Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Majorly Manly

After ditching our plan to work on a farm for three months, Ben and I made our way south to earn some money while spending the summer by the beach. We decided to set up camp in Manly, which is just a short ferry ride from downtown Sydney and the gateway to an area known as the 'northern beaches' (basically a group of beach towns north of Sydney). Although it's not far from the city, it feels like another world. No shirts, no shoes, no problem - you'll get service in Manly! From toddlers to seniors, nearly everyone here bikes around barefoot and has a surfboard under their arm. 

Although Melbourne had beaches as well, Manly could not be more different. The northern beaches (and arguably Sydney) cannot begin to compete with Melbourne's eclectic cultural scene; however the amount of natural beauty and nearby outdoorsy activities here are far superior!

The Corso, the main strip in Manly

Beautiful Manly Beach

Looking out to Shelley Beach, my favourite spot in Manly

Love this place, reminds me of Greece...

Bustling Shelley Beach, a popular spot for diving and snorkeling

Water Dragon at Shelley Beach

Love locks

Oh, you might be wondering where Manly got its name. They named it after this elderly gentleman:

Okay, I may have made that up. The real story is this: Captain Arthur Phillip, a British Admiral who founded the settlement that became Sydney, was impressed with the behaviour of the local Aboriginals he encountered when he sailed here, which he described as 'manly.' I imagine the area has changed quite a bit since 1788 but judging by the above photo, the legacy of manly behaviour seems to have carried on!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014


There are certain cities I've always thought it would be special to spend New Years Eve in, and I can now cross Sydney off that list!

When picturing New Years in Sydney I figured it would be chaotic and crowded but I'll admit, I was naive as to what extent. We got to a park with a great view of the Harbour Bridge just before 1PM, and we were far from the first ones there.

It got increasingly crowded as the day went on (I think they stopped letting people in the park at around 5PM) but it was pretty cool to see the Harbour and Opera House so packed. The sun was shining, music was playing and everyone was in a good mood, laughing with their loved ones - you couldn't have asked for a better atmosphere.

At around 10PM I started to get pretty tired from having been in the recklessly hot sun all day but as midnight grew nearer my excitement jolted me awake. After hours of anticipation the countdown was finally displayed on the Harbour Bridge, immediately followed by Sydney's world-famous fireworks. They seemed to make the first minutes of 2014 stand still for me, because all I could think about was the big, beautiful blazes of colour in the sky and how glad I was to be watching them with Ben.

Walking back amidst the sea of revelers, I couldn't help but feel happy and hopeful for the the new year just begun.

#NYESYD was definitely one to remember. Wishing everyone a happy and healthy 2014!