Main Births etc

New South Wales, Australia

Manly Beach NSW 1.jpg
The northern end of Manly Beach, as viewed from Queenscliff
Population: 13,949 (2006 Census)
Postcode: 2095
Location: 17 km (11 mi) north-east of Sydney CBD
LGA: Manly Council
State District: Manly
Federal Division: Warringah
Suburbs around Manly:
Manly Vale North Manly
Fairlight Manly Pacific Ocean
North Harbour North Head

The harbour side of Manly

Manly is a suburb of northern Sydney, in the state of New South Wales, Australia. Manly is located 17 kilometres north-east of the Sydney central business district and is the administrative centre of the local government area of Manly Council, in the Northern Beaches region.


Manly was named by Capt. Arthur Phillip for the indigenous people living there, "their confidence and manly behaviour made me give the name of Manly Cove to this place".[1] These men were of the Kay-ye-my clan (of the Guringai people).[2] While scouting for fresh water in the area, Phillip encountered members of the clan, and after a misunderstanding he was speared in the shoulder by one of the clan; to his lasting credit, the progressively-minded Phillip ordered his men not to retaliate.[3] In Capt. Tench's words,

The Aboriginal men were feasting on a whale at Manly Cove and were seen by Captain Nepean, Mr White, Nanbaree & a party of men who had travelled to Manly Cove to walk to Broken Bay. Bennelong and Colebee spoke to them and Bennelong asked for Governor Phillip. Captain Nepean sent the Boatswain back to Governor Phillip at South Head. The Aboriginal men cut large chunks of whale off and put them in the boat for Governor Phillip. The military party then proceeded on their walk to Broken Bay. When Governor Phillips party arrived to see the Aboriginal men they held friendly conversation with Bennelong and Colebee for over half an hour. Later an older Aboriginal man appeared with a spear. Captain Tench remarked that he was seemingly a stranger and little acquainted with Bennelong and Colebee. The Governor moved towards this man and the man became agitated. Governor Phillip threw down his dirk to appease the man crying out confidently. The spear was thrown & Governor Phillip was hit in the shoulder. All was in confusion, there were calls to bring the muskets, Bennelong and Colebee disappeared and Governor Phillip could not make it to the ship because of the length of spear sticking from his shoulder and dragging on the ground. The muskets were brought to shore but only one would fire. The spear was finally broken and all hastened to Port Jackson.([4]

Manly had been envisaged as a seaside resort by Henry Gilbert Smith in the 1850s. In 1853 Smith acquired two large parcels of land (which had been granted to John Thompson in 1842 and John Crane Parker in 1837).[5]

Initially Smith had chartered a paddle steamer to Manly and other vessels visited on an ad hoc “excursion” basis. Smith built a wharf in 1855 and eventually acquired an interest in steamers himself and soon more regular services to Manly had commenced.[6]

The harbour side of Manly in the late 1880s

By 1873, Smith had sold the lease to the wharf and his share of the steamers to the operators of the ferries and eventually ownership passed to the once famous Port Jackson and Manly Steamship Company. It was the Port Jackson and Manly Steamship Company which coined the expression about Manly being “Seven miles from Sydney and a thousand miles from care” to promote its ferry service. The Port Jackson and Manly Steamship Company played an important part in Manly's development. It built several attractions including a large ocean pool and bathing pavilion, the Manly Fun Pier. In 1972 the company was sold and it is now part of Sydney Ferries.

During the 19th and early 20th century Manly was one of Australia's most popular seaside holiday resorts.[7] Manly Beach is said to be the place where the restriction on daylight sea bathing was first challenged in Australia. In October 1902 William Gocher, clad in a neck to knee costume, swam at midday after announcing his intention to do so in the newspaper he had established (Manly and North Sydney News). After being ignored by authorities and being publicly critical of them, he swam again and was escorted from the water by the police, although no charges were laid. In November 1903, Manly Council resolved to allow all-day bathing provided a neck to knee swimming costume was worn.[8] During the first official bathing season in 1903, 17 people drowned on Manly Beach. A year later a surf club was formed on the beach to safeguard the public. While there is debate about which club is the oldest, Manly Life Saving Club is certainly one of the world's first surf life saving clubs.[9][10]

In 1934, George Robey, a resident and original Anzac founded the 'Air Mindedness Development League' which was later renamed the Australian Air League at Manly. There has been a continuously running squadron in Manly since.[11]


Climate data for Manly
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 26.6
Average low °C (°F) 18.1
Precipitation mm (inches) 101.6
Source: [12]


Manly Beach

Manly is most notable for its beaches which are popular tourist destinations. Manly features a long stretch of sand on the ocean side, that runs from Queenscliff Beach to North Steyne Beach and Manly Beach. This is followed by rock pools and sandy beaches called Fairy Bower and Shelly Beach. There are also a number of beaches on the harbour side of the peninsula. Norfolk Island pine trees are also symbolic of Manly and are a prominent feature of both the ocean and harbour beaches.

On 10 March 2012, the four kilometre stretch between Freshwater Beach and Shelly Beach was declared the "Manly -Freshwater World Surfing Reserve". The Reserve was dedicated in a ceremony in Manly Beach by world surfing champion Kelly Slater accompanied by the Governor of New South Wales, Australia, Professor Marie Bashir. [13]

Commercial area[]

The commercial Manly is centred around The Corso, which runs from the harbour side at Manly Wharf to the ocean side at Manly Beach. Part of The Corso is a mall which allows outdoor dining for cafes and restaurants. The commercial area extends to surrounding streets with more cafes and restaurants concentrated along the ocean and harbour shores.


Manly Wharf

Transport services to Manly include a Ferry service from Manly Wharf, and bus services to the city and other suburbs. The Manly Ferry journey takes 30 minutes and allows for scenic views of Sydney Harbour, surrounding national parks and Sydney icons including the Harbour Bridge and Opera House.The ferry service once advertised Manly as "seven miles from Sydney, and a thousand miles from care".

A privately owned and operated 'Manly Fast Ferry' operates between Manly and Sydney CBD on weekdays, offering transport in 18 minutes. A similar service, the 'JetCat', offered a 15 minutes service between Manly and Sydney CBD but has since been cancelled.


High-rise buildings and apartments now line the foreshore; a testament to the high popularity of the area. Since the 1970s and the "Conserve Manly" local political party, high-rise development has been drastically limited and most new beachfront developments are no more than three or four stories in height. The relaxed lifestyle, beaches and proximity to Sydney city have led to Manly's real estate prices being amongst the highest in Australia.

Schools and churches[]

The former Catholic seminary at St Patrick's Estate, Darley Road, now houses The International College of Management, Sydney (ICMS) a hotel management, tourism and business college, affiliated with Macquarie University, which attracts international students from many countries. As well as being an educational hub, many spectacular weddings have been held here, including Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban. The original seminary was designed by Hennessy and Sheerin and built in 1885. It was conceived by Archbishop Vaughan and is now listed on the Register of the National Estate.[14]

On the other side of Darley Road is the Archbishop's House, also known as the Cardinal's Palace. This building was also designed by Sheerin and Hennessy and built in the 1880s. It was originally conceived as part of St Patrick's Seminary and is a good example of the Victorian Gothic Revival style. It too is listed on the Register of the National Estate.[15]

Another notable landmark is the Presbyterian Church in Raglan Street. It was designed by John Sulman in the Romanesque style and built in 1892. It is listed on the Register of the National Estate.[15]


Calm water on the harbour side of Manly

Manly has Sydney Harbour on its western side with calm water, ferry wharf, swimming area, Oceanworld Manly aquarium, sailing and yacht clubs. Three hundred meters to the east is the Pacific Ocean and Manly Beach. There are over 20 km of cycle tracks which can be used to explore the area.

The Manly International Jazz Festival is Australia's largest community-based jazz festival. It is held during the October long weekend public holiday, with various stages hosting continuous free public performances from midday until early evening. The BBC soap opera Out of the Blue was set in Manly.[16]


Manly has a rugby league team, Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles, a rugby union team Manly RUFC and a cricket team Manly-Warringah District Cricket Club. They also have a soccer team called the Manly Fire Air.


There are many non-fiction books about Manly. It has also featured in fiction. In 1987 the British novelist, Lesley Thomson published Seven Miles From Sydney, a thriller about a female screenwriter who is murdered while jogging on Shelly Beach. This novel was a popular seller in the UK and well-received in Australia.

See also[]

  • Fairy Bower, New South Wales
  • List of mayors of Manly
  • Manly Beach, New South Wales
  • Manly Council
  • Manly Fun Pier
  • Manly Hospital
  • Manly Life Saving Club
  • Port Jackson and Manly Steamship Company
  • Shelly Beach (Manly)
  • Cole Classic


  1. ^ Governor Phillip to Lord Sydney, 15 May 1788, in the Historical Records of New South Wales ii:129, quoted by Robert Hughes in The Fatal Shore, 1987, paperback ISBN 1-86046-150-6 page 15
  2. ^ "Spirit of the Kay-ye-my people coming home to Manly (press release)". Manly Council. 2004-08-30. Retrieved 2008-02-28. 
  3. ^ Captain Watkin Tench, The Settlement at Port Jackson, pp134 - 139 The Text Publishing Company
  4. ^ Captain Watkin Tench The Settlement at Port Jackson pages 134 -139.published The Text Publishing Company
  5. ^ Prescott, Anthony M. (March 1984). "The Manly Ferry – A history of the service and its operators, 1854-1974". Retrieved on 2008-02-13. 
  6. ^ Lennon, Troy (2 November 2007). "Rough seas for the Harbour's first fleets". Daily Telegraph page 60 
  7. ^ The Book of Sydney Suburbs, Compiled by Frances Pollen, Angus & Robertson Publishers, 1990, Published in Australia ISBN 0-207-14495-8, p162
  8. ^ Mitchell, Bruce (1983). "Gocher, William Henry (1856 - 1921)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Retrieved 2008-02-29. 
  9. ^ "Manly SLSC". Surf Life Saving New South Wales. Archived from the original on 1 December 2007. Retrieved 2008-03-03. 
  10. ^ "Manly LSC History". Manly Life Saving Club. Retrieved 2008-03-03. 
  11. ^ "Australian Air League Official Website". Australian Air League Council. 2007. Retrieved 2008-06-06. 
  12. ^ "BOM - Manly". June 2011. 
  13. ^ "Kelly Slater Helps Launch Australian WSR". World Surfing Reserves. 2012-03-10. Retrieved 2012-03-11. 
  14. ^ The Heritage of Australia, Macmillan Company, 1981, p.2/42
  15. ^ a b Heritage of Australia, p. 2/42
  16. ^ "BBC commissions new Aussie soap". BBC News. 2007-12-01. Retrieved 2007-12-01. 

External links[]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:

This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Manly, New South Wales. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.