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Take a Ride on the Manly Ferry

Home > Sydney > Nature | Fun Things To Do | Beaches | Outdoor
by Bilwa Godbole (subscribe)
I'm a translator by profession trying to do some justice to the freelance writer in me!! :)
Published October 19th 2011
After a couple of activity-packed weekends, for most people there always comes a weekend when you want to spend your Sunday at home relaxing and hoarding energy for the week to come. So you can only spare your Saturday for outings. My husband and I wanted to make Sunday our 'couch potato' day this weekend, and we did. But, we thoroughly enjoyed our Saturday with the eye-pleasing shades and hues of blue.

Opera House by day

After a busy week until late Friday evening, we hadn't too much time to plan our weekend and were wondering what to do when it was already past 10 a.m. on Saturday. As we tried to find out what we could do with not too much time on hand, the ferry ride to Manly Beach came as our (later proven to be perfect) answer.

It's the perfect plan for when you want a 'not-so-hectic' but exciting day, and don't want to end up emptying your pockets either. You can very well leave the house after a leisurely weekend lunch at home - for us it's mostly brunch, the lazy lumps that we are. And if you prefer to carry your tea-time snack along instead of eating at a café, leaving post-lunch also makes your picnic basket easy to assemble. Some quick sandwiches, chips and a bottle of lemonade and you're done.

We left the house in the afternoon and headed straight to the ferry wharf at Circular Quay for the thirty-minute ferry to Manly. If that's when you've left the house and are among the luckier lot to get a bright sunny Saturday, rest assured you are about to experience one of Sydney's most eye-pleasing ferry-rides. As the ferry begins to move, your eyes won't know which way to look; with the Harbour Bridge on one side and the lovely white Opera House on the other, it is a very difficult choice! The huge steel bridge looks even more attractive when you see another ferry go under the beautiful arch, while on the other side, the glazed ceramic tiles of the Opera House seem to be emitting a soft golden light as the architectural masterpiece shimmers in sunlight.

Harbour Bridge by day

Besides Sydney's iconic structures, the ferry shows you picturesque landscapes that are bound to leave you spellbound. I'm sure the pictures below will speak louder than the best words I may choose to use.

The ferry is a kaleidoscope of landscapes and every new landscape makes you wonder what could be more beautiful; then, the next moment you are proved wrong.

After alighting from the ferry you need to take a short 200-meter walk along The Corso, one of the main streets and now a pedestrian plaza in Manly. As you walk by the surf shops, pubs, cafés and sushi bars lining the street, you already begin to see the beautiful blue colour at the end of the street. The deep blue water changing its colour to a lighter shade of blue towards the coast and the white waves then blending into the white sand.

What's more? Find a good place for yourselves on the beach and enjoy your tea-time snack while you watch people surf, sunbathe, or indulge in some beach sports; you could even enjoy one of these activities yourself if you like.

I would recommend that you board a ferry back to Circular Quay only at dusk and take a seat on the open deck of the ferry. The landscapes you see on your trip back are all the same but they look even more splendid and hardly would you find a person who is not compelled into being a shutterbug. Once again your eyes and the camera lens shall feast on the view of the ocean and the rocks, sail boats and ships, and small islands and nearby beaches as seen by twilight. And it is when you are still busy clicking pictures of the landscapes that the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House reappear, each now beautifully draped in the glow of its unique night lights. The best part is that now your eyes don't have to do the juggling; the two iconic structures are visible in a single frame!

Opera House by Twilight

Opera House in the night lights!

Harbour Bridge by night!

Both the iconic structures in a single frame!

To top this aqua experience 'cake' with a cherry, you could carry your surfboard along and indulge in the tide-over-the-waves experience at Manly Beach.

Some quick helpful tips:
Buying a MyMulti Day Pass saves a lot of money. The Day Pass costs $20 and covers all your travel on Sydney buses, trains, ferries and light rail during the day.

- A sunny day is always the best day for this trip, but it is a good idea to carry a pull-over or winter jacket along. The open deck offers a splendid view, but the wind can make you freeze, most certainly on a cloudy/rainy day, and sometimes on a sunny day too.
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Why? An eye-pleasing relaxed evening out
When: Any casual evening
Where: Manly Beach, Manly, NSW
Cost: Not more than $50 per person
Wonderful description Bilwa....!!!
By Anonymous
Friday, 21st of October @ 05:20 am
Hi Bilwa enjoyed your article so much - the Manly ferry trip is a teen favourite of mine! Linked it to my article
thanks, kate
By Kate Blake - senior reviewer
Saturday, 30th of July @ 12:47 am
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