Just a few kilometres south of the mouth of the Brisbane River, seaside Manly has a busy marina that makes a good base for trips out onto Moreton Bay. Bunched-up at the base of a hillside, the suburb itself is an affluent, self-contained delight, with sunny seaside lawns, a Saturday farmers market and the opportunity to stroll, jog or simply sit back and gaze out at the mangrove-fringed bay.
Manly is also the gateway to little St Helena Island, about 6km from the Brisbane River mouth. A grim high-security prison from 1867 till 1932, St Helena still has the remains of several prison buildings, plus parts of Queensland’s first tramway, built in 1884. The old trams were pulled by horses, but these days a tractor drags the coaches along as part of the island tour.