Manly : Australia

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What it's Like to Retire in Manly

The idea of retiring in Manly might catch some Australians by surprise. It is generally a very young person’s town, which is very much apparent on a busy summer weekend. But it also has many attractions and conveniences that almost any active adult could enjoy.  For example there are fabulous surfing and snorkeling beaches on the ocean side, and calmer family type beaches and coves on the Sydney side. You can walk from one side of this peninsula in 10 minutes.  The population in 2014 was about 15,000.

Capt. Phillips gave the town its name because of the confidence and manly behaviour of the indigenous inhabitants. Another great thing about Manly is its location on the Sydney Ferry system. Ferries leave constantly from the harbor  - half an hour later you arrive in Sydney with connections throughout the area. Photo of the beach courtesy of Wikipedia and Adam.J.W.C. For more about retirement see our Retirement Guide to Australia.


Where to Retire in Manly and Home Prices

There are small apartment buildings and a few rises downtown, with single family homes of all sizes placed along the quiet side streets. Many apartments are available for weekly or monthly lease for those who would like to make this a part time residence or generate extra income. In fact we know some Americans who come here for a month at time to relax. Depending on the size, quality, and location you can buy an apartment or house from to  (Australian). Monthly rents will be in the thousands.  Many people live just away from the water (which usually means uphill)in quieter neighborhoods, many of which overlook the ocean or quiet coves with sailboats bobbing on moorings.  One nice thing about Manly is that high rise residential development is severely restricted.


What is special about Manly

The location so close with ferry connections to Sydney is one great advantage.  So is being steps away from the ocean and bay beaches galore. The Corso is the main shopping/restaurant connection between the ocean and bay, and that area is filled with restaurants of all types. The Sydney Harbour National Park is at the north end, a beautiful untouched stretch with towering cliffs above the sea and views of the ocean, Sydney Harbor, and the Bondi Beach area. There are 2 scenic walkways that go for kilometers offering glimpses of history, tiny harbors, beaches, and the hills.


What is not special about Manly

The town can get very crowded with teens and 20/30 somethings during a summer weekend.  There are lots of tourists, crowding the local restaurants and beaches.  It is also expensive.


Who will like retirement in Manly

Folks who like going to the beach, diving, snorkeling, biking, walking, and going to restaurants will like Manley. It is also great for folks who like to be around younger people - after 3 days here your Editor wondered if there was some municipal ordinance that barred people over 50 from living here!


Local economy is driven by

Tourism and the beach are the main drivers of the economy. The stately former St. Patricks Seminary campus is now the International College of Management, which offers a graduate program in tourism and other topics.


Climate and Physical Environment

Manly is a half hour ferry or bus ride from the Circular Quae in downtown Sydney - across the harbor and out to the north. The average January temp is in the 70s and the average July temp is in the high 50s.


Restaurants & Cultural Scene

The Manly Art Museum on the harbor has a nice display of indigenous (Aborigine) art and well as traveling displays. There are other galleries and a library in town. Many wonderful restaurants - try the “16 Foot Skiff” club (anyone can eat there with proper ID), Out of Africa (try the meatballs of citrus fish), the Mexican restaurant,and many more. In 1987 the British novelist, Lesley Thomson published Seven Miles From Sydney, a thriller about a female screenwriter who is murdered while jogging on Shelly Beach.



This is a very safe area. You won’t see much police presence and it generally isn’t needed. There is a lot of drinking, but most people seem in control.


Medical facilities

Manly has a variety of doctors and access to the many Sydney hospitals and Medicare system.



There is a free tram that operates a circuit around Manley. You can take the Ferry (high speed or local) to Sydney.  You can hire a service to take you to Sydney Airport. Regular bus service goes to Sydney with connections throughout the area.


Valuable Links

Hello Manly

Manly on Wikipedia


What people are saying about Manly

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Facts about MANLY
  • State: AU
  • Environment: Coastal,Resort Community,
  • City Population: 10,000-25,000
  • Median age of Population: 25-44
  • Avg Jan Temperature: 61 +
  • Avg July Temperature: 41-60
  • Median HH Income: 41,001-60,000
  • Average Home Price (MLS): $200,001-$300,000
  • Annual Property Tax on a $200,000 house: NA
  • Total Crime Index: 81-90 (low)
  • Cost of Living Index: 111-120 (high)
  • Culture Index: 111-120 (high)
  • State Sales Tax: No
  • State Income Tax: Yes
  • Name of the Guide: boomer1

Can you add to or correct these Facts? Or do you have a photo of this community we could use? If so, please click on Edit these facts

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