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Manly Beach, Sydney, in May 2016 3 pixel gap

It's just after 10.30am on a Saturday in May and already Manly Beach is buzzing with activity. It's only two weeks before the start of winter, but you wouldn't know it going by the number of people on the beach.   Picture: ©

Manly the pick of Sydney's surf beaches

Bondi Beach has the fame and is an icon for international tourists, but Manly Beach takes our vote for best Sydney surf beach for visitors.


Manly's easy access via ferry from Circular Quay, the beach's position adjacent to the The Corso and its many cafes, restaurants, pubs and shops, the aesthetic beauty of the beach promenade and its row of Norfolk pines, and the added bonus of a delightful walking path to Cabbage Tree Bay at the southern end of the beach all make Manly special.


There is so much to do in the area surrounding the beach that a day out at Manly ends up being much more than a visit to the beach.


On weekends in the summer months the beach is blanketed with tourists and locals alike. If you've wanted to learn how too surf, you can learn here. Local businesses rent surfboards and provide surfing lessons. Most beachgoers, however, are content to lie on the beach and soak up the sun. And for those not used to the hot Australian sun, the towering pine trees provide plenty of shade.


Excellent lifesaving facilities are in place to make the beach a safe venue even for the inexperienced, and although Manly Beach is an ocean beach the conditions for swimming are good.


Drifting away from the beach, there are shops to explore in The Corso and any number of sidewalk cafes to laze about in. For the more adventurous, a "pub crawl" through the large smattering of bars on Manly Wharf is an adventure in itself.


bullet pointBeaches in Australia once used to be a male domain. Now the women have taken over, making surf beaches like Manly every bit their own - Girls day out on Manly Beach

bullet pointThe Australian Open of Surfing is held at Manly Beach in February each year

Women walk along the promenade at Manly Beach, Sydney 3 pixel gap

You don't have to lie on the sand to enjoy a day out at Manly Beach.  
Picture: ©

A lifeguard's rescue board lies ready at Manly Beach, Sydney 3 pixel gap

Soaking up the sun.   Picture: ©

Seagulls gather near a woman lying on Manly Beach, Sydney 3 pixel gap

Seagulls are a girl's best friend.   Picture: ©

Two men prepare for a morning of surfing at Manly Beach, Sydney 3 pixel gap

Looking forward to a morning surf at a quieter part of the beach.  
Picture: ©

Surfers catch a wave at Manly Beach, Sydney 3 pixel gap

It's getting crowded out there.   Picture: ©

Women play beach volleyball at Manly Beach, Sydney 3 pixel gap

Competition is fierce among this group of volleyballers at one of the six volley ball courts mapped out out in the sand on Manly Beach for weekend play.  
Picture: ©

A surfer manages to stay upright at Manly Beach, Sydney 3 pixel gap

Easy does it.   Picture: ©

A beach artist at Manly Beach, Sydney 3 pixel gap

A beach artist applies the finishing touches to his latest masterpiece.  
Picture: ©

Beach-goers look for a spot to set up at Manly Beach, Sydney 3 pixel gap

New arrivals scan the Manly Surf Club end of the beach for a spot to set up for the day. Picture: ©

People sit and watch happenings at Manly Beach, Sydney 3 pixel gap

It's 11am and other parts of Manly Beach are buzzing with sun worshippers.  
Picture: ©

A weekend market draws more visitors to Manly Beach, Sydney 3 pixel gap

A weekend market draws more visitors to Manly Beach.   Picture: ©

Manly Beach, Sydney