The Manly’s history is fascinating.  Did you know that the original owners of the region around Manly, the Kay-ye-my people date back 20,000 years ago?  Book accommodation at a Manly hostel and learn more about the history of these places.  Captain Arthur Phillip encountered the indigenous people in 1778.  The story is extremely interesting.  Captain Arthur Phillip chose to get to know them by capturing a man named Arabanoo.  He was dressed in European clothes, trained in English and renamed ‘Manly’ in honour of his demeanor.  This is where the region got its name.
Did you know that the Australian bathing revolution started in Manly?  It is said that colonial soldiers stripped of and swam naked in the ocean.  In 1833 sea bathing was banned during the hours of daylight.  Unfortunately, Manly was isolated for many years.  Things changed in the 1850’s when Henry Smith built Manly’s first hotel and shopping avenue between the harbour and the ocean.  Moreover, he backed the first Sydney ferry service to Manly.


In 1902, William Gocher, a famous newspaper mounted a public campaign calling on people to bathe in the daytime – they did – wearing neck to knee ‘bathing costumes’.  One year later, Manly became the first beach in Australia to embrace surf life saving.  Progress did not stop here.  In 1904, Manly became the first beach in Australia to employ a professional lifeguard.