26 things to do in Wynnum and Manly

Combine seafood, shopping and seaside activities and you have yourself a very busy trip to Brisbane’s southern bayside. With the ever-growing list of activities and cafes to visit, we suggest you put aside a weekend to enjoy these coastal villages.

1. Book crawl in Wynnum

The Mad Hatters Bookshop

Read your way through two independent bookshops. Mad Hatters has created an enchanting space for minds to escape to, while Little Gnome boasts a wide range of Australian self-published authors and Montville coffee. 

2. Op shop along Wynnum 

With almost too many to choose from, you’ll struggle spending less than a day roaming through the op shops of Wynnum. Support the charitable stores including Salvos, Vinnies, Red Cross, Aid for the blind, Lifeline and Endeavour foundation or the church-run Pandora’s Thrift-Op shop. There’s sure to be a diamond of a find in there just for you.  

3. Share it around in a tapas bar

Cedar & Pine wine bar

Quality over quantity is evident with only a few tapas bars on offer in the area. Enjoy a wine, craft beer or cocktail at Cedar + Pine with the added bonus of cheeseburger sliders and crispy duck baos, or soak up live music from neighbourhood bar Sailor & Walrus

4. Swim in Wynnum wading pool

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

5. Stroll between Wynnum and Manly 

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

6. Eat your way through the Manly Farmers Markets

From farm fresh fruit to cakes or from seafood to coffee, the Jan Powers Farmers’ Market has everything you need to stock your fridge for the week. Just try not to eat it all before you get home. 

7. Treat your sweet tooth

With the ice-cream flavours changing weekly, you won’t know what to expect from Ycel Ice Cream Galore. Travel back in time and enjoy these flavours in an old-fashioned spider - soft drink over ice-cream.

8. Spend your Wednesday afternoon sailing

Wednesday Afternoon Go Sailing - Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron

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

9. Don’t get too spooked on a St Helena tour

Historically known as a high-security colonial prison, you can now visit St Helena for a day or night tour to learn the history of the island from the multi-skilled band of drama performers. If you love a good ghost story, choose the night tour for a ghostly experience and prepare to hear the stories of the 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 Wilson’s Boathouse or head to one of the local fish and chip shops including Barramundi Boys, Cooper’s fish and chips or the Fish Café in Manly. May we suggest a side of beer-battered chips? Naturally.

11. Catch a 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 opt to try your luck with a heavier tackle - a 40kg marlin perhaps?

12. Shop the local goods 

Cultivate Design Co

Wander through the bayside’s range of boutique stores. Unique pieces for you and your home can be found from 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 by 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

Fort Lytton at Night

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 available in Manly with Cambridge Lane Espresso quickly becoming a local favourite. Picturesque food and quality coffee is always on offer in this little hideaway. 

16. Continue into the night

Wondering about the nightlife of this bayside area? Head into the sports bar of the Waterloo Bay Hotel to find betting facilities and counter meals to accompany 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. 

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

Wind yourself through the mangrove forest and spot the local wildlife who call this place home. Along the way, display boards will help to describe the nature of the area and the importance of mangroves to the Wynnum and Manly foreshore. 

19. Taste the local roast

Dramanti coffee can be found throughout Brisbane, but we suggest trying it direct from the source at Dramanti Artisan Roaster. This place is the reason people don’t miss their morning coffee. 

20. The pooch is always welcome

Patch the dog at Nudgee

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.

21. Try your luck on a fishing pier

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

22. 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. 

23. Drive your way through Southern Moreton Bay 

Starting in Loganholme, this 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. 

24. Bounce around in Tingalpa

BOUNCEinc

Head inland to find this indoor trampoline centre with more than 50 interconnected trampolines designed to give an adrenaline rush to people of all ages. You can slam-dunk, wall run and dodge balls in this hour-long extreme sport workout. 

25. Eat away the day by the bay 

Located within the Manly Harbour Village precinct, Tide wine bar offers views of the water in a relaxed, modern setting. Amazing meals are on offer from breakfast to dinner, or simply enjoy a drink and tapas chosen from the extensive wine list.  

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.

Explore Brisbane's Bayside