What’s Going On In … Manly, Australia

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Australia’s first Governor, Captain Arthur Phillip, named the city after the “manly” behavior of local Aborigines in 1788. Known for its beaches, coves, inlets and National Parks, Manly sits on a peninsula near Sydney Harbor, just 15 minutes from the city.


The Quarantine Station was first used in the 1830s when immigration to Australia increased. For 140 years, it was home to newly arrived immigrants sailing to shore with diseases like whooping cough and cholera. The Q-Station is now managed under the National Parks and Wildlife Service, and known to be one of the most haunted sites in Australia. Its reputation goes both ways: it’s a popular place for wedding receptions and conferences and also hosts historic ghost tours of the site.


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Director Baz Luhrmann chose the International College of Management at Manly Beach to be the famed Gatsby Mansion. The 60,000 square ft. building, built in 1885, houses one of the country’s leading business schools. The Valley of the Ashes, the industrial town featured in the movie, was filmed at three different Power Stations in Manly including the historic Rozelle Power Station. Hear from the creative director behind the film about the architecture used in the movie.


Every year in October, the continent’s largest free jazz festival happens in Manly. The fest showcases over 60 international musicians on four outdoor stages. Find out more about the upcoming festival here.


The town has had a representative in every Summer Olympics since 1900. The Pathway of Olympians at the Wharf has 80 plaques honoring the athletes represented in the games. After every Summer Olympic Games, plaques are added to recognize participants from Manly. The town is also known for its surf. The First World Surfboard Riders Championship was held in Manly in 1964.

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