Here is some fun facts about Manly:
How Manly got its name
When Governor Arthur Phillip began exploring the bays and coves of Sydney Harbour in January 1788, he commented on the physique of the Indigenous men who met him in their canoes and on the land. He called them strong and ‘manly’ and thereafter this cove was known as Manly.
Manly Beach is home to around 16,000 residents in 8,500 homes. Locals are on average younger than other areas on the Northern Beaches and Manly has grown to be a multicultural hub with large UK, European and South American communities. The small population hosts millions of visitors every year, drawn to the golden beaches and many natural attractions that Manly has to offer.
Manly is the birthplace of Australian surfing, hosting the first ever World Surfing Championships in 1964. Both the Men’s and Women’s Championships were won by locals, Midge Farrelly and Phyllis O’Donnell. Manly is one of the world’s five Surfing Reserves with its consistent quality surf, rich surfing history, strong community support and a magnificent coastal environment.
Manly’s North Head has been a place of significance for the Aboriginal community for many thousands of years. Special gatherings of the Guringai people took place here, there is evidence of middens, rock shelters, art sites, open campsites, burial sites and other places of significance.
Before October 1902, it was illegal to swim in the surf in daylight hours. The then Editor of the Manly News (later called the Manly Daily), William Gocher, broke the law on a number of occasions in an attempt to gain attention. He gained much notoriety and although there is conjecture about whether he influenced local officials, Manly Council did legalise all-day bathing soon after. The first official bathing season was declared in 1903.