Last updated: June 11, 2023
Long Reef in Collaroy on Sydney’s northern beaches is a picturesque headland that functions as a popular recreational destination. It is home to a golf course, a walking trail, several beaches, a paragliding spot, and lookout points.
The best way to explore the natural beauty of this headland is by doing a 3.5 km circuit walk that passes Fishermans Beach, Long Reef Point Lookout, Long Reef Beach, and Griffith Park.
Read on to find out more about this coastal walk and its highlights, where best to start, and where to park your car.
|Long Reef Headland Circuit Walk|
|Distance:||3.5 km (circuit)|
|Duration:||1-2 hours (depending on stops)|
|Dogs:||On a lead|
How to Get There
Since this is a circuit walking trail, you can start from multiple locations. However, the most logical spot to park your car is on Anzac Avenue at Griffith Park, northwest of the headland.
Travelling by bus is also a good option, with various bus stops on Pittwater Road, west of Long Reef Headland.
Here is a map of the walk:
The circuit walk on Long Reef Headland is an easy, family-friendly walking trail with only a few steps. The path is easy to follow and is well-signposted.
The track notes below describe this walk starting from Anzac Avenue and going in a clockwise manner.
1. Fishermans Beach
Once you’ve reached Anzac Avenue (either by car or bus), walk eastbound along the road towards the ocean.
At the end of that road, step onto beautiful Fishermans Beach and follow the trail to the east with the headland in sight.
Towards the end of the beach, walk on the road for a little while until you see the walking trail marked as Long Reef Point and Bicentennial Coastal Walk.
2. Long Reef Point Lookout
The next section is an easy paved walking path leading to the highlight of the walk; the Long Reef Point Lookout.
If the weather conditions are good, you may be able to watch hang gliders and paragliders take off from that point, which is quite a spectacular sight.
Walking past the lookout, you will see a long staircase heading down to the easternmost tip of the headland, a popular fishing and whale-watching spot.
The ocean and coastal views along this staircase are pretty amazing, and the rock platform at the bottom is a fascinating spot to explore.
3. Long Reef Beach
From the Long Reef Point Lookout, the circuit trail continues westbound towards Long Reef Beach, atop beautiful coastal cliffs.
You will notice that parts of the cliffs have an interesting red colour, which looks very different from the cliffs in Sydney’s eastern suburbs.
This red colour is Bald Hill Claystone, a sedimentary rock that the Long Reef cliffs are composed of.
The trail slowly descends from the top of the headland to the beach, with the Long Reef golf course on the right and the ocean and beach on the left.
Towards the end of this walking path is a junction where you can make a left turn to walk on the beach or keep going straight to continue the main circuit walking trail.
4. Griffith Park
From that junction, the trail veers away from the beach and eventually makes a right turn, navigating through a section of bushland via a wooden boardwalk.
Soon after the boardwalk ends, the walking path ends up on an open grass area that flows into Griffith Park.
Rather than continuing on the path along busy Pittwater Road, it’s best to cross this open field and walk towards the car park next to the tennis fields.
Optional: Dee Why Lagoon
Instead of completing the circuit and heading back to Anzac Avenue via Griffith Park, you can do a detour to Dee Why via Long Reef Beach.
This trail passes Dee Why Lagoon, with Dee Why Beach on the other side. Depending on the tide, you may need to get your feet wet to cross the creek where the lagoon flows into the ocean.
This section between Long Reef Headland and Dee Why forms part of the Bicentennial Coastal Walk between Narrabeen Lagoon and Manly Lagoon, a 10 km long coastal adventure on the Northern Beaches.