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On January 21, 1788, Captain Arthur Phillip noted that an aboriginal standing on the beach was quite a “manly specimen,” thus Manly Cove was named.

Manly Beach is one of the finest beaches in the Sydney area. It’s considered to be the jewel of the north shore beaches by many people, local as well as tourists. Manly is located on a narrow peninsula, surrounded on three sides by water, it offers both harbour and ocean beaches. Few cities in the world can boast the pristine waterfronts and paradisiacal climate that Sydney offers.

Manly is a wonderful blend of casual and trendy tastes. It remains the more easygoing of the beaches that line the north coast. Here you will find a mix of young and old roaming the famous pedestrian walk known as ‘the corso.’ This plaza offers shopping and a large variety of places to eat and drink. On weekends and public holidays an outdoor Arts and Craft Market is held in Sydney Road close to the corso. Visitors will find an abundance of hand-crafted items here.

A walk down Manly’s corso brings one to a breath taking ocean view. The beach is a sight one will not soon forget. The white sands, the surf, the huge Norfolk Pines lining the beach are part of what is so distinctive about Manly. There are 18 coves, beaches or inlets to swim in. Surfing is a favorite past time for locals, it is said that some of the best surfing in the area is found here. From the promenade a foot path follows the shoreline from South Steyne to Fairy Bower Beach and the quaint cove of Shelly Beach. This is often called the Millionaire’s Walk, spectacular views of the ocean and the million dollar homes that dot the hills give credence to the title

The Manly visitor’s center is located on the promenade at South Styene. Here tourists may pick up information on attractions in the area. Lockers can be rented for the day for just a minimal fee. Relax, surf, swim, explore the magical Manly corso and beaches. There are lovely heritage and scenic walks, information on these attractions can be found at the visitor’s center also.

Manly can be easily reached from the Circular Quay in Sydney. This is the best way to see the harbor and relish the trip to a relaxing get-away. ‘Jetcat’ catamarans reach the Manly Wharf from the Quay in just fifteen minutes. Most people prefer the unhurried thirty minutes ride aboard the huge ferries that traverse the harbor. It’s a relaxing way to unwind from a day at work. Visitors find the ride a mesmerizing way to see the famous harbor. Transportation by bus is available from many city side areas as well.

Accommodations available in Manly range from international hotels to back packer hostels, with lovely guest houses and serviced apartments in between, something for every taste and need. There are more than eighty restaurants in Manly offering ethnic cuisines, fast food, buffets and kiosk’s with prices to suit every budget. Some of the restaurants offer spectacular ocean views and outdoor seating.

Manly Wharf is located on the harbor beach. The ferry wharf is located here and visitors will depart and leave from this area. The first regular Manly Ferry services began in 1854 when Henry Gilbert Smith built a 50-foot pier. Today, 150 years later, this pier remains an essential part of the Manly experience. A large waterfront complex houses boutiques, food courts and souvenir shops. Boat rides are available at the wharf, there are also an exquisitely restored carousel and a Ferris wheel outside the complex.


Oceanworld is located on the Manly cove foreshore and can be reached from the wharf. Oceanworld is a popular exhibit and is noted for its huge collection of sharks and stingrays.

Tickets to Oceanworld include a pass to visit the Manly Art Gallery and Museum located next door. The Museum hosts a changing program as well as a permanent collection of fine art and pottery. For those of you interested in more cultural pursuits there is a library in the center of town and a heritage walk that will guide you through the history of the area.

Recreational activities include surfing, swimming, tennis, golf, roller blades, scuba diving, volleyball and fishing. Any age group will find something to do, day or night, in this pleasant atmosphere.

The scenic walks in this area are a wonderful way to explore. The marvelous Manly Scenic Walkway can be reached just behind Oceanworld. This is an arresting way to see the native bush land and middle harbour. The walk takes you from Manly Cove to the Spit Bridge, about a six-mile stretch taking three to four hours to travel.

North Head, the entrance to the Sydney harbor, is about one and a half miles south of Manly. The Sydney Harbor National Park takes up most of the North headlands. Visitors may tour the Quarantine Station, the North Fort Artillery Museum and an underground system of tunnels that show visitors what life in a fortress was like. The North Fort Artillery Museum houses guns that have been used in the defense of Australia for more than two hundred years. Tours may be per booked and the evening Ghost Tour is a must for those that are brave of heart.

Manly is an oasis of harmony not far from the bustle of the city of Sydney. Travelers to Sydney will want to explore the many faces of this wonderful resort atmosphere.