Shelly Beach (Manly)
Shelly Beach (also known as Shelley Beach ) is a beach located in Manly, a suburb of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. It is adjacent to North Head and Fairy Bower. Shelly Beach is the only west facing beach on the eastern coast of Australia.
Shelly Beach is protected from the ocean swell by the reef that lies on the right hand side of the beach (when facing the ocean) and faces west. Facilities include 2 free electric barbecues, showers, toilets and a kiosk selling meals, drinks and ice cream. There is a restaurant on the beach called Le Kiosk. There is a bush track around the headland offering spectacular views of the Northern Beaches and North Head. The facilities also include parking at the rate of $8.00 an hour.
On the western point of the beach is a famous surf break known as "Bower" which offers one of the most shallow breaking waves in Sydney. Further along from Bower are Winki and Deadman's, two other well-known breaks which are popular with surfers, especially on south-east, and east swells. Shelly beach is also the only inland facing ocean beach on the east coast of Australia.
Cabbage Tree Bay is a small north-facing embayment that includes two small beaches. Shelly Beach is a reflective beach about 100 metres long. Shelly Beach is a protected marine reserve since it is part of Cabbage Tree Bay. A lot of scubadiving centres take their students there because for the first dive it's a safe and easy site. The visibility is good and a large variety of marine life can be seen there. It is excellent for scuba divers, and also for snorkelers as Shelly beach does not get very deep, its maximum depth being about 12 metres. Many areas are shallow with depths ranging from 2 to 6 metres. This particularity makes it very popular for casual and regular snorkelers. Cabbage Tree Bay was declared a ‘No Take’ Aquatic Reserve on 31 March 2002.
According to Cabbage Tree Bay Aquatic Reserve: Draft Regulation and implementation Strategy, 'there is evidence of occupation of Aboriginal people in the area; in particular a shell midden has been recorded near the Fairy Bower car park. The report also states that 'more than 160 species of marine fish have been recorded within the reserve, including protected species such as the weedy or common sea dragon, the elegant wrasse and the threatened black cod'.
There is an old motorbike standing on the seabed in the middle of the bay in around 8m of water.
One hundred years ago Shelly Beach was a haven for boat owners, Providing protection from winds and seas from the south. What's also changed is the hillside, which in the early 1920s was home to only several buildings but is now covered with expensive homes from which their occupants can take advantage of the expansive views to the north.