From the freshwater rock pools of Katherine, all the way down to the iconic Snowy Mountains and on to the bustling culture of Melbourne’s CBD, then across to the dessert to the flat erosion lowlands surrounding Ayers Rock; Australia is quite the place to explore. Despite the diverse terrains, crazy natural phenomena and rather quirky history, nothing in the vast land of Australia tops the experience of completing one (or all) of the iconic, and scenic, Sydney walks.
From the incredibly popular Bondi to Coogee Walk to the challenging, yet rewarding Bundeena to Otford walk; Sydney’s various treks are great for the weekend outdoorsy types, or the eager travellers who want to see some of Australia’s best natural assets.
Best Sydney Walks
Bondi to Bronte
Most of the good things that happen in Australia happen in Bondi, and incidentally, quite a few scenic Sydney walks start here. First, dip your toes in the water at gorgeous Bondi Beach – this is essential for making sure you start the walk ‘cool’. Next, head past the Bondi Icebergs Swimming Club and a path will take you round the headland to Tamarama. Here, at Mark’s Park, you can inspect 2,000-year-old Aboriginal rock paintings. Need to cool off along the way? No problem – enjoy a dip in one of the many ocean baths and rock pools that pave the way to Bronte Beach, including Giles Baths, the women’s only Mclvers Baths and the famous Bogey Hole. Go for a beautiful snorkel or scuba dive around Gordon’s Bay and then grab a well-earned bite to eat in Bronte.
Where to eat/drink afterwards: Nourish Kitchen & Espresso, The Bogey Hole Cafe
Special Events: Each Spring, enjoy the iconic Sculptures by the Sea Exhibition which is featured along the Bondi to Tamarama stretch of the walk.
Bronte to Coogee
Walked to Bronte and want to keep going? To do the full 6km or 3.7 miles from Bondi to Coogee Beach, continue on from Bronte and head past the Waverly Cemetery. With picturesque views over the ocean, you can completely immerse yourself in Australian history. After that, make your way around the final headland, until you finally land yourself in Coogee, where you can enjoy Coogee’s famous beach and the Wylie Baths.
Where to eat/drink afterwards: Coogee Pavillion
Spit Bridge to Manly
With the route hugging the stunning coastline, the Spit Bridge to Manly walk, (also known as the Manly Scenic Walkway,) is one of the best ways to experience the spectacular Sydney harbour. The trek is roughly 10km or 6.2 miles and it can take anywhere between 3 and 5 hours depending on your pace. On your way you’ll see everything from water-side mansions to Aboriginal rock carvings from thousands of years ago. You’ll also be able to make your way through the beautiful Sydney Harbour National park and several other bushland reserves. Once you hit Manly Wharf, you’re done and you can take a much needed break!
Where to eat/drink afterwards: Garfish, 4 Pines Brew Pub, Hugos Manly
Bradley’s Head to Chowder Bay
Another superb way to see Sydney Harbour is the leisurely 5km (3.1 mile) walk from Bradley’s Head to Chowder Bay. You’ll get to enjoy unobstructed views of the Opera house, Harbour Bridge and the rest of the city skyline before you head through the gorgeous areas of Clifton Gardens. Your reward at the end is of course, a delicious lunch at one of Chowder Bay’s many seafood restaurants.
Where to eat/drink afterwards: Ripples Chowder Bay, Doyles on the Beach, East Coast Lounge
Extra Tip: Want to keep walking after lunch? Keep heading north to Balmoral Beach for some yacht watching and ice-cream!
Bundeena to Otford
The Bundeena to Otford walk is definitely one of the more challenging treks in Sydney, but it is a stunning, rugged bushwalk that is well worth exploring. The 26km (16.1 mile) route goes through the Royal National Park, so if you want to split the walk into two days, you can spend the night camping at North Era campground.
Extra Tip: Wake up extra early on the second day so you can see the sunrise over the ocean!
Author: Emily is a health, lifestyle and travel writer from Sydney, Australia. Her other interests include picnicking, brunching, going to markets, playing music, playing with dogs, napping, reading & skiing.
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