Go for a walk in the national park
Aside from the famous Spit Bridge-to-Manly walk, there are plenty of other places to wander across the Manly peninsula. The most spectacular is the 9.5-kilometre Manly Scenic Walkway route from Manly to North Head (northernbeaches.nsw.gov.au). Although it’s only about 20 kilometres from central Sydney, North Head in Sydney Harbour National Park is pure bushwalk, with the odd CBD skyscraper popping up in the distance to remind you of where you are. Keep an eye out for little penguins (Manly is home to the only known mainland breeding colony in NSW), echidnas and water dragons. With views of Sydney Heads, you might also see whales, as it’s one of the best whale-watching spots in the city. Follow the signs to Q Station (qstation.com. au) to check out what was once the “Ellis Island of Australia”, the first port of call for some immigrants. The former quarantine station is now a hotel and runs ghost tours.
Stand-up paddleboarding off Shelly Beach