7 of Sydney’s Best Walking Trails

7 of Sydney’s Best Walking Trails

Sydney is home to many famous attractions, from architectural highlights to stunning harbours and beaches. The city however also offers lots of incredible walks! From challenging, long coastal walks, to gorgeous secluded walks and everything in between. Once you research a couple of walks you will see that there is lots to choose from! So how do you know which are the best walks in Sydney? Since there is an abundance of choice?

I have walked many incredible Sydney walks ever since moving to Sydney. From walks with incredible city views to windy coastal walks, harbourside paths and lush bushwalks so densely covered with greenery that you will forget that you are just minutes from a hustling and bustling city.

So, if you fancy stretching your legs a bit and want to head out, then here are my recommended 7 best walks in Sydney. They include harbour paths, bushwalks and of course a couple of Sydney’s incredible coastal walks.

1 | Bondi to Coogee

Bondi to Coogee Walk

Probably Sydney’s most famous walk! And for good reason, this walk takes you along some of Sydney’s most iconic beaches, roughed cliffs and incredible ocean views. If you are new to Sydney or only visit temporary then this is the walk that I recommend doing.

This amazing coastal walk is six kilometres long, but since you have stunning views to distract you, it doesn’t feel like its that long. You will encounter the beautiful blue ocean, swimming pools, a historic cemetery, Australian wildlife and stunning mansions (one can dream).

Bondi to Coogee Walk

I recommend starting the walk at Bondi Beach and ended up at Coogee Beach, about 2.30 hours later. From Coogee Beach, you can take the bus back to Sydney CBD. Besides Bondi and Coogee you will also pass Tamarama Beach, Bronte Beach, Clovelly Beach and Gordons Bay, GORGEOUS! you will be blown away!  There are a few restaurants that you can stop along the way or you can bring your own food and eat somewhere on the many many picnic grounds or benches.

Distance: 6 kilometres
Duration: 2 hours
Difficulty: medium

2 | Spit to Manly Walk

Probably the second most popular walking trails in Sydney is the Spit to Manly walk in the Northern Beached. This walk has some of the most stunning views imaginable: Crystal blue water, secluded bays and beaches, bushland and stunning cliff views. This walk is 10 kilometres long and is not super simple. The track, however, is so stunning that it will entice you to keep going.

The walk has quite a few stairs, and its made up of a series of smaller trails. There’s no big expressway-type walking path like there is at the Bondi to Coogee walk. The ‘path’ is at varying points made up of pebbles, compressed earth, concrete, sand, steps carved out of rock – it’s full cross country.

Spit to Manly Walk

Make sure you bring plenty of food and water because restaurants or shops are very scarce along the track (unless you wont to go full Bear Grylls along the way and eat grubs etc.) Also make sure you have enough time, cause it will take you around 3-4 hours to complete it + all the times that you will stop to take pics/ have your breath taken by the views.

Distance: 10 kilometres
Duration: 3–4 hours
Difficulty: medium

3 | Cremorne Point Walk

Cremorne Point is one of the loveliest of the harbour’s peninsulas, and the walk around its forested foreshore gives you some of the most amazing cities views there is.

Million-dollar mansions, green parks, stunning yachts, the chirping of birds….and hundreds of spiders. The only downside of this walk YUCK they were everywhere! But don’t let these creepy crawlers deter you from doing this walk!

This pretty swanky harbour walk is only 3 kilometres long and the terrains is reasonably flat. You will encounter the beautiful blue ocean, a swimming pool, loads of birds, city views and the Australian dream eg. Amazing mansions (one can dream).

For me, it was easiest to start at Reid Park in Mosman, as a bus would pick me up from my front door and drop me off at that park (Winning) and I ended at Bogota Avenue at Cremorne Point about 1.30 hours later. Since I am a blogger and I have to capture everything I see it does take me a bit longer then a normal person would. I think this walk should take you about 1-hour max.

Cremorne Point WalkCremorne Point Walk

The path is pretty straightforward, so you don’t have to worry about getting lost.

Distance: 3 kilometres
Duration: 1-2 hours
Difficulty: easy

4 | Taronga Zoo to Balmoral Beach Harbour Walk

This amazing coastal and bushwalk is 6.5 kilometres long and offers some stunning city views along the way. The walk is medium-difficult. Towards the start of the walk, it is quite easy and flat but towards Balmoral, there are some climbs and stairs making you huff and puff a little. I do think this walk is doable for most people, just take it easy.

Taronga Zoo to Balmoral Beach Harbour WalkTaronga Zoo to Balmoral Beach Harbour Walk

The signposts alongside this walk are not the best, considering that I got lost once and I couldn’t find the posts on two separate occasions. I might have missed the sign once when I was looking for some bluebirds I saw right before…. I might… I would never admit that I got lost cause I was looking for a bird. But make sure to sort of keep track of where you are going, unlike me, and you’ll be fine.

There are also not a whole lot of places to buy food or drinks along the way. So make sure you are stocked up and bring some food, water, and snacks.

You can also encounter some Australian wildlife. From a variety of birds, snakes and heaps of (very large) spiders. So keep your eyes open.  Especially those pesky spiderwebs come out of nowhere, and that is not fun walking into one of those with a spider phobia.

Taronga Zoo to Balmoral Beach Harbour Walk

Lastly, because some of this walk goes through a National Park, some of the track is closed at night-time. Not that you’d really want to be doing this walk in the dark with snakes and spiders hidden by the darkness. But make sure you reach these parts before closing.

Now that we have gotten the basic out of the way, I will show you some of the sights that you will encounter when walking this pretty amazing route.

Distance: 6.5 kilometres
Duration: 3 hours
Difficulty: medium

5 | Palm Beach Walk to Barrenjoey Lighthouse

Palm Beach is the place where some of Sydney’s wealthiest and most famous people escape on their holidays. It’s isolated, tranquil, charming and absolutely beautiful. In Palmy you could walk right by someone like Mick Jagger and not even know it. Celebrities such as Kelly Slater, Guy Sebastian, and Nicole Kidman and hubby Keith Urban also regularly visit Palm Beach during summer.

Palm Beach is located 41 kilometres north of the Sydney CBD and is home to one of Australia’s most famous tv shows, Home and Away. The golden sands of Palm Beach curve 2.3km, from Little Head to Barrenjoey Point and is an excellent place to surf. You can also follow a trail to heritage-listed Barrenjoey Lighthouse which also offers splendid views of the coast, Pittwater and Kur-Ring-Gai Chase National Park.

The Barrenjoey Lighthouse walk is a very popular hiking trail in Barrenjoey Headland, the most northern part of Palm Beach.

There are two walking tracks leading all the way up to the Barrenjoey Lighthouse on the top of the hill from where you can enjoy stunning ocean views.

Palm beach and the Barrenjoey lighthouse walk

The lighthouse is a famous building that is shown a lot on the show Home and Away.

From the Barrenjoey Lighthouse, you can enjoy exquisite views over Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park (west), Broken Bay (north) and the coastline north of Sydney (east).

As you walk up the steep hill towards the lighthouse, the views will get better with each step you take. There are actually two routes that you can take. The Smugglers Track and the Access Trail. If you want my advice (even if you don’t I’m gonna tell you anyway) take the access trail up and the smugglers track down. The access trail is twice as long but it a whole lot easier, although it still has some vertical parts (I thought they were vertical, they might have been just very steep)

The top of the hill is also a great location for a picnic with million-dollar views. Which is what I did, it totally wasn’t to catch my breath or anything.

On your way back take the smugglers track, despite being the shorter one, is the most challenging of the two tracks. It’s a fairly steep, 400 meters long walking trail (grade 3) straight down to the bottom of the hill. It is pretty much all steps, but it feels like you are in a cross-country when wandering down. Make sure you were comfortable and stable shoes, so no Birkenstocks like I did.

Distance: 3 kilometres return
Duration: 1 hour
Difficulty: medium

6 | Chowder Bay to Bradley’s Head

The Chowder Bay to Bradley’s Head walk is an amazing short coast walk that offers incredible Sydney Harbour views, secluded beaches and a sense of bushwalking, even though you are pretty much in the city.

The walk takes you through some of the best bits in Sydney Harbour National Park. Including past some interesting World War II stations, past impressive mansions and lots of typical Aussie wildlife.

Chowder Bay to Bradley's Head

This amazing coastal and bushwalk is about 4 kilometres long and offers some stunning city and harbour views along the way. Additionally, it will take you along some pretty secluded beaches, and will give you a bit of a bushwalking vibe. The walk is medium-difficult. There are some climbs and stairs making you huff and puff a little, but all in all, it is definitely not horrible. The walk is, not wheelchair accessible. There are too many steps, and the route is mostly on sand pats.

There are also not a whole lot of places to buy food or drinks along the way. So make sure you are stocked up and bring some food, water, and snacks. There are some public toilets available along this track, they can be found at the following places:

  • Bradley’s Head Amphitheatre
  • Clifton Gardens
  • Chowder Bay

You can also encounter some Australian wildlife. From a variety of birds, snakes and heaps of (very large) spiders. So keep your eyes open.  Especially those pesky spiderwebs come out of nowhere, and that is not fun walking into one of those with a spider phobia.

Distance: 4 kilometres
Duration: 1hr 30min – 2hrs 30min
Difficulty: medium

7 | Watsons Bay to Rose Bay Walk

This amazing coastal walk is just under eight kilometres long, but since you have stunning views to distract you, it doesn’t feel like it is that long. The walk is fairly easy, but not wheelchair accessibility – unfortunately. There are quite a few stairs to climb and descent, but it was not super straining.

The path is not always easy to find and it will take you along some suburban streets. So I do suggest you bring a phone with an internet connection with you, so you can check Google Maps when required.

You can do the walk from either end (So start Rose Bay and end at Watson’s Bay and visa versa) I started the walk at Watsons Bay and ended up at Rose Bay Wharf. Sydney Ferries have regular ferry services between Circular Quay, Rose Bay, and Watsons Bay. Plus, the views that you get during the ferry trip make the day extra special. There are parking facilities available at both Watsons Bay as well as Rose Bay if you wish to drive to the start of the walk.

All in all, this walk took me under 3 hours to complete, including a 30-minute lunch break at Shark Beach. There are some restaurants, that you can stop at, along the way or you can bring your own food and eat somewhere on the many picnic grounds.

Distance: 7.4 kilometres
Duration: ‎3-4 hours
Difficulty: easy (but there are some uphill sections)

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7 of Sydney's Best Walking Trails

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