Manly and Middle Harbour – NSW

Formed during the ice age, this unique geological region features deep ravens and gorges with parkland which flow to the water’s edge. The water is deep, reaching up to 33 metres at Seaforth Bluff ,where it is deeper than the entrance to Sydney Harbour.

Immerse yourself in the tranquil, secluded, estuaries, bays and beaches of Quarantine, Store Beach, Spring Cove, Castle Rock, Clontarf Beach, Chinaman’s Beach, Balmoral Beach, Roseville Reach, Davidson Park, Bantry Bay and Sugarloaf Bay. Just, some of the many places to be discovered. If you decide to anchor overnight around Quarantine Bay send your passengers and crew ashore after dark for a Ghosty Tour at the Quarantine Station.

Beaches and Anchorages
Head to the sheltered waters of Quarantine, Store and Collins beaches where you can anchor off, raft up, swim ashore, picnic, paddle, or have a quite drink on board. Stay for the day or stay overnight. Breathe in the tranquillity of the surroundings so close, and yet so far from the hustle and bustle of Sydney.


Voyage Planning
Middle Harbour is filled with little slices of paradise and sights to see which are easily accessed by boat. Embark on your voyage from  Tunks Park Boat Ramp cruise under the Spit Bridge and head over to Spring Cove, at Manly the Little Penguins nesting habitat. At Manly Wharf, back in behind the fast ferry timber jetty, tie up and pick up your fish and chips, beer or coffee from the Manly Hotel. At Clontarf Beach, anchor or beach your boat, then take the kids ashore for a BBQ and a swim at the baths. Beautiful Bantry Bay,  reminiscent of the Whitsundays, yet in the middle of a busy city. Go there during week days and you may have it to yourself. East of Clontarf Beach lies Castle Rock a secluded area ideal for a romantic picnic ashore, soaking up the sun or for rafting up with friends.

Boaters beware, the waters on entry to Castle Rock are shallow. Larger vessels should anchor off at a safe depth from shore. Store and Quarantine beaches are exposed to Ferry wake. Steer clear if you don’t like a little rock-n-roll.

On course to Balmoral Beach and Jetty, beach your boat, anchor off, disembark your crew ashore to;  dine, grab a coffee or picnic on the beach, have a game of volley ball, beach cricket or frisbee. Immerse yourself in the clear waters and golden sands of Chinaman’s  Beach, opposite Clontarf Beach at Mosman is secluded and protected from most winds. Great for children and swimmers of all ages. Beach or anchor off your vessel.

Watching the sunset
From the deck gaze across the water as the last rays of sunlight drift away. The sea beneath you is in shadow, silhouetting your surroundings against a citrus sky. On dusk anchor 100 metres off Collins Beach where you may hear the movements of the Little Penguins. Best places to watch the sun going down  – Collins Beach, Castle Rock, Clontarf and Grotto Point. Don’t forget to turn on your navigation lights and be mindful of weather and increasing wave heights when crossing Sydney Heads on your return.

Fishing Spots
Fish for Bream, Kingfish, Flathead and Jewfish: Off Old Man’s Hat at North Head; Flagstaff outside Quarantine Beach; Manly Point at Manly; The Bombora (Reef) at Dobroyd; Grotto Point Clontarf; Cobblers Beach inside Middle Head; The drop-off Chinaman’s Beach; Under the lowest  northern span of the Spit Bridge.

Keep out of the main  channel and maintain a good lookout for other vessels.

Boat Ramps
The area is serviced by three boat ramps:

  • Davidson Park Boat Ramp, Healey Way, Killarney Heights
    3 lanes, pontoon, limited parking. Good for larger trailer boats.
  • Tunks Park Boat Ramp, Brother Ave, Cammeray
    3 lanes, pontoon, limited parking.
  • Little Manly Cove Boat Ramp, Graig Ave, Manly
    1 lane only with limited parking.

NO GO Areas
Seagrass areas  of  Quarantine Beach, Store Beach and Spring Cove,  Little Manly Cove, Manly Cove, Balmoral.(adjacent to HMAS  Penguin) Be extremely cautious whilst navigating within the Spring Cove area of Little Penguin movements especially at dusk. Obey the advisory  signs. Chinaman’s Beach has anchoring restrictions to greater than 50 metres from the shore on weekends.

Watch for the yellow advisory buoys indicating no anchorage areas.