One of the most beautiful cities in the world, thanks to it’s vast and splendid harbour, Sydney has so many gorgeous walks for visitors to enjoy. While living in Sydney, I never owned a car so unfortunately didn’t explore some of the more harder to get to walks; I did manage to get to most of the ones relatively close to the CBD. Sharing my favourites with you now.
The showstopper – the Bondi to Coogee coastal walk. No visit to Sydney is complete without doing this walk. I try to do this every time I visit and it never gets old. On a good day, you might even seen dolphins and whales off the coast. Below is a rough map of the walk. Typically you start at Bondi and end at Coogee, or vice versa, but if I’m short on time, I’ll start/end at Bronte, rather than go all the way to Coogee.
If you start at Bondi, you follow the path around Icebergs pool and just keep following the coastline. You’ll pass Tamara Beach & Bronte Beach. To get from Bronte to Clovelly and eventually Coogee, you might veer a little inland, but not for too long. When you get to Coogee, have a drink or some food at the Coogee Pavilion. It used to be one of those old, musty bars, but was completely revamped by the Merivale group and is a great place to have a well deserved drink.
If you start at Coogee, I’d recommend grabbing a beer at one of the RSLs at Bondi. The 2nd level of Icebergs is a casual bar, great value for the million dollar views of the Icebergs pool and Bondi Beach. Get a seat outside on the balcony if you can. Otherwise there is another RSL at the north end of Bondi, also with gorgeous views. Of course there are dozens of other restaurants and cafes to choose from at Bondi as well.
During October, there’s an annual Sculptures by the Sea art festival. The path from Bondi to Bronte is scattered with sculptures and art installations during this period and the crowds are fierce. Get there early to have a fighting chance of not being swarmed.
Harbour Highlights run route
I used to run sections of this route during lunch or after work with my colleagues. I was fortunate that my office was right on Macquarie Street, next to the Botanic Gardens, so we could pop out easily and enjoy this stunning stunning run. On a sunny day, this route is truly breathtaking. If you only do a section of it, I recommend starting from under the Harbour Bridge and following the water all the way around to Mrs. Macquarie’s Chair (or vice versa). Watch out for the crowds around Circular Quay and the promenade near the Opera House.
Spit to Manly (Manly Scenic Walk)
My preferred direction for this walk is to start from the Spit Bridge and end up at Manly. There are buses from Wynyard station in the CBD that take you up to the Spit Bridge. You walk down to the start of the path, at the North end of the Spit Bridge and follow the path. Along the way you should see signs that point you towards Manly or Manly Scenic Walk. Some parts of this walk cut through a few residentially streets, y0u’re not lost, so just carry on. There are loads of stunning lookouts and photos ops, so take your time. The walk is fairly flat, but bring enough water, a snack, a hat, and comfortable walking shoes.
When you get to Manly, treat yourself to a cold beer, some food, or maybe some Ben & Jerry’s. Cut across the Manly Corso to the beachside for good people/surfer watching. If you’re still not too tired, you can even turn right at the beach and walk towards Shelley Beach.
Once you’re refreshed and ready, hop on the Ferry back to the CBD. This is a perfect way to spend the day in Sydney!
Taronga Zoo to Chowder Bay
You’ll want to drive past the Taronga Zoo and down to the tip of Bradley’s head for this walk. It takes you around the Clifton Gardens and Chowder Bay, where there are a few cafes for a snack/coffee. A short walk, doable in an afternoon or morning, though you could continue even further East/North or West, if going the other way.
Great site for more walk ideas or more detailed information about the routes described on this page.
I have other suggestions about what to do while visiting Sydney, here.