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Why the Commute from Manly to Sydney is the Best in Australia (If Not the World)

Why the Commute from Manly to Sydney is the Best in Australia (If Not the World) main image

Is there anything more miserable than commuting? Just mention the word to somebody and it instantly conjures up images of early starts, dark mornings, late evenings, and packed public transport full of fellow commuters, all of whom are just as miserable as you.

Commutes, by definition, aren’t an enjoyable experience. It’s all about getting from A to B, from home and to work, with thousands of other people, at an uncomfortable, irritable time of day.

But what if your commute didn’t have to be like that? What if it was, you know, exciting?

Well, I’m here to tell you that there’s a commute out there that is positively heavenly If you’re lucky enough to experience it, it will almost make commuting not seem all that bad anymore.

The journey I’m talking about is from Manly to Sydney CBD, known by many to be “the best commute in the world”. Why? Well, largely because of its unique form of transport, stunning views, and the fresh sea air.

Before we go any further, I should point out that there is technically a boring version of this commute. Take the 151 bus from Manly to North Sydney, followed by another connecting bus, and you’ll still get to the CBD, but that’s no fun. If you really want to have a good time however, you need to make the journey by ferry.

The ferry commute is honestly one of the best commutes ever. It starts off at Manly wharf, an excellent place to grab a last minute coffee or morning juice. Try the fabulously fast Gloria Jean’s Coffee, which is located close to the entrance. Next to it is the fresh and fantastic Stone + Peel, which makes smoothies, juices, and fresh fruit bowls - perfect for those in need of a healthy fix early in the morning.

Just before the wharf ends, there’s also a chocolatier & cafe, called Chocolate by the Bald Man, Max Brenner. Their cappuccinos are extraordinary; foamy coffee, topped with melted drizzled chocolate. If it’s a takeaway cup, they add chocolate chips to the lid! Simply superb.

When it’s time to actually start your commute, you have two options: the Manly Fast Ferry, or the slower ferry. Both are beautiful, but the fast ferry is ten minutes quicker, so if you’re running late, it’s ideal. It leaves every 20 minutes in rush hour, so you’ll be at your destination in no time.

Needless to say, the views on this commute are unreal. Make sure you take a seat outside on the upper deck to fully take them in on sunny days. As you leave Manly you’ll see the port, with its tranquil waters sprinkled with sailing boats and yachts. As you move further away from the wharf, you’ll be able to see more of the parkland and bush that surround the harbor area. Then, you leave land behind for that fresh sea air. For the next 15 minutes it’s sea, sea, and more sea. This hands-down beats any normal commute spent on trains or stuck in traffic.

En route, you’ll see Watson’s Bay, Taronga Zoo, and Rose Bay to name a few. As you approach Sydney, make sure to keep your head up as you head into the famous Sydney Harbour. You’ll pass Mrs Macquarie’s Chair, Garden Island, and the Botanical Gardens, before heading on towards the Harbour Bridge and the iconic Sydney Opera House.

Do you know what makes this commute even better? Manly is an excellent place to live. It’s a beautiful seaside town, with three incredible beaches: Manly beach, which is the largest, Shelly beach, and Freshwater beach. The town is big enough to have everything you could possibly want, but small enough to have the atmosphere of an idyllic seaside getaway.

It’s hard to imagine a better way to have the city of Sydney on your doorstep and yet be able to easily escape the hustle and bustle of the largest city in Australia when you need to. If you’re looking for somewhere to live while working or studying in Sydney, you’ll be hard-pushed to find anywhere nicer.

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Written by Meg D.

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