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The Northern Beaches:
From Manly to Home & Away's Palm Beach

Northern BeachesOne of the first things people new to living in Sydney realise is that you could split Sydney easily into 4 quadrants. The eastern (think Bondi & travellers), northern (think over the Harbour Bridge), the south (think Cronulla and below) and the west (from the inner west of Balmain to the very far beyond). The diversity and uniqueness of each of the quadrants makes it worth travellers' time to get out and explore each in order to experience all that Sydney has to offer.

A trip to the northern beaches is a tour of the long stretching golden coastlines that span along northern Sydney from Manly right up to the north point of Palm Beach. Below is a highlight of some of the different spots that should be visited along the way.

MANLY

The best place to start is at Sydney's 2nd best known beach - Manly. Manly is fondly referred to by locals as Man-Town. This thrilling cosmopolitan seaside city cranks with funky bars, bucket loads of modern cafes & restaurants, stacks of shopping choices (surf brands, Sportsgirl, tourist trinket shops), an amazing harbour linked wharf with ferries to the city & back, and of course, the beautiful, much loved and visited Manly Beach.

serenity..

Creative Commons License photo credit: Sir Mervs [alert level 3]

The perfect way to visit Manly is by ferry, with services regularly leaving Circular Quay during weekdays and weekends. Ensure you bring your swimmers, sunscreen, towel and something to change into when the sun sets to enjoy a bite to eat at the many tasty eateries on offer (Mortar & Pestle is recommended). Or, you can slip into a drinking hole to enjoy a nice cold beverage (Manly Wharf Bar has amazing views back over the city as the sun sets in the West and the Manly Steyne Hotel is an institution in the area for its many bars and great variety of live music).

A must-do whilst in Manly is the Manly Beach to Shelly Beach walk, which allows you to take in the spectacular views of the coastline. The walk begins at Manly Surf Club at the south of the beach and continues for about 10 minutes along a paved walkway to the pristine water inlet of Shelly Beach - a popular place for swimming and snorkeling.

DEE WHY

The next stop on any journey along the northern beaches will require a new mode of transport. Perhaps a car hire (Discount Car Rental does them cheap) or the ever trusty Sydney Buses could assist you here. Let us next visit the much loved local town of Dee Why. Dee Why thrives on its ultra convenient beachside strand which is packed to the brink with tasty, buzzing eating venues. The eatery choices cater to all tastes – modern Australian, Thai, Japanese (the food at Ocean Sushi on Oaks Ave is amazing), Italian, seafood and more. Possibly the oldest restaurant along the Dee Why strip is Stella Blu, which has great food plus a cocktail bar with live music on the weekends, and is a place not only famous in the local area, but well beyond.

Onions and cherries and limesAnd besides the amazing food available, one could not forget the beach. With its wonderfully formed beachside park, Dee Why Beach makes for the best picnic venue in the area.

Bring a rug, a cooler bag of wine and cheese, and spend a few hours sipping some Australian vino while watching the world go by.

Also make sure you pack your togs because Dee Why not only offers a beautiful swimming beach, but there is a great ocean pool as well for those who prefer a dip without the waves.

NARRABEEN

This guy has fished the sun out of the ocean

Creative Commons License photo credit: 1Happysnapper(is trying to catch up )

As you continue your journey up the coast, you'll start to notice that the further north you travel, the slower the world seems to operate. Crank the volume up on your iPod or car stereo, wind the windows down and let the freshness of the salty sea air wash over you. A must stop on your journey is the idealic town of Narrrabeen, nestled in between the beach and the lake. Those that feel like getting active should check out Prokayak on Narrabeen Lake where you can cruise the peaceful waterway in a canoe, kayak or pedal boat.

If you feel like cooling down with a swim, or lying down to soak up some rays, Narrabeen Beach is sure to allow maximum personal beach space as it stretches so long that it has 4 separate surf clubs and patrolled areas. If you start to get thirsty or hungry and need some hydration or sustenance, there are two great pubs in the area that are sure to satisfy your needs – the Narrabeen Sands Hotel (modern and relaxing) or the Surf Rock hotel (with a fabulous varandah that offers stunning ocean views). These two pubs are popular places for regulars and visitors alike. If you feel like spending the night, or two, the Collaroy YHA offers great, clean facilities close to the beach and pub at really great prices!

PALM BEACH

At the end of the line waiting for you is the ultra suave and very fabulous Palm Beach, or Palmie to the locals. Keep your eyes peeled when you roll into town as you may just find yourself looking at an Australian celeb with the likes of Nicole Kidman and Elle McPherson often frequenting this dazzling beachside retreat.

Barrenjoey LighthouseTo take public transport, the only bus that will take you all the way is the L90 which leaves from Central Station regularly weekdays and weekends. To enjoy the best views of Palm Beach and its stunning surrounds, take a short hike up to the Barrenjoey Lighthouse where you are sure to find the 400m beach walk worth the effort at the top. For those light house buffs, you can even take a tour for a few dollars as well. For those with a bit of time up their sleeve, the Palm Beach Ferry operates to Ettalong Beach (Central Coast) on weekdays and weekends from the Palm Beach Wharf. Hop off at Ettalong and enjoy a relaxing meal before catching the ferry back to Palm Beach later in the day.

If real estate is your thing, spend some time taking in the many amazing properties lining the streets, some of the most expensive real estate in Australia. For the Home and Away groupies - don't miss the beach where the show is filmed!

This post was brought to you by one of our wonderful staff accountants, Elysha! Elysha is a little bit camera shy, but the lucky few Furnished Property patrons will get to make her acquaintance.

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