MANLY At A Glance
Tucked away on a small peninsula surrounded by popular surfing beaches and the spectacular bushlands of North Head, Manly is laid back yet bustling. Manly-siders embrace daytrippers and tourists, sharing with them the natural wonders and world-class shopping and dining that define this beachside suburb.
Simply all things outdoors, from playing in the water to pounding the surrounding walkways. Manly-siders love to play in the sun.
The patch of grass along the water near The Skiff is known as ‘The Office’ – it’s where the locals gather for pre-drinks.
Captain Arthur Phillip observed the indigenous peoples’ “confident and manly behaviour”, hence the suburb’s name, Manly.
Wander down the ‘Pathway of Olympians’ along Manly Wharf and you will get a sense of what Manly-siders like to do in their spare time.
Surfing beaches, coves and inlets provide a water wonderland for surfers, kayakers, parasailers, swimmers, divers and snorkelers. Along the shoreline walkers and joggers pound the extensive pathways that wind through North Head Sanctuary and up into Sydney Harbour National Park.
People watching is a favourite pastime along The Corso in the heart of Manly. A pedestrian mall that is lined with local shops, bars, cafés and galleries, this busy social hub is the main thoroughfare between the ferry wharf and Manly Beach, and home to the weekly Manly Markets which boast emerging designers and artists.
Twice a year, crowds descend on this sun-soaked suburb to indulge their senses at the annual Manly Jazz Festival and the Taste of Manly Festival. During the rest of the year, Mother Nature is Manly’s biggest drawcard.
People who grew up in Manly and its surrounds tend to stick around because the lifestyle is so addictive. Manly has seen an influx of newbies seeking the outdoor lifestyle, and a thriving expat community has taken up permanent residence, bringing their own cultural flavours with them.
The popular surfing beach attracts people from all over the world, from sunbathers to body boarders and surfers. Volleyball nets are permanently positioned on the beach and a promenade borders the sand. People can walk, jog and skate or venture into any of the restaurants, cafés and bars along the strip.
The calm waters of Manly Cove have it all; a great swimming spot, lazy days in the sun, dining at the alfresco cafés, restaurants and bars, the Manly Ferry, parasailing, kayaking, walkways and Little Manly Beach – a family-friendly beach on calm water and a kiosk for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
NORTH HEAD SANCTUARY
11 km from the CBD, the dramatic cliffs of North Head is wild island-like nature reserve. This sanctuary is a special place for Aboriginal people and there are rock carvings which were created many thousands of years ago. North Head Scenic Drive accesses much of the headland, including the Royal Australian Artillery National Museum, the Bella Vista Café in the heritage-listed North Fort Building, the Australian Bronze Café in Building 19 (near the Parade Ground), tennis courts, walks and lookouts.
WINE & DINE
The ever increasing and changing café, dining and bar scene keeps locals intrigued, but they can still seek comfort in their favourite watering holes such as Hugos and 4 Pines Brewing Company.
Further around the headland from Manly Beach is the much calmer Shelly Beach, loved for its marine life by scuba divers and snorkelers alike. Families make a day of it enjoying bush tracks, BBQ facilities and fine dining at The Boathouse Restaurant.
Manly is an architectural wonderland with state-of-the-art mixed dwellings popping up around Art Deco, Spanish Mission and Mediterranean-style apartments, which are predominately situated along the streets off the Esplanade and North and South Steyne.