Manly Cove West

Manly Cove West

Manly Cove West is an iconic and locally significant place. People and vessels have been part of Manly accessing the Cove by sea for centuries and continue to do so.

Project information

Transport for NSW is the owner of the former aquarium Manly Sea Life and the Manly Pavilion. We are at the initial planning stage of the project and will be engaging with key stakeholders and the community as part of the design process.

The aquarium was purpose built in the 1960s, and housed marine life until it was closed in 2018. Manly Sea Life Sanctuary was a public aquarium, which featured sharks, giant stingrays, sea turtles, little penguins and other marine life. It also allowed guests to take part in Shark Dive Xtreme, where they could swim with grey nurse sharks over three metres long.

Since the Sea Life aquarium building was closed in 2018, it has remained vacant and is not fit for reuse. The aquarium building is dilapidated, and it still houses custom built tanks and enclosures not easily adapted to a future new use. The building also blocks sight lines to the heritage buildings behind.

Transport for NSW recognises the importance of creating a place, which respects the local cultural heritage, connects people to land and water and creates a prominent waterfront location in Manly.

We would like to enhance the Manly West Esplanade precinct area and reconnect the Pavilion and heritage buildings with the beach by removing the aquarium building and extending the boardwalk with enough width for outdoor dining and a recreational edge. This proposal would provide a safe, family friendly for the West Esplanade area, which maintains and celebrates the local heritage of the area.

There is also the opportunity to improve public waterfront access with the possibility of the inclusion of a wharf structure for pick up and drop off of recreational vessels. We are seeking your feedback on our plans and potential uses for the site

Artist illustration of plan for the former Manly Sea Life area.

We will consider all feedback in line with our plans for the site.

In 2022, we will review feedback received and carry out further investigations around the proposed site to support the development of the Environmental Impact Assessment.

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Project documents


Contact us

For further information about this project contact us via:

Phone: 1800 770 973 (during business hours)


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