Walk Your Way Around Sydney
The most frequently used images of Sydney all have one thing in common – from the Sydney Opera House to lifeguards at Bondi or Manly – they all feature water. Sydney is home to the largest natural harbor in the world, the city center is a quick drive to the Pacific Ocean and several rivers carve their way through the suburbs. Discovering Sydney’s sparkling water by foot is one of the best ways to see the city and there’s no shortage of hikes. Here are four of my favorites:
- Bondi to Bronte: This quintessential Sydney walk is a must for any visitor. Bondi Beach is just six km, or under four miles, from the city center where you can get fueled up with a hearty, healthy breakfast at one of Bondi’s cafes such as Bondi Massive or Porch & Parlour. Join the path at the southern end of the beach behind Bondi Icebergs and follow it past sandstone cliffs, cove beaches, and oceanfront homes. Stop at Bronte, or continue onto Coogee for a coffee or rosé at Coogee Pavilion.
- Spit to Manly: Although you can wear flip-flops for many Sydney walks I’d recommend wearing sneakers for this 10 km or 3-4 hour coastal trail. Catch a bus to Spit Bridge and be prepared for stunning views, beautiful bays, beaches and the feeling that you’ve completely escaped the city. Celebrate your journey to Manly with a beer at 4 Pines Brewery or Manly Wharf Hotel before catching the ferry back to the city.
- Watsons Bay: The South Head Heritage Trail is relatively short; take in Camp Cove, where you can stop for a swim, the Hornby Lighthouse and The Gap sandstone cliffs. Make sure to time this hike to coincide with sunset for stunning views across the harbor towards the Sydney skyline. If you’ve developed an appetite, enjoy fish and chips on the wharf from Doyles or a sparkling wine at Wastons Bay Hotel.
Rose Bay to Watsons Bay: Catch a bus or ferry to Rose Bay and spend some time exploring the tree-lined streets, cafés, and shops of this eastern suburbs village before finding the Hermitage Foreshore Track trailhead at the north end of Rose Bay Beach. You’ll pass historic houses, enclosed harbor beaches and of course, great views along the relatively flat 8 km trail.
Every visitor to Sydney should try to visit at least one of Sydney’s many walks and hikes. Not only does it get you off the typical tourist trail and amongst locals, you’ll find it hard to believe that such sweeping views, secluded beaches, and dense Australian bush can exist so close to a bustling city.