Manly to Spit Bridge Walk
Weaving through a mix of lush bushland and scenic harbourside trails, the 10km Manly to Spit Bridge Coastal Walk is a series of short tracks passing some of North Sydney's stunning beaches, bays and inlets. The walk is well sign-posted and takes around 3 to 4 hours to complete, depending on your fitness level.
To begin, enjoy a scenic ferryride across Sydney Harbour to Manly. From Manly Wharf, the coastal trail winds past Dobroyd Head, a great place for fantastic views of Sydney Harbour. Take a dip during the warmer months at the family-friendly Reef Beach or Forty Baskets Beach. Fairlight Beach offers a protected ocean rock pool and is popular with snorkellers.
Enjoy panoramic harbour views at the Crater Cove and Arabanoo lookouts. The cliff top is a popular vantage spot for watching the famous Sydney to Hobart yacht race, which starts in Sydney every year on Boxing Day. Look below for a glimpse of the heritage-listed fishing huts built during The Great Depression that still line the cliff face at Crater Cove.
Continue through the Sydney Harbour National Park to secluded inlets of Castle Rock Beach and Washaway Beach, aptly named due to it washing away with the incoming tide. Keep an eye out for a preserved Aboriginal rock carving by the local Cammeraygal people near Castle Rock Beach, and take a detour to the historic Grotto Point Lighthouse.
The trail winds to Clontarf Reserve, a sunny harbourside park popular with families and picnickers. There is a restaurant and cafe on site, as well as a playground, BBQ facilities and a netted swimming area, perfect for the kids to paddle in. From here it is a short walk to the Spit Bridge, a structure of historical significance which still operates as a functioning lift bridge.
Many walkers also choose to catch a bus from the city to the Spit Bridge in Mosman to begin the walk from the opposite end. Between May and November, stop to spot migrating whales as they make their way along the NSW coast at various view points around Dobroyd Head.