While travel is one of our greatest loves, we never take for granted what we have at home in our own backyard. However, being without a car sometimes restricts where you can get to in Sydney. So of course as soon as we discovered you can take your bikes on the Manly Ferry, it went straight onto our Sydney bucket list, and it should be on yours too! We’ve picked out our top spots for bike trails and snack stops and everything in between.
All Manly Ferries departing from Circular Quay have multiple bike racks on board, just make sure you get up the front to beat the crowd. We biked down from Martin place, which has great step free access. There are also options to rent a bike once you get to Manly, if you’d prefer not to slug it out like we did. Being a typical sunny, summer Saturday morning in Sydney, we were sweating before we even crossed the Harbour. So naturally, our first pit-stop once we biked out of the Ferry terminal was Manly Wine Bar, home of the first Frose in Sydney. Park your bike up at one of the many bike racks along the beach side of the footpath and get inside to see what the fuss is all about!
If you don’t know what Frose is you’re missing out. The new summer cocktail combines your inner-child’s love for raspberry slushies and gives it an adult upgrade. Frozen Rose. Having tasted many different Frose cocktails across Sydney, the best ones often have a little something extra. Manly Wine Bar has done well by adding strawberry fruit puree to achieve pure perfection. Head straight across the road to the main surf beach for a “quick dip” or to watch the pro surfers do their stuff.
The bike track runs all the way from one side of the beach to the other. On a busy day you will share this track with plenty of pedestrians, so make sure your bell is working well! While Manly beach is longer than most beaches in the Eastern suburbs, it doesn’t take much time to bike up and back. If you’re in search of more of a challenge than a leisurely beach-side pedal, do the hard yards and get yourself up to North Head Sanctuary.
About a 15 minute bike ride (1.5 kms) up a steep but bearable hill, you’ll come to the gates of Sydney Harbour National Park. Push your bike up the initial incline if need be, but most of the road is relatively quiet and you should be able to ride up on even limited gears. It was hard work in the heat, but worth it for the view.
If history is your thing then you’l definitely want to spend a bit of time up at North Fort, a World War 2 military base that was one of the most heavily fortified sites in Australian history, with huge artillery cannons and an expansive tunnel network. The whole site is open to the public and offers an insight into Sydney and Australia’s military heritage. Various walkways and tracks are situated around the site, including the Australian Memorial Walk, a paved pathway erected to commemorate the lives of those who fought and died during each of the major wars Australia has been a part of, from the Boer War in the late 1800’s right up to modern peacekeeping missions in East Timor and Iraq. The walk also takes you past some of the old cannon structures and various other sites that will surely be fascinating to those into military history or anyone who just likes looking at REALLY big guns!
After our quick descent, we went had our final pit-stop before heading back to the Eastern Suburbs, at one of Manly’s trendiest bars Daniel San. Of course we ordered one of Blair’s all time favourites, chicken wings. But this Asian fusion restaurant had put a twist on this American favourite by adding a wasabi mayonnaise that perfectly complimented our well deserved schooners of Asahi on tap.
Have you hit the surf at Manly? Or found a place with even better Frose or Chicken Wings than we did? What other parts of Sydney are worth day-tripping too? Summer isn’t going anywhere anytime soon and sunny weekends are perfect for adventures!