Newcomer’s Guide to Sydney Neighborhood Manly

If you’re looking for the quintessential Aussie experience – i.e. surf, sun and beer – Manly is the perfect place to set up camp. Located about 20 minutes north of the bridge, Manly can be a little bit tricky to get to, but once you’re there you’ll probably never want to leave.

The People of Manly

Manly is a popular tourist spot, and therefore you’re likely to encounter a number of different nationalities and languages. Meanwhile, the locals are mainly made up of a mix of locals and people from England, New Zealand, USA, South Africa and Brazil.

Due to the price of rent in Manly (not cheap!) most of the residents tend to be high income earners in professional occupations.

Like its cousin Bondi, Manly is a place where the locals tend to be fit and fashionable. You’re likely to see a lot of attractive surfers, swimmers and joggers at Manly Beach. But as much as they love staying healthy, the people of Manly also enjoy letting loose at the end of the week – as evidenced by the many pubs that stay open until late.

Housing Options and Prices in Manly

As mentioned, Manly is not a cheap place to live. The average renter forks out around $530 per week to live here – so if you’re on a budget, you might want to look further afield.

Most of the rental options in Manly are apartments. The rent may be steep, but the good news at least is that most of them have been recently renovated, with modern facilities and additional extras such as pools and gyms. Apartments range from studios through to larger apartments and penthouses. And of course, you can expect to pay more for a view!

Getting There

  • Ferry
    In addition to being an efficient way to travel to and from Manly, the ferry is also very scenic. Regular services run from Manly to Circular Quay (and surrounding areas) day and night, and the trip takes around 30 minutes.
  • Water Taxi
    It’s also possible to hire a water taxi to take you from Manly to the city. But please note that this is probably the most expensive method of commuting!
  • Car
    To get to Manly from the city, you’ll need to take the Harbour Bridge north and then follow the signs. (Depending on traffic, the trip will take you around 40 minutes). Parking in Manly can be tricky and expensive – it isn’t ideal to own a car in this suburb unless you also have your own garage.
  • Bus
    Regular bus services connect Manly with the city, as well as with the Northern Beaches, St Leonards and Epping. Visit TransportNSW for details.
  • Taxi
    It’s possible to get a cab from the city to Manly, however this can be an expensive option, especially during peak hour. Also be aware that it can be hard to get a cab out of Manly on Friday and Saturday nights, as you’re competing with revellers from the pubs.

Things to Do in Manly

  • Manly SEA LIFE Sanctuary
    If you’ve got kids, this is a must. Manly SEA LIFE Sanctuary provides an opportunity to see live sharks, stingrays and more.
  • Newport Arms Hotel
    This is one of the most famous Sydney hotels – offering great views and a relaxed atmosphere. There’s no better way to enjoy a hot summer’s day than to drink a cold beer in the waterfront beergarden of this hotel.
  • Beaches
    Sydney’s weather is famously sunny and warm – i.e. perfect beach weather. Surfing lessons are regularly held at Manly Beach, and it’s also a great place to enjoy a picnic.
  • Manly Art Gallery and Museum
    Located only a short walk away from Manly Wharf, the Manly Art Gallery and Museum will provide you with a decent hit of art and culture. A great weekend activity.

About the Author: Louise Carter is a blogger, copywriter and poet who is also currently a doctoral candidate at the University of Western Sydney.