Manly, Australia; Surfer’s Paradise Down Under

I have an attraction to Manly, Australia, a tiny surfer’s paradise near Sydney, Australia. The salt air and ocean breeze is constant, and the healthy food and active lifestyle is clearly abundant. People in Manly have a different pace to their lives. The ocean is their lifeblood and they swim, kayak, or surf in it at least once everyday. The children gather into water-sporting clubs after school to practice their events. Yoga, biking, hiking, and climbing are all common weekly activities.The elderly take daily swims in salt water pools built into the cliffs by the ocean. One note on the elderly….the elderly men love to sport what I call a “speedo.” Here they refer to it as a “budgie smuggler” with a budgie being a small bird. I think you’ve got the picture. Anyway, it’s not a pretty sight. I’ll spare you the photos and instead show you a shot of some surfers who, in my opinion, can smuggle a budgie anytime they’d like to.


The Bower in Australia

The Bower, path from Manly Beach to Shelley Beach

On our fourth visit to Manly, this March (their Summer), we rented a flat on The Fairy Bower, a charming bay on the ocean located between the two beaches of Manly and Shelley. It reminds me of Capri. Located along the Bower walking path are small cafes and boutiques, rock art, and park benches on which one can take a rest and enjoy the view.

The Bower Restaurant in Manly, Australia

The Bower restaurant

This time each year, the Australia Open of Surfing and Skateboarding championship is held on the beach in Manly. It’s all free to the public, including the nighttime concerts with independent bands such as Angus & Julia Stone. I was particularly impressed with the female surfers, who hailed from all over the world.

young female pro surfer butt with wax

Pro surfer

Pro Skateboarder in Manly, Australia at Australian Open

Pro skateboarder at Australian Open


The way I found out about Manly originally, is that our friends, Gary and Kelly Allen, packed up their home in Connecticut in 2006 and moved to Manly in search of a wholesome environment to raise their four daughters. They now have dual citizenship, own a thriving business in Sydney, and a gorgeous family home in Manly. Kelly is even part of the Manly Life Saving Team!

Gary and Kelly Allen

Gary and Kelly Allen at Manly Beach, Australia

Surfers Code

Australian surfer’s code


Angel, a local restaurant

Angel, a local restaurant

Our rental flat on the Bower in Manly, Australia

Our rental flat on the Bower in Manly, Australia


IMG_1765 IMG_1768 IMG_1771 IMG_1775 IMG_1777 IMG_1785


The SUP boards

























One of the things I love about Manly is taking the 20 minute ferry ride into Sydney, passing the opera house, and being in the harbor. It’s peaceful and exciting all at the same time.



Australians in Manly have a beachy style that reflects their love of the outdoors. Here are some of my favorite people watching pics.


The Bower, path from Manly Beach to Shelley Beach on the day of the Float Parade


School uniforms


Australian Open Surf fans



Manly Beach skateboarder


Special beard!


Ferry to Sydney


Romance on The Bower


Taxi stand, who do you kiss????


Video skateboard


Manly Beach


Manly Beach


Female Surfer on Manly Beach


Surfer Manly Beach


Life Guards on Manly Beach


The Fairy Bower Bay



Fairy Bower Bay


Artist in Manly























Athlete on Manly Beach

A new highlight for me, the tea drinker, has been discovering the freshly ground coffee in all it’s varieties in Australia. What sold me on it was the cappucino with chocolate sprinkled on top (and always served with a crunchy cookie on the side!) Scott has taken a liking to their notorious flat whites. Here’s the menu.



One month in Manly and I can’t wait to return!



Rock Art on The Bower Path



Salt water pool



Water Dragon












What Does It Mean To Be Manly?

Surfing Sydney

Melbourne: Bombs and Locks

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