Manly in Motion

Created by SarahKate Abercrombie & Jaclyn Whelan

Spend a relaxed family day outside along the Northern Beaches of Sydney


This trail is appropriate for babies and up.


Everything you need to plan your trip to Sydney.


This is a sunny day trail.

About the Manly in Motion Trail

What is there not to love about Sydney? From the beaches spread all along the coast, the mountains just within an hour’s drive, and a fabulous city with Opera House views and a great atmosphere, Sydney has something for the whole family.

Sydney Harbor illustration

However, after dark, Manly can be a bit of a “scene!” Lots of fun pubs and dancing — a fun mum’s night out!

The rest of the Northern Beaches are not touristy. Spend a day up here to find out what life as a “Sydneysider” family might be like.

Start off your day with a delicious breakfast at Bacino Cafe with its sun-drenched dining space, friendly baristas, and only the best coffee you can find in the Northern Beaches.

In the Northern Coastal suburbs of Sydney, you’ll find the residential Northern Beaches. Here you’ll find Sydney families who enjoy the relaxed, beach-y atmosphere whilst still being close to the city.

The Northern Beaches stretch from the Spit Bridge (border of Mosman and Seaforth) all the way up to Palm Beach. Probably the most famous of the beaches in Manly. Manly attracts many tourists, but during the day, even Manly is very relaxed and chilled out.

manly beach sydney illustration
Sydney Harbour Illustration

Continue on the Spit to Manly walk,  a famous coastal walk along Middle Harbour. The path is an easy walk and passes several great, quiet little beaches. There are lots of lovely hidden little beaches here, so take your time to explore. SarahKate and her family love Fairlight Beach, a local favorite and more laid back beach.

Just a bit further ahead along Manly Beach, Daniel San restaurant is our choice for a lunch spot. Not only does this restaurant boast incredible beach views and a delicious Japanese fusion menu, but is perfectly equipped for children. There’s even a kid’s area with legos!

After lunch, check out Manly Beach and then continue up the walk to Shelly Beach, where you might even spot a dolphin or a shark along the way! If everyone is up for more, you can continue up this famous walkway all the way up to North Head Sanctuary where you can catch some sweeping panoramic views of Sydney Harbour and the skyline.

What You Should Know Before Taking This Tour

What gear do I need for this trail?

This walk is super pram-friendly.  We often began the walk with a pram, but our girl would always want to hop out to pick up a gorgeous frangipani flower or play on a little patch of beach.  If you don’t need a pram, at least bring a beach towel or small blanket so you can sit down and enjoy the many beaches and parks along the way..

For stroller recommendations, check out our article about best strollers for air travel.

How should I dress my family?

Casual dress is always best on the Northern Beaches!  Wear comfy shoes, but hiking shoes aren’t necessary. SarahKate often did this walk in flip flops!


Also make sure to bring sunscreen and sunglasses!

How much money should I have in my wallet?


A strong flat white (the only way to go!) a Bacino Cafe is about AU$4.20.  A salad at Banana Leaf in Manly is around $10.  Almost everywhere in Manly takes a credit or EFTPOS card.  There are tons of ATM’s in Manly.

How old should my kids be for this trail?

This trail is for all ages.  We started doing this walk when our daughter was an infant and we wore her in the Ergo.  By 3 years old she could do most of the walk herself. When my parents came to visit Sydney they frequently joined us on this path.  It’s fairly flat, well-paved and super family-friendly.

What time should we start this trail?

You can do this trail at any time of day, but we usually do it in the morning so we can start with an excellent coffee in hand!

Do I need to book ahead/ reserve anything?

You do not need to reserve anything for this trail. You can walk into Daniel San restaurant.

What season can I take this trail?

This trail is great in all seasons.  The only time I wouldn’t walk this path is in the rain, as lots of the path is right on the ocean and the wind can be pretty strong.  Honestly, a crisp winter day in Sydney is one of the BEST times to go exploring the shorelines. A warm coffee in hand, a hoodie for your kid and a crisp ocean breeze.  There’s not a bad season in Sydney!


Bébé Voyage’s checklist to help you plan your trip to Sydney with a baby!

Buy your guide
Book tours
Book your flight
Buy gear
Book your hotel image
Best packing list

Sydney’s Manly in Motion Trail Photo Gallery

The Manly in Motion Family Trail was created by

SarahKate Abercrombie

Jaclyn Whelan

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