Sydney is a great city: it has everything from fruit markets to salsa clubs. And the best thing is that beaches and national parks are never too far away.
Bondi Beach is probably the most famous beach in Sydney, and the Bondi to Bronte Coastal Walk is a popular trail. However, I much prefer another city seaside walk: Manly to Spit Bridge Coastal Walk.
Start from Manly Wharf
The easiest way to get to the starting point of the walk is to take a ferry from Sydney Harbour to Manly Wharf. This is a really nice thing to do on a sunny day even if you are not keen to go for a walk.
The ten-kilometre walk starts from the far-left end of the Manly Cove beach. From there on the paths simply follows the coast visiting little secluded beaches. Sun is strong and the sweet fragrance from the pink and yellow flowers hovers over the walkway. An army of small boats floats lazily on the water between Manly Boatshed and Davis Marina.
Dobroyd Head, NP
Now the path dives into the bushy Dobroyd Head which is part of Sydney Harbour National Park. This national park actually spreads over several islands and shores around the Sydney Harbour. I’d like to point out that drones are prohibited within the national park. But, unfortunately, also dogs are banned from the area, so you’ll have to walk around Dobroyd Head if you want to take your furry mate along to Manly to Spit walk.
The narrow but well-maintained path snakes through the vegetation occasionally rising high on the clifftops. The views are enjoyable, to say the least, and the shade offered by the dangly bushes and trees lower down is lovely. You might want to pause every now and then to admire and examine interesting fauna and flora. At Grotto Point, you can also check out some aboriginal rock carvings. These shapes in the sandstone are among the few surviving examples of the indigenous culture in Sydney before the European settlers arrived.
Castle Rock Beach
When you get to the end of the National Park the path gives you two options: up or down. The actual path goes up but I recommend going down to Castle Rock Beach. If you haven’t taken a break yet, this is a great place for it. You can hop from rock to rock along the beach to find the perfect spot.
Cave shelter to Spit Bridge
When you continue walking, follow the Clontarf track to Clontarf Beach/reserve and continue around the coast on Fisher Bay Walk until you reach Spit Bridge. Along the way, you will walk right past an indigenous cave shelter. The mushroom-like rock is big enough to shelter a small group of people but it offers no cave exploration experiences. This end of the walk is rather boring compared to the rest, but if you want to catch a bus to the city centre, you better walk all the way to the bridge.
- What: Manly to Spit Coastal Walk
- Where: North-Sydney, Australia
- How to: Ferry to Manly Wharf or bus to Spit Bridge
- How long: 10 km one way, 3-4 hours
- Why: A scenic path that is not just a concrete sidewalk, beaches, flora and fauna, and indigenous culture
- Note: No dogs to National Park area