Guide to Manly

Wed 9th, Jan, 2013

42 Flares Twitter 0 Facebook 0 Google+ 0 Pin It Share 38 Buffer 4 42 Flares ×



G’day, I hope all is well with you…I am still on holiday here and popping in to say hello and here today have a little guide to a place I love…Manly…I have been emailed so many times about recommendations for coming to the beaches on this side of Sydney and I have always meant to write down a few of the places I enjoy, but I never really did get around to it.

And then I started looking at places in Sydney recently for my New Year’s Resolution and while I have found a heap of interesting things to discover, a lot of things I did find were a bit, I don’t know, generic, if that word fits here in this context at all…know what I mean??

This prompted me to get this guide finally written down…I just did it bit by bit, took quick snaps as I went (all pics are via my phone hence quality) here and there and thought of something I liked…I know many people will be coming here over the next few months so I have gathered here a few tips of things I like to do and asked a few of the locals to give me the places they love too…this is not a perfect guide, and it certainly is not a fluffed up guide to all things fancy…I wrote it aimed at those who read this blog who I am assuming might like similar things to me – that means good value, good views and not too much fuss….I hope you like it!

For centuries Manly has been a popular destination for visitors to Sydney from all over the world who are drawn to the natural beauty of the beaches and the ease of access from the sights of the city…bounded by Sydney harbour on one side and the crashing waves of the Pacific on the other, its slogan ‘seven miles from Sydney a million miles from care’ is one that holds true for many…

Manly is a unique place …a little beachside town outside of Sydney with it’s own special bustling vibe, full of an eclectic mix of visitors, a core and tight group of locals who have lived here all their lives, migrants from all over the world, people here just for a few years and some fancy city types who hang out down the beach at the weekend…it all gels together quite nicely and once you’ve been here for a while it’s a friendly happy little place topped off with blue skies and water all around…where you’ll bump into people in the street and the postie waves G’day as he passes by…

You could come to Manly, head straight to the beach and not do much else and who wouldn’t, but here are the things I have found about this place that make me love it.


So this is my Real Girl’s Guide to Manly – starting off with where to get a coffee & breakfast, value eats, cutie little shops, walks to go on, beaches to sit at, things to do and see that won’t cost a fortune but will make you want to come back again someday…

Beach Cottage top tip :  stop and get a free map from the tourist office (just by the wharf)…I am not sure whether you can get this on your phone yet so pick up one of these maps…it includes lookout spots, walks, points out the smoke and alcohol free zones, marks public toilets, swimming pools, picnic tables etc…


Here are a few places I like that you might like too

1. Coffee

This is a hotly debated topic by the locals and one thing you can be assured of, if the world was about to end you would be able to buy your last coffee in Manly…there are a vast number of coffee shops…

Barefoot – the place the surfers love to get their fix…where the coolio coffee types hang out and out of the way down a little road away from the main strip…this place is often packed with locals and surfers spilling over onto the street – 18 Whistler St, Sydney NSW 2095

Hum Cafe – a secret of those in the know…where you’ll find the old locals and not your trendy city slickers…old ladies wanting a cup of tea, local tradies, it’s not fancy and don’t even look at the decor but if you want a simple cup of coffee and you don’t want to take out a mortgage for it this is the way to go…a small cafe with lots of character and an unpretentious menu…you won’t find fancy food here, you will find basic wraps, breakfast and sandwiches…service is with a smile, friendly and fast – 27 Sydney Rd, Manly

Donna recommends….Three Beans – this opened up a few years ago, and sits slap bang in the middle of the Manly Cool Crowd Circuit…it’s always packed and you often cannot get a table…the styling is beachy and rustic, the coffee isn’t bad either…you can sit here at the traffic lights to the Corso and watch the world go by – so very good for people watching, not a place to go if you are in a rush, the service is sometimes a bit hit and miss and the prices reflect the decor meaning it’s not cheap, though nothing much is here – 2A Darley Road  Manly

Manly Surf Life Saving Club – there is a little kiosk to the side of the club that has recently been taken over by a lovely crew – if you are going for a stroll by the sea and want quick, easy coffee with good prices this is the place for you – the owners are friendly and service is quick…plus if you want a pair of Manly SLSC togs as a souvenir of your visit you can get them here…

2. Breakfast


Bluewater – this place is a nice mix of visitors and locals – you can sit here and have a decent breakfast looking out at the sea over the road.  It’s buzzy and has a Manly feel to it and it’s right on the beachfront…as you eat your breakfast you’ll get a good dose of people watching and the locals walking up from the surf club for their coffee…the service here can be slow…but I know some locals who will only go here for coffee….if it looks super super busy be prepared for a wait  but you’ll be surrounded by nautical stripes, the ocean in the distance and surfboards on the wall – 28 South Steyne, Manly

Honolulu Grill – if you are strolling along the front (this is about half way up the beach) and want to stop for breakfast this is simple food without any fanfare – there is always a deal on so it won’t hurt your pocket but if you are after fancy this isn’t for you…this is mainly locals and a few people on holiday and often people on their own working with a laptop …the fresh juices in here are really good and the breakfasts and food are real girl style, meaning they are reasonably priced and good which isn’t always the case in Manly!  Staff are happy, efficient and friendly.   If you are coming here for breakfast after 10am on a weekend be prepared for a wait, because it’s good value and good basic food, it’s popular…North Steyne, Manly 20130109-05-IMG_5808


beach cottage tip!  you won’t need to bring a tonne of drinks to Manly…dotted here and there are drinking stations where you can fill up your water bottles (or drink right there from the bubbler) with filtered water…this initiative is Manly’s bit for the environment plus is very welcome on a hot day…

3. Lunch

Manly Bakery – If you are here for a family day out and don’t have a picnic and don’t want to spend a lot of money stop off at the local bakery – you won’t get fancy service and fancy schmancy deli stuff, you will get filled rolls for a great price and friendly service from the lovely family who run this bakery…not elaborate or gourmet…as you line up (there is nearly always a queue, but don’t worry it moves fast)you will be in line with locals stopping by for a roll or a pie, after school kids lining up for some afternoon tea and visitors who have found a good lunchtime fill up that doesn’t break their budget -  31 Sydney Rd Manly



local Byrony lovesMortar & Pestle - has a fab $10 lunch, 7 days’ …good basic Thai…2 Darley Road  Manly

Sushi – Manly is well off for sushi, some is good some not so – if you are after a tray of sushi to take to the beach or you are on the beach and need to get out of the sun for a bit, Sushi Land is good and just off of Manly beach…it’s much nicer than some of the stuff the other sushi places in Manly turn out… it’s fresh, well-priced and the staff say please and thank-you and smile which is always a bonus, though you will get charged for pickled ginger  Shop 13 / 11-23, Wentworth Street Manly

Sushi Bar Taka – If you are up for a bit of sushi going around on a little train and who isn’t, then there is a little tucked away place on the Corso upstairs that we go to regularly – the decor is a bit dated, the service a bit grumpy and it’s dark but the sushi is good and so are the prices…74- 78 The Corso

Benbry Burgers –  if you want a pretty good burger, you will find one in this place…you’ll get fresh, good and filling burgers but you’ll be paying Manly prices! Shop 5, Sydney Road, Manly


beach cottage tip :  blogger Shae (who I met at a blogging conference and was born in Manly) who I love and blogs here, recommends a lovely place to stay in Manly, more info here 

4. Dinner

Ok there are a host of eateries in Manly and I cannot speak for fine-dining as fine-dining is so not my gig…plus I have been sorely disappointed with some of the restaurants here, the prices, the service and mediocre food…many locals that I know have the same opinion…

However the places that I have been below are worth a visit…

Fish Monger – to an English girl who had a fish and chip shop that rocked her socks in her village this place is a novelty…posh fish & chips?? I ask you! …but actually it’s good, but it’s not cheap…it was recommended to me by Sydneysider Emily and since then I have been a couple of times…4/11-15 Wentworth Street  Manly

local Donna says Pizza Cappanna (near Skater HQ on the front just up from the Steyne Hotel and near the Manly Pacific) ‘ good cheap pizza for dinner with the kids, pasta too, BYO’

Chat Thai – this little place used to just be Thai food served at a kiosk and you ate it sitting up high on stools in the middle of the wharf and it was always, and still is, highly popular with locals for take-away, the wait is sometimes on the long side but it’s more than worth it…it recently got a facelift and seating has now been added…the food is very good and the prices too… family owned and run you’ll get authentic everyday Thai and most of the time good service 10, Manly Wharf/East Esplanade Manly

Hugos – this is on the wharf too with a great view and buzzy Manly vibe….it’s one of those places that won’t take a reservation so if you go at a busy time expect to wait…the food is up-market Italian with prices to match, the pizza is pretty good and so are some of the sharing platters, but really it’s the view and the ambiance that make me include it here, service is pretty good, though sometimes too fast where they are trying to turn over your table and get more paying customers in …..Manly Wharf Shop 1, East Esplanade

Ali loves Little Manly Kiosk for ‘sunset meals, lovely on a night with the sun going down, kids can play on the beach while you eat’ …this is a well-kept locals secret and well worth the walk around from the Wharf…the burgers are good, it’s not always open for dinner so call ahead and I’ve heard from others that sometimes the service is a bit hit and miss…but the view is worth it!  9977 7104 On The Beach Stuart St Manly

Wok Bar – you’ll find a lot of locals in here…the food is good, the price is good and the service is quick and efficient 27 Belgrave Street Manly




top tip :  Manly Bike Tours – if you fancy a ride on a bike with the wind in your hair stop here just over the road from the wharf for a bike….Manly is mostly flat so this is a good way to spend some time seeing it all, you can cruise along world famous Manly beach and stop for a drink here and there…at about $15 for an hour, if you are a big family it might not be for you but a great way to see Manly …Shop 6, 54 West Esplanade, Manly



5.  Beaches

First and foremost SWIM BETWEEN THE FLAGS!

and look out for the signs


If you are a visitor from overseas, especially a Pommie one (i.e. you are from Old Blighty), do not even think about heading into the water unless you see a pair of yellow and red flags – these flags mean the area between them is the safest place you can swim at that time and it is also patrolled by Surf Life Savers.  This is not a joke.  If it says no swimming, do not enter the water.  You may think it’s safe when it isn’t….I have seen in my time here more than a few rescues, some just a few metres from the shore…don’t mess around on Australian beaches.  You do not, however Baywatch the notion may seem, want to get in a situation where one of these guys needs to save you…


Manly has one huge curve of beach, at the Northern end is Queenscliff Beach, in the middle North Steyne and at South Steyne is iconic Manly Beach.   Each of these three beaches has a surf club with North Steyne being one of the few surf clubs whose building is actually built directly on the sand…



Manly Beach – this is the nearest beach to the main town/shops/restaurants…if you arrive by ferry get off walk straight down the Corso you are there…arriving by car at Manly beach you could find yourself taking a while to find a park…if you want to swim look for the flags and set up there…on the promenade you’ll find picnic benches and lots of places to sit too

If you are at Manly at busy times of the year it will be full of a mix of holidaymakers and locals stopping for their daily swim, plenty of people watching, plenty of families, groups and older couples

Walk North a bit from Manly past the steps and you will come to some beach volleyball courts…carry on past them and the beach gets much quieter…a nice place to sit and look out to sea – but no flags here so not for swimming…



If you want to swim between the flags and a different feel to Manly beach walk up the beach (either on the sand at the shore or on the prom) and head to either North Steyne or Queenscliff beach…both these beaches are much quieter than the main Manly beach though I must say my kiddos are adamant Manly is the best, even at peak times when there are a lot of visitors…and who am I to argue?



Shelley Beach…want a slice of the Med hit Shelley Beach, it often reminds me of some of the beaches I have been to on the Balearic Islands…it’s busy here in Season…but great here for littlies, it’s calm and they can play on the shore quite safely….great for shells funnily enough!  and good for snorkelling too…my kiddos have spent many a time here just hanging out, climbing on the rocks, collecting shells or going out with a snorkel…..and there are a couple of BBQs too if you want a beachside cook-up…there’s definitely a younger vibe here at busy times of the year and often a lot of groups of back-packers mixed in with young families


Harbour Beach…There are beaches to either side of the wharf in the harbour…one has a shark net so that’s always a good thing!  It can get busy here, but often it’s pretty deserted in the week…head to the furthest end for a bit of peace, set up your towel and go for a swim…it’s a nice little spot and I love to sit with a coffee and watch the ferries coming in and out…you’ll also find picnic benches up on the grass in the shade which are a good spot for a bit of people watching especially the locals as they come in from the city on the ferry…

If you’re lucky you’ll also see a penguin…they live under the wharf here…



Little Manly Beach

Little Manly Beach is a great and safe spot for swimming with a shark enclosure and nice beach…it’s hidden away and protected from currents so a great spot for kiddos…also a nice place for a walk and some BBQs with amazing views out to the heads and into the city…street parking here is often tricky but there is a car park adjacent…you can bring a picnic and umbrella here and set up for the whole day and not do much else…and many people do just thatStuart Street, Manly


6. Ocean Pools


Queenscliff Pool – this is right up at the end of Manly Beach at Queenscliff…a classic Aussie ocean pool surrounded by an amazing view and on a day when the surf is pumping the ocean will crash up over the top….fantastic!   If you want a saltwater swim but don’t want the surf a calm little swim here is nice…sometimes on a cloudy day this pool is a bit murky but lovely once you get in…if you come up here don’t forget to head around the side of the pool up the steps and have a little sit on the bench on the rocks looking out to sea…you can sit here and daydream with not a care in the world…



Fairy Bower Pool – an iconic Manly spot…again the view is lovely as you take your dip….built in 1929 by local residents it’s one of a number of historic saltwater pools…you’ll be joined by swimmers doing their laps, the odd family with their children playing and old Manly locals who come down in their dressing gowns for the daily taking of the waters…

7. Drinks


Manly Wine with it’s tagline ‘chic to sip vino with sandy feet’ and out there styling one could be put off entering the depths of Manly Wine, however it’s trendy and quirky and full of energy…highly recommended by local Ali who takes clients there all the time from overseas and every time I have been in I have enjoyed myself…a real mix of holiday makers, locals young and old and often very busy…service is pretty good, laid-back and friendly though I’ve heard not so good at times…but it’s always been great for me….you’ll find this also popular for coffee with the ocean swimming crews from Manly Surf Club with their coloured swimming hats after their crazily early ocean swim…8 -13 South Steyne, Manly

The Pony Room …first stepped into this place late one night with a couple of friends…it’s dark, a jumble of old furniture and been a bit over-styled and the prices are very high for a Mojito in a jam jar, however the vibe works, it’s kinda cool, off the beaten track a bit and it’s the kinda place you could sit have a few drinks and lose much time! 28 Pittwater Rd, Manly

Ali Recommends In Situ – ‘really friendly with shrubs and trees, live music, tapas and the Elderflower, Lychee and Vodka cocktail is amazing’


4 Pines Brewing Company…just over the road from the wharf and one of the few places to go in Manly just for a drink…you’ll find own brew ales, Continental style beers, cider and a buzzing atmosphere….this place has won heaps of awards for its brewing skills…food is run of the mill pub grub…a nice feel and good staff…it’s often really packed and busy…beers are made on site which adds to the charm… definitely worth a stop but you’ll have to dig deep in your pocket for a beer… 29/43-45 E Esplanade, Manly



beach cottage top tip : want a day on the surf?  head to Manly Surf School half-way up the beach located at North Steyne SLSC, run by lovely friendly guys, it’s safe and they make it fun, you’ll be with other beginners and the odd local who doesn’t surf too well, classes are every day, all year…all the gear is provided (above), you’ll just need some balance! North Steyne Surf Club, Manly Beach

8. Walks



Manly to Shelley Beach…head towards Manly SLSC by the ocean and from here walk around by the sea and past Fairy Bower pool…grab a coffee at the Manly SLSC kiosk (see above) before you go and stroll along with the wind in your hair…there are plenty of places to stop at a bench for a look out to sea…



You will, unless you are extremely unlucky come across a Water Dragon…


Just as the walkway arrives at Shelley Beach there is a footpath/steps on the right (just before the restaurant) that goes up through the bush – take this path and at the top hang a left and keep going until you get back to the ocean – up here on the cliff/head keep an eye open for the lookouts on the right of the car park – here you will see fabulous views of the ocean and crashing waves…


Here either walk back down to Shelley Beach (a little path off the car park) or take the path directly ahead through the bush (it goes around in a circle)…it’s a short circuit but there are places here to stop and look out over the ocean and up to the rest of the Northern Beaches…if the swell is good you’ll have a birds eye view of the surfer boys doing their thing…

Manly to Queenscliff

You can walk easily and on the flat from Manly to Queenscliff either on the promenade or down by the ocean…along the way are a couple of play parks for kiddos and plenty of tables and benches to sit at with a picnic

On this walk, you will walk along alongside Manly’s historic hallmark – the Norfolk Island pines, which were planted to give welcome shade from the harsh sun to Manly’s promenade…

Once you get to Queenscliff SLSC if you want to keep walking, go over the bridge and up the hill, keep walking straight ahead up some very steep steps (not good if you have a buggy/stroller), keep on going and you will eventually come to a pathway to Freshwater beach…this is a lovely walk and takes you down through bush and lands you directly onto the sand (and is extremely good for one’s legs)


20130109-25-IMG_5813 20130109-26-00b770643a6911e2ae2622000a1fb7e1_7


Manly Scenic Walkway

top tip : Manly Scenic Walkway winds through various parts of Manly, stop at the tourist office near the wharf and pick up a free walk leaflet or look out for the signs detailing which way it goes…

There are different parts to the Manly Scenic Walkway…a nice easy stroll is left of the Wharf…this goes all the way to the Spit Bridge if you follow it to the end…but starts here on the beach…


on this part of the walk look down and you will see interesting Olympic facts on the floor…


There’s a lovely old building here to gaze at at the start of the walk and a walkway that goes over the sea and is home to a few more penguins…

The Spit walk takes you past houses and units you’ll need more than a few million in your pocket to buy and through secluded beaches and stunning views…if you’ve got time and you have a bit of energy you won’t be disappointed…



Other Walks

… one of my favourite past-times and ways to keep fit is by going on a walk to look at houses, buildings and local life…and there’s a host of things to see here…



…if you want to get a good look at Manly and gawk at some of the old buildings and houses then get off the main drag and head in a bit…


start off on Pittwater Road (look up and you’ll see some fine examples of old Australian architecture)


…and then take any of the little side streets to see examples of tiny cottages with picket fences and all year round you’ll find beautiful flowers….


get lost in a different world to the busy Corso area and soak up the old places with surf boards on their decks, and bigger fancy old Manly homes with all their finery…dotted through these streets you’ll find the odd coffee shop and see the locals on their way to the beach, surfboard tucked under their arms…

these two houses are examples of Manly’s heritage

Edinboro, Sydney Road – the oldest surviving house in Manly Municipality, built in 1874 and heritage listed.

Elim, Addison Road – restored Italianate style two storey house dating back to the 1880s (Addison Road is full of lovely old Manly houses though most have interesting modern updates and lots are long gone!)

Manly Art Gallery & Museum – this is a super little museum and I often stop here…probs not a trip for the kiddos though really it’s small enough to do very quickly so they shouldn’t get too bored…you’ll find Manly history and among the info interesting old souvenirs from a coastal lifestyle such as vintage surfboards, swimming costumes, old Manly life photos etc.


top tip :  Q Station Ghost tour, head up to the Quarantine Station (book before you come at busy times of the year) for a scary and informative tour of Manly’s old haunted buildings


9. Parks

Ivanhoe Park – walk past the oval and into Ivanhoe park, it’s quiet and well away from the bustle of Manly…a 5 minute stroll and you will find a fragrance garden and a botanical garden…nice spot for a stroll plus a bit of history….here you’ll also find Barefoot Bowls – a casual game of bowls with bare feet. This is a fun way to spend an early evening in Manly…you’ll also find a classic bowling club with great value, no frills meals, no impressive decor and regular drinks with local characters propping up the bar – bowling barefoot, a few friends and a couple of beers always goes down quite nicely…Raglan Street, Manly

North Head – a sanctuary of flora, fauna and wildlife – walk up Darley Road (the free Manly map has a well marked and clear guide to North Head) or you can drive up and park…head to the Gatehouse and visitor centre where you can find out more information and get walking in the bushland!  (you can also experience North Head via Shelley Beach)

Cemetery – for some very interesting Manly history head up to the Cemetery in Fairlight…go to the end of Raglan Street (uphill stroll about 6 minutes), to the dog leg onto Griffiths Street and then another 5 to 10 minutes – lots of heritage value here with the first grave marked 1863

10. Shopping

Lulu Loves Paris

… a lovely little shop to have a wander in, full of pretty dresses and some vintage styling…you might need to save your pennies for a trip here though…good to shop in for girlfriends for a birthday present (jewellery and scarves are cool) and the own brand shoes rock…owners are nice and friendly and happy to help…


Silver Blue

this little place is a sweet shop rammed with beachy clothing from many local labels and Aussie fashion houses and also stocks my fave Mavi jeans…you’ll find a few home wares too plus scarves and jewellery…always friendly and happy to help in here and it’s a great place to get beach kimonos and wraps…

Manly School Markets

If you are coming on the 3rd Saturday of the month head straight for this market if you like vintage things and a good rummage…it’s a true flea market and a good mix of people having a clear out, trendy teenagers doing their fashion thing, great street food and regular weekly traders, plus home made jams, cupcakes and you’ll even find hand-mixed spices and good olive oils…not full of cheap new stuff…a great way to spend the morning – have a mooch with a basket over your shoulder, a coffee in your hand and follow it with a little sit on the beach…you’ll find me doing just that…

10. Vintage Treasure Hunting

If you love a good vintage treasure hunt then you might find something of interest in Manly…

Salvos good for a browse and chock full of stuff and has staff who are friendly, but you’ll be hard pressed to find a vintage bargain…this is one of those shops who like to add ‘vintage’ or ‘retro’ to the label…13/22 Central Avenue MANLY

Vinnies is the old style of op-shop I love, staffed by a bunch of ladies that have been there a while, well organised, everything is in good condition and it’s clean…good for a look but not for vintage china as this is highly polished, sparkled up and locked in a cabinet as if it were an antique shop – worth a wander with a coffee…2 – 10 Pittwater Road MANLY

Lifeline  newly opened in Manly and worth a look but doing the whole ‘retro’ dudealicious coolio second-hand thing which is not my kinda op-shopping at all – you’ll find a counter made of old vintage books, second-hand clothes in the ‘vintage’ section and old dressers with jewellery displayed just so….good for a look and you never know….




And that’s my little guide to Manly – I hope it might be of interest and or use to someone visiting..

Please if you are local or have been here for a visit and found something amazing or have any recommendations at all, leave them in the comments and I’ll check ‘em out.

Next time Beach Cottage lovelies


(all images snapped here and there courtesy of my iPhone)


42 Flares Twitter 0 Facebook 0 Google+ 0 Pin It Share 38 Buffer 4 42 Flares ×

21 Responses to “Guide to Manly”

  1. Fairlight Marz says:

    You must try Alchemy (not far from the wharf) for great coffee and awesome food (esp breaky….. mv fave is the Crepe Benedict). They also make the best babycinos available in Manly (not applicable to you though Sarah :)

  2. Now, this is what I’m talking about, a practical guide of places to go from the locals (that would be you, lol!) who really know because they are living it! Thanks Sarah!

  3. Amanda says:

    Lovely photos x

  4. KIM BUCA says:

    loved this sarah i feel like i went on mini vaca right here at the computer esp being here in mich land locked and looking at the huge beautiful but frozen lake!

  5. This is brilliant Sarah – such a good resource – and boy you know your area VERY well!

  6. Selby says:

    Beautiful! I’ve been missing the beach so much this summer & as Kim said above this was like taking a holiday from here.
    A great resource & top local tips. Must have taken quite a while to write it all up so comprehensively so thanks for that- a lovely gift for us all:)


  7. Sarah says:

    Thoroughly enjoyed this romp through Manly through your eyes Sarah! I also love Belgrave Cartel (6 Belgrave St Manly) for terrific coffee and yummy options for brekkie, lunch and (recently opened) for dinner. ‘Mamma’s lasagne’ is a special treat! Friendly service and great fit-out – bit like Fitzroy (by the sea)for those who know and love Melbourne. SB xx

  8. Kat says:

    I am going to keep this post in mind for future reference. (Hoping to get to Sydney and Manly one of these days.)
    Great to see your area through your eyes and a glimpse into your life :)

  9. alison says:

    What a lovely tour of Manly. It’s nice to read a local’s version. It has shades of Cronulla-my old stamping ground. I now hang out more in the Illawarra which too, has shades of Manly. Aren’t we SO lucky to live where we do?

    Swimming on a patrolled beach between the red and yellow flags is just part of our lifestyle but not always obvious for overseas visitors.


  10. MDN says:

    SUPERB post!!! Reveling in your pics & descripts. If there, I’d likely become a whirling dirvish, being unable to decide what to do first – each sounds so wonderful! And those previously unknowns such as ocean pools and penguins which aren’t arctic/free running or that there are reptiles (water dragons) which apparently are aggressive v timid… The walks (on the paths, in the parks/neighborhoods, or the beaches alone) are so enticing/gorgeous! Then, the surroundings, food, etc., etc. SIghhhhhhhhhh…… Think my BP and pulse have dropped by virtue of this Manly portrait you painted for us. TKS VVM

  11. merilyn says:

    i have been to manly a few times and it has a unique kick back flavour about it.
    sydney is a special city and i especially love the ferry rides … remembered from the 60′s!!!
    any body would want to do manly with your personalized guide with your visually interesting take on things and your succinct and quirky dialogue! just delightful as usual sarah… thankyou m :)

  12. . says:

    One of Australia’s great beached for sure, but we have some secret places on the West Coast of Australia that are God’s very own!

  13. Fleur says:

    Brilliant post Sarah!
    I so ready for a little city trip! Am going to bookmark this for my next visit.
    Thank you for putting this together,

  14. Belinda says:

    Love hearing about somewhere through local eyes, not a paid research tourist book that usually outdated. Fantastic post.

  15. Tamara says:

    Love your guide – been planning a trip to Oz for years and this kind of advice is great when visiting and not a clue where to start. Like you I like simple, good value and service with a smile – thank you :-)

  16. Sharon says:

    Hopped over to Manly in November – loved it! You are a lucky girl , but then again so am I – I live in NZ by the beach :-)

  17. Suzanne says:

    I enjoyed reading this Sarah!! Manly is a fab place!!
    Thank you for taking the time to post this!! I will check out your recommendations on my next visit over the bridge!! xx

  18. Camiel says:

    Sums it all up!
    Great guide, great place, great people.
    Little piece of heaven in that corner of the world.

    Rgd from NL

  19. Petra says:

    What a great post! Thanks heaps! You have inspired me to do something similar about my end of the Gold Coast (Southport). I have lived here on and off for about 22 years and it’s definitely worth blogging about! :-)