Where to Spend Melbourne Cup in Manly

November is nearly here……

And it can only mean one thing – Melbourne Cup 2018.

This is not just any old horse race, it’s such a big deal that in Victoria they have the day off to watch the race and celebrate. It’s the perfect excuse to dust off your big hat, buy a new dress and get your fancy on!

Manly is promising to put on a great show for the race, with so many great restaurants and bars offering stunning food, fancy cocktails and funky DJ’s, there’s no doubt it’s going to be a good day. But, where is the best place in Manly to enjoy Melbourne Cup?

Beachside Dojo Bar – Situated above Daniel San this bar has great views and great vibes. They’re offering an 8 piece canape package as well as a 3 hour beverage package for just $99pp.

Ivan Hoe – Many a good night out has been had at the Ivan Hoe and for pub grub the food never disappoints. They’re offering, 2 delicious courses + glass of bubbles on arrival for $75 p.p

Manly Wharf Bar – Arguable the best location for a bar in Manly, sitting right on Manly Wharf. For $110 you get a 3 course lunch and a glass of bubbles on arrival.

Hotel Steyne – One the larges pubs in Manly, The Steyne always puts on a good show and for Melbourne Cup they have a great offering: $100 All inclusive drink and food package.

Where are you going to spend your Melbourne Cup?

The Only Way to Enjoy Halloween

Halloween doesn’t have to be scary!

With my 7 year old step daughter insisting on being a princess this year, it seems to me that Halloween is simply a good excuse to get dressed up and explore our amazing city! And this year there are some great attractions to go and show off your chosen outfit, both for the kids and the adults.

Our Local Streets

It turns out the Northern Beaches as gone and got a bit of a name for it’s self when it comes to putting on a show at Halloween. Attrackting visitors from all over Sydney it goes to show you don’t need kids to enjoy Halloween. That being said this is a great family event with large groups touring the streets from 4pm.

Check out these streets:

  1. Pine St, Smith St, Manly
  2. Thomas St, North Manly
  3. Bungaloe Ave, Balgowlah Heights
  4. Many streets in North Balgowlah

New Brighton’s Shark Bar – The Night Before Halloween

If you’re looking for a good night out Shark Bar has always been a favorite. Situated on the very top floor of the New Brighton it has great views across Manly, trendy seating areas and a funky little bar. This spooky night is being held on 30th Oct and with the DJ setting the tone for the night it’s going to be a night to remember.


If you’re keen to hop on the ferry and head to the city you wont be disappointing as there’s even more going on.

The Sydney Zombie Walk

This family Friendly event kicks off on Saturday 27 October. Meet at St Mary’s Cathedral Square at 3.30pmand prepair to take over the town with a 1k stomp. Children under the age of 16 have free entry, for everyone else the zombie walk will cost $15. All registration funds go directly to the Brain Foundation research group. And, if you don’t have the perfect outfit the amazing orgnaisers have provided a reverse first aid tent ready where makeup artists will help you achieve the undead look.


How to choose Budget Accommodation

Everyone loves a good holiday, whether you’re staying for 1 night or 2 week! And, when you’re coming to Manly, NSW, you know you’re in for a treat.

So when it comes to booking budget accommodation in Manly, what should you look for and more importantly what should you avoid.

There was a time when the worlds ‘budget accommodation’ meant grubby, grotty and even scary. But in a world of greater visibility, more choice and an abundance of opportunity that’s no longer the case. Budget accommodation simply means basic, honest rooms.

Defining Your Budget

Budget accommodation covers a wide range of places in Manly, from Backpackers to Guest Houses and everything in-between.  But before you set your heart on one particular option, it’s worth doing some research to find out how far you hard earned cash is going to get you. Once you know what your budget is and how far it will go, you can start to narrow the search.

What’s Important?

The different options of budget accommodation obviously offer different things, so it’s important to work out what really matters to you. Is it having your own ensuite bathroom? Or the location of the property? Perhaps you want to save money and eat in so a kitchen is important. Make sure you read the small print and what’s included so you know what you’re getting.

Get Savvy

Once you’ve found your perfect budget accommodation, there’s one more step to getting a great deal. Resist the urge to book through one of the big online booking agents and call the accommodation direct yourself. The agents take a large booking fee that the owners have to pay, and with most budget accommodation in Manly being small and family run, it’s worth calling them yourself to see if they have any special deals for booking direct. From a cheeper price to free internet it’s always worth asking and when you’re on a budget every little helps.

October – What to do in Sydney

October is already underway and it definitely feels like spring is full steam. The days are getting warmer and soon the clocks will be going forward, giving us one extra glorious hour of sun light. With that in mind, check out our list of great ways to enjoy October in Sydney and Manly.

  1. Sculptures by the Sea: This incredible event has now been running for 22 years, and this year promises to be better than ever. Take the beautiful 2k coastal walk from Bondi to Tamarama and be treated to some incredible outdoor sculptures. This event is totally FREE and runs from 18th Oct to 1 Nov, it’s an absolute favorite for visitors and locals alike.
  2. Night Noodle Market: Explore the wonderful world of noodles. From midday for 18 wonderful afternoons and evenings, Hyde Park comes alive with a massive variety of noodle options.
  3. Sunrise on the Steps: Who doesn’t love Yoga? And this time you get to do it on the steps of the iconic Sydney Opera House. From 10th Oct – 1 Nov and is $25, this is the perfect way to shake off some travel stiffness and soak up the sights of Sydney.
  4. Colour run: What better way to celebrate running 5K than with dancing and music. The Sydney Colour Run is known to be the happiest 5k run on earth. Join the celebrate on 7 Oct.
  5. Halloween at Q Station: If you’re a fan of getting scared this freaky event is for you.  And if not, the Q station in Manly is well worth a visit during a less creepy time.

How to spend the School Holidays

With the school holidays less than a week away, it can be a scary task keeping everyone entertained. I know too well the pain of watching everything double in price just because it’s the school holidays, with that in mind I’ve put together a list of great things to do in Manly and Sydney. And the best part is they won’t break the budget. So if you’re traveling to Manly this School Holidays, check out this list of things to do during your stay.

In the City – Sydney is a most enjoyable commute from Manly. Just a 20 minute ferry ride, traveling to Sydney will feel like an adventure in it’s self, especially if you’re looking to explore Manly and Sydney.

  1. Dinosaur Festival at Australia Museum
    From 9.30am – 5pm everyday of the September school holidays ( 29th Sept – 14th Oct)
    An interactive prehistoric adventure designed to teach kids everything there is to know about dinosaurs, and the best part is it’s totally FREE for kids! With  adults only paying $15!
  2. Plants with Bite in The Royal Botanical Gardens
    From 10am – 4pm from Monday 1st Oct and throughout October
    For anyone we a green thumb or in interest in the creepier side of nature, this exhibition of carnivorous plants will really get you thinking. It’s completely FREE and a site to wonder.

In Manly – even when it’s not beach weather Manly has so much to offer it’s a wonder we ever leave!

  1. Manly Library Events Wednesday 3rd Oct – Manly Library is an absolute hidden gem. When your on holiday or just visiting Manly, it’s easy to overlook. Bookings are essential so be sure to call ahead on – 02 9976 1720.
    Grow a Grass Head 10.30am – 11.30am – For children from age 6 – 12 this one hour active will not only keep them entrained but gives them something to go home with as well. At only $7 it’s good for your holiday budget too.
    Screen Printing Workshop 1pm – 2.30pm – For all creative abilities this hands on active will bring out the best in all young adults for ages 12 – 24.
  2. Manly Aquatic Centre
    If you’re looking to burn some energy this is the place for you! With a variety of pools, from an awesome kids play area, to indoor and outdoor lap pools everyone’s needs are covered.
  3. Explore Manly
    There’s nothing better than exploring a new town when you’re on holiday or just visiting for the day, and Manly won’t disappoint. From a massive selection of restaurants, ice cream shops, and bars, every member of the family will be satisfied. If you’re traveling with young kids Manly also has a great selection of out door playgrounds scattered along the beach and down the Corso.


Where should your mum stay?

Manly is full of expats and it’s easy to see why with it’s beautiful long sandy beach, clear water and close proximity to Sydney CBD. As one myself, I know too well the highs and lows of living the other side of the world to your family and friends. There is nothing better than hearing the news that a loved one has booked their flights and is coming to visit you. Showing Manly off is easy and the wonderful lifestyle we have here makes hosting a very easy job. But, if like me you live in a one bed apartment there is only one problem to having guests – where to put them.

When it comes to accommodation your guests, what really are your options. If they’re anything like mine, paying top dollar for the nicest place in town just feels like a waste, when they’re here to see you. But can you really put your mum in budget accommodation?

When you think about what’s important, the choice gets easier.

  1. Location – they need to be able to walk to everything, shops, ferry, beach and restaurants. The last thing my family want to do is navigate their way driving and finding parking, when they are on holidays. Location is so important because let’s be honest, you’re not going to spend every single minute with them, especially when they’re visiting for 3 weeks. Staying close to town means you’re guests will have their own independence as well as be able to easily meet up with you – making for the best sort of visit.
  2. Price – Getting to Australia is not a cheep activity, wherever your coming from, even if you get a good deal on flights. Once your guests have shelled out for the flights the last thing they want to do is pay out even more for accommodation. Getting a good price for somewhere to stay is vital. Keep an eye on hotel rates as they often can change during quieter times.
  3. Value – What do you actually get for your money? Clean and comfortable has got to be the base the line when it comes to budget accommodation, but feeling safe and at home is just as important. I always call ahead of anywhere i’m putting my folks up in, just to make sure the booking is confirmed and to see if they are friendly. There are a lot of options in Manly so if a place doesn’t have good customer service it’s not too hard to find somewhere that does. It’s even ok to pop in and ask to see the room prior to the booking, just to make sure there aren’t any surprises.

Free Things to do in Manly

Whatever your budget going on holiday can get expensive. Especially when there’s as many great things to do as there are in Sydney. From the Zoo to climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge, you’re spoiled for choice when it comes to splashing out.

But, if you’re trying to stick to your holiday budget or you just want to get to know Manly a little bit better there are plenty of Free things to be keep you busy and out of trouble.

Manly Beach

Manly Beach is probably one of the top attraction for visitors to Manly. And it’s easy to see why. It’s beautiful, it’s big and it’s totally free. There are so many wonderful activities you can do on Manly Beach all year round, from walking to volleyball. You’ll even see keen swimmers doing the Manly to Shelly swim all year round.


There are some great walks in and around Manly. The whole of Manly Beach is edged with a walking/cycle path that runs all the way from Queenscliff to Shelly Beach and it’s pretty much flat the whole way. Or if you’re keen for something a little more challenging there’s the Manly to Spit Bridge walk, it’s 10k of beautiful bush-land and stunning views. For more information on walking check out this really helpful site.

Manly Markets

Take a gentile stroll around Manly Markets, O.K. you’ll probably end up spending some money here, but you don’t have too. Every Saturday and Sunday the markets offer a beautiful selection of unique gifts, from jewelry to food and it’s easy to loose track of time.

Manly Art Gallery

In need of a little culture or just want to find out more about the history of Manly, check out the Manly Art Gallery and Museum. It’s totally free and a wonderful treat. Find out more in our recent Blog article here.

What to do when it rains in Manly

I’d love to tell you that it never rains in Manly, but the truth is, it does.

Not tropical rain forest kind of rain, but in Manly (like most places) from time to time the heavens do open and we all get a little bit wet.

The good news is, all is not lost. Manly life isn’t simply about Manly Beach, you’ll be pleased to hear there are plenty of great things to do, even when it’s raining. So grab yourself an umbrella and chuck your gum boots on, it’s time to start jumping in some puddles.

Below are some great options for a rainy day.

The Corso

Everything in Manly is close enough together to make it every easy to get around. The Corso is the main pedestrianised street running between Manly Beach and Manly Wharf. Here you’ll find cafes, shops and even a covered play area for the kids. It’s very easy to make the quick dash between shops even when it’s chucking it down.

The Pubs

Manly has some really great bars and there’s nothing better than getting cosy with a few drinks on a rainy day. Check out our blog on Where To Go For a Drink in Manly for more info. If you’re traveling with kids check out the larger pubs, such as The Steyene and Ivan Hoe as there’s a bit more space to run around and let off some steam.

Warringah Mall

A massive American style mall, Warringah Mall has so much to offer, from children’s play areas to high street shops and it’s all under cover. There’s even some great restaurants for when you need a rest. Take the 135 bus from the bus stop on the corner of Pittwater Road and Ragland Street, just a 2 minute walk from Manly Beachside Apartments. For cinema times and more info on everything Warringah Mall has to offer check out the website here.

Eating Out in Manly – Cheap Deals

When you’re on holiday eating out can get expensive, and with so many options available in Manly it can be hard to make the right choice. The good news is, most of the restaurants and bars in town have regular deals depending on the day of the week, making it super easy to keep the costs down and stick to your budget.

Find out who’s got the best deals in Manly and if you’re traveling with kids check out the list below of where kids eat free.

Monday – The best deal on eating out  in Manly has got to be, 2 for 1 at The Steyen. The Steyen is one of the largest pubs in Manly and it’s family friendly with a great restaurant area. If you’re looking for a lively Saturday night it’s always worth dropping into their court yard for a few cold ones. You’ll find the Steyen right in front of Manly Beach at the start of the Corso.

Tuesday$5 Steak at Donny’s Bar. This is a seriously popular deal so head over early and make sure you don’t miss out. Donny’s Bar is a great little hidden bar, nestled in behind Manly library. They also do amazing cocktails if you’re looking to make a night of it.

Wednesday – It’s a great deal whatever way you look at it, 50c wings at The New Brighton Hotel. Another big pub in Manly with 3 levels and a family seating area. It’s a great venue for the family.

Thursday –  $10 Streak at The Wharf Bar. Fondly known by the locals as the Wharfy, The Wharf Bar is one of Manly’s most icon bars. Situated right on the front of Manly Wharf this is one of the best locations to watch the sun set over dinner as the ferry’s come and go.

FridayPizza and a free drink at The Ivan Hoe. Another one of Manly’s big pubs sitting on the Corso. Like The New Brighton Hotel this family friendly pub is set over 3 floors.

Kids Eat Free – Monday – Friday

Daniel San
Manly Wharf Bar
Ian Bark Pizza
Thup Tim Siam (Thai)

Manly Ferry – the best way to see Sydney Harbour

Sydney Harbour has to be one of the most famous harbours in the world. It’s totally understandable that when you come to Sydney exploring the harbour is a must.

Jumping on a ferry is by far the easiest and cheapest option when it comes to seeing everything Sydney Harbour has to offer, especially if you’re making Manly your base. The public ferry’s run every 30 minutes and go directly to the main ferry hub in Circular Que, which is the perfect place to jump off and explore the Opera House, Botanical Gardens and Harbour Bridge.  This journey gives you a chance to really appreciate the harbour as you cross the heads from north to south. Take the opportunity to  watch the beautiful waterside suburbs gently slide by from the comfort of the ferry.

The Manly ferry might be the most famous ferry, but it’s only the beginning when it comes to exploring Sydney Harbour. Change at the Circular Que to take any of the smaller ferry’s for a ride. See the Harbour Bridge from a totally different perspective as you cruse underneath it on your way round to Darling Harbour or pay Taronga Zoo a visit and arrive via ferry.

Wherever you’re heading, taking the ferry is a treat and even in rush hour you’ll always get a seat. There’s a reason why they say the Manly to the City commuters are the happiest in the wold!


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