I am always looking out for new experiences, wherever I may find myself.
Published October 27th 2018
Collins Flat Beach is a pretty little beach in Manly, nestled between North Head and Little Manly Cove, and surrounded by bushland. Because it's not as accessible as others in the area, it remains a little quieter, so it's a great place to spread out a towel and relax, read a book or have a picnic. The water here is quite shallow too, which makes it ideal for young kids, while older kids will enjoy 'jump rock', which can be found off the track from Little Manly Cove.
If you're lucky, a visit to Collins Flat Beach might even come with a sighting of the Little Penguins that live here, a particularly special experience because this is the only known colony of penguins on the NSW mainland. If you see them you must give them their space though, and respect the signs that tell you to leave areas along the back of the beach alone. Already, a halt has been put on the use of the beach for big events like weddings, because of the impact of such high visitation on the penguins' habitat mean (a review of the ban will take place at the end of February next year).
Collins Flat Beach, pretty much empty during the April school holidays (there are actually two girls on the rocks on the far side, though they're hard to see).
Collins Flat Beach can be accessed from two directions. From North Head, you can get to it by heading down Collins Beach Road where you'll find a few parking spaces outside the Australian Institute of Police Management, as well as the entrance to Collins Flat Track, which will take you to the beach. On the other side, you will find Collins Flat Track is accessible at the end of Stuart Street, near Skinners Reserve and Little Manly Point Park. Both walks are only a few hundred metres long, at most.
The view of Collins Flat Beach as you approach it from Little Manly Point. The building to the right of it is the Australian Institute of Police Management.
If you're interested in quieter, out-of-the-way beaches like Collins Flat Beach, you might also want to check out this list by Ivana Katz of seven secluded beaches you can find around the Northern Beaches.