I am always looking out for new experiences, wherever I may find myself.
Published October 20th 2018
The Cabbage Tree Bay Coastal Walk is a beautiful, 2km walk between Manly Beach and Shelly Beach on the Northern Beaches. It's got pretty much everything you could want, from scenic views to a flat, wide concrete path that makes the walk is suitable for everyone from mums with prams to dog-walkers, which means it's popular with locals and visitors alike.
The walk offers views of Manly Beach and Shelly Beach. Here's a look back at Manly from early in the walk. Photo by Robert Cutts, courtesy of Flickr.
Here you can see the accessible path that makes this walk so popular, and how it extends from the Manly foreshore. Photo by Robert Cutts, courtesy of Flickr.
You can see at least part of Manly Beach for the entire walk, and once you round the first bend, you can see Shelly Beach too. Here it is in the distance, on an overcast day.
There are things to do and see all along the walk. For example, about halfway along is The Oceanides sculpture, and the triangular Fairy Bower Pool, built by residents in 1929. Nearby, on the corner of Bower Lane and Marine Parade, is The Bower Restaurant, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner.
The Oceanides sculptures (also known as the Sea Nymphs) stands on the edge of the Fairy Bower Pool.
The section of the walk closest to Shelly Beach also doubles as the Cabbage Tree Bay Eco-Sculpture Walk, as stretches of rock wall become dotted with small sculptures that highlight the sealife and history of Cabbage Tree Bay Aquatic Reserve, which the walk skirts around (the whole reserve is about 20 hectares, and extends past the headlands). There are eleven sculptures in total, including fish, seadragons, divers and more. The extensive sealife here, as well as the calm waters, also make the area a popular snorkelling site.
One of the sculptures that makes up the Cabbage Tree Bay Eco-Sculpture Walk.
At the Shelly Beach end of the walk, you'll find The Boathouse Shelly Beach, which offers breakfast and lunch daily. On the other side of the beach is the Shelly Beach Walking Track. You can also walk up to North Head from here, where you can enjoy its many attractions, like Q Station, North Fort, and Fairfax Track (with its popular Fairfax Lookout, which offers views south across Sydney Harbour), but it's best to drive to those.
Looking across Shelly Beach to the end of Marine Parade and the Cabbage Tree Bay Coastal Walk. Photo by Maksym Kozlenko, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
There are car parks at both ends of the Cabbage Tree Bay Coastal Walk, but the one at Shelly Beach is up on the headland. Locals (with a Northern Beaches Council Beach Parking Permit) can park at Shelly Beach for free, while visitors only get the first two hours free. At Manly, the same rule applies for visitors, but locals have a time limit of fours hours free now.
The Cabbage Tree Bay Coastal Walk starts at Manly Life Saving Club, at the southern end of Manly Beach (also called South Steyne Beach). You can see the building on the right hand side of this photo. It's the one with the blue roof.
I highly recommend everyone do the Cabbage Tree Bay Coastal Walk. There are beautiful views the entire way, it's suitable for the whole family and it's something that can be done at any time of the year.