Manly Waterworks Review

OMG we just had the best day yesterday down at Manly Waterworks.

This is an annual trip for us, and it’s a point in time where the changes in the kids are so clear.

Last year the twins were tall enough (almost!) to slide but not brave enough to go by themselves.  I was sliding with them.

This year they slid joyfully without me… for hours.  We took the wee boys next door and friends of the big boys joined us.  So all four of the children were galloping up and sliding down with friends as well as each other.

And I sat on my bottom down below.  Got a takeaway coffee, bought ice blocks, doled out sunscreen, water and food.

It was sublime.

Manly Waterworks has never appeared in Sydney For Under Fives because it’s not a good place for the under fives.  There’s a height restriction of 120cm.  And the three slides are pretty exciting too.

Luckily, the wonderful West Esplanade beach is right beside Waterworks, so when my twins were little they loved to play there whilst the older boys whizzed and splashed.

Manly Waterworks works for mums, dads and carers as well as the kids because it has a very shady sitting area, with benches and tables.  So if we oldies are too lazy to slide, we can sit and relax.

Don’t the words ‘sit’ and ‘relax’ sound odd in the context of parenthood?

Things We Love

* The cafe right alongside

* the wonderful views

* the thrilling slides

* the fact I can take all the kids, currently aged between 14 and five.  There aren’t many things they all love to do together.

Downsides of the trip

The only one for me is… finding parking. Manly gets so busy in the summer.  My aim is always to leave very early and circle like a Manly shark until I find a good spot.

We usually get a 2-hour park on the street, and then try to move the car…. or pray I don’t get a ticket.

The council car parks are also good, but a hike.  The car park under the building on the corner of  West Esplanade and Belgrave Street, entrance off Gilbert Street, is handy and worth the cost.

Manly Waterworks is tucked beside Oceanworld Manly at the end of West Esplanade, hard to see but once found, never forgotten.

Ah Manly, how we love you. This is the beach at West Esplanade, looking towards the pier as the ferry approaches.

The kids are always starving after a few hours of sliding.  Our routine is to go along to Manly Wharf, eat something nutritious and filling (fish and chips, ice cream) and then muck about on the beach until it’s time to go home to bed.

And all this on a lovely warm, blue sky, Sydney summer day…. say no more….

More info on Manly Waterworks at their comprehensive website here. 


More Great Sydney Water Slides

There are heaps of other water slides in Sydney, some outdoors at swimming pools and some at indoors pools.

Read my post about all the different water slides in Sydney here.

View Larger Map

Do you have a favourite annual summer expedition?

Which are your fave water slides?

Happy sliding,


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  1. I go to Manly loads and never knew this was here!

  2. Hello Muppy, well I am so delighted you read this… it is a very down to earth place, it’s been there for years and years… very unpretentious spot, which has given my big boys years of thrills. Bit of a hidden gem.

  3. Summers by the sea are the thing I loved most about my childhood :)

    • Holidays by the sea on the west coast of Scotland were happy times in our childhood too. My sister lives just near where we used to go so we get to re-visit and watch our kids play. It’s a rare treat, very special.

  4. Looks like such an awesome place! Would love to go there if I’m ever in Manly :)

  5. I never knew this existed – it looks like a great place! I am glad you all had a fantastic day there :)

    • There have been many hair-raising moments these school hols and even more hair-pulling ones, so it as great to have a day when everyone enjoyed themselves.

  6. I had NO idea it was even there. This is why I love your blog!

    • Ah, thank you. It’s a good spot for a sunny day when you need to exhaust your children… hold on, we need to exhaust our children every day.

  7. That looks so awesome Seana.

    And hooray for sitting down. I love that ;)

    So glad you all had such a great day.

  8. PS Just showed Mr14 and Able12 this post and they reckon they broke every rule on the list yesterday… don’t tell me boys!

    I sent Able12 off with my waterproof camcorder and he’s got some hilarious in-slide video… will upload and edit that in soonish…

  9. Had no idea this was there either. Thanks for unearthing this one. I’ll keep it bookmarked for future reference, when my smells are bigger.

    • Yes, that’s a good plan. I remember having to have my boys on my knee down that huge slide when we first visited. Now even the wee ones fly down alone… how time goes by!

  10. Is it for younger kids? I have an 18 month old…any suggestions on where I could exhaust her?

    • Not for younger kids as there is a height limit. Playgrounds by the beach are fab for wearing out the wee ones!!

  11. Hey..Thanks for this post..

    Do they charge for the under fives or is it free entry for them?

    • Only kids over the height limit can enter and they need to pay. So it’s a height thing not a age thing.

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