Before I left for Australia I spoke to loads of people who’d been before. I asked for advice on where to go and what to see in Sydney, and was recommended both Bondi beach and Manly beach by numerous people. I had time to visit both, but if you’re on a quick visit to the area and only have time to check out one beach location, which one should you go for?


I took the ferry there from Darling Harbour and it was one of the prettiest ferry rides I’ve been on. I got a perfect view of the city skyline as we left the harbour and enjoyed watching sea planes fly overhead (I’ve always wanted to go on a sea plane!) and different suburbs of the city on the way.

Sydney Skyline

Stunning Sydney Skyline

Strolling through the streets I came across a great outdoor market, selling everything from fresh food to handmade jewellery, art, clothes and everything in between. I love rummaging through markets when I’m in different countries so I was in my element.

There’s also some nice cafes and restaurants with beautiful views over the beach. I chose to stop for lunch and watch the world go by- it was delightfully peaceful.

Manly Beach, Australia

Manly’s beautiful beach

The actual beach itself in Manly is lovely. Clean, golden sands and turquoise waters with plenty of surfers waiting for that all important wave. It was the beginning of winter when I visited Australia so the beach was pretty quiet, just the way I like my beaches!


Bondi is surely one of the most well-known beaches in Australia – the scene of many different TV programmes and popular with surfers. Arriving in Bondi I was immediately struck by the gorgeous white sand that stretches for 1 kilometre.

Bondi Beach, Australia

Bondi Beach

The town itself was full of surfers who were either heading towards the water to catch some waves, or walking away looking refreshed and energised after a surf session. There was no market on in Bondi like there had been in Manly, and the shops, cafes and restaurants didn’t appeal to me as much. Manly had the perfect mix of surfer shops and hang outs and unique little cafes and shops for the non-surfers. I’m just not cool enough to hang out with surfers!

Overall, Manly was definitely my favourite of the two. Bondi has a stunning beach and would be perfect for people who do surf, but as I don’t, the beach at Manly and the quirky shops and open air market appealed to me far more.

Have you been to Bondi or Manly? Been to both? Which is your favourite?