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cliff, girl, coast

Get active with the best coastal walks in and around Sydney

I love getting out and about in the attempt to keep myself active (plus, walking is free!) and what better place to do that than here in Sydney! I’ve picked out four of my favourite coastal walks that everyone can enjoy and are only a stone’s throw away from the city.

Easy: South Head Heritage Trail

Take in the views on this super easy walk from Watson’s Bay. I took the ferry there from Circular Quay, but I know it’s also accessible by bus. Take a leisurely stroll around the South Head Heritage Trail, just a short 1 km loop around the beautiful coast. Look out for Lady Bay and don’t make the innocent mistake I did… it’s not your average beach, but rather a nudist beach with plenty of people letting it all hang loose (and I mean ALL, if you know what I mean!).

red and white lighthouse
Image: Hornby Lighthouse (Source: Helen Jackson)

With plenty of photo opportunities along this walk, don’t forget your cameras! There’s magical distant views of Sydney Harbour and the city skyline, plus the unique and circus-like Hornby Lighthouse for that perfect Insta shot.

Easy: Hermitage Foreshore Track

This easy 1.6 km walk offers the most beautiful unobstructed views of Sydney Harbour and Shark Island (yeah, I didn’t know it was called that either!). I started this walk from Neilsen Park Beach, easily accessible by bus from the CBD (Central Business District). It might be worth doing it in reverse so you can finish by relaxing on the beach!

girl, sun, harbour
Image: A great view no matter what time of day (Source: Helen Jackson)

In reality, the Hermitage Foreshore walk should only take around 40 minutes. But, if you’re anything like me, the amount of times I stopped to take in the views and take photos made it take twice as long! I’d recommend walking this trail an hour or so before sunset, it’s so stunning! I wish I took a picnic or drinks with me to sit and enjoy the moment even more.

Medium: Coogee to Bondi Coastal Walk

Every man and his dog recommends this walk, and once you do it you can certainly see why! Whether you complete it from Coogee to Bondi, or Bondi to Coogee, you will be graced with 6 km of spectacular coastal cliffs, rock formations, and unobstructed views of the vast open ocean. I loved stopping along the way to watch the beautiful shades of blue water come crashing up the rocks.

waves, cliffs
Image: See the shades of blue with your own eyes (Source: Helen Jackson)

I’d definitely recommend wearing your swimmers, as there’s plenty of stops along the way to take a dip in the sea or the many saltwater swimming pools! My personal faves are Clovelly Beach, Bronte Beach and Tamarama – not super crowded like Bondi, but you still get all the benefits of the weather and water.

If you’re looking to meet new people, I would recommend jumping on the guided group walking tour with Wake Up! Sydney every Wednesday – free for all guests.

Hard: Spit to Manly Walk

Work up a sweat on this 10 km walk from Spit Bridge to Manly Beach. Plan your day wisely and consider taking a packed lunch with you, as it could take you up to three hours, if not more (it took me 5 hours, but I walked pretty leisurely and stopped to admire the view a lot!). I caught the bus from Wynyard to Spit Bridge and started the walk from there. There’s so many beautiful bay areas to admire.

beach, blue skies
Image: Enjoy your own slice of secluded beach heaven (Source: Helen Jackson)

I definitely had serious house (and yacht!) envy, dreaming and imagining that one of those cliff-side mansions would be mine one day. We took a little detour to the Lighthouse at Grotto Point, but it’s a very uneven track, scrambling over rocks and through bushes, so I wouldn’t really recommend (don’t say I didn’t warn you…)! There’s plenty to see and explore on this walk, but the best part is ending at Manly Beach, where I could finally relax after walking for so long!

Get out there and explore!

So there you have it! These are just a few of my favourite coastal walks that aren’t too much of a trek to get to from Sydney, saving those legs for the walk itself! I’m sure there are way more walks nearby that I haven’t even discovered yet. Get those walking boots or thongs* on!

*A.K.A. flip flops to you and me! Weird Aussie lingo.


girl, garden
by Helen Jackson

A travel-obsessed gal from England, running away from adulting and the cold. Fulfilling my wanderlust currently in Australia. Follow my adventures @helendemelon.

beaches, coastal walks, travel tips australia

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