Only steps away from our shop is one of Sydney’s most incredible experiences. A spectacular marine park called Cabbage Tree Bay easily accessible right from the Manly beachfront path.
From the shallows to standing depth, a huge number of marine species are right there only meters from the shore easily accessible to you. Fish and dolphins, crabs and crustaceans, open sand stretches, sea grass and underwater rock formations. This area has it all for you to enjoy.
Right in the heart of Sydney the marine park covers an amazing 20 hectares and adjoins both surf and open water. So you can find your own snorkelling spot in the shallows, or venture exploring as far and as deep as you want. Swimming, snorkelling, scuba diving, all are super popular here, along with stand up paddle boarding and surfing.
While easily accessible it’s just off the tourist track so offers you a certain level of seclusion. You can swim in the crystal waters then rest on the rocks enjoying the sun away from the hustle and bustle.
A cafe overlooks the bay so snacks and treats, breakfast, lunch can easily be purchased to enjoy on the premises or takeaway.
The waters of Cabbage Tree Bay offer an amazing and unique snorkelling experience. Fully protected from fishing the local fish have become very inquisitive so come up close. You might make a friend of a rare Blue Groper or be entertained by a school of Clown Fish.
Look closer and you can find protected species including the Sea Dragon, Elegant Wrasse or the harmless Grey Nurse Shark. While home to local fish the area also hosts migrating species so you can snorkel with whales and open water fish. It’s a marine paradise.
The marine park encompasses Shelly Beach. This is an amazing area in itself. The golden sands of this tiny beach are surrounded by palms and native vegetation. Along with the provision of full amenities including an electric barbecue setup, it even has its own 5 Star restaurant right on the sand open from dawn to late.
Nestled in a cove at the end of the beachfront path, and fully included in the marine reserve, Shelly Beach is the only Sydney beach that faces west. So it’s protected from most winds and you get sun all day. At dusk the sunset gives an amazing view of the backlit Manly beachfront.
If you want to experience Cabbage Tree Bay but don’t want to venture into the open water, or if you have children needing additional care, a fully enclosed rock pool is also on hand. It’s waters are refreshed from the ocean and it has plenty of space to lay your towels and gear.
The area is not all just about fish. This section of the Manly promenade also includes a Sculpture Walk. Adorning the rocks are numerous sculptures of plants, animals and people. Some are life-like, others abstract, all strategically placed to draw your attention to a particularly attractive scene.
One art piece is a silver surfer paddling his board on a rock wave. Another is of a female diver gliding through the water. At the rock pool two life-size sea nymphs grace the rocks. On the right tide they appear to emerge from the glassy waters. These art exhibits add to the overall charm and interest of the locale.
You can easily walk from Manly Beach to Cabbage Tree Bay. However If you’re accompanied by a large group or need more accessibility Shelly Beach opens up several options. A drop off area is close by the restaurant so you can unload and load there. There’s also a car park nearby on the top of the adjacent headland where you can park for hours. Our shop with all your snorkel gear, fins, wetsuits, even surf and paddle boards is super handy on the same beachfront path.
If you’re in Sydney make sure you make time to visit Cabbage Tree Bay and Shelly Beach. Don’t let the opportunity pass to grab a set of goggles and snorkel and have a rich aquatic experience.
The whole Cabbage Tree Bay and Shelly Beach area is a marine reserve designated as ‘No Take’. So make sure you don’t collect or harm any of the marine life or shells.