Manly is a suburb of northern Sydney, 17km north-east of the CBD and is the administrative centre of the local government area of Manly Council, in the Northern Beaches region. It has an area of 16.26 sqkm and has a boundary of 39.4km, of which 29.9km is a water margin.
The relaxed lifestyle, beaches and proximity to Sydney city have led to Manly's Real Estate prices being amongst the highest in Australia.
Manly is most notable for its beaches, which are popular tourist destinations. Active water sports are quite popular including surfing, windsurfing, parasailing, snorkelling and scuba diving. The suburb 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 several beaches on the harbour side of the peninsula. Many of Manly's beaches also feature saltwater swimming pools. The sheltered sandy beach and gentle waves at Manly Cove offer a different beach experience, great for quiet family picnics, sailing and fishing. Norfolk Island pine trees are also symbolic of Manly and are a prominent feature of both the ocean and harbour beaches.
The commercial Manly is centred around The Corso, featuring an extensive range of shopping and excellent outdoor dining. The commercial area extends to surrounding streets with more cafes and restaurants concentrated along the ocean and harbour shores.
High-rise buildings and apartments now line the foreshore, testament to the area’s high popularity. However, since the 1970s, high-rise development has been drastically limited and most new beachfront developments are no more than three or four stories high.
Transport services to Manly include a ferry service from Manly Wharf, and bus services to the city and other suburbs. The 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 weekdays between Manly and the CBD, offering transport in 18 minutes.
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. The original seminary is now listed on the Register of the National Estate. Other schools and colleges located in Manly are Manly Village Public School, Stella Maris College and Manly West Public School.
Manly has Sydney Harbour on its western side, with calm water, ferry wharf, swimming area, Oceanworld Manly Aquarium, sailing and yacht clubs. Three hundred metres 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. Other popular attractions in Manly include Manly Art Gallery, the Quarantine Station and Manly Waterworks.
The Manly International Jazz Festival is one of Australia's largest community-based jazz festivals, held during the October long weekend, with various stages hosting continuous free public performances from midday until early evening. Other popular events in Manly include the Food & Wine Festival held on the first weekend of June and the Manly Arts & Crafts Markets held every Saturday and Sunday except public holidays from 10am-5pm.
Manly is also served by several public and private hospitals.