Probably my favourite beach in Sydney, I spend at least one morning a week here. The stretch between Shelly, Manly, North Steyne and Queenscliff has surprisingly consistent surf with lots of options in different conditions. Only downside is the crowds! Full of travellers, fitness buffs, dog walkers, ferry day trippers, learners and northern beach surfers heading south looking for a better option.
Facing north east the beach is protected from south swells, so the swell needs to be a bigger to wrap around the headlands, but it it usually better organised and offshore in a south west wind, the southern corner is offshore in a south wind, so thats the place to be with an oversize southerly swell.