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Best Coastal Walks in Sydney

Best Coastal Walks in Sydney

Of all the wonderful features and attractions that Sydney has to offer its beautiful and breathtaking coastline often tops the list. Coupled with its world-renowned good weather, this city offers plenty of opportunities to enjoy the sun, stretch your legs and immerse yourself in nature’s trail.

So grab your runners, slap on some sunscreen and pick from this list of the best coastal walks in Sydney.

Bondi to Coogee Walk

Arguably the best coastal walk in Sydney and the city’s most iconic trail, the Bondi to Coogee walk will give you a glimpse of the magnificent coastal beauty of Sydney. Beginning at Bondi’s Icebergs Swimming Club, this trail winds past Mark’s Park, passing through Tamarama Beach, Bronte Beach, Clovelly Beach and Gordon’s Bay, before ending up at Coogee. As a bonus, every October part of the trail turns into the Sculpture by the Sea art gallery. There are plenty of beautiful spots along the way to rest, soak in the scenery and snap a memory. Surrounded by beautiful views whichever way you look, there is simply no better place to enjoy a day out in the sun.

Distance: 6 km one way
Duration: 2 – 3 hours
Difficulty: Easy – Moderate. Some steep gradients and staircases.

For more details, see our Spotlight on the Coastal Walk.

Woolloomooloo to Barangaroo Walk (via Circular Quay)

Beginning at the Woolloomooloo wharf, this walk brings you through many of Sydney’s top highlights in just one walk making it one of the best coastal walks in Sydney. Just follow the water, through the iconic Sydney Harbour and around some of the most iconic viewpoints in the city; including the Royal Botanic Gardens, Opera House, Harbour Bridge, Circular Quay, Mrs Macquarie Chair, Dawes Point and Barangaroo Reserve. Located right in the heart of Sydney, this is a leisurely walk. You can easily get it done with a coffee in one hand, a camera in the other and great company by your side.

Distance: 5.5km
Duration: 1.5 hours
Difficulty: Easy

For more details and stops along the way, see our feature on Woolloomooloo and on What to see and do in Barangaroo 

Bondi to Manly Walk

Follow the coastal harbourside walking tracks between two of Australia’s most famous beaches. It takes you all along the east coast and harbour shores of Sydney. Completing this multi-day adventure will bring you past all the best highlights of Sydney. Think secluded coves, spectacular views, bushland, clifftops and iconic landmarks such as the Opera House and Harbour Bridge. Not to mention the significant Indigenous sites (such as Aboriginal engravings at Grotto Point, the ancestral reburial site and rock art at Reef Beach). There is plenty to see and you can split this walk into four, five and seven-day routes to give you plenty of time to soak it all in.

Distance: 80km
Duration: 4 – 5 days
Difficulty: Easy – Moderate

For more details, see our feature on the Bondi to Manly Walk.

Federation Cliff Walk – Dover Heights to Watsons Bay (part of the Bondi to Manly Walk)

Commencing from the north of Bondi (officially starting at Dover Heights), this coastal trail will lead you along the east coast to Watsons Bay. Walk on through Rodney Reserve (with a plaque commemorating the first radio telescope installed in the 1950s). The iconic Diamond Bay Reserve and Macquarie Lighthouse are on this trail. See all of these great sites before the walk ends at The Gap Lookout at Watsons Bay. While The Gap carries a sad history of shipwrecks and misfortune, today it is one of the most photographed locations in Sydney.

Distance: 5km
Duration: 1.5 – 2 hours
Difficulty: Easy

Hermitage Foreshore Walk – Sydney Harbour’s Watsons Bay to Rose Bay (part of Bondi to Manly Walk)

This is the best walk for families and those looking for an easy, breezy stroll, along our spectacular coastlines. To find the start of the walk head up the hill around Rose Bay and about one-third up the infamous “heartbreak hill” turn down Tivoli Avenue. The Hermitage Foreshore Walk is well signposted. Enjoy an incredible view of yachts zigzagging in front of the Manly Ferries. Admire stand-up paddle boarders and locals kayaking from one side to the other. You’ll find beautiful hidden harbour beaches like Hermitage Beach, Queen’s Beach, and Milk Beach that are very easy to swim at and great to stop for a picnic. When you get to Neilsen Park it is the safest beach to swim at because it is netted.

For a longer walk you continue around the streets of Vaucluse Beach across the old footbridge of Parsley Bay. You will finally end the day at Watson’s Bay to enjoy a bucket of prawns and a schooner or a glass of wine at the famous Watto Bay pub!  Once you finally make it back to your Sydney Lodges room, it will be time for a well-earned rest.

Distance: 1.8km one way
Duration: 30 mins – 1 hour
Difficulty: Easy

From Randwick, catch a bus to Bondi Junction and then change there for another bus to Rose Bay. If you have all day, take the scenic route – head to Circular Quay by Light Rail and catch the ferry to Rose Bay.

Spit Bridge to Manly (part of Bondi to Manly walk)

This is probably second to the best coastal walk of Sydney. Whether you choose to end your walk with the magnificent views of Spit Bridge or the vibrant and eclectic scenes of Manly, this walk will bring you through pockets of subtropical rainforests and native bush habitats. If you are in the mood for a quick dip, stop by the Fairlight Rock Pool or one of the other secret beaches, tucked away at Fairlight Beach and sheltered from the harbour swell. Sites not to be missed include Grotto Point Lighthouse, Clontarf Beach, Reef Beach and Crater Crove. Oh and the Aboriginal rock carvings at Castle Rock Beach! If this trail is not long enough for you, then from Spit Bridge, you can continue to the Bradleys Head to Chowder Bay walk. Alternatively, end your day with a picturesque ferry ride from Manly back to Circular Quay.

Distance: 10km one way
Duration: 3 – 4 hours
Difficulty: Moderate – some short steep hills

Bradleys Head To Chowder Bay Walk (part of Bondi to Manly walk)

This leafy track weaves around the harbour headlands from the iconic Taronga Zoo to charming Chowder Bay, offering the best trail within the Northern Sydney suburbs. Dotted with heritage-listed buildings and historic sites against the coastal backdrop, including Bradleys Head Amphitheatre and Clifton Gardens Reserve, this quintessential Sydney stroll is not to be skipped.

Distance: 4km one way
Duration: 1.5 – 2.5 hours
Difficulty: Moderate


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