How many have you done? Can you tick off all 20?! Oz Squad tells all!
Manly folk are an active bunch and our beloved village by the sea was recently voted Australia’s best beach. Here therefore, are our top ways on how to get out, about and active outdoors, making the most of what Manly Beach has to offer whilst keeping fit at the same time.
Take on the challenge of completing the list this year!
1. Snorkel Cabbage Tree Bay
That gleaming turquoise stretch of water between the Bower and Shelly Beach just asks to be explored. Grab a mask and fins, jump in and go ray, groper, cuttlefish and if you are lucky, wobbegong spotting.
2. Kayak around North Head
Yep, all the way round. Put your boat in on the ocean side at Manly Beach (choose a day when ‘Lake Manly’ is in town rather than any huge swell!) and veer right until you reach the harbourside. Remember to stop paddling for a moment and take in the awe inspiring view down the cliffs all the way to Bondi . You can even make a whole day of it by stopping off at Q Station, Collins and Little Manly beaches too.
3. Walk the Spit to Manly Scenic walkway
It’s all in the name. A coastal bush path between Spit Bridge and Manly Beach – and yes, it is bloody scenic! You are however allowed to run it too for ultimate fitness gains…
4. Run between, and swim in, all the ocean pools
Run, swim, run, swim, run, swim…. How far up the coast from Manly can you get with a dip in every ocean pool? With 6 pools between Manly and Dee Why alone, that’s a lot of water to explore and cool off in. OzSquad favourites are the newly white painted Mediterranean -esque Fairy Bower pool and the safety of South Curly pool right next to the crashing waves.
5. SUPboard Harbourside
Hire a board from Manly Kayak Centre and paddle out on one of the best harbours in the world. If you are game for a laugh, get involved in a SUPball match next to Manly Wharf – catching and paddling skills and totally understanding the rules aren’t totally obligatory but a competitive nature and mean water-rugby tackle dives are!
6. B&B swim
A local fitness guide wouldn’t be complete without this Manly fitness rite of passage. Join the ‘pink hats’ at 7AM at Manly SLSC every day, rain or shine, weekday, Christmas or weekend. All are welcome to join the masses on the daily swim from Manly to Shelly Beach.
7. A Mountain Bike lap of the dam
Not for the beginner (unless you want a few laughs/tears!), this trail has plenty to challenge the fitness and skill of seasoned mountain bikers. Within minutes, it feels a million miles away from the ocean and even civilisation. Gear up, peddle hard, go bush and set a lap PB.
8. Do a Bootcamp at sunrise
Well we had to get ourselves in there somewhere! Come along for a free trial OzSquad bootcamp session right on Manly beach front. You can trial at any class on the timetable and afterwards if you are left gasping for more, you can join us on our unlimited month introductory pass for just $59.
There’s nothing quite like starting the day with a work-out in front of ocean views and glowing sunrises – OzSquad work outs are one of the best ways to kick start the fitness in Manly.
9. Skateboard or rollerblade the beachfront path
Hire some wheels from Skater HQ and zip along the beachfront path from one end to the other. Or alternatively wobble around, giggle and fall over. Either way it’ll be fun and you’ll get fit trying. We promise no-one is watching the bambi legs. Honest. 😉
10. Cycle Manly to West Head
A Sunday favourite for all Northern Beaches cyclists, take your two wheels all the way to the amazeballs West Head look out. The puffing and panting and the leg burn will be all worth it at your destination, we promise.
11. Run like the wind at Curl Curl parkrun
OzSquad is a big fan of parkrun (here’s why). Walk it, jog it, run it, or puke-inducing sprint it – all abilities and speeds are welcome at this timed 5km run (not a race) at John Fischer Park in Curl Curl. Join the parkrun family for free every Saturday at 7AM and track your fitness by seeing your time improve.
12. Hit the trails. At night
We are blessed with gorgeous trails in pretty much every direction from Manly – but have you ever walked or ran them at night? Take a friend, a headlamp and your love of spiders, possums, bandicoots and things that go bump in the night. 😉 Try our favourite trails of North Head, Spit to Manly, Curl Curl to Dee Why or Manly Dam.
13. Earn your Friday night beer at the shelly biathlon
Every Friday at 6.30pm through daylight saving there is an informal community biathlon from Shelly Beach. Rock up, swim 400m, run 5k, drink beer. Simples!
14. North Head trail run
Many a runner can be seen pounding the tarmac road up to North Head. No! Stop! For an altogether more scenic run, take the trail from behind Shelly Beach and weave your way to the Fairfax lookouts via the hole in the wall, hanging gardens, quarantine cemetery, gun parks and the war memorial path.
15. Volleyball lesson
Join the bikini clad sandy crew on the beach playing one of Australia’s iconic sports. Complete a course to learn the basics, join a squad or league or just stick a thong in the sand next to a court to challenge the winners. While away the hours, dig, set, spiking (and learn to love sand in every crevice).
16. Hill and stair sprints
It is harder to go over 1km from Manly without hitting a bloody great big hill and local favourites of the Q Station stairs, the Shelly Beach ‘death’ stairs, Darley Road, Raglan Street, and Waiwera Street will test the fitness of the most hardy runner. Get the blood pumping with a few repeats – or come along to one of OzSquad’s Original sessions if you need someone yelling at you, I mean encouraging you, to get up them!
17. Soft sand length of the beach
Kick off the shoes and get the sand of Australia’s best beach between the toes as you run a lap or two – go for the hard sand with waves lapping at your feet or a soft sand shuffle following the lines of those before you – it all counts.
18. North Head triathlon
A good way to enter the world of triathlons, frequent short course triathlons are organised by Warringah Tri Club at North Head. Practice your transitions and test the gear and fitness levels out at a friendly local Manly set up before venturing further afield.
19. Do yoga with a view
Yoga studios abound in Manly, but there are fewer more ‘zen’ activities than doing yoga at sunrise with an ocean view. Keep an eye out for adhoc outdoor yoga events from OzSquad or roll out your own mat and downward dog to your hearts content.
20. Take a surf lesson or shred it up like a pro
Whatever your skill level it would be rude not to go for a surf at Australia’s best beach and home to The Vissla Sydney Surf Pro comp . Be taught by the best at Manly Surf School or shred it with mates at Queenie, North Steyne, South Steyne or (for the brave) off the Shelly headland.
So what are you waiting for? Get outside and go get the Manly outdoor fitness fun!