Fun Facts about Manly
Manly Beach, is a suburb of Sydney, just 15mins on the fast ferry from the CBD.
It houses a small community of 40,000 residents, complemented by 7 million visitors, allowing access to 200 retail stores, over 100 bars, restaurants and cafes, and 30 activities rain, hail or shine.
Manly has a rich history starting back from its discovery in 1788 to now. From the top of North Head, through the natural bushland and pine trees, down to the beach and into the ocean waters, you’ll find lots of beautiful wildlife and nature that makes Manly unique in every way!
As the birthplace of Australian surfing and one of the world’s five surfing reserves, Manly and Manly beach has a surf culture and lifestyle to it that people from all over the world are drawn to and seek to surf!
From surfers to rockers to mega superstars, celebrities and just your average joe blo, all are drawn to Manly to enjoy the beach waves and blend in with the casual lifestyle
Here are a few fun facts to show you what Manly is all about.
Ever wonder where Manly got its name from?
Governor Arthur Phillip, who discovered Manly in 1788, saw the local Indigenous people as he entered the harbour and described them as strong and manly.
Here’s a tid bit about our aboriginal history!
Bennelong, an aboriginal from a local tribe, became an ambassador for the Indigenous people of Manly. He was very close with Governor Arthur Phillip, learned how to speak English, and even travelled to England on multiple occasions.
Did you know?
Manly was designed after the city of Brighton in England by Henry Gilbert Smith? The streets mimic the lanes of Brighton, which lead from the city centre to the sea.
In the 1830’s
Manly’s quarantine station served as an immigration station for Sydney to protect residents from becoming sick. This building now serves as a hotel and hosts ghost tours throughout the station grounds…spooky!
Manly’s main street, was named after the Via Del Corso in Rome, and was originally a water inlet flowing from harbour to ocean.
Manly plays home to one of the last colonies in Australia of little fairy penguins! Some of these little penguins live under the Manly Wharf and on occasion can be seen swimming around Manly Cove!
Did you know that there are seahorse colonies at the Manly Cove beach? Seahorses have built their community on the nets that line the swimming pool.
Shelly Beach, just a shy walk from Manly Beach, is one of the only west-facing beaches on the east coast, catching the last rays of sun at sunset!
Manly is famous for its promenade of pine trees, which were first planted by the early English settlers. The pines trees could then be cut down and used to build ships and masts if settlers decided they wanted to sail home…
Manly’s North Head nature walk passes by natural bush, aboriginal landmarks, and wildlife. The entire city of Sydney can be seen at the top of the trail!
The first known body-surfing contest took place at the Manly Surf Club carnival in 1908.
Manly hosted the first ever Surfing World Titles in 1964 and is now the annual host of the Vissla Sydney Surf Pro.
Manly is home to 7x world surfing champion Layne Beachley! She is one of many famous Manly surfers, others including Barton Lynch, Tom Carroll and Damien Hardman.
Manly is the birthplace of Australian surfing and is one of the world’s five surfing reserves.
The first surf movie ‘Surf Sports at Manly’ was released in 1909 and had a great influence in popularising the sport.
» Glitz and Glamour
Hugo’s restaurant, located in the Manly Wharf, has had a number of celebrities including the Modern Family cast, Jack Johnson, Paris Hilton and Ellen Degeneres dine there.
Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban were married in Manly’s Cardinal Cerretti Memorial Chapel in 2006.
The International College of Management (ICMS) in Manly was used in the 2012 film by Baz Luhrmann ‘The Great Gatsby’ as Gatsby’s house.
Manly and the greater Northern Beaches has many live-in celebrities including Miss Universe Jennifer Hawkins and TV host Tom Williams.
» Facts and Figures
Did you know that in one year, the Manly ferry travels a distance equivalent to travelling 2x around the world?
According to a survey conducted, Manly has an influx of 7 million visitors each year, 25% of which come for surfing only.
On Boxing Day (day after Christmas), more than 10,000 people flock to Manly’s North Head to watch the Sydney to Hobart yacht race.
In 1902, William Gocher broke the law, which banned public bathing during daylight hours in Manly. As a result, the first official bathing season was declared in 1903.
Originally, Manly had a pier/boardwalk that ran from the Manly Wharf across the Manly cove, which held the first Ferris wheel in Australia. Due to a storm in 1974, the pier/boardwalk was completely destroyed.
Want to know more? Visit the Northern Beaches Council’s website at https://www.northernbeaches.nsw.gov.au/ for more detailed information!