The new Manly- Freshwater National Surfing Reserve stretches over four kilometres from Harbord Point to Fairy Bower and includes Freshwater Beach; Queenscliff, North Steyne and Manly Beaches and Shelly Beach to Fairy Bower Point.
As a National Surfing Reserve, Manly-Freshwater joins an elite group of iconic surfing beaches of intrinsic environmental, heritage, sporting and cultural value to the nation.
The only other National Surfing Reserves in Australia are Maroubra (2006), Angourie (2007), Lennox (2008), Crescent Head (2008), Cronulla (2008), Merewether (2009), Killalea (2009), North Narrabeen (2009), Margaret River (2010) and Kalbarri (2010).
Manly hosted the first World Surfboard-riding Championship in 1964, the event being won by ‘Midget’ Farrelly and Phyllis O’Donnell who will unveil two special plaques commemorating the dedication of the Manly- Freshwater National Surfing Reserve.
With its century-long surfing heritage, Manly is widely regarded as the birthplace of surfing in Australia.
Manly was also the site of Australia’s first legal daylight bathing (1902), hosted the first known body surfing contest in 1908, and was the launch site of Australia’s first official surf patrol boat (1907).
Freshwater Beach famously played host to Duke Kahanamoku’s board surfing demonstration in the Summer of 1914 – 1915, and is currently home to two world surfing champions, Barton Lynch and Layne Beachley.