Once just a quick stop-off on a mandatory tourist trip for your visiting uncle, Manly has increasingly come into its own. The famous Manly Wharf has been getting a facelift for the last few years, with Hugo's the Bavarian Bier Café and Merivale's Papi Chulo providing a delightful nip and tuck. And nearby Manly SEA LIFE Sanctuary (formerly Ocean World) still provides an old-world treat too.
The beach is just as pretty as ever - and those bronzed, buffed and well-plucked locals ain't bad looking either. But it's new life on the corso that has Time Out excited: refreshed eateries (hey,Manly Wine), new bars like Daniel San and the reborn Steyne Hotel. Yep, the place that was once a Today/Tonight staple for its very high biff rate is now an awesome, hip and huge pub with a great little rum bar upstairs. Grab that ferry – Manly version 2.0 awaits.
Shopping in Manly
There's more to Manly than the beach and the bars (although both of those things come highly recommended). When you wander off the Northern Beaches' suburbs well-trod mainstreet, you'll find a growing number of independent boutiques, antique stores and other knick knack sellers, as well as killer spots to pick out a sun hat or cossi to wear back out onto the Corso.
Manly Sea Life Sanctuary
For decades Oceanworld Manly has been overshadowed by its big brother in Darling Harbour. But after a $1 million makeover the aquarium is better and wetter than ever, and now called the Manly Sea Life Sanctuary. The ‘Sea Life’ aquarium brand is attached to some 34 aquaria in Europe and the US. The adoption of the new brand comes with an endearing new exhibit – Penguin Cove, home to a ten-strong Little Penguin colony – but also a renewed focus on rehabilitation. “Our ultimate goal is to successfully release rescued animals back into the wild,” says Brendan Kelly, the Sanctuary’s operations manager. “We see ourselves as protectors of the underwater world. We’ve been rehabilitating turtles and breeding Grey Nurse Sharks for years. But in adopting Sea Life’s ‘breed, rescue, protect’ ideology, it’s really coming to the fore.” It’s also coming out from behind the scenes. Visitors to the Sanctuary will get to witness the process of nursing ailing aquatic life back to health in the ‘Rehab Room’. “We’re now geared towards ensuring all guests leave us with a greater understanding of marine issues, what we are doing about them and how they as individuals can make an impact. “We will be advising the public about medical assessments of rescued animals, the treatment plan that has been formulated for those animals and the assessment of animals suitable for release.” But, yes, you can still go diving with the sharks. In fact, we sent our roving reporter Yana Novak to the aquarium to do
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Manly Art Gallery and Museum
This small gallery and museum punches above its weight with an annual program of exhibitions that includes prominent local artists and major touring...