One week in Manly NSW
We stayed in Manly, NSW for one week in February 2015. It was one of our favourite places in Australia so far. I thought I’d write a little bit about why we enjoyed our stay here so much, what you can do if you’re here and why it’s a great base to explore Sydney and the surrounding area of NSW.
Manly is a small suburb of northern Sydney. It has 2 main beaches, a sleepy inner-harbour beach on one side and a popular Pacific surf beach on the other. There’s a great selection of places to eat and drink and everywhere is easily accessible by walking and public transport. We picked Manly as a place to chill out for a week, having been working at various HelpX for most of our time in Australia we wanted a break with time to ourselves. Manly was perfect for our relaxing week!
What to do in Manly
The obvious main attraction in Manly is the popular surf beach. It’s free and a great place to relax, swim, surf and hang out. There’s plenty of activities on offer in the area. There’s surfing, kayaking, whale watching and cycling all within Manly as well as day tours to Hunter Valley, the Blue Mountains and other big attractions in the area. There were also sea pools along the seafront near our accommodation which were really cool!
You can also hop on the ferry to Sydney from Manly wharf, this takes 30 minutes each way and is almost an attraction in itself. There’s nothing quite like pulling into Sydney harbour on a ferry! You can use NSW’s Opal card too which means you get to take advantage of the amazing ‘Travel all day for $2 on a Sunday’ deal. We used this to get all the way to the Blue Mountains!
Where to eat and drink
There are lots of places to eat and drink in Manly, unfortunately we only got to sample a few. We loved the Four Pines Brewery, the beer was the best we’ve had in Australia and it had a great atmosphere and a decent food menu. We enjoyed the half price pizza’s in ‘In Situ’ these were available until 7pm and were great for the discount price. We’d also recommend a lovely cafe called ‘Brezel Bar’ where we had a delicious coffee and tiramisu.
Where to stay
There’s plenty of accommodation in Manly to suit a range of budgets. Since we are at the lower end of the budget range (we’re trying to stick to £500 a month for everything!) we went for an airbnb. The one we went for was located just outside of Manly in Fairlight. It was a lovely 15 minute walk to Manly Wharf and a 15 minute walk in the other direction to get to a small shopping centre with a Coles and everything we needed to pick up a few supplies for the week.
We really enjoyed our stay here and it was definitely one of our favourite airbnb’s. Our host Bill was very welcoming, his apartment was immaculate and he provided everything we needed for a perfect stay. You can view Bill’s airbnb listing here.
We loved Manly, something about it really hooked us. Usually we’re excited to move on to our next destination but we were genuinely sad when we had to move on from here. It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of travel and forget to take some downtime, catch up on your plans and remember that you’re halfway around the world and on an adventure of a lifetime. Manly was our place to take that time out and remember why we’re on this journey.
If you’re looking for somewhere to relax with plenty to do, great places to eat and drink, beautiful beaches and easy access to Sydney this is the place!
Have any of you visited Manly? Do you have any more recommendations or stories from your time there? We’d love to hear them in the comments below