Manly by tram

Published:
01/04/2022

 

Although travel to Manly is indelibly associated with the ferry, in the period from 1911 to 1939 you could also arrive by tram.   If coming from the city, you caught a tram to The Spit, walked across a covered pedestrian bridge, and climbed onto a tram to Manly.

You would have then enjoyed quite a memorable ride.   First you headed east around the foreshore into Fisher Bay.   The track then ascended to Clontarf, climbing a ledge that had been cut into the cliff face behind the bay.   On approaching the top you took a loop through the residential area and then it was north to reach today’s Sydney Road.

Next along Sydney Road, through the Balgowlah Shopping Centre and on to the Fairlight shops.   On passing these a new adventure awaited.   At the top of the drop down to Manly, the line turned hard right and traversed a loop through the residential area.   It re-emerged onto Sydney Road about 120 metres down the hill.   It then followed the road for a similar distance before turning left to run north across the top of Ivanhoe Park (in what today is Park Avenue).   At the northern boundary of the park, it then turned right to descend to Manly in its own right of way, within the park and parallel to Raglan Street.

On reaching the bottom of the descent the line detoured slightly to emerge onto Raglan Street, and then joined the main Manly tram network at the intersection with Belgrave Street.

With the beautiful views over Middle Harbour as you left The Spit, the exciting climbs and descents, and the panorama of Manly and the Pacific Ocean from the hill as you approached your destination, the tram ride was perhaps as memorable as the ferry.

Author:
Richard Michell, Contributor, Peninsula Living Magazine

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