There’s no better time of year in Sydney than Summer. It’s warm, we’re entering holiday mode as the year draws to a close, the sunshine motivates us to get on those walks and make the most of being outside. Nothing is more relaxing and gets the endorphins pumping than an outdoor adventure so here’s a bit of inspiration to get off the couch and near the coast this summer.
Stretching between two of the eastern suburbs’ most popular beaches you’ll be treated to stunning ocean views, bays and rock pools along this cliff top coastal walk. Beginning at the iconic Bondi Beach you’ll wander past Clovelly and the picturesque Gordon’s Bay. With clear waters and extensive sea life, both spots are great to stop for a swim and snorkel. You’ll also pass Waverly Cemetery, resting on the clifftop this is one of the paths most unique sights. This walk is paved and takes about two hours to complete. Those keen for extra steps can head an hour further north to Maroubra Beach.
Manly to Spit Bridge
This coastal walk passes through some of Sydney’s most beautiful beaches, bays and inlets. Cliffs along the way provide vantage points to soak up the views from above and see across to Sydney Harbour at some points. It takes three to four hours to complete but there are plenty of spots along the way to enjoy a quick dip such as Reef Beach, Sandy Beach and Clontarf Beach. Some bays are only accessible via foot so if you’re lucky you’ll have it to yourself. If you’re coming from the city you can catch the ferry across to Manly or start at Spit Bridge and walk from the opposite end.
Bradley’s Head to Chowder Bay
This bush track weaves around harbour headlands from Taronga Zoo Wharf to Chowder Bay. It takes between one and a half and two and a half hours but there’s plenty to see on the way. From different vantage points walkers will spot the Sydney Opera House, Harbour Bridge, boats passing by and you can check out Military relics at Bradleys Head. Despite the dirt trail it’s a relatively easy walk. The trail meets up with the Spit to Manly so those wanting an extra challenge or simply wishing to soak up a few more sun rays can carry on.
There are a few tracks which will take you to Palm Beach’s Barrenjoey lighthouse. The most picturesque is a relatively easy one kilometre walk with views of the local flora and water peeking through the trees. The Smugglers track is slightly more challenging, although it’s shorter than the main trail it’s steeper. I recommend taking the latter of the two routes – after a bit of puffing you’ll be rewarded by the view at the top. The headland the lighthouse sits on is Sydney’s most northern point and from it you can see down the northern beaches from the south end and up to the Central Coast from the north. The trial isn’t paved and there’s a few large rocks so wear built in shoes and bring water.
Figure Eight Pools
Distance: 6km return
This walk is just south of Sydney however the destination is arguably one of the state’s most ‘instagramable’ locations. As the rock pools are only accessible via foot visitors need to park at Garrawarra Farm in the Royal National Park and walk the three kilometre track than winds down a cliff to the ocean. Set aside at least one hour to do this and be prepared for some rock scrambling at the end. Although spectacular, the pools can be very dangerous at high tide so check the tides and surf conditions before you go to avoid getting yourself into a world of trouble. At low tide, the crystal clear Figure Eight pools are a tranquil setting to enjoy with friends whilst you’re surrounded by bush, cliffs and the sea.