Some with horrible watermarks – too big and ugly. I don’t believe in watermarks any more at all.
So here is a very spruced up guide to one of our family favourites, Shelly Beach in Manly. With new photos… which are not at all perfect, but much better!
The most southerly of the northern ocean beaches, Shelly Beach at Manly is a scrumptious little spot, easy to get to, with lots of things to do and some opportunities for adventure for the kids. And some treats for the adults.
I love Shelly Beach when I swim in on early morning swims with Sydney’s biggest ocean swimming group the Bold And The Beautiful. If not swimming in, we usually drive and park in the pay carpark above the beach.
You can certainly walk in from Manly, but we find it easiest to park as close as we can.
Bower Street Manly 2095
Shelly Beach Manly is an excellent beach for families, being quite sheltered, small and at a safe distance from the road. There is even some shade on the beach itself and the rocky patches at each end of the beach are excellent for mini-explorers.
The reserve has shady trees and is good for a picnic. There are BBQs there, plus picnic tables though these do get very busy.
Paths and steps lead through the bush to a lookout, but this is not a route for strollers.
There are marvellous views along the great crescent of the Queenscliff, North Steyne and Manly beaches. The snorkelling is excellent around Shelly Beach, especially along the western side and towards lovely Fairy Bower Pool.
The hungry and thirsty have a couple of nice options as well.
Shelly is a great beach to play and even splash at in the wintertime.
Cafes: The fabulous (but often very busy) Boathouse Shelly Beach is right on the beach.
Toilets: Toilet, shower and change block by the cafe
Shade: Some on the beach from cliffs on the eastern side, plus shade on the reserve from trees
Ocean pool: Beautiful Fairy Bower rock pool is a short walk away down Marine Parade
Shark net: No
Mum’s report: Absolutely gorgeous—we love it. The kids are always in sight and can’t wander too far. They can cycle their trikes down to the rockpool too. Shelly is much more child-friendly than its big brother surf beach at Manly.
Extra: It’s lovely to stroll from here to Manly or even right along the whole walkway all the way to Queenscliff Beach.
Map reference: Gregory’s 289 B11, Sydway 259 K7, UBD 198 G11
Parking: Pay carpark at the end of Bower Street
Nearest ferry: Manly Wharf is a 20–25 minute walk away
So now, when were you last at Shelly Beach?
Do you agree that it’s one of the best for families on the Northern Beaches?