The gentle waves and mile-long beach in Manly makes this area one of the favourites amongst visitors and locals alike. The modern, beachside apartment buildings and cottages accommodate visitors from all around the world and offer the perfect location in close proximity of the Pacific Ocean.
With so much sunshine during the year, the inhabitants of Sydney love spending time in the outdoors. The main drawing points are the beaches with excellent surfing, and Manly is one of the best city beaches in the world offering this activity. There are plenty of surf lesson offers for newbies or board rentals in case you just want to jump in by yourself.
Every year, humpback whales are passing Sydney from April to December, making Manly a prime spot for whale watching. In case you can’t see these gentle giants from the lookout points from the shore, North Head is highly recommended to choose from one of the reliable operators and spot them from the boat.
Activities in Manly are not restricted to the water, some of the best Sydney walks are also in the area. One of the most popular trails ls the 10km Spit Bridge to Manly Scenic Walkway along beaches and coves. Another great alternative is the 9.5km loop trail around North Head. In case you are in great shape, it is possible to combine both trails into a long walk.
While staying at your Manly holiday cottages, you can explore the diversity of the restaurants in the area. For a more traditional experience head to one of the famous hotel pubs for fish and chips or a delicious burger. But after so many years of immigration, there is no shortage of authentic food options from Latin America, Asia or Europe.
For a real Australian experience, gather your friends, buy your favourite barbecue food and head to one of the community barbecue areas. Often these are the best opportunities to meet the locals and have a friendly chat during one of their best-loved activities.
No trip to Australia is complete without trying Vegemite, a bitter breakfast spread that some people love and some people can’t even have a bite. Other local favourites, holidaymakers should try during their stay are meat pies, sausage rolls or Tim Tams in case you love chocolate.
After a sporty or relaxing day at the beach, what’s better than grabbing a local brew or a refreshing cocktail to watch the sunset. Whether you prefer to sit on the patches of grass next to the Wharf and bring your own drinks like the locals, or you want to enjoy great cocktails close to the beach, Manly is a great place for enjoying time with friends.
One of the best places to watch the sun go down with a cold drink in your hand is the Manly Wharf Hotel. They also offer good pub food and often have a DJ or special events. Located just opposite the wharf is 4 Pines, where you can enjoy their locally brewed beer with a great vista from the balcony.
On the pedestrian path between the wharf and the main beach lies the New Brighton Hotel. Spread over three floors with a beautiful rooftop terrace, this establishment has a backpacker night on Tuesdays with cheap food and drinks. Hotel Steyne, located right next to the main area of Manly Beach, is a favourite of locals and visitors alike. It gets quite packed on weekends, for a quieter night out you can take the elevator to the top floor and enjoy drinks at the Moonshine Bar.
Jazz lovers visiting Manly in October will love the annual Manly International Jazz Festival. More than 60 performers entertain a mixed crowd of jazz fans, visitors and families, from noon to sunset with further indoor concerts at night.
Since 1994, every September, the Manly Arts Festival allows local artists, including painters, musicians, sculptors and art organisations to show their skills and invite the public to their studios for a peek behind the scenes.
One of the main culinary events in Sydney, the Manly´s Food, Wine & Sustainability Festival attracts approximately 30,000 patrons every year in June. The beautiful beach setting offers the perfect background for the range of international cuisines and exclusive wines from the best wineries in New South Wales.
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