Manly Wormhole

Sydney, New South Wales

Manly Wormhole: passing through a 40-metre secret tunnel, into the unknown.

Discover Manly Wormhole

Concealed between the rugged cliffs of Queenscliff Head lies a secret tunnel to a new world, okay maybe not a new world but at least an incredible viewpoint! This narrow 40-metre tunnel is known as Manly wormhole and connects Queenscliff and Freshwater beaches. Although it may look natural, it was actually carved out by local fishermen.

Today, locals guard the location of this secret wormhole and it is devoid of signposts or boardwalks. In this manner, only the most adventurous and inquisitive of explorers will find it! If that sounds like you, here is some advice from us on how to get to Many Wormhole, and all the noteworthy sites along the way.

Manly Wormhole
- Shami Chatterjee

The History of Manly Wormhole

The Queenscliff tunnel, affectionately dubbed the Manly wormhole, was created in 1908 as a bold endeavour by fishermen to forge a direct link to the beautiful Freshwater Beach. With its creation, fishermen could bypass the treacherous rocks separating Freshwater Beach from Queenscliff and Manly Beaches, navigating the coastal terrain with greater ease. Carved into the sandstone headland, this clandestine tunnel mimics a wormhole in that passing through it is like entering the unknown—particularly the first time you do it!

Despite its humble origins, the Manly Wormhole has evolved into a coveted secret, gradually revealed through the lens of social media. While its allure was once known only to a select few, the proliferation of captivating images and videos on platforms like TikTok and Instagram has propelled it into the spotlight, much like other landmarks in Sydney.

Accessing Manly Wormhole

Contrary to popular belief, the Manly Wormhole isn't situated at Manly Beach. Instead, it hides away at Queenscliff Beach, at the northern tip of Manly. Therefore, navigating to the Manly Wormhole through Google Maps may lead you astray, directing you to Queenscliff Road and a footpath that seemingly disappears into an apartment building. Signs forbidding beach access dot the premises, leaving visitors perplexed as they encounter dead ends.

If you arrive by ferry, a 20-minute walk or a short bus ride from Manly Wharf, followed by a stop near the Queenscliff Surf Life Saving Club, gets you close. Disembark at the Ceramic Street stop and proceed towards the Queenscliff Rockpool. Beside the rockpool is a cliff edge path, which leads you to the wormhole.

As you round the first headland, a bright pink heart signals your proximity to the wormhole. Venture leftward at the end of the Corso and traverse the beachfront until reaching Queenscliff Beach. Inside the dark cavity, follow the passage, which isn't lengthy, until you emerge at the other end and can enjoy the view.

When is the Best Time to Visit the Manly Wormhole?

Timing your visit to the Manly Wormhole is crucial for a safe and enjoyable experience. Here are some tips to help you plan your visit:

  • Avoid High Tide: The presence of rock pools along the route indicates that waves can reach the cliffs during high tide. Therefore, it's best to keep an eye on the tide times and plan your walk at low tide. Note that the rocks may also be slippery.
  • Weather Considerations: It's advisable to avoid visiting the Wormhole on stormy or very windy days. The coastal conditions can become rough, posing potential risks, especially when navigating the cliffs.
  • Footwear: Wear sensible, non-slip shoes to ensure stability and traction, especially when navigating rocky terrain. Staying close to the cliff side can provide additional support and safety.
  • Daylight Hours: While sunrise photos from the Wormhole may be captivating, it's essential to prioritise safety. Avoid starting the walk in the dark, as even a short distance can pose risks without adequate visibility.

Discovering the Dee Why to Manly Walk

The Dee Why to Manly walk is one of Sydney's premier coastal trails, offering a scenic journey along the rugged coastline and the region's natural beauty. Covering a distance of 6.4km with an elevation gain of 100m, this trail is a one-way track, providing a smooth experience from Dee Why to Manly. Rated as easy, the trail is suitable for hikers of all levels. However, you will need a moderate level of fitness and a degree of nimbleness to navigate the rocky terrain.

Getting to the Trailhead

If you're driving, start at Dee Why and park near the North Steyne Surf Club on North Steyne Road, which has unlimited free parking. Most parking in Manly is limited to two hours, which may feel rushed considering the need to catch a bus back from Dee Why.

Alternatively, accessing the trail via public transport is convenient. You can catch the ferry to Manly or take the B1 bus from Town Hall to Dee Why. Regular buses run between Manly and Dee Why, with a journey time of around 20 minutes.

Starting Point: Dee Why Beach

Dee Why Beach, near the Surf Lifesaving Club, is the starting point for your trek. From here, follow the well-marked path along the promenade.

Cliffside Stroll to Curl Curl Beach

As you continue along the trail, enjoy the picturesque cliffside views and wildflowers lining the path. Highlights include Tea Tree Lookout, ideal for whale watching, and taking in Curl Curl Beach.

Exploring Freshwater Beach

Next up the trail leads to Freshwater Beach, where you'll cover boardwalks and rocky ledges. Choose your route based on the tide: the pavement to Manly Beach during high tide or the cliffside path during low tide. The low tide route offers a little more adventure, characterised by rock-hopping and discovery-making. Either way you will come to the iconic Manly Wormhole, marked by an 'enter at own risk' sign, stretching through the rock.

Final Stretch to Manly Wormhole

After passing through the narrow passage of the Wormhole, continue along the rocky platform to Queenscliff ocean bath, where you can relax. If you want to extend your adventure, continue to Shelly Beach, roughly 1.5km away, or explore other trails around Manly.

Dee Why to Manly Wormhole: Packing Essentials

Ensuring you have the right gear can significantly enhance your hiking experience. Here are our top packing suggestions that we've relied on for years:

  • Good Rain Jacket: A must-have item in your bag, you never know when the great Australian weather will turn on you or the wind will pick up along the cliff path.
  • Day Pack: Don’t forget your day pack! Fill it with handy items like a portable phone charger, map, compass, and flashlight.
  • Hiking Boots: Hiking shoes are necessary for navigating the trails without doing any damage to yourself. Choose your shoes according to durability and comfort.
  • Trekking Poles: Carrying lightweight, solid, and durable trekking poles is essential for support during your hike.
  • Reusable Water Bottle: Stay hydrated and eco-friendly by opting for a reusable water bottle, helping you avoid single-use plastic.
  • Sunscreen: Opt for a sunscreen with a high SPF, reapply when necessary. Pair this with a hat to keep the sun off your head and you’re good to go!

Interested in finding more places like this? Why not try one of our Scavenger Hunts in Sydney - work as a team to overcome cryptic riddles and allow yourselves to be swept off the beaten track on a journey to discover all the quirky bars and unusual sites Sydney has to offer. 

Manly Wormhole Questions


What you need to know

Manly Wormhole
Manly Wormhole, Queenscliff, New South Wales 2096, Australia
-33.786215, 151.290964
Tips before you visit

The only way to visit the Manly Wormhole is by taking a series of steps and doing some rock climbing, which is not pram or wheelchair friendly. However, there are flat paths along the beach with great views over the coast. At Queenscliff swimming pool there is widened ramp access from the beach.