Things to do in Sydney
Shelly Beach is beautiful & an excellent place to snorkel or swim. The beach is protected from direct swell with Northerly orientation & rocky headland. Although around the headland corner lies Fairy Bower a popular surfing point break.
Shelly Beach is part of Cabbage Tree Bay Aquatic Reserve. No fishing or taking of any marine species is permitted. Heavy fines apply for illegal fishing or gathering.
The water visibility is normally good & snorkeling is excellent with a wide spectrum of aquatic life.
Vehicle parking can be problematic over the weekends with narrow streets & limited council (pay) parking. Get there early if you can. Stairs go from the car park down to the beach. Surprisingly the view from the car park looking East is very good over the ocean. There is walking track from the Northern end of the car park up the headland to a look out over Manly Beach & further North. The track has a few stairs but pretty easy going.
You can also take in the spectacular scenery by walking from the Southern end of Manly beach. The walking track hugs the coastal edge. It can be busy during summer. About 20 minutes each way.
I walked from Queenscliff Beach the full length along Manly beach front, then the track around to Shelly Beach. It is flat along the beach front & the Shelly Beach track is easy walking. It took about 35-45 minutes each way.
On your way you will pass Fairy Bower Ocean Rock Pool, The Bower Restaurant & Sea Poppy Café.