Sydney by ferry

Dee Why, Curl Curl and Harbord

Before the first road bridges to the Warringah Peninsula opened in 1924, the locals had to catch public transport to Manly, and then change to the ferry.  Today, when you arrive at Manly Wharf, although the trams have long gone, you pass the stands for the bus routes that still feed the ferries from nearby suburbs.

Most of these buses aren't of much interest to tourists unless your passion is suburban shopping malls.  But right in front of the information counter is Stand A, from where the buses leave for all of the nearby beaches and walks.  There are several great beaches along the coast just north of Manly, and they are not well known to tourists.

All of these beaches north of Manly have their own rockpools - safe saltwater swimming pools located at one end of the beach, usually with their own changing rooms.

Dee Why
The most popular is Dee Why, which is on the 136 bus route (about 25 minutes away) - get off at the stop where the bus turns away from the beachfront.  There's a family friendly park behind the beach (with free barbecues and fenced play area), and two blocks of cafes and restaurants behind the park, all with ocean views.  The patrolled area of the beach is usually near the surf club, at the northern end of the cafe strip, but there is also the rockpool at the far southern end of the beach.  For something quieter, Dee Why Lagoon is behind the surf club.  And if you want to copy what most school kids have to do as a biology field trip, the far northern end of the beach is the access to Long Reef, with its tidal zone rock pools.

Curl Curl
Closer to Manly, the next bus-accessible beach is Curl Curl.  You can get to South Curl Curl on the 139 bus in about 15 minutes.  There is nowhere to eat here apart from the Surf Club, but just south of (before) dropping down to the beach, the bus circles the recently re-built Harbord Diggers on the headland, and they have a cafe and restaurant.

The first beach north of Manly is Freshwater.  The 139 bus runs through the Freshwater local shops but doesn't go down to the beach, which makes walking from Manly an attractive option.  All of the food outlets are back at the local shops except for the upmarket restaurant Pilu.

Of course you can always walk instead of taking the bus.  Manly to Dee Why is one of the better parts of the Coast Walk, because almost none if it is on roads, it's mainly on coastal parkland and beaches.  Walking just takes longer - about three hours between Manly and Dee Why.  See the Narrabeen Lakes to Manly Lagoon page of Walking Coastal Sydney for the best map.

This page was last modified on Wed Dec 5, 2018
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