January 22 - 28, 2012: Issue 42
Christmas Holiday Trip (1893).
The beautiful pictures accompanying this Article will give the general public some idea of the beauties of the district around the favorite and well-known holiday resort of Manly. It is my intention to give, in as short and interesting a manner as*possible, the best way of spending one, two, or more days in doing this delightful trip. If any of my readers will take this excursion I am sure they will spend an enjoyable holiday at a very small cost, and in a region equally as charming as the more remote Mountains, where half the day is spent in the train amidst dust, heat, squalling children, fruit, sandwiches, and general uncomfortableness.
Starting from Circular Quay at 9 a.m., one arrives at Manly at about 10. Passing down the Harbor on a summer's morning, with a fresh breeze blowing the dust from your eyes and hair, you reach Manly feeling refreshed and enlivened. After collecting all your bags, baskets, children, wives, sisters, or other fellows' sisters, you land at the pretty pier of the loveliest watering place in New South Wales.
Before proceeding up into the town one should pay a visit to the Manly Municipal Baths, built in 1892, at a cost of £1300, under the direction of Mr. W. Drake, the architect. They are 100ft wide and 200ft in length, varying in depth from 2ft to 10ft in the deepest part, with a splendid sandy bottom. Mr. Ralph Stennet, the well-known swimmer, is manager, and under him the baths are gaining a well-earned reputation amongst the clubs of the district. They are fitted up with the latest improved arrangements for freshwater showers. There is good accommodation for ladies and children, special hours being set aside for them. Terms, either weekly, monthly, quarterly, or yearly, are exceedingly reasonable.
The Esplanade at Manly is a charming spot, with its avenue of trees, reaching, round from the pier to the baths, where you find numbers of comfortable seats at intervals, and the cool green grass is very inviting. After resting a short time admiring, the pretty view of the bay, and watching the fishing boats as they dance up and down on the sparkling blue water, you feel uncommonly like a stroll and a slight refresher. Along the street called The Corso, the principal part of the town, you will find that the shops contain everything conducive to comfort and elegance. Take, for instance, the handsome and commodious establishment of Messrs. Butler Bros., who are without doubt the leading tradesmen of the town, their places of business extending a great distance up the street. They make a business of catering in the very best way for the comfort and convenience of the public,-their stock consisting of everything, from a tin of sardines to a 'possum rug. Should you feel faint, you will find the pharmacy of C. H. Braddock close at hand, and he will be able to fix you up .in a brace of shakes. He is a chemist of long study- and experience, and makes a speciality of certain preparations as panaceas for the ills that flesh is heir to. On the other side will be found the business place of Mr. Robert Royan, estate agent and auctioneer, who has lately opened up large premises, and does, business for his clients in a way that will suit the pockets of everyone. On application, either by post or personally, a circular can be obtained which will give one all particulars as to his new innovation as regards the sale of properties and furniture. He is also agent for the Australian Mutual Provident Society, and will be very pleased to give any intending insurer all requisite information.
As you stroll along you will be attracted to the establishment of Mr. Smart, the curio shop of Manly, a visit to which will amply repay the curious visitor. There you will rind a most wonderful collection of curiosities, from a little shell np to the jaws of that terrible monster of the deep, the shark. Mr. Smart has a wonderful collection of seaweeds, eggs, butterflies, Sandwich Island curios, photographs, shells, &c. Almost next door will be found the confectionery shop of J. G. Purves, who supplies the majority of the visitors and residents with bread, cakes, &c.
Prowse's tea-rooms are exceedingly comfortable. Mr. Prowse has been established here for many years, and thoroughly understands the art of catering to the public taste in the way of confectionery and tea making. Mr. Kebblewhite's chemist shop is almost next door, and should you desire to purchase anything in the way of scents or. soaps, or to replenish your smelling salts -or maybe you will have a prescription requiring special attention-you will find that it can be done here as well as at the leading shops in Sydney.
There are several hotels in Manly, but the accompanying photograph of the dining room at the most celebrated, and one of the oldest established hotels in Manly-the Clarendon, kept by Mrs. Kilminster-will give you a first-class idea of the style in which this hostelry is served. You can get the best of liquors, cigars, &c, and the best lunch or dinner to be obtained in the town at the Clarendon. It is a favorite resort for parties from Sydney on moonlight evenings. A spacious room for dancing and concerts will be found there, and it is certainly the most home-like and comfortable place for anyone desiring a charming residence and sea air. The view from the front is unsurpassed.
Having thoroughly explored the town, we will embark on one of Mr. Leon Houreux's magnificent coaches, which can be engaged for parties desiring a lovely drive by writing to the proprietor. His coaches are the best in New South Wales, and add to the enjoyment of the drive. As we bowl along the pretty country roads, we pass numerous charming residences, and also a haunted house. The Salvation Army have a resting house for their hard-worked officers, which is beautifully situated on the side of a hill overlooking the sea.
There is a stopping place at the Narrabeen Hotel, kept by Mr. Norris-a most charmingly situated hotel facing the road, the picture of which will give you a good idea of the number of travellers who frequent this place. Close to the hotel are the celebrated Narrabeen Lakes, where there is splendid fishing, shooting, and boating, to be had within a half-a-mile of the hotel. Mr. Norris makes a specialty of providing boats, camping outfits, lunches, etc., for parties coming from town to spend a day or two in this lovely district.
After having partaken of light refreshments, a good assortment of which will be found here, we once more resume our journey, and after about three quarters of an hour's lovely drive through some of the prettiest scenery in the country, we pull up in front of a most comfortable and picturesque hotel at Rock Lily, owned by Mr. Leon Houreux.
Madame Houreux is a most hospitable proprietress, and the rooms are most tastefully decorated in oil colors by Mr. Leon Houreux-stirring scenes on sea and land-the pictures well worth gazing at, not only from an artistic point of view, but as curiosities in such a pretty wayside inn. The gardens are laid out in good style. The tame and harmless native bear, the noisy laughing jackass, and the prying magpie are to be found here, making up a tiny and interesting menagerie. Mr Leon Houreux evidently understands the way of catering for the public, as you can obtain the most récherché Parisian dinner here at a reasonable figure.
After having partaken of a choice lunch, with a bottle of real French claret, of which he is an undoubted judge, you once more resume your seat on t he coach, and proceed to Newport, to arrive there in time for tea, which has been already ordered at them pretty hotel kept by Mr. Thomas H Hodges. This hotel is beautifully situated, and the view is well worth taking the journey alone to see.
Opposite the hotel is Lord Loftus Point, which in the olden days was evidently a favorite spot for aboriginal encampments. From here you have a splendid view of Pittwater, which is the widest arm of the Hawkesbury, being over a mile wide. There is also Scotland Island, which is celebrated for its fine fish. The Hawkesbury River has been well called the Australian Rhine, and deserves the name, for grander and more picturesque scenery cannot be found in the colony. Starting back about half-past 5 in the evening we arrive back in Manly about 7 and catch the steamer, which lands you back in Sydney in good time, after having spent one of the most enjoyable one-day trips in the whole world.
A Christmas Holiday Trip. (1893, November 25). Illustrated Sydney News (NSW : 1853 - 1872), p. 14. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article63672418
Above: Narrabeen Hotel Picture: [No heading]. (1893, November 25). Illustrated Sydney News (NSW : 1853 - 1872), p. 15. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page4846491
Below: Mrs. Norris [Morris ?] and family group outside Narrabeen Hotel Circa 1890, by Perier, A. J. (Albert James), 1870-1964, Image No: Home and Away – 34425, Courtesy State Library of NSW
Title Falls - Narrabeen Lakes, Date of Work ca. 1900-1910, Digital order no. a116484, Courtesy State Library of NSW