Freelance writing. Out of the urban clutter of the East and now situated on the Pittwater.
Published January 26th 2012
Along the path from Manly's main beach is the sheltered and delightful Shelly Beach. It has sand, trees, people and a divine small cove that is magnificent for swimming, snorkeling and diving.
starting off from Manly main beach.
There is no major rip here and some may play upon the rocks whilst others traverse the ocean waters to swim from the main beach to this small cove, in what seems to be blissful waters.
Snorkelers and divers enter the tranquil waters of Shelly Beach to gently flipper their way around the rock face or traverse waters a little more adventurously towards North Head.
Sydneysiders and tourists trek the path from the main beach, where there are some brilliant spots to lay your towel and take in the views across the green blue waters.
Past the Manly Lifesaving Club and its iconic clock, down the path entering Cabbage Tree Eco Foreshore Walk is a leisurely 1.3 km. All the time being able to see views across Manly main beach and towards Shelly Beach, with spots to sit on the rocks and around the ocean pool.
The Manly SLSC
The Manly Surf Lifesaving Club has been in existence since and does an amazing job of making sure that the water is safe to swim in. Pay attention to where the flags are and ask one of the lifeguards if you are unsure of anything. They are marvellous and always willing to help.
The Iconic Manly SLSC Clock
The Manly Lifesaving Clubs Clock can be seen for some distance and sits upon the far corner of the Manly Surf Life Saving building.
Well upon the Cabbage Tree Eco Sculpture walk, you will find picturesque views, nature, art and food along the path to Shelly Beach. There sits the Bower Cafe/Seafood Restaurant and Sea Poppies, where you might like to sit sipping Toby's Estate Coffee and take in the elements surrounding you. Sea Poppies also provides Bed and Breakfast accommodation.
Fairy Bower Beach and Cafes behind.
Waves often splash against the rocks that sit close to the path.
Nestled into the gentle bend of the rocks and pathway sits the Fairy Bower Baths. Triangular in shape and the southern most rock pool on the Northern Beaches. Young and old swim, paddle and play here with protection from the ocean waves, while others sit on the surrounding rocks to sunbake with views of Manly Beach, sea and skyscrapes to gaze upon.
Fairy Bower Baths
Water, steel and rock.
People and path
Walkers, daytrippers, joggers and cyclists all meander along the path past sculptures, some sit upon the grassy edge shaded by trees and rocks and look out to the ocean waves. Look for the small eco sculptures that reside upon the rocks representing marine and wildlife.
The rocks on the side of Shelly Beach
Le Kiosk restaurant, which serves modern Australian cuisine, is also located nearby Shelly Beach. They have the most divine seafood and exquisite steaks. They are open for lunch daily and for dinner from 6pm Monday to Saturday.
The very laid back Sandbar Café provides take-away foods as well, as beach side deck dining. "Stroll in straight off the beach with sand on your feet" for burgers, salad, fish and chips, salads, a wine or cool drink or coffee. Saturday and Sunday breakfasts are also served and opening hours are 9am to7pm, Friday to Sunday (and public holidays), 9 -5pm Monday through to Thursday. (Please note the cafe closes if the weather is wet).
Sandbar Cafe and Sunset Bar
The Sunset Bar is located above the cafe and also serves from the cafe menu and has a great view over and across Shelley Beach.
Shelly Beach New Years Day 2012
Shelly Beach, small and protected, is a beautiful spot to take enjoy a summer's day and it is apparently the only beach on the east coast of Australia that faces west. With superb views surrounding this small paradise, there is also abundant marine life to observe.
Just up beyond Shelly Beach is the North Head Sydney Harbour National Park walk, which will take you along a bush path with the Manly seascape looking out towards the Northern Beaches.
You will find superb flora and birdlife, bandicoots and even blue tongue lizards and water dragons along the path. You may take a quick wander up the rocky pathway and back down to Shelly Beach or if you are really adventurous, make your way around North Head and discover all the wonderful flora, fauna and history of if.
Head up the grassy knoll to find the North Head National Park walking track.