The Hermitage Foreshore Walk in Vaucluse

Last updated: September 7, 2023

The Hermitage Foreshore Walk is a scenic walking track in Sydney Harbour National Park that follows the shoreline between the Hermitage Foreshore Reserve just north of Rose Bay and Nielsen Park in Vaucluse.

The walk is a shorter section of the popular Rose Bay to Watsons Bay coastal trail. It meanders through bushland and coastal vegetation, past secluded beaches, beautiful parks, and many picturesque bays.

Keep reading to learn more about the highlights of this exciting walking track and how best to get there.

Hermitage Foreshore Walk
Distance: 2 km (one way)
Time: 1 hour
Grade: Easy
Dogs: Not allowed on the trail
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How to Get There

The official start of the Hermitage Foreshore Track is located at the very end of Bayview Hill Road in Vaucluse (see map location).

Bayview Hill Rd is a short side street off New South Head Rd, with a bus stop nearby. Several bus routes arrive here via the city or Bondi Junction from the west, or via Watsons Bay from the northeast. Check the official bus timetables and maps for more details.

If you’re planning to drive, you may be able to find street parking nearby, although this can be challenging on busy days. Parking may be easier at the other end of the walk, at Nielsen Park.

Alternatively, you can also travel by ferry if you’re doing this track as part of the Rose Bay to Watsons Bay Walk. Both Rose Bay and Watsons Bay have a ferry wharf with ferries travelling to and from Circular Quay.

Starting point of the Hermitage Foreshore Walk
Starting point of the Hermitage Foreshore Walk at Bayview Hill Rd

Highlights and Map

The Hermitage Foreshore Walk is an easy, family-friendly walking trail on a well-maintained path that is easy to follow and well-signposted.

In this guide to the Hermitage Foreshore Walk, we are going to focus on the following five highlights and landmarks:

  1. Queens Beach
  2. Hermit Point and Hermit Bay Beach
  3. Milk Beach
  4. Strickland House
  5. Nielsen Park and Shark Beach

The track notes below describe the walk from south to north, with Queens Beach as the first highlight and ending at beautiful Shark Beach.

Here is a map for your reference, with the highlights marked from 1 to 5:

Map and route of the Hermitage Foreshore Walk

Hermitage Foreshore Track Notes

Let’s go through the highlights along the Hermitage Foreshore Walk, starting from the Hermitage Foreshore Reserve at the end of Bayview Hill Road in Vaucluse.

1. Queens Beach

As you will notice, the Hermitage Foreshore Track is mostly a combination of boardwalks and well-maintained bush trails.

It’s not a challenging walk at all, but you do need to pay attention as there may be some areas where the path is a bit uneven.

Queens Beach
Queens Beach

The first little milestone along the walk is Queens Beach, a small secluded strip of sand with fantastic views of Sydney Harbour.

It typically doesn’t get busy here at all, so if you’re looking for a secluded beach in Sydney to have a quiet swim, Queens Beach is worth checking out.

Just be mindful of the tides, as part of the beach may disappear at high tide.

2. Hermit Point and Hermit Bay Beach

Leaving Queens Beach behind, the path continues to Hermit Point and Hermit Bay Beach. This is another excellent opportunity to go for a swim without having too many people around.

Hermit Point and Hermit Bay Beach
Hermit Point and Hermit Bay Beach

The track continues around the beach, from where the views of Hermit Bay, against the backdrop of Rose Bay and the city, are stunning.

The grassy area is a great place for a picnic, in case you’re bringing food along with you on this walk.

Hermit Bay
Hermit Bay

If you look carefully, you may spot another small strip of sand named Tingara Beach. It’s really small, and depending on the tide, you may not even notice it at all.

3. Milk Beach

Milk Beach is a 50 metres long secluded strip of sand, quietly tucked away between Hermit Point and Nielsen Park.

It’s a great little beach to relax on a lazy Sunday afternoon, away from the large crowds at Bondi Beach or Watsons Bay.

Milk Beach
Milk Beach

But as secluded as Milk Beach may appear, it can get a little crowded at times, especially on warm summer days, with families and young people enjoying a swim and a picnic.

You might also see many yachts dropping anchor in front of the beach, enjoying a relaxing day out on the Harbour.

4. Strickland House

Strickland House is a heritage listed mansion located right behind Milk beach, overlooking Sydney Harbour.

Designed and built in the 1850s in Victorian Italianate style, this 3-storey sandstone house was once the home of Sydney’s first lord mayor, John Hosking.

Strickland House
Strickland House

Strickland House is of exceptional historical significance to the state of New South Wales.

Over the years, Strickland House has served as a residential home for leading figures of Sydney’s establishment, a women’s convalescent home, and an aged care facility.

Front view of Strickland House
Front view of Strickland House

It has been in public use since 1994, and whilst the grounds of the house are open daily from 9 am to 5 pm for visitors to wander around, you will need to book a guided tour to have a closer look inside.

5. Nielsen Park and Shark Beach

Shark Beach, with Nielsen Park right behind the sand, marks the end of the Hermitage Foreshore Walk.

Nielsen Park is a hugely popular weekend destination for Sydney families to go for a swim and have a picnic.

Shark Beach at Nielsen Park
Shark Beach at Nielsen Park

Finding a spot to park your car in the area on a warm Sunday afternoon can be pretty challenging, so it’s best to visit earlier in the day.

The family-friendly beach has an enclosed swimming area, a shaded promenade, and a cafe for snacks, coffee and lunch.

Keen to continue hiking?

Keep following the trail along the coast to Watsons Bay, and once there, you can do the circuit hike on South Head.

From Watsons Bay, you can continue hiking to Bondi Beach via the scenic Federation Cliff walking track.


Hermitage Foreshore Track in Vaucluse


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AJ Mens

AJ Mens is a digital publisher based in Sydney, Australia, and the editor-in-chief of Sydney Uncovered and Blue Mountains Uncovered.

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    • Hi Tracey,

      Yes there are several bus stops on Vaucluse Road and New South Head Road from where you can travel back to Town Hall in the city.

    • Hi Patricia, yes the track is signposted.
      Once you’ve found the start of the walk, it’s a very easy to follow path to Nielsen Park, also at high tide.

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