Bondi to Manly Walk, an 80km Long Coastal Adventure

Last updated: October 13, 2020

The Bondi to Manly walk is an 80km long coastal trek that consists of several shorter walking tracks that are interconnected.

Conquering this beautiful coastal adventure can take anywhere between two and six days, taking in the best of Sydney Harbour.

Bondi to Manly Walk
Distance:80 km (one way)
Time:2-6 days
Grade:Hard (due to distance)
Dogs:Not allowed

Hiking from Bondi to Manly

Hiking is by far the best way to fully enjoy the beauty of Sydney and its famous Harbour. Fortunately, Sydney Harbour is home to countless walking tracks, giving hikers to opportunity to discover the best parts of Sydney by foot.

The track between Bondi Beach and Manly Beach is a combination of some of these amazing walking tracks with amazing scenery along the way. Secluded beaches, rock pools, sandstone cliffs, historic sites, the iconic headlands, Sydney’s coastline has it all.

To complete the Bondi to Manly walk, it’s best to divide the 80km into smaller sections:

  1. Bondi to Watsons Bay
  2. Watsons Bay to Rose Bay
  3. Rose Bay to Harbour Bridge
  4. Harbour Bridge to Taronga Zoo
  5. Taronga Zoo to Spit Bridge
  6. Spit Bridge to Manly

Each section can be completed in one day, but of course you’re free to combine multiple sections and complete the whole trek in a shorter timeframe.

Map and route of the Bondi to Manly walk

We’ve graded this walking track as hard, but only because of the distance. Apart from that, the track between Bondi and Manly never gets super challenging and can easily be completed by anyone with a reasonable level of fitness.

Official Opening

Even though it has always been possible to hike between Sydney’s two most iconic beaches, the Bondi to Manly walk was officially opened on Sunday 8 December 2019.

As part of the official opening, the entire walking track between Bondi Beach and Manly Beach has been signposted to make it easier for hikers to follow the track and not get lost. The below image is an example of such a signpost.

Signpost along the Bondi to Manly walk

The Six Sections of the Bondi to Manly Walk

Here are the six sections of the iconic coastal trail from Bondi Beach to Manly Beach in more detail:

1. Bondi to Watsons Bay

Also known as the Federation Cliff Walk, the track between Bondi and Watsons Bay is characterised by huge sandstone cliffs and far-stretching ocean views.

Bondi to Watsons Bay
Bondi to Watsons Bay

This coastal walk meanders through beautiful parklands and open spaces and includes an exciting timber walkway with viewing platforms that bring you on top of the cliffs.

Before heading east towards Rose Bay, it’s highly recommended to complete the short but scenic Watsons Bay circuit walk around South Head.

2. Watsons Bay to Rose Bay

The walk from Watsons Bay to Rose Bay is one of the most scenic coastal walking tracks in the Sydney Harbour National Park.

It includes several secluded beaches, beautiful parks and picturesque bays, and offers panoramic views of the city and the Harbour.

Watsons Bay to Rose Bay
Watsons Bay to Rose Bay

One section of this walk is the Hermitage Foreshore Walk between Nielsen Park in Vaucluse and Bayview Hill Road just north of Rose Bay.

Some of the many highlights along this trail are Milk Beach, Parsley Bay and Nielsen Park.

3. Rose Bay to Harbour Bridge

From Rose Bay the hike continues into the city via the beautiful Harbourside suburbs of Point Piper, Double Bay and Rushcutters Bay, followed by a stroll through the Royal Botanic Garden and Circular Quay.

Rushcutters Bay Park
Rose Bay to Harbour Bridge

From Circular Quay, head into The Rocks and make your way to the famous Bridge Stairs on Cumberland Street, the starting point of the Sydney Harbour Bridge Walk.

4. Harbour Bridge to Taronga Zoo

After crossing the Harbour Bridge, make your way to Bradfield Park underneath the bridge and head to the Broughton St Lookout, one of the most scenic lookout points in Sydney.

The views of the city skyline, the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge from this lookout are absolutely stunning.

Views from Cremorne Point
Harbour Bridge to Taronga Zoo

From the Broughton St Lookout, you have the option to do a detour along the Lavender Bay foreshore, past Luna Park and the art deco North Sydney Olympic Pool.

Just north of Lavender Bay is Wendy’s Secret Garden, a green oasis of native plants, fig trees, beautiful flowers and a thriving community of birds.

To continue the main walking track from the Broughton St Lookout, head east past the Jeffrey St ferry wharf and roughly follow the shorelines of Kirribilli, Neutral Bay, Cremorne Point and Mosman towards Taronga Zoo.

5. Taronga Zoo to Spit Bridge

The hike between Taronga Zoo and the Spit Bridge can be divided into two sections, with Balmoral Beach conveniently located in the middle.

The first section, the 6.5km walk from Taronga Zoo to Balmoral, swirls its way past secluded beaches, picturesque bays, impressive lookouts and historical sights.

Taronga Zoo to Spit Bridge
Taronga Zoo to Spit Bridge

Balmoral Beach is the perfect spot for a lunch at one of the many cafes, or a picnic on the grassy area behind the beach.

The second part from Balmoral Beach to the Spit Bridge is a 4.5km coastline track past Wyargine Point and Chinamans Beach.

If the tide is low, you can follow the rocky shoreline around Wyargine Point, otherwise the track follows the suburban streets of Mosman.

6. Spit Bridge to Manly

One of Sydney’s most popular hiking trails is the famous Spit Bridge to Manly walk, a 10km coastal trail through native bushland and past quiet inner harbour beaches and picturesque bays.

The beautiful scenery from start to finish combined with the best views of Sydney Harbour and North Head make this walk a unique experience.

Spit Bridge to Manly
Spit Bridge to Manly

From Manly beach, you have the option to add another 10km to this already epic track by doing the North Head circuit walk. The Spit to Manly walk and the North Head walk combined is also known as the Manly Scenic Walkway.

The North Head walk meanders through a unique landscape with a diverse wildlife and flora. Manly North Head also has a rich military history, with old gun emplacements and observation posts on display.

It is also home to Australia’s Memorial Walk, a paved pathway with five monuments to remember the major military conflict periods in Australia’s history.

Bondi to Manly walk

 
 
7 Comments
  1. I took the opportunity on Boxing Day to complete the Manly to Bondi walk in a day. As a Sydney resident I have always appreciated the beauty of Sydney Harbour and its surrounds. I left Manly Beach at 5:25 am on Thursday and headed up to North Head to commence a memorable journey I will never forget.

    The views on this special day on Sydney Harbour were just beautiful and thoroughly engrossed me. I loved the variation in the course from bush tracks to constructed tracks, stairways and different suburban streets. The last few kilometres into Bondi was along a well lit path and my arrival time was 9:25 pm.

    As a member of the Parkrun fraternity I just aligned the 80 km to 16 Parkruns along a course which is not as difficult as some of the Parkrun courses I’ve experienced.
    I say thank you to the government agencies who have organised this course and know it will bring pleasure to thousands of locals and tourists.

    It was a memorable day!

    Reply
    • Hi Malcolm,

      We’re thinking of doing the Bondi Manly walk in a full day as a charity walk to raise some money for the bushfire crisis. Would love to ask you a few questions about doing the full walk in a day if that’s okay?

      Thanks

      Reply
    • Overall, yes, the track is well signposted, and since the track follows the coastline, getting lost is unlikely. Enjoy the walk!

      Reply
  2. There’s a lot of suburban street walking in this Bondi to Manly walk, it gets glossed over in these spiels that spruik the walk, rarely ever clearly defining these parts and calling them for what they are, i.e. suburban street walking. Not to say there are not beautiful bush tracks too.

    Reply
    • I walk long distance on a regular basis, did Manly to Kirribilli last weekend. Although there are some street sections they do interconnect with some of the best bush/harbour walks around. I think the best section is Kirribilli to Balmoral Beach taking in the stretch from Taronga Zoo to Chowder Bay and beyond. At least you can see some magnificent houses along some of those streets.

      Reply
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