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Famous pine trees of Manly revealing the pumping waves on a bigger day
There is a famous ongoing friendly rivalry between Manly Beach and Bondi Beach to claim the No. 1 beach in Sydney. By number of visitors, real estate value and appearances of celebrities, Bondi can claim the crown. However, if you are like me who is looking for that village by the sea, smaller crowds, unpretentious locals and visitors and friendly surfs you will pick Manly any day of the year. Manly has been ranked as the No. 1 place to live by overseas long term visitors who come to Sydney to work and holiday.
Manly is the Southern and the beginning end of what they call the Golden Mile (actually about 18 mile) also known as Northern Beaches of Sydney, ending in Palm Beach. Often compared to Southern California but it is very different. Manly has a rich surfing history. Surfing was introduced to Australia officially in Manly by the Duke from Hawaii. The first world championship was won at Manly Beach. Each year Manly hosts the Australian Open of Surfing when the best of the best surfers compete as part of the World Surf League's Qualification Tour for the following year's Championship Tour.
Manly is so much more than surfing. Shelley beach just tucked away in the southern corner is perfect for family swimming, snorkeling and scuba diving. An annual swimming race is held between Shelley Beach and the club house in the middle. Along the beach you will find amazing restaurants and cafes. In the Corso where only foot traffic is permitted you can shop til you drop.
When you do have to visit the big smoke, take the iconic ferry ride from Manly Wharf to Circular Quay in the heart of Sydney. You will ask yourself "why haven't I moved to Manly?"