Last updated: August 24, 2022
The Bondi to Manly walk is an 80 km long coastal trek that consists of several shorter walking trails that are interconnected.
Conquering this beautiful coastal adventure can take anywhere between two and six days, taking in the best of Sydney Harbour.
Read on, and find out everything you need to know about the iconic walking track between Bondi Beach and Manly Beach.
|Bondi to Manly Walk|
|Distance:||80 km (one way)|
|Grade:||Hard (due to distance)|
Hiking from Bondi to Manly
Hiking is the best way to enjoy the beauty of Sydney and its famous Harbour. Fortunately, Sydney Harbour is home to countless walking tracks, allowing hikers to discover the best parts of Sydney by simply walking.
The hike between Bondi Beach and Manly Beach combines some of these fantastic walking tracks with beautiful scenery to enjoy from start to finish. Secluded beaches, rock pools, sandstone cliffs, historical sites, the iconic headlands, Sydney’s coastline has it all.
To complete the Bondi to Manly walk, it’s best to divide the 80 km into smaller sections. These are our suggestions:
- Bondi to Watsons Bay
- Watsons Bay to Rose Bay
- Rose Bay to Harbour Bridge
- Harbour Bridge to Taronga Zoo
- Taronga Zoo to Spit Bridge
- Spit Bridge to Manly
Each section can be completed in one day, but you’re free to combine multiple sections and complete the whole trek in a shorter timeframe.
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 fitness level.
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.
This image is an example of such a sign:
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.
This coastal walk meanders through beautiful parklands and open spaces and includes an exciting timber walkway with viewing platforms 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.
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.
From Circular Quay, head into The Rocks and make your way to the classic Bridge Stairs on Cumberland Street, which is also the starting point of the Sydney Harbour Bridge Walk.
4. Harbour Bridge to Taronga Zoo
After crossing the Harbour Bridge, go to Bradfield Park below the bridge and head to the Broughton St Lookout, one of Sydney’s most scenic lookout points.
From this lookout, the views of the city skyline, the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge are absolutely stunning.
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 6.5 km walk from Taronga Zoo to Balmoral, swirls its way past secluded beaches, picturesque bays, impressive lookouts and historic sites.
Balmoral Beach is the perfect spot for a lunch session 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 4.5 km 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 iconic Spit Bridge to Manly walk, a 10 km coastal trail through native bushland and past quiet inner harbour beaches and scenic bays.
The beautiful scenery from start to finish, combined with the best views of Sydney Harbour and North Head, makes this walk a unique experience.
From Manly beach, you have the option to add another 10 km 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 diverse wildlife and flora. Manly North Head also has a rich military history, with old gun emplacements and observation posts on display.
And that marks the end of the Bondi to Manly Walk. If you’ve completed this iconic hike, we would love to hear from you. Send us an email or comment below to share your experience.
Is it well sign posted?
Overall, yes, the track is well signposted, and since the track follows the coastline, getting lost is unlikely. Enjoy the walk!
I am from Townsville and that walk seems what I would like. My idea is to take 4 days to do the walk. I would like to walk 20kms, then require accommodation for 2 days, then resume the walk, and so on till I finished the walk. Is that possible.
Hi Tom, yes that is certainly possible.
You can do the walk in as many days as you like. All you need to do is plan ahead and book your accommodation close to each entry and exit point.
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.
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.
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!
Wow that’s an incredible achievement, Malcolm! Thanks so much for sharing with us.
We’re thinking of doing the Bondi Manly walk in a full day as a charity walk. Would love to ask you a few questions about doing the full walk in a day if that’s okay?
Hi, we are hoping to do this walk over a number of days and don’t want to carry a heavy pack. Do you know of firms that offer a porter service between hotels?
Hi Julie Anne, I’m not aware of such a service unfortunately.
Public transport is quite reliable though, both buses and ferries.