Manilla lies in picturesque country on the north-west slopes of the Great Dividing Range. The commercial centre for a district engaged in wheat growing, mixed farming, wool and cattle, the town is enhanced by a number of attractive parks and is almost encircled by the Namoi River. Fishing is a major pastime in the district and Manilla's two rivers have some idyllic locations where giant cod can still be caught. Chaffey Park beside the river is a very pleasant recreation area with barbecue and picnic facilities.
A centre for many outdoor activities, Manilla is also well known among gliding, paragliding and hang-gliding enthusiasts. For those who prefer indoor pursuits, the Manilla Heritage Museum (incorporating the Royce Cottage) is well worth a visit.