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.

Traveling – You’re not Lucky, You’re Brave

Traveling

Wherever you’re from in the world, whatever age you are, coming to a new country like Australia, to travel and work is a scary thing.

Leaving everything you know behind, packing up your backpacker and saying goodbye to the people you love most in the world, is one hard task. Regardless of the fun you hope to have at the other end, or the adventures you have already planned for this trip, know this one thing – you are brave! 

So many times I’ve heard people say “you’re so lucky, to live this life” and I’m sure you will hear it too.

But don’t forget everything you’ve done to get yourself to this point of freedom, traveling the world, having the adventure of your life.

It was you who planned this trip, worked hard and saved even harder to buy the flights and book the accommodation.

It was you who said goodbye to the people you’ve known your whole life and only you who boarded that flight to Sydney.

It was you who said hello to the new person in your dorm (who’s now your new best friend).

And, it was you who found work in Manly, so you can stay here that little bit longer.

Now don’t get me wrong, there’s definitely some luck involved in life, but as far as this adventure goes, it was all down to you!

You made this trip happen, so enjoy whatever you do here, have the time of your life because you deserve it!

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.

Manly to The Blue Mountains

Explore Day trip

When you’re traveling, you can find yourself staying in the same place for long periods of time.

But being a backpacker isn’t always about drinking and partying, follow your sense of adventure and enjoy a day trip. Manly NSW, is the perfect location for exploring Sydney and the wider area of New South Wales.

This weekend I jumped in the car and headed to the Blue Mountains. It’s the perfect getaway when you need a break from the beach, and the beautiful fresh air is the best solution to city life.

A 2.5 hour drive from Manly, or 3 hours on public transport, the Blue Mountains are easily accessible and well worth the effort of leaving Manly for the day.

Named after the way they look when the light hits the mountains, the area is full of great walks, spectacular views and quiet villages.

By far the biggest draw for most tourists is the 3 Sisters, located just outside Katoomba, this rock formation can be enjoyed from an easy to reach visitor center, but is also the start of some of Australias most famous walks.

Click here or on the image below to find out more about what you’ll find in the Blue Mountains.

Blue Mountains
My advice to you, is get up early and make a plan before you go. Do you want to do a challenging walk, or simply enjoy the views and then head straight to one of the cute village pubs in the area? Either way, it’s a great idea to make the most of your time there.

But be warned, the weather can be unpredictable and it’s hard to enjoy the view when all you can see is fog!

 

Why You Should Travel Alone

Traveling alone

Traveling isn’t about finding yourself – we all know you can do that anywhere.

It is, however, about challenging yourself, experiencing new things, broadening your horizons and growing in confidence.

With that in mind, there is one sure way to fast track all those experiences.

That is to travel alone.

Traveling alone, can be a daunting thought. But believe us, the things you’ll gain, will out way the fear in no time. And, don’t fear, with the wonders of modern technology, being alone rarely means you are actually alone (if you don’t want to).

Check out below 5 reasons why solo travel will be one of the best things you ever do!

1) Alone Time – In our crazy, hectic, social media lives having a moment to yourself can often be hard to come by. But when you take a trip by yourself, you’ll have plenty. Time to read, time to think, time to write and most importantly, time to be. Learning to enjoying your own company can be one of the greatest things of all.

2) Make your own plans and change your own plans – Whether you’re easy going or the leader of the pack, backpacking with others means compromise. However, if you’re alone, the planning and un-planning is totally up to you. Where you go, how long you stay, what you explore and the adventures you have, are all up to you.

3) Meet great new people – The people you meet, and the friends you make along the way will play a massive part of your experience. If you’re on your own, making an effort to meet new people is more of a priority than if you’re with friends. After all, traveling is awesome, but making new friends along the way can be even better.

4) Challenge yourself – Travelling is all about challenging yourself, putting yourself in new positions and experiencing things you’ve never felt before. Putting yourself out there on your own, is a far greater challenge than having someone there to hold your hand along the way. And you will experience greater growth.

5) Boost your confidence – Completing a solo trip, whether it’s a weekend away or gap year, is an instant confidence booster. Learning to be happy in your own company, managing your own itinerary, making new friends and challenging yourself every step of the way.

Downsize Your Backpack and Travel Light

Things to pack

Not all backpackers travel with backpacks.

Now you can get those bags with the four wheels that glide effortlessly through airports – but, let’s face it, you can’t beat the satisfaction of traveling light.

Imagine picking up your bag and flinging it carefreely over your shoulder. No more needing a lift to get it on your back, bumping into innocent passers by, or needing a whole row of seats on the bus.

Traveling light doesn’t just make backpacking easier, it also saves you money – no more paying for checked luggage.

But then, the question is, when you are traveling around the world, how on earth do you pack light?

Towel – Be smart and grab one of the travel towels, they’re light weight and dry super fast, so no more damp smell in your bag. And, forget about a beach towel, you can always use a sarong. They’re half the size and can be used for a skirt or scarf when you get board of your regular clothes.

Shoes – One of the best things about Australian beach towns, like Manly NSW, is you really can get away with not wearing any shoes at all. As one of your bulkiest items you need to be ruthless here, ask yourself, do you really need all those pairs? You should be able to get it down to flip flops, night out and trainers/walking shoes.

Clothes – They take up the majority of your space, so you need to be smart here. You’d be amazed at what you can get away with and how little you need. And, don’t forget most Hostels have washing machines.

Toiletries – These items take up a lot of space, but if you want to be traveling with hand luggage only, you need to keep things under 100ml. It’s easy enough to grab the empty bottles from any pharmacy and streamline your wash bag.