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Guest northshorepom

Spit to Manly Walk

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Guest northshorepom

My brother was over/down from Brissy last week so I skived off work and we did this walk (it's about 10km, so a bit far for my son's little legs just yet)It's fantastic. You really wouldn't believe you were near the centre of a huge city. The path wends through thick rainforest like bush around Sandy Bay before reaching the open space and lovely family friendly beach at Clontarf. Then you climb up towards Castle Rock, the path is through bush hugging the edge of low cliffs above a series of tiny beaches, then climbs up to viewpoints across Grotto Point and Dobroyds Head. From there it drops down to a couple more beautiful beaches at Reef Beach and Forty Baskets Beach before rounding the reserve at the end of north harbour and joins the Manly scenic walkway that takes you in to town through the reserve between the sea and the houses, through the penguin sanctuary.Takes about 2.5 hours if you're fit/quick, 3 if you want to savour the views, 3.5 if you want to stroll. It's a bit up and down from Clontarf to Grotto Point but not exactly strenuous. I think it's best done the way we did rather than from Manly, as there's not a lot at the Spit....catch a bus to the Spit (there are dozens), then walk to Manly and enjoy a well-earned drink at that town before catching the ferry back to the city.We timed it so we caught the ferry just as the sun was setting, which was great. And then had the Vivid festival to go to in the city with a few beers :)Apologies for poor quality of pictures, took them on a really old phone


Above Grotto Point, looking back over Balmoral Beach (in mid ground) and Mosman to the city


From Castle Cove lookout to Manly and North Head


From Castle Cove lookout to South Head and Watson's Bay/Vaucluse


From Dobroyd's Head to Manly


From Forty Baskets Beach


And again!


Sunset over Seaforth


Rounding Bradley's Head, Mosman on the ferry back to town


Approaching Circular Quay


Projections on the Customs House











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Guest Metoo

Oh wow, that sounds fantastic.


Thank you for that and also the photos. You sound like you really know your way round Sydney.

We will definitely do that walk when we get over there. (If the house ever sells lol)


If you know any more nice walks, or interesting places please share.


Thanks Metoo

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Guest northshorepom

It forms part of the "Coastal Walk" and also the "Harbour to Hawkesbury" long walk.......see schematic route map here:



One of my minor irritations is that the brochures/maps of these waymarked walks are quite hard to find online - and yet the paper brochures are given away free at tourist and NP offices, which seems a bit odd. Would surely make sense to put them on the web and print a few less.


In the meantime there is a series of excellent walking guide books available here:



The "Best Harbour & Coastal Walks" and "Best Bush, Park & City Walks" particularly useful - they range from easy 3km strolls to proper 20-30km hikes


I would like to to the "Great North Walk" if I ever get the chance (212km from Sydney to Newcastle) but as the father of young kids there are other calls on my limited time off work......

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Guest Metoo

Thanks Northshorepom, that's really helpful, have saved the links to my 'things to do list'.


Metoo x

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Guest Mary Rose

I've not done that complete Spit to Manly for a long, long time, though I did, earlier this year, park above The Spit, far enough to be free, on the road that winds up to Balgowlah, and walk to Clontarf for my first ever swim there, then stumbled back to The Spit in the dark, which was stupid of me.


I'm sure I saw a sign at the start of the walk which mentioned carrying on from Manly up the Northern Beaches and to St Ives. I'm not sure how much of that would be actual 'bush'.

A couple of weeks ago, I walked part of the 'Two Valley Trail' from Bardwell Park to Tempe. I got the train from Central to Bardwell Park, not realizing you can walk from Bexley, which I would have preferred to the pavement walk to Sydenam.


The complete walk is from 'Campsie to Bexley North via the valleys of the Cooks River and Wolli Creek.' (I'm quoting from the brochure.) I think the bit along the Cooks River is suitable for cycling, or pushing a pram, but the bit along Wolli Creek is part 'proper' bush walk, although never far from 'civilisation.'


You could probably do a good walk from Rose Bay to South Head, to Bondi Beach (and carry on the coast path to Coogee.) It's not a bush walk as such, but parts are on the sand - at Rose Bay, and parts are 'bush' heading on to Neilsen Park, and around South Head, and parts are on grass/paths on the cliffs between Watsons Bay and Bondi.


I think Neilsen Park has the largest remnant of actual bush left on the south side of the harbour. I've just had thought I probably left it too late again to apply for a ticket to watch fireworks on NYE from Neilsen Park.


The last place I would recommend is around Balls Head, near Wollestonecraft or Waverton. I had a walk around there this year.

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