Holiday at home in 2020

06 August 2020

With a lot of uncertainty around, one thing we can be sure of is the fact that we live in a pretty spectacular spot here on the Northern Beaches. So many people come from all over Australia, and the world (pre-Covid19), to visit all the beautiful sights we have to offer here on the peninsula. So at this time when we need to stay home and stay local, why not holiday at home? There are so many things to see and do for all ages, capabilities and interests, so take a read below and work your way through the ones that take your fancy.

Also please let us know if we have missed anything special, there are so many places to include and we are definitely spoiled for choice when it comes to local activities here on the beaches.

Walks

Long Reef Headland walk  – The perfect place for whale watching. Gaze across the ocean, north to the Central Coast or south to North Head, or explore the rock platform for all kinds of marine creatures. Long Reef never disappoints!

Palm Beach Lighthouse walk Barrenjoey Lighthouse sits at Sydney’s most northern point – Barrenjoey Head at Palm Beach. Positioned 91m above sea level, the lighthouse can be reached by a couple of walks and offers outstanding views.

Palm Beach to Cronulla walk  – Also known as Sydney’s Great Coastal Walk, this walk is putting Australia on the world map for walking holidays. Nearly 200km of continuous coastal walking, combining all the best walks in Sydney.

Manly Dam walks   – Manly Dam (Manly-Warringah War Memorial Park) is an extensive, tranquil bushland valley containing Sydney’s largest freshwater lake created by the damming of Curl Curl creek in 1892. A popular spot for walking, mountain biking, picnicking, water skiing, swimming and fishing, the Dam also has significant heritage value.

Spit Bridge to Manly walk  – Explore one of Sydney Harbour’s most beautiful walking tracks, the Spit Bridge to Manly Walk, otherwise known as the Manly Scenic Walkway. The route hugs the coastline, offering expansive harbour views while juxtaposing harbour-side homes with Aboriginal sites.

Curl Curl Boardwalk  – Curl Curl Beach to Freshwater is a lovely scenic coastal walk that is easy for anyone to do and for those with pups in tow, you can finish at the Curl Curl dog park for an off leash run and swim for your furry friend.

Manly to Palm Beach 36km Coast walk – still under construction in some parts, but will be a great addition to the Northern Beaches walking tracks once complete.

Parks

Lionel Watts playground – A new inclusive playspace which provides facilities for children of all abilities and their carers.

Manly Dam playground – another new and inclusive playground which opened recently at the picturesque Manly Dam.

Rocketship Park, Warriewood – this is a playground that suits all ages. It’s also popular for family get togethers, parties and mothers’ groups.

Restaurants

Fratelli Fresh – recently opened at Manly Wharf, this family friendly, all occasion restaurant will sure be a hit.

Teddy Larkins at the Diggers – An amazing menu of locally sourced produce from Australia’s coastlines and paddocks. Another great all occasion restaurant.

Jonah’s at Whale Beach– with an unbeatable view, Jonah’s is a Northern Beaches icon. It is re-opening on 28 August as a Covid-safe restaurant.

Pilu – Pilu’s menu draws on Giovanni Pilu’s upbringing on the island of Sardinia and his culinary and cultural journeys through the regions of Italy. Using locally sourced ingredients, Giovanni creates modern, contemporary Italian dishes.  Pilu is a must for all Northern Beaches foodies.

There are so many more wonderful restaurants around our area, these are just a few!

Bars

Stowaway – a Freshwater favourite, this laid back bar is an easy option for a mid-week drink or a big night out!

The Cumberland, Manly – Hidden in the heart of Manly, The Cumberland is an underground speakeasy with a Spanish twist. Concealed behind a fridge door within a small, bodega style deli, the sophisticated basement bar serves a selection of over 250 whiskies, natural wine, craft beer and an extensive themed cocktail menu.

Hugo’s – a Cunninghams team favourite!! While it is now closed and undergoing renovations, the website says they will be opening again sometime in August. We can’t wait for another unforgettable dining experience at this well known Manly institution.

Greenhouse – new-ish to the Manly scene, Greenhouse offers casual but elegant dining on the ground floor and The Grill Restaurant on level 1 where you get fantastic views of Manly beach and a more refined dining experience.

Fun Activities

Hire a stand up paddle board, kayak or pedal boat at Narrabeen Lake! A great outing for the active family, with kids old enough to enjoy some water based activities.

The Irrawong Reserve and Waterfall at Warriewood is a great walk for all families, even those with little legs! One word of advice is to take your mozzie spray though, just in case!

The views from West Head lookout are some of Sydney’s best. From West Head lookout, you can see Broken Bay on your left, Pittwater on your right and Barrenjoey Headland and Lighthouse in front. You can also enjoy amazing vistas across the Hawkesbury River to Lion Island Nature Reserve and the beaches of the Central Coast, including Patonga and Umina Beach. Prepared to be impressed!

Queenscliff Lagoon Park has something for everyone including bbqs, kids playground, a dog exercise area, bike track and lots of space for socially distanced picnics!

Watching the sunset down at ‘The Office’ on a Sunday is a well known activity, and a great way to wind down as you catch those last rays of sun for the weekend. Or why not head up to the grassed area at North Head to catch another breathtaking view of the heads.

Dog Parks/Beaches

Tania Park a large open space for you and the pooch to run, walk or just soak up some sunshine!

Sandy Bay and the pooch friendly Sandy Bear café  are a perfect match. Take the pup for a run and swim, followed by a coffee where dogs are allowed to join you.

Frenchs Forest Showground enclosed, off leash area for dogs to run and play. There is also a smaller enclosure for smaller or more timid dogs, so caters for all.

Skate Parks

St Matthews Skate Park in Cromer – this street style skate park was designed in consultation with local skateboarders and features skateable elements like stairs, hubbas, euro gaps and a spine ramp. It caters to the novice and experienced skater alike.

Lionel Watts skate park in Frenchs Forest – the standout feature of the innovative flow style skate park is a ‘Taco’ in the north west corner which provides extra elevation for riders. It also boasts ramped edges and a raised central section. The skate park will be shared by BMX riders, scooter riders and skaters, with riders from beginner to advanced standards welcome to use the community facility.

North Curl Curl skate park, opening soon! More info here.

We hope you have found this list useful, there really are so many things to see and do around our area and we feel very lucky to live in a place so abundant in nature and culture with a range of activities for all ages.