Manly Beach, Sydney © Henry Burrows
One thing that is not in short supply in Sydney is beautiful Pacific Ocean beaches. Anywhere in the city, except perhaps in the far west suburbs, you will never be more than half an hour away from one. Starting from popular Palm Beach to the north, you can take your pick along the coast: there is Whale, Avalon, Bilgola, Newport, Bungan, Mona Vale, Warriewood, Narrabeen-Collaroy, Long Reef, Curl Curl, Freshwater, North Steyne, Manly and Shelly! There are several small beaches around Sydney Harbour, and moving southwards one reaches the famous Bondi Beach, with its magnificent sweep of golden sand lined with an eclectic mix of ice-cream parlours, designer cafes and surf shops. The list goes on and on: a beach for everyone, all equipped with kiosks, white sand and golden bodies.
Eight miles (13km) from the city centre, Manly is perhaps the most famous of the northern beaches; it was here, in 1902, that newspaper editor William Gocher first defied the state law against public bathing and today the white sand of the south beaches and the golden sand of the north beaches are crowded with swimmers, sunbathers and surfers. Manly can be reached by ferry from Circular Quay or by foot via the Manly Scenic Walkway from Spit Bridge in the city. This walk can take three or four hours but offers some of Sydney's most breath-taking views, as well as skirting some of its most exclusive neighbourhoods. Another spectacular but much shorter walk is along the cliffs from Bondi to Bronte Beach, which takes walkers past the famous Tamarama Beach and is very popular with joggers and, at the weekend, with families.