January – What’s on

2018 is here and summer never looked so beautiful. Check out the list of awesome Free things to do this month.

  1. 5th Jan – 28th Jan: FREE pop up Swimming Pools in Hyde Park. Find out more here.
  2. 5th Jan – 28th Jan: FREE Glitterbox. As part of Sydney Festival you get your chance to show off your best dance moves and then turn them into a work of art. It’s a free interactive experience. Simply choose your song and dance – but remember, everyone’s watching.
  3. 26th Jan: Australia Day Celebrations: Pack your picnic and head down to Manly Beach. Enjoy the sun, sea and a few beers – it’s a day to remember. Manly Backpackers will be organising our own very special BBQ so keep an eye on the reception for more information.

July – What’s on

Beach Clean UP

With winter in full swing and the hostel buzzing with guests, it’s time to enjoy everything that Sydney has to offer. Check out what’s on this month below.

Saturday 1 July – Meet Me in The Cross: July is the perfect time of year to get out of the hostel, leave Manly, and head to the city for a night out. Get ready to dance with awesome DJ sets from international juggernauts like Hermitude and Nina Las Vegas and live sets from indie legends like World Champion, Dappled Cities and Mezko. This will be one night in Sydney you wont want to miss out on. Tickets are $30 and you can find out more here.

Sunday 2 July – Underwater and Beach Cleanup: It’s easy to take the beautiful beaches in Sydney for granted, but with the ongoing threat of pollution it’s time to take action. Join the clean up efforts and help the eco system that makes Manly so wonderful survive. Meet at Manly Cove at 11am find out more here.

Saturday 8 July – Zedtown: State of Emergency: Who doesn’t love a Zombie apocalypse? With one kicking off in Sydney this month, now’s your chance to find out what you’re really made of. Will you stand and fight or will you run away? Grab your friends and get ready. The End of the world is coming!!! Find out more here.

July 1 – July 15 – Ice Skating: It’s definitely not cold enough for snow in Sydney, we’re still swimming in the sea in Manly. Wrap yourself up and grab a pair of skates for this winter wonderland. 1 hour is will set you back $12, find out more here.

Top 5 Bars in Manly

Best bars in Manly

Manly has a great night life, from little bars to big pubs there is something for everyone. Whether you are keen for a few beers after work or a big night out Manly can cater for you.

Check out our top 5 Bars in Manly below:

1) Hotel Steyene – This has to be the favorite for most of the locals and backpackers alike. It’s a big Hotel with a great outdoor area. On a Friday, Saturday and Sunday night you’ll find it packed. And, for something a little bit more intimate get in the lift to the top floor where you will find the Moonshine Bar – a great space for live music and a cool roof top terrace.

2) Manly Wharf Hotel – If you want to watch the sun go down in Manly, with a cool beer in your hand this is the spot to do it. The Wharf bar or Wharf over looks (you guessed it) the wharf, and has beautiful water views looking straight out towards Sydney Harbour. They often have guest DJ’s and special nights, so keep an eye on their website for what’s coming up, there’s no doubt it will be a good night.

3) Donny’s Bar – Hidden down a side street Donny’s Bar is small and crowded, but they do serve up a great cocktail. The live music on a Saturday night never disappointed and you’ll find yourself dancing surrounded by Northern Beraches hipsters before you can say flat cap.

4) Hemingway’s – A slightly more chilled vibe to the other options listed above, but Hemingway’s offer an extensive wine list, cute seating area and a great atmosphere.

5) New Brighten Hotel – Another big pub, set over 3 floors with music, food and a roof top bar with day beds, it’s a great choice if you don’t really know what you want. Backpacker night is Tuesday night, where you’ll find cheap drinks, cheesy music and sweaty dancing.

April – What’s On

What's on April

Manly is amazing, we’re all agreed. However, with Sydney just a short ferry ride away, it’s worth knowing what’s going on across the harbour. Sydney is bustling with exciting things to do, and as a backpacker, it’s your duty to enjoy as much as you possibly can.

Check out what’s on this April and make the most of your travels:

Thursday 6 – Wednesday 19: The Sydney Royal Easter Show
Seeing as you are away from home this Easter and with no family obligations, you might as well have some fun. Head over to the Sydney Royal Easter Show and find out what an Australian country fair is all about.

Friday 7 – Thursday 27: Luna Park Rooftop Cinema
Look out over Sydney Harbour while you watch a movie – what can be better than that?

Sunday 23 April – Wednesday 31 May: Sydney Comedy Festival 
It’s good to laugh, so get your giggle on at the Sydney Comedy Festival. It’s running for a month, so you have no excuse not to go!

Uncorked Avalon: Sunday 23 April
You don’t even have to cross Sydney Harbour for this treat. Simply take the bus up the Northern Beaches, from Manly to Avalon and enjoy wines from the Hunter Valley.

5 Things to do on a Rainy Day in Sydney

Rainy day

Come rain or shine, our love for Sydney is unwavering!

However, even we have to admit, there’s been a lot more rain than shine recently. But, regardless of the whether Sydney really is a place like no other, so grab your raincoat and get out and about – there’s so much to see and after all that’s what backpacking is all about.

If you need a little inspiration on great things to do on a rainy day in Sydney, check out our guide below.

MCA – The Museum of Contemporary Art is right in the heart of Circular Quay, just a 2 minute walk from where the Manly Ferry gets in. Entrance is free, with the option of paid exhibitions as well, it’s totally worth exploring. And, if art really isn’t your thing, head straight to the top floor, where you’ll find an awesome roof top spot for a coffee or a glass of wine with an amazing view.

Opera House Tour – If you’re traveling through Sydney,  Sydney Opera House is a must, and why not take the tour and learn a lot more about the history and purpose of this iconic Opera House. And afterwards, you can enjoy a smug drink in the Opera Bar, safe in the knowledge you know a lot more about it than the locals. Tours run daily and cost approximately $37.

Flip Out – Channel your inner kid and burn some energy. Flip Out is basically a warehouse full of trampolines and it’s flipping AWESOME! There’s one in Brookvale about a 10 minute drive from Manly and we love it.

Grab a coffee – Manly is full of awesome coffee shops which will all happily offer you refuge from the rain. Check out our blog post about hidden coffee shops in Manly and find your favorite.

Go for a swim – Why not? You’re already wet and let’s face it, it’s not exactly cold at the moment. Embrace the rain and jump on in. And, if you don’t fancy the sea the Andrew Boy Charlton swimming pool is in Manly and has loads to offer from an outdoor pool for laps to an indoor shallow play area.

5 Awesome Coffee Shops in Manly

Coffee in Manly

There’s so much more to Manly than hitting the beach.

Yes, yes, Manly Beach is pretty great, but did you know there’s some awesome coffee shops hidden just off the obvious route – all you have to do is explore.

However, with the recent opening of Starbucks on the corner of the main pedestrian walkway, the Corso and the beach, the need to explore, for some, is getting less.

But, if like me, you want more from your experience in a new town than a chain coffee shop and mediocre coffee, this article might just be up your street.

5 off the beaten track coffee shops that are totally worth seeking out in Manly

  1.  Fika Swedish Kitchen – 5b Market Lane – This place is loved by the locals and you’ll most likely have to wait for a table, but I promise you, the wait will be worth it. Keep an eye on their name day celebration, if your name comes up you get a free coffee.
  2. Ruby Lane, Shops 1&2, 200 Pittwater Road – It’s a good 20 minute walk from the heart of Manly, or you can catch any of the busses traveling north up Pittwater Road. With a beautiful covered deck, organic coffee and fresh food, it’s a great place to kill a few hours as you watch the world go by.
  3. Ora – 17B Whistler Street – With a strong ethical theme running through everything they have on offer, Ora is a great place to eat clean and feel good while you do it.
  4. Market Lane Cafe, 37 – 39 The Corso – Considering this cafe is in the center of Manly, it’s surprisingly easy to miss. Hidden down a small lane, they offer great coffee and a vibrant atmosphere.
  5. Showbox, 19 Whistler Street – This trendy little cafe has contributed not only great coffee to the Manly community but also generated a vibrant music scene.

Who’s Who at The Australian Open of Surfing

With the Australian Open of Surfing well under way on the Beach, there’s no doubt the vibe in Manly is sizzling.

Manly is now fuller than ever, overflowing with beautiful people. There’s no denying it was pretty full before the Surf Open, but now it looks like we’re hanging out in an Abercrombie and Fitch store.

And, let’s take a moment to be thankful for the quick change in weather from rain to sunshine, because now they’re all wearing a lot less. Oh yes, and it’s made watching the outdoor action a lot more enjoyable.

If like me, you don’t know your rad move, from your gnarly wave, this post might just be for you. Check out our guide below of who’s who at the Australian Open of Surfing.

The One You Hope to Bump Into

Julian Wilson – This 28 year old Aussie, like everyone in this competition is pretty good at surfing. But, what makes him stand out from the crowd is that he’s also a really great guy.

In June 2015 he was in the media for paddling straight towards fellow surfer, and competitor, Mick Fanning while he was being attacked by a great white shark in the final round of a competition in South Africa. Let’s hope he’s around next time we take a dip in the deep blue sea!

Julian Wilson
The One to Watch

Tyler Wright – The 22 year old, Australian was the 2016 World Surfing Champion and is the official face of this years Australian Open of Surfing. If you want to look like you know your stuff, drop her name and you’ll be laughing.

Tyler Wright
The One to Learn From

Felicity Palmateer – There’s no denying it, The Australian Open of Surfing is ‘cool’ and hanging out on Manly Beach is the best way to experience this awesome Australian lifestyle festival.

So, if you want to absorb some of this ‘cool’ and take it with you, there’s only one lady to look towards. Big wave surfer Felicity is not only an incredible surfer, a beautiful model, she is also an inspirational artist.

Felicity Palmateer

The Australian Open of Surfing – The Unofficial Guide

The Australian Open of Surfing isn’t just a celebration of surfing, it’s a celebration of Manly and all the things that make it great. The beautiful beach, the awesome surf and don’t forget the night life.

Oh, and did we mention – some very attractive people in swimwear!

From 25 February to 5 March, Manly swells with the world legends of surfing and skating, and it’s not to be missed.

Even if you’re more of a spectator when it comes to the outdoor activity, the Australian Open of Surfing is for you – we promise you won’t have to lift a finger.

Check out our guide below for getting the most out of this awesome event, and the best part is the whole event is entirely free.

    1. The Beach – Let’s start with the most obvious place, this is where the action’s at.
      And, if you were ever waiting for the perfect time to flaunt your body on the beach, this is most definitely it. Get down to Manly beach you will be in great company. Sit back on the soft white sand, relax and enjoy the view, there will be plenty to watch even between heats.  The vibe will be awesome and with the action starting from 7.30am on Saturday 25 and running every day until 4pm, there’s no excuse not to get down there.
    2. The skate Bowl – The queue speaks for it’s self.
      Regardless of your interest in this sport, it’s well worth a peek. There is some incredible talent here and you won’t get many chances in your life to get this close to the action – imagine the Instigram opportunities – #rad #sick.
      The Skate Bowl kicks off on Monday 27 and runs every day from 1pm – 7pm – I challenge you not to be impressed.
      skate manly
    3. The Food 
      So the food stalls here are pretty good. Just take a stroll down to the beach and you’ll find an awesome selection of tasty treats lining the pavement, all provided by Manlys finest.
    4. The Music
      If watching world class surfers and skaters, on one of the most stunning beaches for free, while surrounded by beautiful people, isn’t quite enough for you – there’s more.
      On Friday 4 and Saturday 5 March there’s a free concert on the beach too. Join the likes of Hermitude and The Jezabels and celebrate as the Surf Open comes to a close.
    5. The After Party
      Now, there’s no one official after party for the Australian Open of Surfing, but get yourself down to the Steyne on any of the evenings during this awesome couple of weeks and you won’t be disappointed. Nights out in Manly never looked so good!

To find out more, check out the official Australian Open of Surfing website here.

Top 5 FREE things to do in Manly

You’ve got to admit it, Manly is one of the greatest places on earth!

But, with so much to do, it can be hard to know where to start when it comes to making the most of your time here. Don’t worry, as always, we’ve got your back.

Check out our Top 5 Things to do for FREE in this awesome place we call home.

 

There’s no question, the top pick has to go to Manly Beach

The Northern Beaches are second to none when it comes to world-class beaches and Manly has got to be at the top of the list. Less than a 2 minute walk from Manly Backpackers, life doesn’t get much better than this. Obviously there are loads of fun free things you can do at any beach, from digging yourself an impressive hole, to sand wrestling with your mates. But there really is only one thing to do at Manly Beach – sit back, relax in the sun and check out the locals – they really are a beautiful bunch! Oh, and the surf’s pretty good too!

 

Walking is exploring – You can’t beat walking when it comes to exploring somewhere new and the walks around Manly will not disappoint. Check out the incredible view of the city skyline from North Head or enjoy the hidden charms of Manly Dam. But the favorite has to be Spit Bridge to Manly. A 10k walk, that takes you to beautiful secluded beaches and dazzles you with breathtaking views winding down into Manly. The only way to end this walk is with a few celebratory cold ones at Wharf Bar – it’s the perfect way to spend a summers day.

 

Get yourself down to The office
The Office AKA East Esplanade is an absolute must on a lazy Sunday afternoon. All you’ll need is a blanket and a few beers, as you watch the sun set on another hazy summer Manly weekend.

 

Take advantage of the FREE BBQ’s at Shelly Beach.
Free BBQ’ing facilities are one of Australia’s most wonderful offerings. You’ll find them dotted around the country and they are 100% free – just bring your own meat! Whether it’s for a cheeky morning bacon sandwich or an elaborate lunch with friends, you can’t beat cooking up a storm on Shelly Beach.

 

Meet the local penguins
That’s right Manly is home to a colony of Fairy penguins. Every year the little penguins come back to Manly to breed between the months of May and February. They usually return to their burrows under the wharf at sunset. Although the population is small and it’s not guaranteed you’ll see them, it’s totally worth a try, these guys are seriously cute.


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Cheap Eats in Manly

So your budget’s looking a little sad – but you’re in Manly, and you’ve got to eat right?

That’s why we’ve put together this awesome list of weekly deals on eating out. Pretty much everywhere in Manly will have a deal one night of the week and we’ve tried them all (it was tough) and put together the ultimate list of eating out on the cheap in Manly.

 

Monday

Hotel Steyne: Two for One meals – We’re there all weekend, why not carry on into Monday?

Papi Chulo: $10 Burger – Let’s face it, this is the only time you’ll eat there, this place is pricey!

 

Tuesday 

Wharf Bar: $16 Pizza and a drink all day – The Wharfy and pizza, this is the perfect combo for summer

Daniel San: Two for One meals – Just make sure you’ve got a mate to have the second meal or you’ll be eating 2 dinners alone.

Donnys Bar: $5 Steak when you buy any alcoholic drink – This has got to be the cheapest steak in town, just don’t go ordering an expensive cocktail and the budget should stay intact.

 

Wednesday 

New Brighton Hotel: 50c Chicken Wings – Yes, this is a good deal, but remember you’re gonna want more than 1 chicken wing!

The Hold: $10 Burger – It’s good to try somewhere different right? Does anyone actually go here?

 

Thursday 

Wharf Bar: $10 Steak all day – This has got to be our top pick for the week, it’s a pretty decent steak and you get chips and salad. Good on ya Wharfy!!

New Brighton Hotel: $3 Tacos – There’s nothing more to say. Cheap food + Cheap booze = Happiness!

 

Friday, Saturday & Sunday 

Who cares, it’s the weekend!!!!!!!!