THE LOWDOWN: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

photography from: Budgy Smuggler

photography from: Budgy Smuggler

The Northern Beaches is a stretch of beach suburbs north of Sydney. Boasting world class surf and countless insta-worthy beaches, here are the facts you need to know about this beautiful corner of the world. 

Weather: it’s beach weather all year round, with temperatures peaking in summer from December to February in the mid 30’s (C). In the winter, temperatures hit a low at 9 degrees Celsius on average. 

Time Zones: Australian Eastern Standard Time: GMT + 11 hours

Daylight Saving GMT + 10 hours. October 1 to April 1 2017. 

Currency: Australian Dollars ($AUD). Currency exchange available at most banks and credit unions, including but not limited to: Commonwealth Bank, National Australia Bank and ANZ. 

Telephone:
International Dialling Code: +61 

Sydney Area Code (02) 

Emergency Numbers: Police, Ambulance & Fire: 000 

Northern Beaches Hospital: 9105 5000

Mona Vale Hospital 9998 0333

Alcohol & Drug Information Service: 9361 8000

NSW Rape Crisis: 1800 424 017

Youth Sexual Health Service: 02 9462 9500

Lifeline: 13 11 14

Information Centre: Hello Manly – Official Visitor Information Booking Centre, Forecourt, Manly Wharf.

Open: 9am to 5pm weekdays; 10am to 4pm weekends and Public Holidays. Telephone: 9976 1430 www.hellomanly.com.au

Alcohol free zones: Look… we all love a cold one, especially when you’ve got that ocean view and smell of salt in the air. What you might not know is, at public and beach areas, drinking alcohol is actually illegal, and you could cop charges or fines. Alcohol Prohibited Areas (APAs) can apply at certain times for 24 hours, such as Australia Day, where all beaches are APAs from 6am 26 January to 6am 27 January each year. 


Getting about

opalcard.jpg

If you’re using public transport, you will need an Opal card. There are adult, child, senior/pensioner and concession cards available from newsagents and small shops. All you’ve got to do is add credit, tap on and tap off at the end of your journey… too easy! For more info, go to www.opal.com.au.

Public buses include the B-Line, which connects Wynyard with Mona Vale. There’s also regular and efficient services from Manly to Palm Beach; find out routes on the TripView app.

Most attractions are in walking or cycling distance, and are clearly signed. You can also catch an Uber or taxi from anywhere on the beaches. Cycle maps can be found on www.coveredsummer.com.au or from local information centres or cycle hire shops. 

The Hop Skip & Jump Bus in Manly runs seven days a week around Manly, Seaforth, Balgowlah and Clontarf. 

The Ride Plus app is a service that will pick you up from home or a convenient location and take you to your local transport, shopping or education hub, or vice versa, for only $3.10 per trip. 

NightRide buses operate from the CBD from midnight to 4:30am, replacing train services and stopping near stations along the train line.

The Manly Public Ferry, and Manly Fast Ferry, provide a picturesque rides between Manly Wharf and Circular
Quay. Manly Fast Ferry also offers services to Darling Harbour, Pyrmont Bay, Watsons Bay, Rose Bay and North Sydney at specific times. If you’re lucky, you might spot dolphins, humpback whales or seals. Find out more here: www.manlyfastferry.com.au.

Captain Cook Cruises run services from Manly to Barangaroo. You can buy a two-day Hop On Hop Off pass, or use an Opal card. For more information: www.captaincook.com.au.

Top transport apps:
Available on iOS and Android:

TripView; real time details on the Sydney public bus, train and ferry timetables.

Uber; easy, quick, and now available in Uber Pool for prices as low as three dollars.

For general information and trip planning, go to Transport NSW - 131 500 or visit: www.transportnsw.info.


Driving on the Beaches

Travellers, this one’s for you… STAY LEFT!

Don’t text and drive. Handheld phone use in cars is illegal, and applies even when the vehicle is stationary.

The blood alcohol limit for full license holders is 0.05%, and zero for learner and provisional drivers. Police conduct Random Drug and Alcohol roadside testing in NSW. Every police car is a mobile RBT. 

Some motorways, bridges and tunnels in Sydney require payment of tolls, which can only be paid electronically with an eTag. Watch out, or you’ll accumulate a fast fine. 

There are a number of designated Pay & Display parking areas across the Northern Beaches. Payment for parking applies at various times between 6am and 9pm every day. Parking stations allow the first two hours free, while street parking in Manly, for example, is restricted to half an hour.

Remember that pedestrians always have the right of way.