Manly is a suburb of Sydney an interesting thirty minute ferry ride from Circular Quay (adjacent to the Opera House) across Sydney Harbour to Manly wharf.
The ferry service once advertised Manly as "seven miles from Sydney, and a thousand miles from care".
Captain Arthur Phillip named Manly after the original people living there apparently stating, "their confidence and manly behaviour made me give the name of Manly Cove to this place". I thought is was called after someone called "Manly".
The ferry gently glides out past the iconic Opera House into the harbour, past the famous bridge and past Fort Denison, a very small island about 1 kilometer east that used to house the first jail.
On my 1997 visit we rented a two bedroom flat overlooking Manly Harbour. It was approximately 1200 square feet complete with living room, dining room and kitchen - a fully furnished home base for the same price as a hotel room in Sydney.
This made the perfect home base for exploring areas close to Sydney. I arranged for a trip every second day, taking the ferry back to Circular Quay where there were numerous small vans waiting to take people for local tours. In the time I was there I spent a day kayaking south of Sydney, a day in the Hunter Valley touring the wineries, a day hiking with a group on an Eco Tour following Darwins Trail, a full day visiting the Maritime Museum and a lot more.