For many residents of Sydney’s eastern suburbs, going to Manly seems such a long way. There’s a bridge to cross, traffic to negotiate and the teasing from friends for going to the “dark side”. Manly may seem a world away but the beachside suburb has plenty to offer to tempt Sydney-siders and visitors to its shores.
Manly Wharf Hotel
The Manly Wharf Hotel occupies a prime position along the water. The family-friendly hotel is turning 10 this year, and in celebration, it hosted the Ultimate Summer’s Day, an activity-filled event that highlighted some of the best Manly has to offer as a destination.
On a day when Sydney put on her summer best, a water taxi from Circular Quay whisked us away into the jetty in front of the Manly Wharf Hotel.
Veuve Clicquot Champagne along the Jetty Bar
Owners Ben and Lucy May welcomed us one by one on arrival, a personal touch that struck an instant connection. Over a glass of Veuve Clicquot champagne, we learnt that our adventure for the day was to entail stand-up paddleboarding, jet boating and parasailing followed by a delicious lunch by the water.
L-R: Drew Wallin, Ben May
Host Erika Heynatz related her story of how she became enamoured with the northern beaches after she met a man (now her husband) who made her take the plunge across the bridge and she was seduced by this part of Sydney. She has since made Collaroy her home.
A glass of champagne later, we took to the clean waters of Manly Beach. Some tested their balance with stand-up paddleboarding (SUP).
Others took to jetboats with wind in their hair and I joined the parasailing boat as a spectator with Hayden Quinn and Erika Heynatz on board.
Erika Heynatz and Hayden Quinn
After a brief on safety, two by two took to the skies. And as a spectator with a severe fear of heights, I voiced a little envy at those flying high above us.
It may have been the two glasses of champagne I had earlier, or the gentle coercion and reassurances from Lucy and Erika. In a split second decision, I found myself in the parasailing harness with Erika behind me ready for lift off. After all, the worse that could happen is to get dunked in the water.
Parasailing over Manly
Flying high with a bird’s eye view over Manly was an exhilarating experience. The harness felt very safe, the views were spectacular and no panic had set in at any stage. And it was then, much like Erika’s experience, I fell in love with Manly.
Lunch at Manly Wharf
Back on land, it was time for a delicious lunch from the Manly Wharf Hotel’s new menu.
Top (L-R): Beetroot and goats cheese salad, Herb seared tuna nicoise, Lamb cutlets barbecued
Bottom (L-R): Salt and pepper calamari and chips, Crispy soft shell crab salad, Veuve Clicquot
Plates of beetroot and goats cheese salad, herb seared tuna nicoise, barbecued lamb cutlets, salt and pepper calamari and chips and a main course of crispy soft shell crab salad graced the long tables. Veuve Clicquot flowed as freely as conversations before it was time to thank Ben and Lucy May for their hospitality.
Manly Wharf Hotel from the water
As we headed back towards the city by water taxi, the skies darkened and clouds rolled in to bid au revoir to the Ultimate Summer’s Day.
Manly Wharf Hotel
Manly NSW 2095
Sydney Harbour Parasailing
Manly Kayak Centre (SUP)
Manly Ocean Adventures (speed boating)
Gourmantic attended the Ultimate Summer’s Day with Manly Wharf Hotel on Tuesday 22 January 2013.
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