Spit Bridge to Manly walk is one of those walks that you always hear about… like always. When I first got here and was researching some walks to check out it was one of the first ones that came up every time. It is a beautiful walk through Sydney Harbour National Park, along beaches, up stairs and with panoramic ocean views. Its truly a must do walk when in the Northern Beaches!
So I began my Saturday morning with a big coffee and breakfast and then headed out to for a day of adventuring. I brought along a little backpack with my IPod, a few snacks, a water bottle, some cash, my camera, and made sure to bring extra sunscreen. I did not regret packing a little backpack at all, there’s some cafes along the way so the cash definitely came in handy for a much needed caffeine hit and the water bottle was a must, because well… its Australia and its hot as hell and the walk is actually quite a good workout. The first thing when researching my walks is seeing if I can get a bus to the location- and yes you can get a bus right to Spit Bridge! You can take a bus from any location really.
The first bit of the walk is by the water and brings you through Fisher Bay.
From Fisher Bay you walk through to Sandy Bay. This bay has turquoise waters, beautiful houses, and lovely little beaches.
Next you head from Sandy Bay to Clontarf Reserve. This is a lovely little area with parks, a coffee shop, and public bathrooms. I stopped for a cappuccino and drank it on the beach. This is definitely a family friendly area as the beach and park were packed with families and seemed very family friendly. Lovely stop for sure.
From Clontarf Reserve you then walk along the beach and admire all the amazing sailboats and head to Clontarf Point, Castle Rock and finally enter into Sydney Harbour National Park. I will warn you, this National Park is ridden with stairs, and I don’t mean a casual stroll. I mean don’t do legs the day before and expect to have a leisurely stroll like I did. I definitely worked up a sweat. This walk is great for people who are already semi- physically fit and have good knees. There are a couple hundred stairs and the trail is fairly busy on weekends with runners and families. Don’t get me wrong the walk is so worth it; I’m just warning you… you will sweat and you will need to bring some water. BUT, to make up for the stairs there are excellent lookouts and tons of great spots to sit and enjoy the view at so it all evens out.
I really liked Sydney Harbour National Park. The entire path was either beautiful concrete stairways, clearly marked stone walkways, or panoramic views. I love how much Australia values the outdoors, they invest money in their National Parks and it shows. It is so clean, well marked, and well promoted, it just makes you that much more enthused to head out for a stroll and explore. Seriously though, this is such an amazing walk, I went on a Saturday morning and it was busy, plenty of people to be seen but everyone was very mindful of others, shared the walkways and stairs, and there was no litter! Seriously, I didn’t spot one piece of trash in 10 kilometers. Australia, you’re doing it right!
Actually funny story about this day… I was exiting Sydney Harbour National Park and had my head in the clouds, I was dehydrated, but happy as hell. So naturally I was looking up at the trees in a blissful state of content and suddenly I tripped over a large something… to my surprise it was a 2 foot long lizard. Now it blended into the pavement and I just about lost it. I think I was as frightened as the poor lizard. Anyways a few screams and sprints away I calmed down and thought I was lucky to have made it out alive. I got home and told my family and they laughed their head off, they then told me it was probably a blue tongue lizard, and that it was harmless. They were right, but wow. Lesson learnt, watch out for crossing lizards.
Once you exit Sydney Harbour National Park you will go past Fourty Baskets Beach, Davis Marina and Jilling Cove. These are all beautiful areas with lovely scenery, beaches, and waterfronts. Finally you will walk along the walkway through Kay- Ye- My Point and continue to the Manly Wharf.
I absolutely loved this walk and am planning to do it again soon! I would allow a few hours to complete it as there is so many great lookouts, lots of tiring stairs, and definitely some picture worthy spots. It definitely does not have its shortage of stairs, and the 10 kilomters seems mostly uphill but it is worth it I swear! Don’t forget to pack some water, sunscreen, and your adventure pants because this walk is a must when in the Northern Beaches area!
‘One way to get the most out of life is to look upon it as an adventure’- William Feather