With the 2018 Vissla Sydney Surf Pro World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series (QS) 6,000 event kicking off at Manly Beach this week, we have a chat to Joel Parkinson about his home away from home, and why Manly is the place to be this summer.
Q: What do you most love about coming to Sydney, and Manly?
A: Manly is our favourite spot to stay when we come to Sydney, we love it. The kids love how close everything is here, the beaches, to everything in and around The Corso. They can grab an ice-cream or frozen yoghurt after a swim, and cruise around Manly checking everything out very easily.
My wife, Monica loves the coastal vibe and generally hits the clothing stores during her stay. God help my Credit Card.
Q: There are lots of fun outdoor activities to do here in Manly, are there any particular favourites for you and the family?
A:, The kids love to go for a bike ride, which is something we generally do as a family. We often hire bikes and cruise along the beach front down to Shelly Beach and stop in at The Boathouse at Shelly Beach for a feed and a coffee.
Q: What do the kids love doing most whilst they are on holidays?
Our kids just general love being outdoors – kayaking, SUPing, snorkelling, skateboarding – and Manly is perfect to do it all.
Q: Where is your favourite spot to have a beer during your time in Manly?
A: Manly Wharf is a top spot as there is Wharf Bar, Hugo’s, and Manly Bavarian – always a great spot for a sundowner. Manly sunsets are pretty cool over the harbour side, and the kids can run around on the beach, and watch the penguins come in at night.
Q: Manly has an amazing range of cafes and restaurant. What’s on the top of your HIT LIST during your stay?
A: Breakfast is always by the beach, as a surf check is high on my agenda in the morning. For lunch we generally opt for a healthier option so head to locations like Bare Naked Bowls or Dolce Terra. Then in the afternoon, it’s usually a beer and dinner at Manly Wharf – Hugo’s is the place to catch the sunset.
Q: Where is your favourite spot to surf when in town?
A: I’m obviously always keen for a surf. The northern end of Queenscliff beach is a favourite, or if the swell is pumping – Deadmans near Fairy Bower in Manly.
Q: Why do you think Manly’s surf village vibe is so strong?
A: There are many coastal towns and surfing spots that just don’t have what Manly has to offer. In Manly there is a great range restaurants and cafes, for families, singles, couples – everyone. There is also plenty of things to do without losing the relaxed coastal vibe. Some places we go to just don’t have the same “cool” feeling and Manly is so lucky to have both an incredible surf beach and a harbour beach – so there is something for everyone.
Q: You seem to be a real family man these days. Once a “blokey bloke” to now having two daughters – has being a father to girls changed you?
A: Girls are so much more caring and in touch with who they are, and they bring out a softer side in you. Regardless of boys or girls, I had kids when I was young and having kids and being on tour when so young… it definitely calmed me down a bit. It provided a clear purpose in my life.
Q: Your son Mahli is now surfing too, you must love that he has a passion for the ocean too?
A: Yes, Mahli has just started surfing and he’s all over it, waking me up every morning to go and surf. We love catching waves together while in Manly.
Q: What’s your top 5 favourite things to do in Manly?
- The kids love the Manly ferry, as it’s such an iconic ride into the city.
- Stretching out after a surf at Power Living yoga
- Popping into Billabong to say hi to all my support crew
- Exploring the streets and laneways, there’s always something new to discover
- Smashing down a cheese plate from Artisan Cheese Room with my missus.
For more on Manly Beach, see www.hellomanly.com.au
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