Manly is a beachside suburb of Sydney, about 11km (by water) northeast of Sydney city. The best way to get there is by ferry (more on that another day) and although Bondi may be the beach everyone outside Australia asks about, Manly is far more popular amongst locals.
Manly beach from Queenscliff
Manly beach itself is about 1.6km (1 mile) long, and is divided into three sections: South Steyne, North Steyne and Queenscliff (south to north). South Steyne is the beach most visitors head to as it's closer to the ferry and the shops, takeaways and restaurants of Manly town centre. It also has a permanent year-round life-saving service, whereas the other beaches only have life-saving at weekends and holidays during the peak season. It forms the central part of the "Manly-Freshwater World Surfing Reserve".
Colin was asking about the houses on Queenscliff head, Yup - they're that close.
At the northern end of Queenscliff beach is the Manly Rock Pool, a swimming pool built into the rocky headland (we have written about the tidal swimming pools of Sydney before).
Manly tidal swimming pool.
When we were there in November part of the beach was being used for a beach volleyball competition (thankfully ignorable, although the noise was fairly painful), but the rest of it was yellow sand, blue sky and white water. Which is apparently as it should be.
Of course, all this is wasted on someone who doesn't get beaches (an understatement), but even for me it's kind of pretty to look at for an hour or so.