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