Last updated: August 12, 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)|
|Grade:||Hard (due to distance)|
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:
- 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 of course 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 level of fitness.
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.
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 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.
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 famous Bridge Stairs along Cumberland Street, the starting point of the walk across the Harbour Bridge.
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.
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.
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.
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.