Forget Bondi to Bronte – there’s a new bucket-list walk in town.
Sydney’s craggy coastline is famous for its stunning beaches and now two of its finest, Bondi and Manly, have been linked by a new 80-kilometre-long walking track.
Skimming Sydney Harbour and its coastal edges, the trail traverses some of the city’s most impressive public land, winding past (and over) iconic landmarks including the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge, as well as historic features such as Indigenous rock engravings at Clontarf’s Grotto Point. The trail is picketed with signposts featuring Indigenous whale symbols to mark the way.
So, how best to tackle it? Go all out and attempt it all in one day (one enterprising fellow already has; it took him 15 hours and 43 minutes)? Break it in half?
It’s advised you tackle the walk in sections over a week, if you can spare the time. Luckily, the walk can be easily divided into some manageable portions: the Waverley Cliff Walk takes hikers through Watson’s Bay, the peaceful Harbour Walk cuts into Rose and Rushcutters bays or, for view enthusiasts, there’s a stretch by Mrs Macquarie’s Chair, along the edges of the Botanic Gardens and across the bridge.
Northside, the trail continues through Kirribilli, Bradley’s Head and sleepy Balmoral Beach, as the finishing stages of North Head and Manly Beach come into view. Along the way, trekkers can take a break at secluded spots hidden in national parks that buttress several sections and get a detailed glimpse of some of Sydney’s unique natural landscapes.
The best part of the waterside track? There’s plenty of opportunity to cool off once you work up a sweat.
Those who love some swell can bookmark their journey at Bondi or Manly but calmer waters also are abundant around the route: Parsley Bay in Vaucluse has lagoon-like calm waters and Dobroyd Head’s Reef Beach in Dobroyd Head feels like the shores of a deserted island.
Initially announced in November last year, the project was a join venture by six local councils, the NSW government, the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust and Bondi to Manly Walk Supporters and was no mean feat to connect a series of existing pathways into one long stretch. The outcome is well worth it, however.