Discover the beautiful deep waters of the Hawkesbury River and the elongated graceful waterway of Pittwater, running from Newport to Palm Beach. Broken Bay is dominated by Lion Island with plenty of small inlets and coves to cruise your yacht, cruiser or house boat through. Set amongst four National Parks, Kur-ring-gai Chase, Marramarra, Dharug, Brisbane Water and Bouddi, there are gorgeous beaches, historic villages, mangroves, with abundance of flora and fauna. This area is similar in scenery to the Whitsunday Islands in Queensland but is only one hour drive from Sydney. It offers beautiful scenery set amongst National Parks and sandstone headlands.
Take a cruise on the Hawkesbury River Cruises and spend a day enjoying the beautiful waterways,The cruise leaves Palm Beach Wharf at 11.00am daily.
A great way to see the river is to catch the Riverboat Postman, this is a service that delivers mail to isolated houses it takes approx 3 hours and runs Monday to Friday. Catch a train from Central Railway Station in the city at 8.16am to Hawkesbury River Railway Station in time to catch the mailman. (02 9985 7566) for more details.
Palm Beach ferries also offers a unique way to see Pittwater which operates from Palm Beach Wharf (02 99182747) you can catch a ferry to Ettalong, The Basin, Patagona, Pearl Beach and Woy Woy.
For the budget traveller you can take the ferry to The Basin and camp in the National Park perched on the waterfront. You must ring and book a site, showers and toilets are available and a shop to buy essentials(opened only in summer)02 9974 1011.Another budget accommodation is Pittwater YHA (9999 5748) catch the 156 bus from Manly Wharf to Church Point and then a ferry to Halls Wharf.
If traveling from Manly catch a bus from Manly Wharf to Brookvale and then change to L90 bus to Palm Beach.
This is one of those things I've never attempted to do until my most recent trip to Manly. As such I'm putting it here in the Off the Beaten Path.
There is a nice drive out onto the North Head with an overlook. If you can make it a point to get out here. Such a wonderful view of the city and also of the South Head and out into the Tasman Sea/Pacific Ocean.
While Manly is a pretty cool place to go shopping or dining, the beach tend to get very crowded on weekends and during the summer holidays. It's a nice beach to be sure, but the surf is often somewhat flat. Personally, I like the beaches north of Manly much better, especially South and North Curl Curl. You can either walk (takes about an hour if you follow the coast path) or you can catch the 136 (from the wharf).
You can actually walk quite far up along the Northern Beaches starting in Manly. I was positively surprised of this walk. There is always a foot path somewhere and you rarely see the traffic.
Walk along Manly beach, walk up the steep hill and down the footpath to Freshwater beach. (Or do the coastal path starting at the pool.) Again along the beach towards the swimming pool. Here there is a nice view both north and south. There is a path along the coast until you reach Curl Curl. Walk along the beach and maybe go for a swim. Then head towards the next swimming pool. The stairs lead you up to the top of the hill and there is a footpath all the way to Dee Why. This part of the walk is quite nice. Dee Why is long... Follow the foot path at the northern end of the beach, and you're at a new look out at Longreef. From here you can either walk down to the beach or follow the road. Both ways lead you to Collaroy, and then you are soon in Narrabeen...
You can probably walk even longer. We spent about 4 hours, which is a nice walk, when it's not too hot. :o)
As Mark and I were wandering around and walking towards the Sydney Harbour National Park, we found Little Manly Cove and Little Manly Point Park, where we walked out to the point and saw some little penguins swimming and some great views!
The walk up Stuart Street was a good workout... then the park was on the southeast side. You can't miss it-it is very green and has several signs! We didn't make it to the national park, but will check that out soon! This excursion took about 45 minutes round trip starting from the Manly Wharf.
Take the ferry from Circular Quay to Manly Beach, then walk to the far left end of the beach, where the kid's pools is. You can see the tunnel as a dark spot from afar. Walk past the pool, climb the cliff (fairly easy walking, no hiking) and walk to this tunnel. The tunnel runs approximately 50m through the cliff to the other side. The shore at the other side is rocky and rough and I was here at low tide and with a calm surf., but I can imagine it's spectacular at high tide and high surf.
Starting from the Spit bridge, this is a nice walk to avoid the the Sydney or Manly crowd. The path follows the beaches and coastline most of the time. 9,5 km. 2,5-3,5 hours.
Beaches are so nice and calm. Not too clouded like Bondi beach. It's so blue water compare to Japan's.