Battle of the Baysides: Manly vs Redcliffe

If you’ve dreamed of living by the ocean, you certainly wouldn’t be the only one. With the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast both only an hour away from Brisbane, South East Queenslanders really are spoilt for choice when it comes to beachfront living. But what about bayside living? What about living a little closer to Brisbane? Within 40-minutes drive of the CBD are two beautiful bayside suburbs: Redcliffe and Manly. Each with their own unique charms and characteristics — deciding where to live can be difficult. Whether you’re considering the move east towards Manly or north towards Redcliffe, life by the bay is different to anywhere else in Brisbane. A paradise for boaties and those who love nothing more than feasting on fish and chips by the water, these suburbs have so much to offer.

While Manly provides easy access to North Stradbroke Island, Redcliffe sits right across the bay from Moreton Island. Both suburbs sit approximately 40 minutes from the city and around 25 minutes from Brisbane Airport. Parks and waterfront walking paths are peppered through both areas, too. Despite all these similarities, Redcliffe and Manly are distinctly different. Manly has a high population of working families and high-income professionals and the more relaxed Redcliffe is home to a much larger proportion of downsizers and retirees. While just under 90 percent of dwellings in Manly are freehold homes, in Redcliffe nearly 30 percent of properties are units or townhomes. Both suburbs are very tightly held — new developments don’t come along often and are snapped up fast when they do.

Manly is home to some of the most impressive waterfront properties in Queensland. With a median house price of $778,000, the majority of the properties are fully owned, with less than 25 percent of homes rented. With an overall younger demographic than Redcliffe, a higher percentage of the population are commuting to the city, meaning traffic through the area during peak hour can get hairy. Both suburbs offer calm water that is perfect for paddleboarding or swimming with the little ones, and of course, provides ideal conditions for boating.

Many boat harbour
Many boat harbour

Kilometre-wise, Redcliffe is almost twice as far from the city as Manly, but proximity to highways means the journey time is about the same. The property market in Redcliffe has been heating up over the last few years and that’s expected to continue thanks to a number of luxury apartment developments proposed for the waterfront. Buyers snapping up this new, downsizer-targetted product are generally locals of the area. Many interstate migrants to Brisbane have not yet discovered Manly or Redcliffe, but it is only a matter of time given the charms each suburb has to offer.

Both Manly and Redcliffe are a paradise for boaties with large marinas in both suburbs. From watching sunsets by the water to picnics in the park, life in these bayside suburbs runs at its own pace.


13.4 kilometres east
20 – 39 (27%) and 40 – 59 (28%)
$1,465 per week


27.7 kilometres north
40 – 59 (28%) and 60+ (27%)
$982 per week

Written: 17 April 2019, Updated: 6 April 2020

We would love to hear your thoughts on this project.

Have you visited this project recently, or perhaps you live nearby or bought in a neighbouring building? Tell us what you love about this project, or perhaps what you don't.

1 Comment
newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Nadia Williamson
Nadia Williamson
1 year ago

Thanks heaps
deciding between these 2 suburbs and it popped up in google !!