Deciding between Manly Beach and Byron Bay for your next family beach vacation? While we might have some obvious loyalties, we’re still game for a fair fight. So, here it is – the match you’ve been waiting for!
When aiming for a fun family vacation with the kids, nothing is worse than running out of activities midweek, causing loud protests of boredom, and you to tear your hair out. However, vacations are a time for you to relax as well, and if there’s limited amounts of that going on, you’ll end up back at work as high strung as when you left!
So, what are we looking for in a perfect beach vacation, then?
- Affordable and conveniently located accommodation
- A beautiful beach for you to lounge on, while the kiddies play
- Multiple sightseeing areas and activities to occupy everyone during the day
- Fabulous food at your fingertips
- New places to discover if you’d like a bit of a scenery change from your beach chair.
ROUND ONE: Location, location, location.
Manly Beach is located 1hr by bus/car, or 45m by beautiful ferry ride from Sydney CBD. It’s convenient location gives both a secluded, holiday resort feel while in the heart of Manly, placing it right on the beach, and near many restaurants and shops, as well as being closely located to Sydney City for a more hustle and bustle, sightseeing experience.
Public transport is readily available around Manly and to/from the CBD, consisting of buses, trains and ferries. Many restaurants and activity spots are also located within walking distance!
Byron Bay is located in the far north corner of NSW, and boasts many beautiful beaches. While it’s location hits the mark when it comes to a secluded, beach vacation, it’s seclusion may also be to it’s detriment if a faster paced scenery change is needed. Many restaurants surround the common holiday areas of Byron Bay, as well as national parks and activity related locations as you go further out. However, public transportation is nowhere to be seen, and a car would be required to find your way around.
Round One Winner: Manly Beach.
ROUND TWO: What to do?!
Both Manly and Byron Bay boast beautiful beaches to lounge on, and outdoor related activities to occupy the kiddies while you catch up on your tan. Surf schools are available, as well as other water sport lessons, and communing with sea life.
If you’re more naturally inclined, Byron Bay may be for you. Many national parks surround the area, as well as multiple beach sites, ranging from very large, to perfectly secluded.
If your kids need a bit more diverse entertainment, then Manly is for you! The aquarium, zoo, IMAX theater, and Luna Park are a ferry ride away, as well as multiple weekly/weekend markets located around Manly and the CBD. It’s proximity to popular sightseeing landmarks is a plus, with the Harbour Bride, Opera House and Centrepoint Tower easily accessible through transportation.
Again, good food is at your fingertips in both locations. . .however, staying in Manly will also give you the ability to dine out in the city, providing you with more options.
Round Two Winner: Tied. (Depending on your preference.)
Now, the final round!
ROUND THREE: Accommodation
Now, we may be a little more biased judging this round, but we’ll do our best to be fair. . .
Byron Bay has many beautiful and modern serviced apartments and holiday houses to chose from, some overlooking the beach, and some. . . .well, not. These places seem to be one-off, requiring you to look through multiple individual unit blocks or houses until you find the one you want.
Manly, similarly had many apartments and houses to chose from, some right on the beach, and some a far bit back. Again, many of these places require you to choose the place for you on an individual basis. Manly, however, is lucky to have the Manly Surfside Apartments, a group of 6 apartments offering a range of superior executive, luxury and standard serviced apartments on the beachfront and harbour foreshore of Manly Beach, Sydney. Picking the right place for your family is easy, as our website offers comparisons of our wide range of apartments!
Round Three Winner: Tied – Mostly.
And the Game Winner is?
While Bryon Bay and Manly have manly similarities, Manly’s wider range of scenery and activities make it a clear winner, not to mention easier to get to from both around Australia, and surrounding countries, given it’s proximity to the main country link train hub, and the airport.
Here’s the after game stats table:
|Distance to Sydney CBD||1 HR to CBD (bus/car)
45 MIN (ferry)
|No CBD, only small surrounding areas.|
|Accommodation / View||Manly Surfside Apartments: Right on waterfront, cluster of 6 buildings to chose from, and close to CBD. Other multiple one-off apartment and houses, in various locations.||Multiple one-off apartment and houses, in various locations.|
|Beaches||Iconic Manly beach: 2.4KM long, and able to travel up/down coast for other locations (Bondi, etc.)||Multiple beaches up/down the Byron bay coast, ranging from large to secluded.|
|Parks||Wide range of beach parks, reserves, and playgrounds||Many National Parks|
|Activities||Surfing lessons, biking, snorkeling, markets, festivals, aquarium, zoo, Luna Park, IMAX||Surfing lessons, kayaking, dolphin tours, air sports|
|Food||Great surrounding local restaurants & CBD dining||Great surrounding local restaurants|
|Transport||Ferry wharf & buses close to accommodation, trains around the CBD. Walking distance around Manly; bike paths and board walk perfect for prams.||Walking distance around immediate area. Little public transport, need a rental car. Parking is crazy during holiday season!|
We hope you enjoyed our game, and it’s results will help you pick your next holiday destination spot!
Want to book one of Manly Surfside’s luxury apartments now? Click here!