One Manly Morning

Manly beachWeeks before I flew over to Sydney for the weekend, I scoured all the websites I can read up on about Sydney and pored over every guidebook I can get my hands on at the library. Almost all of my resources recommends going to Manly.

On my second day in Sydney, I decided to spend my morning over at Manly and see what they’re raving about.

Getting there

The best way to get to Manly is by taking the ferry from Circular Quay. On weekends, the first ferry out of Circular Quay leaves at 8:00 am, while during the workweek, they leave as early as 6:00am. The ferry takes 30 minutes to travel to Manly, however, if you take the Manly Jetcat, the ride is only 15 minutes. Manly WharfTickets for the regular ferry costs AU$6.40 each one-way, while the Manly Jetcat costs AU$8.20 one-way.

I bought a green travel pass from the Airport station, with return airport link express tickets. The green travel pass gives me unlimited rides in Sydney buses, trains and ferry within the green travel zone. The best thing about the green travel pass is that it can be used for the Manly ferry. However, if you want to take the Manly Jetcat, you’d have to buy a seperate ticket.

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I took the Manly Jetcat going to Manly and the Manly ferry back to Circular Quay. Both are really good service. Unless you’re really in a rush to get to Manly (or Circular Quay), there’s really no need to shell out extra money for the Jetcat. The view along the harbour is spectacular, so you wouldn’t really notice the travel time. Unless of course if you’re prone to terrible bouts of sea-sickness.

The Corso

Manly's CorsoThe Corso is a paved pedestrian area lined with shops that connects the Manly wharf to Manly beach. At the Corso, you can find almost everything you need for a day in the beach or souvenirs of your trip. For those on a budget, there’s an Aldi and a Cole’s supermarket at the wharf and at the Corso. Aldi have great prices for groceries, but they carry limited brands. Cole’s on the other hand, carries more brand (though with a slightly higher markup), and usually have a deli (great for instant picnics!).

If you have more money to spend, there are several cafe’s and restaurants along the corso serving different cuisines and catering to all budgets.

Forgot your bathers? No worries, there are lots of stores selling bikinis and board shorts, including Quicksilver, Rip Curl and Billabong. Visiting Manly on a weekend? You’re in luck, there’s the weekend market! Sydney/Manly souvenirs, gorgeous accessories, baby stuff… it’s hard not to buy anything!

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Manly Beach

He's a boy!Once you’ve pried yourself from the markets, the stores and the restaurants, head on now to the beach. There’s only one small road seperating the beach area from the Corso and once you’ve crossed it, it’s like you’ve already transported to a different place.

There’s a wide paved area, where there numerous benches and picnic tables, public toilets and change rooms, mobile surfboard, body board and locker rentals, and pine-y looking trees (I suck at identifying trees).

Manly Beach is great for different watersports: swimming, surfing, diving, snorkeling, windsurfing, fishing, boating and parasailing. The waves and undertows can get pretty rough in the beaches of Australia, so swimmers are always advices to swim only between the yellow and red flags. Those who prefer to stay dry can sunbathe on the beach (topless sunbathing allowed, apparently), walk, bike, hike or jog on the scenic path that winds along the water.

The verdict

I love love LOVE Manly! All those recommendations are spot on. Though Manly is only 7 miles from Sydney, it’s like your a million miles away from the city when you’re in Manly. The ferry ride over certainly adds novelty to the whole Manly experience.

Though I have a long list of places I haven’t been to in Sydney, I will certainly schedule time for another visit to Manly.

Article by Nina Fuentes

Nina doesn't aim to travel to every country in the world -- she just wants to travel to the places that means the most to her. She started traveling in 2006, and hopes to travel for as long as she can. Her travel blog, Just Wandering won the Best Travel Blog in the 2010 Philippine Blog Awards and in the 2011 Nuffnang Asia Pacific Blog Awards.

This Article Has 7 Comments
  1. Wow! Manly is one heck of a beautiful hotspot! I like the color of the water and it seems so clean. I like the abundance of people as seen in the picture as well. Definitey this will be added to the things I must go to before I die. LOL. The only thing I found “not right” is the abundance of buildings/tall houses just behind the trees of the beach. Too civilized and not the “isolated” feel. Nonetheless, it’s still a hotspot — so MANLY. c”,)

    Nice blog. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us.

    Andrei -from PEx

  2. Jayvee says:

    Hi. I love your blog pics. Very nice.

  3. nina says:

    Hi Andrei! It’s a bummer that there are buildings crowding along the beach, but having this beauty just 30 minutes from the city? I can just pretend I don’t see them buildings ;)

  4. davidd says:

    Pine-y looking trees… that’s what I would call them, too. During my all-to-brief day trip to Manly it was overcast and threatening to rain, and the beach was nearly deserted, other than for the very manly Manly Lifesaving Club, which is actually an ocean kayak and outrigger canoe club. I saw these guys practicing, and there’s a reason the Aussies kick butt on the locals when they come to Hawaii to compete in canoe races! These guys powered out into some heavy surf, and they were fast! I left Manly wanting to get myself an Australian racing kayak.

  5. Ferdz says:

    Kala ko kung anong manly yung morning mo. Hahaha.

    The beach really looks nice! Nakakatuwa kasi it also has pine trees. Were you able to try the surf? I haven’t tried surfing yet. Looks fun

  6. nina says:

    Davidd: I’ve heard so much praise and love for the Aussie life savers clubs, but I haven’t seen them in action yet. But I’ll take your word about how manly they are. harhar

    Ferdz: I’m interested to learn how to surf, but I’m not confident enough on my swimming skills. Siguro pag hindi na ko masyadong takot sa tubig hahaha

  7. kv says:

    Hi Nina, I’ve been to Manly and Bondi…the two most popular beaches in Sydney…and I love Manly and the ferry ride! ;-)

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