Chowder Bay to Balmoral Beach Walking Track

Last updated: March 24, 2021

The walk from Chowder Bay to Balmoral Beach is a beautiful trail in the suburb of Mosman, north of Sydney, with beautiful ocean and Harbour views to enjoy.

This trail is in fact the second half of the Taronga Zoo to Balmoral Beach walk, which also includes the section between Bradleys Head and Chowder Bay.

You can begin the walk at either end, but if you start in Chowder Bay you can finish your walk with lunch and a relaxing swim at Balmoral Beach.

Chowder Bay to Balmoral
Distance: 2.7km (one way)
Time: 1 hour
Grade: Easy

How to Get There

You can start the walk either from Chowder Bay or from Balmoral Beach, but we would recommend starting in Chowder Bay. Both of these locations have lots of paid parking options available.

To get to Chowder Bay, turn into Chowder Bay Road from Middle Head Road via the roundabout, and continue all the way to the end. Park your car at one of the ticketed parking spots (map).

Public transport is also a viable option. You can catch a ferry from Circular Quay to Taronga Zoo and hike to Chowder Bay from there. There are also various bus stops along Middle Head Road and Chowder Bay Road.

Chowder Bay to Balmoral Track Notes

Once you’ve arrived in Chowder Bay, it’s time to start hiking!

We’re going to describe this fantastic walk along the following highlights and landmarks:

  1. Bungaree’s Walkway
  2. Georges Head Lookout
  3. Georges Heights
  4. Balmoral Beach

And here is a handy map with the above highlights and landmarks highlighted:

Map and route of the Chowder Bay to Balmoral walk

1. Bungaree’s Walkway

The first section of the walk starts at a sign that says Headland Park and Bungaree’s Walkway, close to the parking area and next to the cafe.

This is towards the end of Chowder Bay Road, just before the little roundabout.

Bungaree's Walkway
Bungaree’s Walkway in Chowder Bay

Bungaree’s walkway is the steep hike up to Georges Heights and into Headland Park. It is named after an Aboriginal Australian called Bungaree, who was in charge of a local farm established by Governor Macquarie in 1815.

This walkway connects with Suakin Drive, which provides access to the Gunner Barracks and the Georges Head lookout point.

Gunners Barracks is now a popular spot for weddings and high tea, but was once a crucial military post to protect Sydney Harbour against invaders.

2. Georges Head Lookout

The highlight along the Chowder Bay to Balmoral walking trail is Georges Head Lookout, one of the most scenic lookout points in Sydney.

You can find this lookout just behind the Gunners Barracks. Follow the paved lawn to the lookout and the Harbour will open out in front of you. The views of North Head and South Head, and also the city skyline, are magnificent.

Lawn to Georges Head Lookout
Lawn to Georges Head Lookout

Take your time to have a look around in this area, and explore the various tunnels, battlements, and cannons. This is a great spot to stop for a picnic, if you brought lunch with you.

Georges Head Lookout
Georges Head Lookout

You can continue on the dirt track up and around the headland, taking in more of the view looking towards Middle Head. You may even come across some local wildlife, a Kookaburra digging for worms, or a flock of Australian bush turkeys hanging out in the trees.

Retrace your steps back to the main walking track, and continue the path into the bush heading north towards Middle Head.

3. Georges Heights

The section in Georges Heights between Georges Head Lookout and Balmoral Beach offers incredible views of Middle Head and the ocean further ahead.

There are a few cleared spots along the path where you can enjoy uninterrupted views, with the occasional bench where you can have a seat and take it all in.

Bench with views in Georges Heights
Scenic Harbour and ocean views from Georges Heights

The last section, before the trail reaches Balmoral Beach, goes through a protected area that was created for native trees to flourish.

It’s a section with boardwalks and stairs above the ground, to protect the local vegetation against the spread of water mould in soil.

Protected area in Headland Park
Protected area in Headland Park

This part of the walk is quite serene, and feels a bit like walking through a tropical rainforest.

At the end of this section, the trail finishes at Balmoral Park, a large open field with an oval, a fitness station, and toilet and shower facilities.

4. Balmoral Beach

Cross Balmoral Park and the car park on the other side, and you will end up at beautiful Balmoral Beach.

Balmoral Beach Rotunda
Balmoral Beach Rotunda

It’s not difficult to see how one could spend a whole day at Balmoral Beach, one of the most popular family-friendly beaches in Sydney.

The beach itself typically has very calm water, perfect for a relaxing swim. And with lots of kiosks, cafes, and restaurants along the road behind the beach, there’s plenty of options for a good lunch.

The Boathouse in Balmoral Beach
The Boathouse in Balmoral Beach

If you’d like to get active in Balmoral Beach, hire a stand-up-paddling board and go for a relaxed paddle. Or do a nice snorkel or a scuba diving session in the sheltered waters of the bay.

More Hiking Nearby

The Chowder Bay to Balmoral walk is a fairly short and easy hike with various interesting sights and breathtaking views of Sydney Harbour to enjoy. There are lots of cafes at both ends of the walk, so you can reward yourself with a nice lunch.

As mentioned above, this walk forms part of the coastal trail between Taronga Zoo and Balmoral Beach, so there is the option to extend this hike if you have the time and energy to do so.

Chinamans Beach
Chinamans Beach

You can also continue the walk past Balmoral Beach to Chinamans Beach, and from there continue to the Spit Bridge and all the way to Manly Beach.

That’s the beauty of Sydney Harbour and Sydney’s coastline. All of these shorter walking tracks are connected, and are all part of the 80km long hike from Bondi Beach to Manly Beach.

 

Chowder Bay to Balmoral Beach walk

 
 
1 Comment
  1. Middle Head is beautiful. And don’t forget that Sydney’s two best nudist beaches can be found there. My husband and I discovered Cobblers Beach when we did the Sydney Skinny Swim, and have become regulars there ever since. There is a really friendly community of regulars on the beach who are very welcoming and protective of this special place.

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