Manly to Shelly

By Manly Community Forum
March 18, 2023
3 min read

We live in paradise and our piece of paradise must be cared for. The Manly Community Forum and the Marine Parade Action Alliance have been working with the Northern Beaches Council to ensure that the precious and internationally renowned Manly to Shelly walkway is maintained and protected into the future.

In 2022 the Northern Beaches Council received a grant of $86,668 and technical support from the NSW Government to better understand the northern beaches open coast and lagoons and develop a Coastal Management Program (CMP). While the 1.3km of the Shelly to Manly section will be included in this CMP, it will be a high-level staged process to identify and map issues from Shelly to Palm Beach. It is not the Masterplan we need to identify the specific issues for funding and works along the Shelly to Manly section.


But in the meantime, Council has commenced work to replace the amenities block at Shelly Beach and will embark on a landscaping plan which includes low block stone wall at the rear of the beach to separate the sand and grass area. The shower stand at the ramp will also be improved with a more accessible platform installed. We would like to see the filthy bins here removed as well.


Further along the walkway, between Bower Lane and Manly actual red tape exists, with several lengths wrapped around the heritage cream coloured post and rail fence along the potholed shared footpath (which also demands some immediate attention). Visitors share the surf line viewing point with an empty, rusty old interpretive sign frame and a light pole with graffitied compliance signs. Fortunately, most visitors don’t see the ocean facing eroding stone wall supporting the walkway. And much of the stonework supporting the landscaping on the cliff side also needs urgent attention. Council is considering what action to take where the path narrows where there is a landslide covered by weeds intruding onto the path creating a pinch point.

Visitors and locals often stop to admire the sunbaking water dragons, and humans ignoring the ‘danger stay off the roof’ sign on the roof of the rapidly decaying shed. This shed damaged in the last big storm and its future needs to be considered. The stretch of the path from the shed to Bower Lane is a spectacular 50 metre patch work of trip hazards. If the first pothole is missed, the puddle at the bottom will surely get the unsuspecting visitor. Council has been requested to re surface this entire section now that all the underground services, Ausgrid, NBN, Telstra, Jemina gas, Sydney Water etc seem to have finished accessing their pits as part of recent repairs, or construction for the new apartment buildings.


Looking out onto the rock platform, visitors miss the detail of the dog poo in and around the rock ponds while they express wonder about the dogs, off leash despite signs to the contrary, bounding about or nervously avoiding the waves washing up onto the rocks. People keep sending the secretary@manlycommunityforum.com photos of dog poo on the rock platform but they won’t be published here because YUK, no one needs to see that. Enough said. Just don’t do it please. The Fisheries - Department of Primary Industries needs to take decisive action to prohibit the dogs below the mean high tide mark of the Aquatic Reserve to protect rock platform habitat.

During a high tide the waves overtopping the concrete wall can be very exciting, but locals are concerned that it won’t be long before this wall gives way, just like the stormwater pipes that blew off the concrete slabs further along. The CCTV monitors the wave action, capturing the spectacular height the waves reach while undermining the concrete encasing of the stormwater pipes. The swimming community is still waiting for the steps into the Cabbage Tree Bay Aquatic Reserve, promised many times since they were damaged by the waves a few years ago. A resolution to maintain the existing infrastructure and improving the amenity of the area at Bower Lane is also long overdue.

Finally, and sadly the iconic Sculpture walk with the braille interpretations is slowly disappearing and not being maintained or replaced.


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