Fairlight, a suburb of northern Sydney,lies between Balgowlah and Manly on both sides of Sydney Road. The suburb reaches north past Balgowlah Road and the western boundary is Hill Street.
Fairlight is home to an annual Christmas Lights fundraising competition on Edwin Street.
Public transport: ferry to Manly. Walk west along West Esplanade, left into The Crescent and into Lauderdale Ave. or follow waterside path from Manly Cove.
A tiny beach with limited room for swimming but it is somewhat less crowed than nearby Manly Cove. Delwood Beach, midway between the two, has a longer beach than Fairlight and similar facilities.
Facilities: grassed areas, picnic facilities, toilets, shops and restaurants nearby, limited parking.
UBD Map 197 Ref P 11. Lauderdale Avenue, Fairlight.
Fairlight is named after Fairlight House, the home of the founding father of Manly, developer Henry Gilbert Smith, who first bought land at Manly for development purposes in 1853. He built his sandstone house in 1838 and named it Fairlight after an historic village near Hastings on the south coast of England. The property was partly subdivided for residential development in 1885 and 1902. Fairlight House survived until its demolition in 1939. Its front garden wall facing Fairlight Beach is the only part of the house to have survived.
The Port Jackson & Manly Steamship Company has a tradition of naming its ferries after the suburbs of the Northern Beaches; in 1966 if named a hydrofoil Fairlight, which in turn gave its name to the Fairlight CMI synthesizer.
Photo: Australian National Maritime Museum
The K-12, a 611-ton ex-submarine of the Royal Netherlands Navy (later the United States Navy), was bought by private buyers after World War II and leased to the Port Jackson & Manly Steamship Company, who set her up as a museum ship at a custom berth adjacent to Manly harbour pool. When storms struck in June 1949, an attempt was made by her owners to tow her to a safer berth in Neutral Bay, however the tow ropes broke, and the submarine grounded on rocks near Fairlight Beach. The hull was lightened by salvagers then re-floated on 7 January 1951, and towed up the Parramatta River to Ryde Road bridge; however here she sank again after her seacocks were vandalised. Some sources say that the engines and sections of the bow remain in Fairlight and are accessible by scuba divers.