Walking Manly to Shelly Beach with Kids
Manly to Shelly Beach is one of the world’s most magical walks, if the weather is playing ball. When the sun shines and the wind is in hiding this walk makes Sydney seem like the most beautiful place on earth.
This is the first Sydney Coastal Walk we ever did with the kids and it remains one of my favourites to this day.
Where to start the Manly to Shelly Beach Walk
Starting from Manly
Manly is great and exciting and got such a good vibe, people are wearing shorts and walking dogs. There are surfboards on display and water sports happening everywhere. I prefer to park in Manly and head off towards Shelley purely because the parking is so much more manageable. There is on street parking along the beach or up the side streets or there is Council Car Park on Wentworth.
You can start at either end really.
Starting from Shelly
Shelly Beach also has its own car park but its up at the top of a hill so you have to walk a bit – down the hill and past the Boat House Café and Restaurant before you even start the walk.
There is coffee and food at either end and you can swim too so it really doesn’t matter which way you go when it comes down to the important things.
Features of the Manly to Shelly Beach Walk
Perfect for Kids
The walk is a perfect Sydney Coastal Walk to do with kids, even the little ones. My two year old did the whole walk pushing her teddy in a pram and was most content the whole way. My five year old has been doing the walk for the last two years, both walking it, scooting and riding his bike.
The walk is paved the whole way although there are a few divots. Unfortunately, our son when he was learning to scoot took a tumble over one and it put him off scooting for a while.
The water views
The views across Sydney’s Northern Beaches is awesome. I just only recently realised that if you look out across the water you can see all the way up to Dee Why.
Do yourself a favour and when you do the Manly to Shelly Beach walk for the first time do it on a warm day when it hasn’t rained in a while. The views as you walk towards Shelly are just unbelievable. The water is translucent and the most beautiful colour. This against the backdrop of the secluded beach and the forest vegetation is magic.
Swimming along the way
There are a few points along the walk where you can stop and swim. There is even a little swimming pool etched into the rocks.
There are a few notice boards up along the walk highlighting the features of the Crabtree Acquatic Reserve.
There are also little metal sculptures along the walk, tiny little sculptures along the walls. My kids love finding each of them and working out what the sculptures mean.
Best time to do the Manly to Shelly Beach Walk
The best time to visit is Spring except those windy August days. You don’t want to do this walk in the wind because it’s quite open and there isn’t much to shelter you.
The second best time to do the Manly to Shelly is Summer. Summer mornings or afternoons make for a great time to do the walk because it’s not too hot and you can hit the water for a dip at either end.
The only problem with visiting in summer is you may get completely enticed by the water and not actually do the walk at all.
Are you looking for other Sydney Coastal Walks you can do with Kids? Here are two different types of coastal walks I do with kids that I’m sure you’ll love
Dee Why Cliff Walk is gorgeous but the kids must be sturdy on their feet and you need 1 adult to every child.
Fairfax is around North Head Manly. You get views out over the ocean and back across the bay. It’s even the whole way and is easy to do with little ones, a pram or scooter.
Manly to Shelly Beach is an incredible walk. When the weather is good, it is really the best Sydney has to offer.