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Outdoor fun on Sydney’s Northern Beaches

Barrenjoey Lighthouse Walk, Palm BeachCREDIT: Destination NSW

Soak up the incredible views of Sydney’s Northern Beaches on the Barrenjoey Lighthouse Walk.

#ilovesydney

Outdoor fun on Sydney’s
Northern Beaches

Barrenjoey Lighthouse Walk, Palm Beach CREDIT: Destination NSW

Soak up the incredible views of Sydney’s Northern Beaches on the Barrenjoey Lighthouse Walk.

#ilovesydney

Hashtags #ilovesydney

Hop on a ferry from Circular Quay to Manly and discover a different side of Sydney. Stretching for 30km from Manly north to Palm Beach, Sydney’s laid-back Northern Beaches is one of the city’s most spectacular natural playgrounds. Whether you’re into beach-hopping or mountain biking, there are myriad opportunities to indulge your favourite outdoor pursuit. Here are some fun activities to try.  

Beach hopping 

With more than 20 surf beaches alone on the Northern Beaches, the most difficult choice you’ll need to make here is which stretch of sand to enjoy. Families flock to protected Freshwater; it’s also one of more than a dozen northern beaches with an ocean pool. You can surf at all the ocean beaches, with Manly, Narrabeen, and Curl Curl among the more popular spots. At the northern end of the region, Palm Beach is the most glamorous beach of them all.  

Snorkelling and scuba diving 

A calm, picturesque cove at the southern end of Manly, Shelly Beach is one of Sydney’s best snorkelling and scuba diving spots. Part of the Cabbage Tree Bay Aquatic Reserve, its shallow waters are home to schools of fish, docile wobbegong sharks, giant cuttlefish and more. Bring your own snorkel and head straight out from the beach, or increase your chances of spotting marine critters by signing up for a guided snorkelling tour with Manly Eco Treasures. Dive Centre Manly runs snorkelling and diving tours to the site, while Pro Dive Manly focusses on dive tours and courses — Shelly Beach is one of the most popular places in Sydney to get Open Water Diver certified.  

North Curl Curl, Sydney CREDIT: Adam Krowitz

Sun setting over North Curl Curl Beach on Sydney's Northern Beaches.

#lovensw #ilovesydney

North Curl Curl, Sydney CREDIT: Adam Krowitz

Sun setting over North Curl Curl Beach on Sydney's Northern Beaches.

#lovensw #ilovesydney

Cabbage Tree Bay Aquatic Reserve, Manly CREDIT: Destination NSW

Freedivers exploring the Cabbage Tree Bay Aquatic Reserve, Manly.

#ilovesydney

Cabbage Tree Bay Aquatic Reserve, Manly CREDIT: Destination NSW

Freedivers exploring the Cabbage Tree Bay Aquatic Reserve, Manly.

#ilovesydney

Mountain biking  

Mountain biking is a rapidly growing sport on the Northern Beaches, with plenty of off-road trails to satisfy all skill levels. One of the most popular rides in the area is the 19km circuit around Manly Dam, which is suitable for all skill levels. To learn the ropes or discover some of the region’s more hidden trails, sign up for a tour with Joe’s Mountain Bike Tours, which runs tours at top mountain biking spots across the region.  

Walking and hiking  

The Northern Beaches is threaded with scenic walking and hiking trails. Among the most spectacular is the track to the heritage Barrenjoey Lighthouse (built in 1881) perched atop Barrenjoey Head at the northern tip of Palm Beach. There are two routes to the top, the 3km (return) Smugglers Track and the shorter Access Trail. Other popular coastal walks include the Dee Why Headland Walk, which traces the cliffs between Dee Why and North Curl Curl beaches for 1.6km, and the 10km Manly Scenic Walkway (also known as the Manly to Spit Bridge Walk) at the southern end of the Northern Beaches.  

Cycling, Manly Beach CREDIT: Destination NSW

Father and son enjoying a bike ride at Manly Beach on Sydney's northern suburbs.

#ilovesydney

Cycling, Manly Beach CREDIT: Destination NSW

Father and son enjoying a bike ride at Manly Beach on Sydney's northern suburbs.

#ilovesydney

Spit Bridge to Manly Walk, Sydney CREDIT: Destination NSW

Couple enjoying stunning coastal views of Sydney Harbour from Dobroyd Head, Balgowlah Heights.

#ilovesydney

Spit Bridge to Manly Walk, Sydney CREDIT: Destination NSW

Couple enjoying stunning coastal views of Sydney Harbour from Dobroyd Head, Balgowlah Heights.

#ilovesydney

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