Manly at a Glance
A well established suburb and all the makings of a wonderful beach community without the overcrowding of Bondi, Manly truly is an oasis in Sydney. I remember when I first visited, it was as if I’d stepped into a postcard. Pristine white sand, abundant coffee shops and eateries with enough people (even in the dead of winter) for it to not feel isolated. This “out of city” suburb has a nice small town feel, offering an escape from the hustle and bustle yet just a quick ferry ride away from the city centre.
First named ‘Manly’ by Captain Arthur Phillip in the late 1700s, others didn’t begin to fully settle the area until the early to mid 1800s. Settled on a nice strip of land along the coastline at the entrance to Sydney Harbour, most shopping and snacking needs (when taking a break from the beach) can be found along the ocean promenade or The Corso. Manly is perfect for holiday goers, families looking for a quaint town within city limits and singles looking for a relaxing place to live close to city jobs.
- Beautiful and uncrowded beach with plenty to see and eat within walking distance.
- Nice reprise from the hectic city, but a quick 30 minute ferry ride into town if needed.
- Wonderful scenic walk options; Spit Bridge to Manly or North Head trails along the coast.
- Overall friendly and “small beach town” feel, good for families, couples and singles alike.
- A nice change of setting from the main city with trees, and historic north shore homes framing the coastline.
- Plenty of housing options and still possible to find something that won’t break the bank.
- As with most beachfront suburbs, can be quite crowded (uncomfortably so) on public holidays and during the summer.
- With the increase in population can often be impossible to find parking, best to take the bus or ferry if possible.
- For even more seclusion head down the path from the main beach to quaint Shelley Beach for even more peace and relaxation.
- Avoid The Corso and the Ocean Promenade if you want more affordable eats, Wentworth Street is a great place to look.
Snapshot of Features
Cafes and Tidbits
DeVita - relaxed and affordable coffee and Italian bites away from the main crowds.
- Showbox Coffee Brewers Cafe is an upscale and trendy cafe in from the beach, good for families with kids.
- The Roast Office for amazing (and affordable) cafe and food away from the hustle and bustle of the main promenade.
Three Beans is a nice Sydney cafe chain with locations across the city, organic and locally sourced coffee and food.
- Bella Vista Cafe if you want a relaxed and stylish cafe out on North Head with amazing city and harbour views.
The Boathouse - head down to Shelly beach for nice views, outdoor seating, cocktails and a kids menu.
The Herring Room if you want seafood in the backstreets of Manly that won’t disappoint; upscale with prices that reflect this.
Sunset Sabi is the perfect place for cozy and casual for your Japanese cuisine cravings and unique twists on classics.
Donny's for Asian small plates, rustic setting with exposed brick, perfect for late night bites and cocktails.
Pocket Pizza Manly is another favourite for late night bites and funky relaxed atmosphere.
- Salty Rooster for brekkie favourites, interesting burgers and shakes, this is your takeaway place, also great for kids.
Manly Wharf Hotel for a nice setting on the ferry jetty, waterfront seating, pub food and live DJs.
Havana Beach if you want a beachside setting with Cuban food and creative mojitos.
4 Pines Manly - hard to come by mirco-brewery just down from the ferry wharf, serving craft brews and gourmet pub food.
Belgrave Cartel is a rustic wine bar setting with quirky dishes and weekend DJs.
New Brighton Hotel for a nice bistro with amazing cocktails and four levels plus deck.
- The Ivanhoe Hotel Manly if you want a rooftop bar, live music and yummy drinks.
Sites and Activities
- Relaxing at Manly and Shelly Beaches.
- Getting active with the Spit Bridge and North Head walks.
- Manly Surf n Slide for kids and families.
Manly is filled with beautiful waterfront condos and apartments all within walking distance to restaurants, shops and the ferry wharf.
At the time of writing the average rent for a two bedroom unit ranges between $750 and $850, anything with a view would push that to about $1,200.
Balgowlah, Balgowlah Heights and North Balgowlah
- Curl Curl
House Cleaning Services in Manly, Sydney
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