Long Reef Headland Coastal Walk and Lookout in Collaroy

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)
Grade: Easy
Dogs: On a lead
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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:

Map of Long Reef Headland

Track Notes

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.

Fishermans Beach
Fishermans Beach

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.

Long Reef Point Lookout
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.

Long Reef Point
Long Reef Point

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.

Long Reef Headland cliffs
Long Reef Headland 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.

Walking path along Long Reef golf course
Walking path along Long Reef golf course

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.

Long Reef Beach
Long Reef Beach

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.

Boardwalk on Long Reef Headland
Boardwalk through bushland scenery

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.

We enjoyed the Long Reef Headland walk so much that we have it included in our guide to the best coastal walks in Sydney. Check out that article for more great walks with ocean and Harbour views.

Long Reef Headland Coastal Walk

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