Manly Beach is probably the most famous and popular north Sydney urban beach, on the same level as Copacabana Beach in south Rio de Janeiro. A Manly Beach vacation is enjoyed by more tourists than any other beach in the country, except perhaps Bondi Beach, which is just across Watsons Bay and located right in the city. Because of its proximity to the city, things to do at Manly Beach include kayaking and sailing excursions that begin or end under the graceful Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge. If you are not up for this kind of exertion, it’s possible to simply lie on the long stretch of sand and view these iconic landmarks without lifting a finger.
The many other things to do at Manly Beach include visiting some world-famous attractions, such as Oceanworld where it is possible to enjoy scuba diving alongside huge gray nurse sharks, giant stingrays, endangered sea turtles, and moray eels, in addition to a plethora of other colorful marine life. You can get a taste of Manly Beach and Sydney’s history at “Q Station,” the Quarantine Station that for 140 years imprisoned indigenous Aboriginal people who contracted diseases like smallpox from the passengers on ships arriving from Europe. Later, passengers on these ships were also quarantined here as part of the island nation’s attempts to prevent alien flora, fauna, and diseases from ravaging Australia.
There is Manly Beach accommodation of all standards to fit all budgets, just as there is in the city itself. There are fine international Sydney hotels like the four-star Novotel with its deluxe rooms and suites, and the Manly Backbackers, one of the several popular Sydney hostels. There are budget motels, exclusive and and charming bed and breakfast inns, and excellent beach rentals. Another Manly Beach accommodation that is popular on just about all the beaches in the country is the self-catering apartment. You can find apartment rentals with one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments with full kitchens and many of the facilities of fine beach resorts.