Beach).
3) Nth Curl Curl Beach - From Curl Curl Beach, turn right at Pitt Road.
4) Dee Why - From Nth Curl Curl head back to Griffith Road and head North to Dee Why Beach.
5) Long Reef - go to the end of the Strand and turn left into Dee Why Parade, follow this up to Pittwater Road and turn right, along Pittwater Road you will see a turn off to Long Reef.
6) Fisherman's beach - turn right into Anzac Avenue from Pittwater Road.
7) Collaroy Beach - Pittwater Road, you will see the beach on your right.
8) Narrabeen Beach - head north along Pittwater Road, turn right into Ocean Street. Drive along this road to see Nth Narrabeen and Narrabeen Lakes, and Warriwood Beach.
9) Mona Vale Beach - Take the first right into Golf Parade from Barrenjoey Road, this will lead to the beach.
10) Basin Beach - Barrenjoey Road, take the second turn right into Sea beach Avenue.
11) Bungan Beach - look for the sign of your right Karloo Parade, the track to the beach is on Bungan Head Road.
12) Newport Beach - Barrenjoey Road on your right after Bungan Beach.
13) Bilgola Beach - drive up the hill on Barrenjoey Road, look for the sign on your right, The Serpentine, its on a sharp bend, so proceed with caution.
14) Avalon Beach - Barrenjoey Road, it's the next beach on your right.
15) Whale Beach - drive along Barrenjoey Road from Avalon until you see a sign, turn right into Whale Beach Road, this will lead to the beach.
16) Palm Beach - you can go two ways, either back to Barrenjoey Road and head north or keep on Whale Beach Road. Both roads lead to Palm Beach.
OTHER TRANSPORT :
There are no rail services on the Northern Beaches. www.131500.com.au Tel: 131500
For travel between the City and the Northern Peninsula, buses operate from Wynyard at Carrington Street (Stand C) OR
Railway Square, Lee St (Stand B).
183,184,L84,185,188,L88,190,L90 the L buses have limited stops. 188,L88,190,L90 all terminate at Central Station.
From Manly Wharf (West Esplanade Stand B): Buses 155,156,159 and 169 change to the above at Warringah Mall.
You can buy tickets ( My Multi etc) from a ticketseller or at any newsagent near a bus stop. www.sydneybuses.com.au
Ferry information: www.palmbeachferries.com.au
CAR HIRE : Manly Car Rentals : 65 Kenneth Street Manly Vale - 9949 3554 Avis: 814 Pittwater Road Dee Why - 9982 6622
BICYCLE HIRE : Manly Bike Tours: 2 West Promenade, Manly - 8005 7368 www.manlybiketours.com.au
Windsurfing or SUP tours: customised and fun! Contact: www.windsurfingreligion.com
Medical Centres :
Clubs and Pubs :
Shopping Centres :