Words & Photographs: Ashleigh Redman
As a new high school graduate from Mauritius, I had 7 months between June and February before starting University, where I went to Sydney, Australia. My uncle, at the time, was living in Manly, which is a small suburban town on the northern coast of Australia. It is 17-kilometers north of the city of Sydney and it was here that I stayed.
Manly is most recognised for its glorious beaches. The main beach stretches along the coast from Queenscliff Beach to North Steyne Beach and Manly beach with its coastal promenade dotted with the iconic Norfolk Island pine trees. Manly is also identified as one of the best surfing reserves in Australia and was declared “Manly- Freshwater World Surfing Reserve” by world famous surfer Kelly Slater in March 2012. You can also go snorkelling on Shelly Beach and see the beautiful sea life along the coast.
Another feature Manly is known for is its shopping promenade called the “Corso”. This commercial centre runs from the Manly Wharf harbour side to Manly beach ocean side. This promenade features outdoor dining and many fantastic coffee shops which I would highly recommend going to! As one would expect there are numerous surf shops and swimwear brand shops. Redfoo, a popular music artist most recognised from LMFAO, used the Corso as the location for shooting his music video “Let’s Get Ridiculous”.
The residents of Manly are among some of the friendliest people I have had the pleasure of meeting throughout my travels. Owing to its small locale, tourists get the feel of familiarity and a homely nature from Manly residents. Manly also has an ecliptic demographic of residents. The most prominent populace heritage are English at about 30%, Australians at 19%, Irish 10%, Scottish 7.6% and Germans at roughly 4%. There is also a significant Scandinavian community within Manly. I felt very at home among the diverse cultural groups.
In terms of transport, the most iconic feature of Manly is The Wharf. The Manly ferry takes 30 minutes and features beautiful scenic views of the coast. The ferry follows a route that bends around a headland exposing the magnificent Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House. The ferry travels to the main CBD of Sydney. This, for many lucky residents in Manly, is their daily commute! Traveling into the Sydney CBD is easy enough from Manly by train or bus and you can go explore more wonderful places with ease.
All in all, Manly is a beautiful paradise protected from the fast track life and pressures from the main city of Sydney. I plan on returning there in the near future, by far one of my best adventures!
11 Places I Recommend To Visit in Sydney
1. Barefoot Coffee Traders (Manly) 2. The Roast Office – Coffee Shop (Manly) 3. Three Beans Restaurant (Corso – Manly) 4. Grandma’s – Bar (Sydney) The waiters there are called the Grandchildren! 5. The Baxter Inn – Bar (Sydney) 6. Din Tai Fung (World Square – Sydney) Best dumplings in the world! 7. Saltmotion Gallery (Manly) A gallery focused around amazing photography by Joel Coleman 8. Bulletin Place – Bar (Sydney) Not signposted and you have to go up a sneaky stairwell to find it but its worth the hunt – best little bar in town. 9. Snorkelling (Shelly Beach – Manly) 10. The Outre Gallery (Surry Hills – Sydney) Has great street art and cool illustrations 11. Lucio’s (Darlinghurst – Sydney) I would recommend the prosciutto pizza- best in Sydney