Back to nature
Manly is kid heaven: beaches with perfect sand and rockpools, bushwalks around the headlands looking for wildlife, and fun visits to Oceanworld, Manly Waterworks or ghost tours at the Old Quarantine Station. The magic begins with a ride on the ferry from Circular Quay. This tubby watercraft with its green and cream paintwork is just like an illustration from a picture book. Your kids will stand on deck waving delightedly at smaller boats bobbing below, and then squeal in excitement when the famous Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge loom up huge and impressive beside them
Manly Visitor Information Centre, The Forecourt, Manly Wharf, Manly; (02) 9976
■ The chance to ride a wave – surf lessons are offered by SEA Australia. Bookings are essential: (02) 9907 7650.
Sydney Harbour National Park at Manly is home to an endangered colony of long-nosed bandicoots. As you walk the track, see if you can spot any small, conical-shaped hollows in the ground where bandicoots might have been burrowing for food. Bandicoots use their front paws for digging, then snuffle around with their long noses to find insects, earthworms, spiders, plant tubers and roots to eat. You aren’t likely to spot any of the bandicoots themselves, as they sleep in nests hidden in the ground under leaves during the day.
■ Choose an open deck on the ferry – kids are less likely to get seasick with fresh air in their faces and this is the best vantage point for photos. (Refer to Sydney Ferries entry.)
- Manly, North-East, In city