Snorkeling and Exploring with EcoTreasures
On the day of my visit, the high winds and rough waters were pretty intimidating. I bet they were heaven for the crowd of seasoned surfers but as someone who was there for a snorkeling experience, I have to say I was feeling pretty nervous. I was concerned about getting in over my head (literally and otherwise) but I put on a brave face and continued on down the path. For I wasn't in the Manly area for an ordinary visit. I was scheduled to meet up with Damien from EcoTreasures for a guided nature walk and snorkel session at nearby Shelly Beach.
While the day wasn't ideal for swimming, the weather was perfect for a nature walk and the breeze kept us comfortable in the bright Australian sun. As we climbed the hills above Shelly Beach, Damien kept us entertained and informed and we learned so much about the local ecosystem and the efforts being made to protect the area.
When our walk came to an end, Damien led us to an information board and pointed out the different routes we could follow if we wanted to continue our hike. There are several easy to follow paths around the Shelly Beach area for those who want to spend the entire day exploring or who want to take a short walk after a day of swimming.
Practical information for visiting Manly and Shelly Beach
Shelly Beach is a 15-20 minute walk from Manly Beach. The oceanside path is pretty but beware of the large waves crashing beside it! Keep you eyes open for piece of sculpture embedded in the rock, as well as the handsome water dragon lizards sunning themselves.
Shelly Beach has public washrooms, a restaurant, and a water bottle filling station.
We ate lunch at 4 Pines Brewing Company (overlooking Manly harbor) and had tasty burgers and fish and chips. Our meals were good and the service was competent but, like all food in the Sydney area, it caused us considerable "sticker shock". Daily specials that combine a main dish with a locally brewed pint will be sure to please beer drinkers.
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Our tour was sponsored by EcoTreasures. This did not affect my review and all opinions remain my own.