Winter is here, but that doesn’t mean you have to stay rugged up inside for the next three months!
So don’t despair we’ve compiled a list with plenty of things to do right on your front door step.
Here‘s our list of the top things to get out and do on the Northern Beaches now it’s a bit cooler.
Soak up some culture
Visit an art gallery or a local arts and culture centre. Ease the mind and replenish the soul by attending an art exhibition at the Manly Art Gallery and Museum or by taking in a performance at the Glen Street theatre.
Now on at the Manly Art Gallery is a fantastic exhibition of contemporary Aboriginal art from renowned art collector Helen Read, A Thousand Journeys. Or you can view the life of famous Australian photographer and gardener, Frank Hurley when he lived on the Northern Beaches in a special exhibition at the Gallery until 14 October.
Every year, the Northern Beaches Council holds the Northern Beaches Art Prize. The awards showcase the creative talent among local artists. The competition’s entries will be on display at the Creative Space in North Curl Curl from 10 August to 19 August for General and Small Sculpture, and 24 August to 2 September for Youth and Waste to Art.
Go swimming or snorkelling
Find a north-facing, sunny, sheltered beach, such as Shelly Beach at Manly to do a spot of snorkelling and check out the local maritime wildlife. Popular with scuba divers and snorkelers, a large variety of marine life can be viewed in relatively shallow water at the beach.
The Northern Beaches is renowned for its rockpools. There are many sun-drenched pools up and down the coast from Fairlight to Palm Beach; 15, in fact. On a calm, sunny winter’s day, grab a towel and a lunch pack and head to one of the pools for an invigorating dip.
Visit a library
Your local library is a great place to spend a wintry afternoon. Find a good book, catch up with an interesting magazine or get your fix of daily news from an extensive range of newspapers. There is something for everyone no matter what you are into; online or print.
With six libraries located on the Northern Beaches, there is a library near you at Dee Why, Manly, Forestville, Glen Street, Mona Vale and Warringah Mall. Knowledgeable librarians can help you find whatever you are after and will be more than pleased to show what the library has to offer.
Check the Northern Beaches library website for what’s on including a fascinating line-up of Literary Lunches and Author Talks.
On yer bike
The Northern Beaches has some great bike trails. Whether you’re into off-road biking or cycling along at a gentler pace, not to mention a flatter surface, there is something for everyone.
The Manly Dam Mountain Bike Track opened in mid-May and is one of Sydney's best, enjoyed by beginners to advanced riders. It offers kilometres of fantastic tracks around the picturesque Manly Dam.
Be sure to check out the lagoons on the Northern Beaches at Narrabeen and Curl Curl. Bike tracks there enable you to cycle around the lagoons and view the abundant wildlife and historical sites. The Narrabeen Lagoon trail is an easy 8.4km loop on a well formed, shared track without steps.
If stunning coastal views are your thing, then try The Spit to Manly Ocean Beach trail, a round trip of 19 kilometres beginning at the Spit Bridge in Seaforth.
If the kiddies are new to cycling, why not take them along to Passmore Reserve in Manly Vale. It is perfect for teaching young children to ride.
If you live around Pittwater, there is also the Flying Fox Park in Mona Vale. It also has a great cycle track for kids It is flat, has wide paths which loop around the park, and is situated on Winnererremy Bay. And if they still have some energy to burn, the playground is great or you can kick a ball round the park next door.
Visit a park or garden
Take in some fresh air and let Rover stretch his legs at the same time. The Northern Beaches has several parks where dogs can run ‘til their hearts content’ off the leash. Just be sure to note the times dogs can be unleashed.
Situated in Dee Why, the Stony Range Regional Botanic Garden is an oasis of Australian native plants located in the heart of the northern beaches. It is famous for its spring floral displays and is the perfect place for a walk, picnic, or intimate functions such as weddings. There are also many picturesque community gardens in the area, many of which are open to the general public. Come along and see what local communities are growing and cultivating.
Connecting with nature
Explore the Northern Beaches and connect with nature. The network of walks and nature trails makes it easy for you to get off the streets and into the wild.
Whether it’s a long trek getting in touch with nature or casual stroll to watch the whale migration currently underway, the Northern Beaches has a walk to suit everyone.
Get away from it all
Nestled on the fringe of the Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, Currawong on Pittwater is a secluded eco beach resort that has been a holiday haven for Sydney locals for decades. It offers a unique experience as it can only be accessed by water. With its unspoiled beaches, scenic nature trails, kayaking, fishing and other sporting activities, Currawong is perfect for a family holiday.
Keeping the kids amused
There’s plenty for the kids to do over the winter school holidays. Swimming programs at the Warringah Aquatic Centre and the Manly Andrew ‘Boy’ Charlton pool will help your children develop their aquatic skills or learn new ones. The programs range from intensive swimming and stroke correction to diving clinics and carnival preparation. Intensive programs run every school holidays over 3-5 consecutive days except public holidays.
If swimming isn’t their thing, why not get them interested in nature and conservation. The Coastal Environment Centre (CEC) at Narrabeen offers a school holiday program about our natural environment. With a unique theme for each day, children will take part in a range of interesting activities that are fun. The holiday program is suitable for children six to 12 years.
If they are into skating, there is no shortage of skate parks throughout the region. The newest at Terrey Hills offers kids a great skating experience.
Whether they have just started to ollie or have perfected the vert ramp, there is a skate park on the Northern Beaches to suit all levels.