Sydney day 3: Manly Beach, State Library of NSW & Sydney Observatory

Third day. Despite our weary bones, we still jumped up with excitement as we made our way to the Circular Quay wharf. We took the bus instead of the train because the bus stop at Circular Quay was a shorter walk to the wharf.

There were few people when we went to Manly around 8am. A lot of families were swimming in the cordoned off area at the port, but there were more people swimming at Manly beach, which you can reach just by walking straight across from the port.

Manly Beach

Incredible view of the Sydney Harbour Bridge while on the ferry. This is actually one of the reasons why I was so excited to ride the boat.
View of the port at Manly
Happy faces at Manly!

There’s a Visitor information kiosk as well if you need a map of Manly. We already had breakfast, so when we arrived, we went straight to the Manly art gallery (free admission), where we saw incredible art by Australian artists. Upon exiting the port, turn left, and you will reach the gallery.

Some of our favorite art:

In memory of the torches I never witnessed by Hobie Porter, oil on polyester canvas, 145 x 320cm
Dreamcatcher II by Chris Langlois, oil on linen, 168 x 183cm
Dreamcatcher I by Chris Langlois, oil on linen, 168x183cm

After enjoying the art, we went to Manly Beach. I loved Manly so much. It reminded me of Baguio, because of the pine trees, but just with a beautiful beach. I actually wished we stayed overnight. If I ever go back to Sydney, I’m going to spend more time here!

We didn’t do much in Manly except to walk along the coast and watch the surfers. Next time, I’m going to swim!

Manly Beach gets filled up – plenty more people arrived just when we left around lunchtime!
One of my favorite photos from the trip

Couldn’t leave without trying Max Brenner!

After having fish & chips for lunch from Manly Ocean Foods, we went back to the pier to have chocolate from Max Brenner. There used to be a branch in Manila – which I never got to try – but they’ve since closed down. I had an ice cream milkshake, and it was so good! I loved it so much, I tried it again in the Max Brenner branch in Bondi Junction. However, the one from the Bondi station left me so disappointed. The difference was clearly noticeable and wasn’t the same quality and taste as the one from Manly.

By this time, the Manly wharf was getting super crowded. It’s a good thing ate Koku and I went early! It was time for us to leave and make our way to our next stop.

We walked from Circular Quay to the State Library of NSW because there were no buses or trains going that way. On the way there, we stopped at one of the closed-off areas along Young Street because it seemed like a nice place to rest. Benches lined the street and the tall buildings cast a shadow that served as a respite from the midday sun.

Sufficiently rested, we continued on until we got to the library. I was so excited, I actually contacted the library beforehand to confirm I, a tourist, can enter. They said I could, and I could use the free wifi and computers, but I cannot enter the special reading rooms or borrow a book. No matter; I just really wanted to enter a beautiful library.

State Library of New South Wales

State Library of New South Wales
State Library of New South Wales
Happy place 🙂

I took a few minutes to marvel at the sight. We spoke in hushed whispers because it was very quiet and everyone was studying. They had a some free exhibits, which we enjoyed reading and looking at.

There were also some amazing books on display such as the Lord’s Prayer, published in 1958, and only measures 6x6mm. It was the smallest book in the Library, and contains the prayer in seven languages: English, French, German, American English, Spanish, Dutch, and Swedish. It was astounding! It’s the smallest book I’ve ever seen.

There was also a miniature collection of nine of Shakespeare’s plays, published in 1825. According to the info displayed, mini books like these were popular in the 19th century.

What a sight!

One of the things I really looked forward to was the DX Vending Library where, for a minimum of 10 cents AUD, you can have a print out of one of their collections. You can read more about it here. Unfortunately, the machine seemed to be broken and they couldn’t fix it while I was there. It was supposed to be my memento for the library and where I will get pasalubong for my bookish friends, so I was quite disappointed. Good thing there were pretty bookmarks, so I got those for my friends instead.

After roaming around the library and slapping on more sunscreen, we went on our way to the Sydney Observatory. This was one of our not-so-well planned itineraries on my part, because coming from Circular Quay, it was a shorter walk toward Sydney Observatory. We were so exhausted when we got to the Observatory, and I was getting snippy. However, a restful break at the grounds of the Observatory and a delicious dinner at Ribs & Burgers restored me enough to better cheer at the end of the night.

Sydney Observatory

This, in turn, was ate Koku’s choice activity for the day (we both agreed on Manly, I wanted the library, and she wanted the observatory – so win-win for both of us). Despite her aching feet, she was full of energy walking up and down the Observatory and entered every room. Meanwhile, I trudged along in her wake, reminding myself that this was a trip I may not make again so I should push through my weariness. It wasn’t so hard; the Observatory was very interesting and full of several telescopes that were taller than me!

The Sydney Observatory

The Observatory is not in use now except as a museum. For a fee, you can take a guided day tour or a night tour where you can be guided into looking at the stars through one of their huge telescopes. I wanted to do the evening tour but it was pricey for me.

One of the biggest telescopes on display

There were only two other groups in the museum when we visited but there were plenty of people in the grounds. It’s one of the places with a vantage point of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and a pretty restful place. There was even a wedding about to start in the gazebo in the grounds!

We were supposed to wait for the sunset but it was 3 hours way. We didn’t know The Rocks was literally just down the road from the Observatory and we had planned to do it on a separate day. We were thinking of walking along The Rocks that night but we were too tired to do one more tour. However, when we did pass by the place, it looked very chic and buzzing and were filled with both locals and tourists alike.

Since restaurants closed early in Bondi Junction, we decided to have dinner at Ribs & Burgers (I loved their chicken wings. It seems like the most affordable place in the area.) before walking back to Circular Quay for the bus ride back to our house.

Honestly, I couldn’t imagine traveling with anyone else aside from ate Koku and not end up arguing after three days of being tired!

Day’s cost:
Lunch: $15
Max Brenner: $8.8
Dinner (food & cost shared between us): $11.6

Total: $35.40

Our transportation costs reached Opal’s daily capping of $15.40, and were covered by our Opal card. We didn’t pay any entrance fees.

Read the other posts in my Sydney series!

7 Replies to “Sydney day 3: Manly Beach, State Library of NSW & Sydney Observatory”

  1. “snippy” hahahahahaha

    1. Hahaha grabe yan. Was it not what you would call “snippy”? :))

  2. Hi Haeja

    Sorry the Vending Library was having a little holiday over the break. We were on leave but it is all up and running now with more content. Have you tried the Twitter bot to get your recommendation?

    If you let me know which one it recommends I can send it to you.

    Kind Regards
    DX Lab Leader

    1. Hi Paula! I haven’t tried on Twitter to get a recommendation. I would be happy to get anything at all. I’m into romance or anything, if that helps. 🙂 However, I live from the Philippines and shipping anything to me would be expensive, I think? 🙂

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