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By Jenny Richardson

Manly, Brisbane. (www.manlyharbourvillage.com)

Manly is a sea-side suburb in the city of Brisbane (www.ourbrisbane.com) about 30 minutes away from the CBD by train or car and boasts a beautiful view of Moreton Bay including North Stradbroke (www.stradbroke-island.com.au) and Moreton Islands (www.moreton-island.com).

It has a small village atmosphere, with shops lining the main street overhung with old verandas. As you come over the hill and down into Manly, you become immediately dazzled by the sea views and spectacular sight of the yachts and pleasure craft in the largest marina on the eastern seaboard of Australia.

Sea breezes, open air cafes, the pub and Aussie fish and chips attract day visitors, and on Sunday mornings there is the Creative Market, selling food, crafts, collectables, fruit and vegetables.

A combined bikeway/walkway stretches 5.5 kilometres along the waterfront, and at the northern end there is a mangrove boardwalk where you can walk for a further kilometre, viewing the nursery of tiny fish and insects as the tide comes and goes.

Locals and visitors enjoy catching mostly Bream and Whiting fish from the jetty in the heart of Manly.

There is free afternoon sailing on Moreton Bay for visitors to Manly who would like to try their hand as part of a crew. All you have to do is turn up at the Yachties’ Bar at the Queensland Royal Yacht Squadron (www.rqys.com.au) before 12.30pm on a Wednesday, or before 12.30pm at the Wynnum Manly Yacht Club (www.wmyc.org.au) on Sundays.

The “South Passage”, a purpose built sailing schooner, is based in Manly, and offers regular public sailings throughout the year (www.southpassage.org.au) for short and longer adventures.

The Wynnum golf course (www.wynnumgolf.com) is leafy with much bird life, has 18 holes, and is a short two kilometre drive away.

Visitors to Moreton Island enjoy snorkelling, diving, feeding dolphins, sand boarding and tobogganing all year round. It is a unique sand island, a one hour ferry trip from the Port of Brisbane and is popular with day visitors and holiday makers alike, with resort style accommodation as well as camping options. (www.moreton-island.com)

St Helena Island is a former colonial maximum security prison- now a national park – and is a 30 minute ride away by catamaran for a day tour, or an evening ghost tour conducted by a local theatre group. (www.sthelenaisland.com.au).

Manly is conveniently close to the Gateway Motorway which takes you on to the Bruce Highway to the Sunshine Coast (www.sunshinecoast.org) in the north, and on to the M1 south to the Gold Coast (www.verygc.com.au) (Surfers’ Paradise – a one hour drive).

Brisbane city, the capital of the state of Queensland, is a semi tropical river city, with average daytime temperatures ranging from 18 – 22 degrees Celsius over June, July and August and then gradually increasing to 28 – 33 degrees Celsius during November, December, and January.

The best way to view the city is to take a ride on one of the CityCat ferries that travel along the Brisbane River through the city; upstream as far as the University of Queensland, and downstream as far as Bretts Wharf in Hamilton. An all day pass is available and you are able to hop on and off at any stop. (http://www.translink.qld.gov.au/qt/TransLin.nsf/ReferenceLookup/070115_CityCat.pdf/$file/070115_CityCat.pdf).

There is a casino (www.conradtreasury.com.au) in the city and the botanical gardens and state parliament buildings are nearby. Walkways line both sides of the river and there is a Goodwill footbridge between the city and the South Bank Parklands (www.visitsouthbank.com) where you will also find the city’s museum, art gallery and the state library.

Jenny Richardson will exchange her home in Manly, Brisbane for Edmonton, Canada

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