The Spit to Manly – possibly one of Sydney’s prettiest coastal walks
Sydney isn’t referred to as the Harbour City and regarded as one of the world’s most stunning cities for nothing. Few other cities offer city beaches, deep harbour pockets filled with colourful fish, ferry rides where dolphins and whales can be spotted and naturally – several stunning coastal walks.
So you are visiting Sydney for a few days? Already soaked up the sun in Bondi, shopped up a storm in Paddington and checked out the CBD? By now you might be itching for a dose of pristine nature, stunning views and fresh air?
If you’re travelling solo, as a family, a couple or in a group of friends, lace up your trekking boots and head out to Sydney’s Northern Beaches to discover this 12km (7.5 miles) beautiful coastal walk.
Not only is this popular coastal bush walk well sign-posted it offers breathtaking scenic lookout points, pristine inlets and hidden beaches making it the perfect outdoor activity for anyone wanting to spend 3-4 hours exploring Sydney’s beautiful nature.
How to get there?
Catch the bus to Spit Bridge departing regularly from Wynyard Station at Carrington Street (Stand A) in Sydney’s CBD or simply jump in a cab.
Start the walk by crossing the Clontarf reserve, continue towards the Castle Rock Beach steps and walk towards the Crater Cove Lookout. Once you arrive in Many, enjoy the world-famous ferry ride back to Circular Quay (whilst sipping on a cheeky vino or beer) – now that’s a Grand Finale!
It’s also possible to start the walk from Manly. Catch the ferry by conveniently using your Opal card or take the Sydney Fast Ferry (requires a separate ticket) which only takes 20 minutes from the CBD.
For fit travellers yearning to give their leg muscles a serious workout, walking both ways is a very viable option.
What to wear?
First things first. Make sure you wear comfortable walking shoes.Trainers will do, but trekking boots are even better! With a mix of paved walkway and bush track, the surface can be slippery and uneven so flip-flops are to be avoided at any cost.
As for any outdoor activity in Australia make sure you are well protected from the sun. Cover up shoulders, chest and arms and don’t forget to wear sunglasses, hat/cap and use a generous amount of sunscreen (in Australia this is known as ‘Slip – Slop -Slap’). Then you’re ready to roll.
What to pack?
It can get really hot in Sydney even on a spring or autumn day so make sure to pack a bottle of water.
Don’t forget to bring a camera to capture the stunning views and packing your swimmers is always a good idea for a refreshing dip at any of the hidden beaches.
Sticking plasters might come in handy in case of painful blisters on your feet.
Apart from natural beauty, one of the highlights of the famous coastal walk are the migrating whales which can be spotted making their way along the New South Wales coast between May to November. The Crater Cove Lookout point is a great spot to get a glimpse of the magnificent creatures and it’s not too uncommon to also catch dolphins.
If you are interested in immersing yourself in Sydney’s Aboriginal heritage you might want to stop at Grotto Point where several indigenous engravings of kangaroos, fish and boomerangs can be found.
For a pre-walk lunch (or post-walk) Clonny’s at Clontarf Beach serves up tasty fish burgers, yummy salads and amazing flat whites. For trekkers finishing their walk in Manly, there’s a bunch of awesome bars and restaurants just waiting for you to kick back, relax and enjoy a well deserved ice-cold beverage!
Julia Gralberg is a freelance travel writer, editor of Hotel & Resort Guide, Lux Nomade and founder of Boutique Communications Consultancy, Lux Collective. When she isn’t busy jumping in hotel beds and eating her way through breakfast buffets you’ll find her on her yoga mat.