15 Great Coastal Walks in Sydney

Last updated: May 18, 2022

What makes Sydney such a unique city is the amazing coastline and the Harbour. Beaches, cliffs, rock pools, parks, Sydney’s coastline has it all.

The magnificent Sydney Harbour is home to secluded beaches, beautiful bays, historic sites and, of course, the iconic headlands.

From Palm Beach in the north to Cronulla and the Royal National Park in the south, Sydney’s coastline includes some of the most scenic coastal walks. In this article, we are going to outline the 15 best coastal walks in Sydney.

Top 15 Sydney Coastal Walks:

Walk Distance
1 Hermitage Foreshore Walk 2 km (one way)
2 Bondi to Bronte Coastal Walk 2.5 km (one way)
3 Watsons Bay Circuit Walk 4.5 km (circuit)
4 Coogee Beach to Maroubra Beach 5 km (one way)
5 Jibbon Beach Loop Track 5 km (circuit)
6 Federation Cliff Walk 5 km (one way)
7 Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk 6 km (one way)
8 Cape Baily Track 6 km (return)
8 Cronulla Beach Coastal Walk 6 km (part circuit)
10 Taronga Zoo to Balmoral Beach 6.5 km (one way)
11 Rose Bay to Watsons Bay Coastal Walk 8 km (one way)
12 Wattamolla to Eagle Rock 8 km (return)
13 Spit Bridge to Manly Coastal Walk 10 km (one way)
14 Manly Scenic Walkway 19.5 km (one way)
15 Royal National Park Coast Track 26 km (one way)
JOIN SYDNEY UNCOVERED
Subscribe to our newsletter and receive Sydney and NSW related tips and ideas straight to your mailbox!

Top 15 Sydney Coastal Walks

Ordered from short to long, pick your favourite from the following list of the 15 best coastal walks in Sydney.

Note that when a walking track’s distance is measured as a return walk, that is because that particular walking track can only be completed as such.

1. Hermitage Foreshore Walk

The scenic 2 km Hermitage Foreshore Walk follows the shoreline between the Hermitage Foreshore Reserve just north of Rose Bay and Nielsen Park in Vaucluse.

As short as this coastal walk may be, it is a fantastic way to experience the real beauty of Sydney Harbour, with fantastic views to take in from start to finish.

Hermit Foreshore Walk
Hermit Foreshore Walk

The track is mostly a combination of wooden boardwalks and well-maintained bushwalking paths, and overall is quite an easy walk.

It takes in several small secluded beaches, such as Queens Beach, Hermit Bay and Milk Beach, and has some excellent vantage points from where you get to enjoy incredible Sydney Harbour views.

Hermitage Foreshore Walk
Distance: 2 km (one way)
Duration: 1 hour
Grade: Easy

2. Bondi to Bronte Coastal Walk

If the hike between Bondi and Coogee is a bit too long, why not cut it short by only doing the section between Bondi and Bronte.

This is a rather easy and short coastal walk, but long enough to give you a great impression of Sydney’s incredibly beautiful coastline.

Bronte Beach
Bronte Beach

As you follow the walking track on top of the cliffs, between two of Sydney’s most popular beaches, you will get to enjoy lots of vantage points from where you can soak in the amazing views.

Tamarama Beach is at the halfway mark and is a great location to have a coffee and perhaps a snack at the cafe in Tamarama Beach Park overlooking the beach.

Bondi to Bronte Coastal Walk
Distance: 2.5 km (one way)
Duration: 1 hour (depending on stops)
Grade: Easy

3. Watsons Bay Circuit Walk

The Watsons Bay Walk is a scenic coastal trail around South Head, featuring panoramic views of Sydney Harbour, the city skyline, the Tasman Sea, North Head and the historic Hornby Lighthouse.

The Watsons Bay walk connects with the Federation Cliff Walk at the Gap, and from the southern end of that walk, you can continue hiking to Coogee, and even further south to Maroubra, Malabar and La Perouse, following Sydney’s coastline.

Watsons Bay Circuit Walk
Watsons Bay Circuit Walk

Parking is hard to find in Watsons Bay during weekends, so the best way to travel to this Sydney hot spot is to catch a ferry from Circular Quay.

It’s a very enjoyable Sydney Harbour ferry trip, which allows you to see even more of the Harbour, the sailing ships, and not to mention the prestigious waterfront mansions.

Watsons Bay Circuit Walk
Distance: 4.5 km (circuit)
Duration: 2 hours
Grade: Easy

4. Coogee Beach to Maroubra Beach

The 5 km walking track between Coogee and Maroubra may not be as popular or as well-known as the Bondi to Coogee walk, but the scenery is just as amazing.

There are plenty of highlights along this walk, such as the South Coogee Wetlands, the low tide trail in Maroubra, Mistral Point, and several pretty ocean pools.

South Coogee Wetlands
South Coogee Wetlands

Because this is a one-way walk, you can start from either end. Both Coogee and Maroubra are serviced by buses, and both offer plenty of parking options.

It’s best to do this walk when it’s not high tide, because otherwise the low tide trail section in Maroubra may not be accessible.

Coogee Beach to Maroubra Beach
Distance: 5 km (one way)
Duration: 1.5 hours
Grade: Easy / moderate

5. Jibbon Beach Loop Track

The Jibbon Beach loop track is a bit of a hidden gem in the Royal National Park, with panoramic ocean views and well-preserved Aboriginal engravings to soak in.

This coastal walk starts at the Bundeena ferry, and loops around Jibbon Head, Port Hacking Point and Shelley Beach, before going back into Bundeena through scenic bushland.

Jibbon Beach Loop Track
Jibbon Beach Loop Track

If you’d like to go for a swim or do a bit of sun-bathing, Jibbon Beach is a beautiful 700 metres long, north-facing strip of sand. Just be mindful that this is an unpatrolled beach.

Once you’ve completed the walk, head into the Bundeena town centre for some great food options and a nice coffee.

Jibbon Beach Loop Track
Distance: 5 km (circuit)
Duration: 2 hours
Grade: Easy
Check out our list of great hikes in the Royal National Park for more awesome walking tracks in Sydney’s oldest national park!

6. Federation Cliff Walk

Not as well-known as the Bondi to Coogee walk but just as spectacular is the Federation Cliff Walk, a 5 km walking trail between Watsons Bay and Dover Heights north of Bondi Beach.

This scenic track follows the coastline above high sandstone cliffs, offering panoramic views of the Tasman Sea.

Federation Cliff Walk
Federation Cliff Walk

One of the highlights along the Federation Cliff Walk is Diamond Bay Reserve which has a wooden walkway built right on top of the cliffs.

The views of the surrounding area from there are absolutely breathtaking. What makes this experience even more enjoyable is that this track north of Bondi never really gets busy.

Federation Cliff Walk
Distance: 5 km (one way)
Duration: 1.5 hours
Grade: Easy

7. Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk

Tourists and local Sydney-siders alike flock to Sydney’s east coast every day to enjoy Australia’s best beaches, stunning ocean views, beautiful parks, and lots of cafes and restaurants on the way from Bondi Beach to Coogee Beach.

The first section of Sydney’s most popular coastal trail is the scenic walk from Bondi to Bronte, past Bondi Icebergs, Mackenzies Bay and Tamarama Beach.

Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk
Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk

From Bronte Beach, follow the track south that leads to Waverley past Calga Reserve, which marks the start of a popular boardwalk that swings around the historic Waverley Cemetery.

The boardwalk feeds into Clovelly, a vibrant and charming beachside suburb with a lawn bowls club, a swim-friendly beach and bay, and a large parking area. From there, the trail continues past Gordons Bay to Coogee Beach.

Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk
Distance: 6 km (one way)
Duration: 2.5 hours
Grade: Easy

8. Cape Baily Track

One of Sydney’s best kept secrets is the scenic coastal walk from Cape Solander to the Cape Baily Lighthouse in Kamay Botany Bay National Park just north of Cronulla.

The Cape Baily Track is a 6 km return coastal adventure with all the right ingredients. Incredible ocean views, huge sandstone sea cliff walls, and a classic lighthouse, this hike really is a superb Sydney coastal walk.

Cape Baily Track
Cape Baily Track

What’s great about this hike is that it doesn’t attract the crowds that other popular coastal walks in Sydney do, such as the Bondi to Coogee walk, even though the scenery is just as impressive.

The track is 6 km in length, but you can extend this amazing walk around the Kurnell peninsula all the way to Cronulla Beach.

Cape Baily Track
Distance: 6 km (return)
Duration: 2-3 hours
Grade: Easy

9. Cronulla Beach Coastal Walk

While most visitors to Cronulla go the one of the various because or otherwise to its lively town centre, this beachside suburb is also home to one of Sydney’s finest coastal walks.

The coastal walking track following the shoreline of the Cronulla Peninsula is an absolute delight. Almost just as pretty as the much more popular Bondi to Coogee walk, but without the crowds.

Cronulla Beach Coastal Walk
Cronulla Beach Coastal Walk

Starting at Wanda Beach, the track heads south past North Cronulla Beach and South Cronulla Beach, followed by The Esplanade all the way to the southernmost tip of the peninsula.

From there, the track heads back north and into town via Darook Park, Gunnamatta Bay and the Cronulla Sailing Club.

Cronulla Beach Coastal Walk
Distance: 6 km (part circuit)
Duration: 2 hours (including stops)
Grade: Easy

10. Taronga Zoo to Balmoral Beach

One of the most enjoyable Sydney Harbour walking tracks is the trail between Taronga Zoo and Balmoral Beach. This 6.5 km track meanders past secluded beaches, picturesque bays, impressive lookouts and historical sights.

An interesting highlight is Bradleys Head, home to the foremast of HMAS Sydney, a light cruiser that was broken up on Cockatoo Island in 1929.

Taronga Zoo to Balmoral Beach
Taronga Zoo to Balmoral Beach

The foremast was erected at Bradleys Head in 1934 and serves as a monument for all Australian ships lost and all Australian sailors killed at war.

The best way to get to Taronga Zoo is by ferry from Circular Quay. The ferry trip crossing Sydney Harbour is a great experience, and during weekends you can take advantage of the $8.05 cap on all public transport travel.

Taronga Zoo to Balmoral Beach
Distance: 6.5 km (one way)
Duration: 2.5 hours
Grade: Easy / moderate

11. Rose Bay to Watsons Bay Coastal Walk

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

The walk takes in secluded beaches, beautiful parks and picturesque bays, with amazing panoramic views of the city and the harbour to enjoy along the way.

Queens Beach between Rose Bay and Watsons Bay
Queens Beach between Rose Bay and Watsons Bay

The beauty of this walk is that you can park your car either at Rose Bay or Watsons Bay and catch a ferry back to where you started. Ferry services run frequently between Watsons Bay and Rose Bay.

Part of the Rose Bay to Watsons Bay walk is the aforementioned Hermitage Foreshore track, between Rose Bay and Nielsen Park in Vaucluse.

Rose Bay to Watsons Bay Coastal Walk
Distance: 8 km (one way)
Duration: 3.5 hours
Grade: Easy / moderate

12. Wattamolla to Eagle Rock

This is both a coastal walk as well as a bushwalk, so you get to enjoy different types of scenery along this amazing hike in the Royal National Park.

Starting at Wattamolla Beach, this 4 km walking track navigates to Eagle Head Rock, an iconic landmark that strongly resembles an eagle’s beak.

Wattamolla to Eagle Rock
Wattamolla to Eagle Rock

Eagle Rock is not the only unique sight you get to enjoy at the end of the walk. Right next to Eagle Rock is Curracurrong Falls, one of the very few waterfalls in the world that flows directly into the ocean.

When the winds are strong the water can often be seen being pushed back up, which makes for a pretty spectacular sight.

Wattamolla to Eagle Rock
Distance: 8 km (return)
Duration: 3 hours
Grade: Easy / moderate

13. Spit Bridge to Manly Coastal Walk

The Spit to Manly coastal walk is a beautiful 10 km walking trail, past secluded inner harbour beaches, through native bushland and around picturesque bays, offering panoramic Sydney Harbour views.

The track forms part of the iconic 20 km Manly Scenic Walkway which goes from the Spit Bridge to Manly Beach followed by the Manly North Head circuit walk.

Spit Bridge to Manly Coastal Walk
Spit Bridge to Manly Coastal Walk

One of the highlights is Clontarf Reserve, a scenic park area with excellent picnic and BBQ facilities, and a swim-friendly beach.

For the best views along the track, head to the Crater Cove and Arabanoo lookout points at Dobroyd Head. Both these lookouts offer incredible views of Sydney Harbour, North Head and South Head.

Spit Bridge to Manly Coastal Walk
Distance: 10 km (one way)
Duration: 4 hours
Grade: Moderate

14. Manly Scenic Walkway

The Manly Scenic Walkway is a stunning 19.5 km coastal walk that takes you from the Spit Bridge to Manly, followed by a 9.5 km circuit trail around North Head.

In other words, this is a combination of two of Sydney’s best coastal walks; the Spit to Manly coastal walk (as listed above) and the North Head circuit walk.

Manly Scenic Walkway
Manly Scenic Walkway

The Manly North Head circuit walk meanders through a beautiful landscape with very diverse wildlife and flora, while also experiencing the rich military history of this unique area in Sydney.

One of the highlights is the Fairfax Lookout, which can be accessed via a short detour. The Harbour, ocean and city views from this lookout are phenomenal.

Manly Scenic Walkway
Distance: 19.5 km (one way)
Duration: 6-10 hours
Grade: Moderate / hard

15. Royal National Park Coast Track

The iconic Coast Track between Bundeena and Otford in Royal National Park is one of those once in a lifetime hiking experiences. It is perhaps the most iconic coastal trail in New South Wales, but with a 26 km distance, it’s not for everyone.

From scenic lookout points and waterfalls to swimming holes and isolated beaches, the Coast Track includes everything we’d expect from a Sydney coastal walk.

Royal National Park Coast Track
Royal National Park Coast Track

The Coast Track can be commenced from either Bundeena in the north as well as from Otford in the south of Royal National Park. Because of its distance, the best way to get there is by using public transport.

And while some hikers can certainly complete this walk in one day, it’s a good idea to combine this hike with an overnight stay at the North Era campground. Just be mindful that this camping hot spot is booked out quite quickly well in advance.

Royal National Park Coast Track
Distance: 26 km (one way)
Duration: 1-2 days
Grade: Hard
 

Sydney coastal walks

 

-- Book a Sydney Tour --

Leave a Comment