Wynnum & Manly:
Things to do            

18 JANUARY 2023

Combine seafood, shopping and seaside activities and enjoy an idyllic visit to Brisbane’s southern bayside. With an always-growing list of activities and cafes to visit, we suggest you put aside a weekend to enjoy these coastal villages.  

01. Swim in Wynnum wading pool 

Let the kids splash and slide when the Wynnum wading pool fills with seawater at high tide. This is a summer playground dream with a slide in the middle of the pool and an adjoining playground. It’s easy for parents to keep a watchful eye on this walled pool area.

02. Book crawl in Wynnum

Discover your next favourite read at one of two independent bookshops. Mad Hatters at Manly has created an enchanting space for minds to escape to, while Wynnum’s Little Gnome stocks a wide range of Australian self-published authors and its cosy on-site cage serves Montville coffee.

03. Share the love in a tapas bar

Quality over quantity is evident at the bayside’s tapas bars. Enjoy wine, craft beer or cocktails with friends at Cedar + Pine as you pass around plates of tacos, baos, sliders and chicken wings. Wynnum wine bar Adelita offers a seasonal menu of shareable plates to sate any sized appetite. Venture down to the Esplanade at Manly to slurp freshly shucked oysters and feast on seafood share plates at neighbourhood oyster bar Shucks Bar.

04. Stroll between Wynnum and Manly 

Start at Waterloo Esplanade and stroll along the bay to Wynnum Manly Yacht Club Marina. A mixture of sea breezes, seaside views and fishing lines will accompany you along the waterfront. 

05. Eat your way through the Manly Farmers Markets

From farm fresh fruit to cakes or from seafood to coffee, the Jan Powers Manly Farmers Market has everything you need to stock your fridge for the week. They are held on the first and third Saturday of every month from 6am to midday along the Esplanade.

06. Treat your sweet tooth

Matilda the art of gelato serves authentic Italian gelato made with nothing but natural ingredients and real fruit. Keep your eyes peeled for new flavours and weekly specials such as Yoghurt and Nutella, Iced Vovo and Rockmelon.

07. Fire up your fine dining experience

Immerse yourself in multi-sensory dining at Manly restaurant, The Arsonist. There are no smoke and mirrors here, just a custom-made fire pit and flame grill and a completely open kitchen where you can watch chefs prepare your meals. All dishes are grilled, smoked and slow-cooked over fire and served share-style – just like a posh campfire! 

08. Spend your Wednesday afternoon sailing

Who wants to work on a Wednesday afternoon? Join the enthusiastic yachties who escape to the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron for a sail around Green Island instead. New sailors can join a crew for free at WAGS (Wednesday Afternoons Go Sailing).

09. Try not to get spooked on St Helena Island  

Historically known as a high-security colonial prison, you can now visit St Helena Island for a day or night tour to learn the history of the island from a team of tour guides and costumed performers. If you love a good ghost story, choose the night tour for a ghostly experience and prepare to hear the stories of prisoners who continue to haunt the island.

10. Indulge in local seafood 

You can’t take a trip to the seaside without indulging in fresh seafood. Enjoy quality fish and panoramic sea views at Manly Boathouse or head to one of the local fish and chip shops including Sea Vibes Kitchen & Bar, Finn's Fish House or Pelican's Nest Cafe. May we suggest a side of beer-battered chips? Naturally!

11. Catch fish on a charter tour 

Gather a group or make friends on board with deep-sea fishing charter tours heading out into the bay. Get involved with reef fishing or try your luck with heavier tackle – a 40kg marlin perhaps?

12. Shop the local goods 

Wander through the bayside’s range of boutique stores for unique fashion and homewares finds. Discover must-have pieces for you and your home at Cultivate Design Co and Ebb and Flow, or support Australian artisans and designers with purchases from The Collective. 

13. Learn to sail

Sailing lessons are available at the Manly Marina from Southern Cross Yachting, the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron Sailing Academy or South Passage – Adventure under Sail. You’ll be the captain of your own yacht in no time.

14. Hear the history of the Great War

Acting as Brisbane’s front line of defence from 1881-1930 in the Great War, Fort Lytton now hosts a night tour to hear the story of local lad and decorated war hero Lieutenant Stanley. Told by actors from a first-hand perspective, some of Stanley’s own photographs are used to bring his story to life as you walk through the historic fortifications.

15. Cosy inside a laneway

Trendy laneway dining is taking off in Manly with Cambridge Lane Espresso quickly becoming a local favourite. Picturesque food and quality coffee are always on offer in this little hideaway.

16. Linger long into the night

Looking for a late-night hot spot in the bayside area? Head into the sports bar of the Waterloo Bay Hotel for a counter meal and a few bevvies with mates. The Manly Deck is an option for a finer dining and drinking experience that continues till late, often with live music playing throughout the night. Wynnum’s Cedar & Pine is open Wednesday to Sunday from 4pm until late with a focus on craft beer, great food and live music.

17. Picnic by the sea

There’s no better way to watch the sun go down than with a picnic by the sea. Picnic and barbecue areas are abundant along the Wynnum Esplanade, perfect for cooking up your fishing catch.

18. Take a walk along Wynnum Mangrove Boardwalk

Wander through the mangrove forest and spot the local wildlife who call this place home. Display boards along the way will help identify the area’s natural highlights and explain the importance of mangroves to the Wynnum and Manly foreshore.

19. Taste the local roast

Dramanti coffee is served in cafés throughout Brisbane but we recommend trying it directly from the source at Dramanti Cafe Wynnum. You can even grab a bag or two of beans to take home with you.

20. Try your luck on a fishing pier

Apart from being a picturesque spot for sunrise, Wynnum Jetty is a popular spot for local fisherman to cast their line into the waters known to house bream and whiting. Looks like you’ll be having fish for dinner! 

21. Have a craic at Celtic Corner 

Celtic Corner brings a little touch of Ireland to the heart of Manly. Enjoy a braised beef and Guinness pie, creamy pints and live music – all the necessary components of a true Irish pub.

22. Drive your way through Southern Moreton Bay

Starting in Loganholme, the Southern Moreton Bay tourist drive takes you through scenic Mt Cotton, Victoria Point, Cleveland, Wellington Point and Manly before finishing in Wynnum. Perfect for anyone wanting to cover the coastal villages of Southern Moreton Bay.

23. The pooch is always welcome

With plenty of dog-friendly activities available, there is no reason not to bring your pup along for the trip. Walk along the bayside and let them play in Elanora Dog Park before heading to the dog-friendly markets. Finish the journey off with a coffee at Frenchies Café, where all coffee and animal lovers are welcome.

24. Brunch like a local

Start the day right with a delicious breakfast using fresh, local and seasonal ingredients. Try Rabbit Hole Café at Wynnum for its delectable all-day menu or Frankie’s Coffee Bar for fresh-baked muffins and 5am starts. Venture to Manly and check out Coopers Specialty Coffee for lattes and sunrise views and Groundhog Social for breakfast dishes that look almost too pretty to eat. 

25. Experience the ultimate in waterfront dining 

Located within the Manly Harbour Village precinct, Tide Wine Bar is perched completely over the water, with one of the bayside's most remarkable views. Meals are served from breakfast through to dinner or you can enjoy a drink and tapas at Happy Hour in Tide’s relaxed, modern setting. Manly Boathouse is located on the eastern-most tip of Manly with uninterrupted views across the bay. It offers several dining experiences from fine dining in The Restaurant to drinks and snacks at The Bar to coffee and pastries or fish and chips at The Patio.

26. Kayak at Manly Harbour

Paddle around Manly Harbour or venture into the Moreton Bay Marine Park to explore the many islands of the bay. Keep your eyes peeled for the occasional dolphin or dugong that may cross your path. Download the Marine Park User Guide before you go for a safe and hassle-free day on the water. 

A distant shot of a couple sitting on a tree trunk on a beach