Last updated: January 22, 2023
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:
|1||Bondi to Bronte Coastal Walk||2.5 km (one way)|
|2||Long Reef Headland Walk||3.5 km (circuit)|
|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)|
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. 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 relatively easy and short coastal walk but long enough to give you a great impression of Sydney’s stunning coastline.
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)|
2. Long Reef Headland Walk
The Long Reef Headland in Collaroy on Sydney’s northern beaches is a popular recreational destination. The headland is home to a golf course, a walking trail, a paragliding spot, several beaches, and a fantastic lookout point.
The best way to explore the beauty of this headland is by doing the 3.5 km Long Reef Headland Walk that takes in Fishermans Beach, Long Reef Point Lookout, and Long Reef Beach.
The highlight of this easy, family-friendly circuit walk is the Long Reef Point Lookout, which offers impressive ocean and district views.
Just beyond this lookout is a long staircase that leads to the easternmost tip of the headland, a large rock platform that is a popular fishing spot.
|Long Reef Headland Walk|
|Distance:||3.5 km (circuit)|
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. 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.
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)|
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.
This walk has plenty of highlights, such as the South Coogee Wetlands, the low tide trail in Maroubra, Mistral Point, and several lovely ocean pools.
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)|
|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.
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)|
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.
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)|
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.
From Bronte Beach, follow the track south that leads to Waverley past Calga Reserve, which marks the start of a spectacular 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)|
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. With incredible ocean views, huge sandstone sea cliff walls, and a classic lighthouse, this hike is a superb Sydney coastal walk.
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 long, but you can extend this fantastic walk around the Kurnell peninsula to Cronulla Beach.
|Cape Baily Track|
|Distance:||6 km (return)|
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.
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 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)|
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.
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)|
|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.
The beauty of this walk is that you can park your car at Rose Bay or Watsons Bay and catch a ferry back to where you started. Ferry services run 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)|
|Grade:||Easy / moderate|
12. Wattamolla to Eagle Rock
This is both a coastal walk and a bushwalk, so you get to enjoy different types of scenery along this fantastic 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.
Eagle Rock is not the only unique sight you can 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 often gets pushed back up, which makes for a pretty spectacular sight.
|Wattamolla to Eagle Rock|
|Distance:||8 km (return)|
|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.
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)|
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.
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)|
|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.
The Coast Track can be commenced from either Bundeena in the north or 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 gets booked out very quickly.
|Royal National Park Coast Track|
|Distance:||26 km (one way)|