Living in Manly Beach | Adventure Awaits in this Surfer’s Paradise

Living in Manly Beach | Adventure Awaits in this Surfer’s Paradise

Charlotte Koks
Charlotte Koks

Chris Hemsworth, Cate Blanchett, Hugh Jackman, Nicole Kidman… We could argue for hours about which is the biggest Hollywood star who was born in Australia. But, what is certain is that living in Manly Beach is a dream come true that these incredible Australian actors and actresses know very well.

Manly is one of the most famous and sought after Sydney suburbs among international students. Who wouldn’t want to spend the evening after school or work in fabulous Manly Beach? Sun, sand, and sea just 20 minutes from downtown Sydney. Besides the beach, its main attractions are the Harbour Bridge and the Taronga Zoo.

Too good to be true? In this article, we will tell you everything you need to know about studying, working, and living in Manly Beach.

Style and Quality of Life in Manly Beach

Style and qulity of life in Manly Beach

Life in Manly revolves around the beach. That’s no surprise. Those three kilometers of sand are the reason why everyone wants to live there.

Furthermore, Manly Beach is a very special place for surfers. There are indeed other beaches in Sydney with the same waves. However, since it hosted the first World Surfing Championships in 1964, Manly Beach has had a mystical appeal within the surf culture. Riding its waves is like a rite of passage.

Anyway, it is impossible to talk about Manly Beach without mentioning its other side, Bondi Beach. They are two beaches in Sydney that have a lot in common but still present profound differences. They are like yin and yang, or like Springfield and Shelbyville.

Bondi Beach is much more famous. But while all the camera flashes illuminate it, Manly Beach keeps a more exclusive profile, which is its great attraction. In Manly, you can go barefoot down the main street or put on a fabulous dress for dinner at a fancy restaurant. Your choice!


A very nice weather awaits you

If you decide to live in Manly Beach, you will be checking the weather forecast every breakfast. At least that’s what most of the people who live there do. While they drink their coffee and eat their toasts, they want to know if in the afternoon, after fulfilling their obligations, it will be convenient for them to go to the beach, go for a walk, or cycle around the surroundings.

The good news is that living in Manly Beach means not having to cross your fingers: the climate of the region is simply spectacular. As the climate in Sydney, it is humid and subtropical. According to GrowPro members and the Growers who live there, the climate is “extremely pleasant.” More than 340 days of sunshine each year. Truly amazing!

On the other hand, the four seasons of the year are well differentiated. Everyone’s favorite? Summer, which happens from December to March. The temperature is not excessive either. On the hottest days, it barely rises above 30°C, the ideal temperature to take a dip in the sea.

Cost of life

Cost of Living

It is clear that for beach and surf lovers, there is no better place than Manly Beach. However, for something like that, you have to be willing to pay the price. Manly Beach has a high cost of living.

How much are we talking about? It is impossible to establish with certainty since it depends on what comforts you are looking for and what lifestyle you are used to. However, we could say that, on average, it is possible to live in Manly Beach for about 1,400 to 1,500 AUD per month. Next, we are going to analyze that number in more detail.


Let’s start at the beginning, a place to live. If you intend to rent an apartment, the cheapest option is to get a roommate. Rental prices in Manly Beach per week are about:

  • A studio: At least $350 and there is not much offer.
  • A room: In this case, you will find many options. You can find units for $400, but you will most likely need to stretch to about $ 500.
  • Two bedrooms: It is the most economical option. You can get a nice apartment to share for about $600.

We reiterate, these prices are per week and vary according to the area. The most expensive thing to do is to live near El Corso, which is near the beach and the ferry dock. But if you go a little further, you can find more affordable prices. You can check for yourself here.

Within the housing expenses, you must add the services: electricity (about $300 every three months), gas ($ 70 every three months), internet ($65 per month) and, on some occasions, running water.

Other expenses

As for transport, to get around in Manly, you can walk or use a bicycle. The distances are short and, by not using it, you will forget what an umbrella is. On the other hand, if you want to go to Sydney’s city center, you will have to take a ferry, which takes about 20 minutes and costs $8 each way. Going by bus is cheaper ($4.50 each way) but, depending on the traffic it can take more than an hour.

Finally, food is another of the fundamental expenses. Here the best option is the Aldi supermarkets. They are the cheapest. You should think about $60 per week.

Eating something on the go in a fast food place costs between 10 and 15 AUD. Dinner in a restaurant, at least 25 AUD. However, we suggest eating out can be something you only do on special occasions.

Working in Manly Beach

There are many work options in Manly Beach

The most common jobs for students in Australia are kitchen assistant, waiter, barista, bartender, delivery, and flyers distributor, among others. As you must imagine by now, Manly Beach is a hyper-touristy place.

Therefore, in Manly, there are many job opportunities in shops, hotels, and restaurants. The peak season is summer, and in those months, businesses offer many jobs to foreign students. In winter, it may be a bit harder, but remember that no one succeeds without effort.

Live in Manly Beach and work in downtown Sydney? You are not the first person to come up with this idea. While it may seem like a perfect solution at first, it is impractical in the long run. You will waste a lot of time and money moving around. Sydney is a short drive away, but traffic can be fatal.

Requirements for Working in Australia

To work in Manly Beach you must meet the requirements set by the Australian government. You must be of legal age and meet the following requirements.

Get a visa

As in many other countries, to work in Australia you must obtain a visa that allows it. You can choose between two options:

  1. Apply for a student visa. Allows you to do any type of course in Australia and work up to 40 hours per week during the course duration. Once classes are over and vacations begin, you can work full time.
  2. Apply for a Work and Holiday Visa. This is a permit that lasts one year and can be extended for up to three. It allows you to study and, at the same time, have a full-time job.

Have a TFN or ABN

The TFN (Tax File Number) and the ABN (Australian Business Number) are like the social security number in other countries. In this case, the </TFN is a requirement to work in a dependency relationship, and the ABN is to do it independently. Don’t worry, you have to do it just when you get to Australia.

English proficiency

You don’t need to know English to distribute flyers, that’s for sure. However, foreign students with an intermediate or advanced level of English have a much broader work horizon. Therefore, if you need to improve your English, we recommend taking an intensive course as soon as you arrive in Manly. Take a look at these options:


Don't choose your accommodation before arriving

Without a doubt, choosing accommodation is one of the most delicate issues when moving to a new city. After all, you sure want to live somewhere nice and cheap. But there is a problem, it is very difficult to find a place that meets both requirements.

Also, in a place like Manly Beach, it matters a lot what time of year you travel. You should bear in mind that during high season there are fewer rooms available and the prices are higher.

Anyway, we recommend that you do not rent from your place of origin. The best thing you can do is get to Manly Beach and spend a few days in a hostel. So you can find out what the different areas have to offer and see the apartment with your own eyes before signing any type of contract.

At GrowPro, we have agreements with several hostels in Sydney, so visit our Grower Area to find out the offers and discounts they have to offer you.

Where to Live in Manly Beach

Manly is a small suburb so there aren’t that many different areas to choose from. The Corso is the busiest street in Manly and is often crowded with tourists. It connects the pier where the ferry arrives from Sydney and the beach.

Then, Manly stretches north about two miles, just the length of the beach. It is a more residential area, whose main avenue is Pittwater. There you will find most of the businesses and restaurants that are not in El Corso.

However, there are other suburbs very close to Manly. For example, one kilometer from the beach is Manly Vale. It is a suburb that has direct access to the beach and is highly chosen by young families, as it has several parks and excellent schools.

Another option is North Balgowlah. It is a family neighborhood, characterized by having large trees and being crossed by a stream. The only downside is that you won’t be close enough to the beach to walk.

Best Areas to Go Out

Going out in Manly Beach is synonymous with going out on El Corso. Almost all of Manly’s activity is concentrated in that street and its surroundings. It is a pedestrianized street that houses dozens of bars, cafes, restaurants, shops, and gift shops.

At one end of El Corso is Manly Wharf, the pier where the ferry arrives. For a few years, it has had a wide variety of gastronomic offer. There you can enjoy anything from dinner by the sea to a delicious take out>. It is a place that adapts to any plan and budget.

Finally, as Humphrey Bogart would say, we will always have Sydney. Between Manly and the city center, there are just 15 kilometers on the A8 motorway. A more scenic option is to take the ferry that takes 20 minutes to reach Sydney.


Things to Do

There are many things to do in Manly Bech

If you decide that living in Manly Beach is the way to go, you will be able to enjoy the beach almost every day. However, it is far from the only plan available. There is a lot to see in Manly.

For example, Manly has several trails to explore on foot or by bike. One of the most famous and closest is Cabbage Tree Bay Coastal Walk, a two-kilometer trail that links Manly Beach and its younger sister, Shelly Beach. It is the best way to get to know the typical landscape of the region. Besides, you will pass by Fairy Bower Pool, a pool built with stones in 1929 by the residents of Manly.

On the other hand, if you don’t want to be outdoors, you can always visit the Manly Art Gallery & Museum. Located in the heart of Manly, it is famous for its paintings by local artists and its collection of Australian ceramics.

Another typical plan for the weekends is to visit one of the national parks in the region. Only half an hour’s drive away is the Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park and the Garigal National Park.

Lastly, while living in Manly, you can always visit Sydney. You can go to the city for the day and be back on time for dinner.

Studying in Manly Beach

Study in Manly Beach with GrowPro

If you intend to study at Manly Beach, you are guaranteed an unforgettable experience. It will change your life!

For several years we have been working with thousands of international students who decide to take courses in Australia. If you decide to live in Manly Beach with our help, you will have the entire GrowPro team to help you every step of the way.

At Manly, you can take a General English course, Australia’s most popular option. It is a course that lasts between 3 months and two years. They focus on all aspects of the language and are taught by local teachers. If you already know that you want to live meters away from the beach, here you’ll find an ideal experience. Click to get a quote for this adventure.

So now you know, living in Manly Beach may be your best option. We hope this article helps you make a decision that meets your expectations. See you soon surfing the Australian waves!

About the author

Charlotte Koks
Charlotte Koks

Hey there! My name is Charlotte, and I'm working as an International Project Manager at GrowPro Experience. My goal is to help students all around the world to live the experiences of a lifetime 🙌🏽. I'm trying to inspire students by means of telling the story of former growers, showing what we are doing at each destination and writing about our cities and tips on our blogs. I got a big passion for adventures, doing sports in the park, learning new languages and seeing new places 🌏. That's one of the reasons why I studied European Studies and why I currently work for GrowPro, to expand my horizons. Hopefully, I can inspire you to do the same!

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