Spit Bridge to Manly Coastal Walk
Time: 3-4 hours one way
Distance: 9.1 km
A great way to get out and explore Sydney’s stunning harbour is by tackling some of the excellent day walks that are on offer. Many of these walks can be found at http://short-walks.com.au, and one that I can highly recommend is the Spit Bridge to Manly walk. The walk includes a meander through some of the harbour’s prettiest coves and inlets and offers some stunning views over middle harbour.
Many walkers choose to catch a bus from the city to the Spit Bridge at Mosman/Seaforth and later catch a ferry from Manly back to Circular Quay. Alternatively you can catch a ferry to Manly and complete the walk in the opposite direction. We did the walk on a public holiday, so we chose to avoid the busy Manly ferry route so we drove and parked at the Spit Bridge and caught a bus back to our car from Manly.
The walk starts from the southern end of the Spit Bridge and is well sign posted all the way. It winds through a range of terrains, including sub-tropical, coastal heathland and stunning little hidden beaches. You can also gawk at the multi-million dollar harbour side mansions along the way and dream of that lucky lotto win!
If you’re after a quick bite or caffeine hit, try the yummy food and coffee at Clonny’s at Clontarf Beach at the start of the walk. Further on, the walk offers some worthwhile detours such as a visit to the Old Grotto Point lighthouse and the aboriginal rock engravings at Grotto Point. How about a quick swim at one of the many harbour beaches such as Reef Beach in Manly or Forty baskets at Balgowlah- so named because of the fish caught here in the 1980’s to feed Sudanese soldiers detained at the Quarantine Station.
If you’re walking the trail between May and November, you may be lucky enough to spot a whale migrating along the NSW coast.
Parts of the track are prone to flooding, particularly at Castle Rock beach, but alternate pathways are available if you don’t feel like wading through the often knee-high water.
About half way you’ll be rewarded by a magnificent lookout from Dobroyd Head with a 270-degree view over Middle harbour. This is a great spot to have a break, take a selfie and take it all in.
Arriving at Manly Cove, you can rest assured you’ve earned your reward of a double scoop of gelato at one of the great Manly ice-cream shops!