Sydney is picturesque all year round. Locals love to take in the views of Sydney Harbour, lush bush surrounds and of course feel the sea breeze while laying on the picturesque beaches. Whether you’re splashing out on your visit, or an international student living in Sydney on a budget, the following coastal walks are a perfect way to spend your weekend.
1. Bondi to Coogee Walk
This is one of the best walks to do in Sydney and maybe even Australia. The sea will sparkle and the coastal homes will beam if you are able to pick a day with clear warm weather. This walk will take you past Bondi Icebergs, the coastal cemetery at Bronte, and lawn bowls at Clovelly. It’s also an absolute must in the warmer months to pack your swimming gear for a dip at the beach at either end. In the cooler months, you’ll spot Sculpture By The Sea – Australia’s largest annual outdoor sculpture exhibition – and breathtaking sights of the migrating whales off the coast too. The walk takes around two hours to complete, depending on how many gelatos and selfies you stop for along the way!
2. The Spit to Manly
On the northern side of Sydney is the gorgeous 10 kilometre walk from The Spit, Mosman, to Manly. The M30 bus from Central Station will drop you at the Spit Bridge where you will set off north, hugging the coastline towards Clontarf where the water is clear and calm. You may be tempted here to give up and go for a dip, but holding on is worth it. You’ll pass a nudist beach from a safe distance above and Reef Bay where there are often party-goers in the summer months. The final stretch is downhill through suburban Manly village, passing a few bars should you wish for a cocktail, but the sparkling waves of Manly Beach are calling your name. Go on you’ve earned it! Cool off here before setting off back to the city via the ferry.
3. Chinamans Beach to Balmoral Beach
This coastal stroll is the best place for yacht watching in Sydney Harbour and gives you a perfect view of the headlands that serve as the entrance to Sydney Harbour. With a burst of energy, you’ll cruise down some steep steps and be greeted by views of Middle Harbour. The trek then becomes a bit more challenging and exciting as the path reveals itself only at low tide across Chinamans Beach. You will then continue along the often overgrown Parriwi Lighthouse Walking Track and pass by gorgeous exclusive waterfront penthouses.
4. Barrenjoey Lighthouse Walk
Home and Away’s Summer Bay is famously located at Palm Beach and is a selfie spot for fans of the TV show. As a visitor to Sydney, why not take in the unforgettable coastal views, grab some takeaway fish and chips on the beach and enjoy some fresh air on the walk between Barrenjoey Lighthouse (at Sydney’s most northerly point) and Palm Beach? Barrenjoey Lighthouse is also open for guided tours every Sunday and is accessible daily.
5. Barangaroo Headland
Australia’s Indigenous culture and history can be explored through a walk of discovery at one of Sydney’s newest public spaces, Barangaroo Headland Park. It has Balmain and Darling Harbour to the west, Luna Park and Cockatoo Island to the north, and the Sydney Harbour Bridge and city skyline in the east. Download the free augmented reality app which unlocks the meaning behind five new engravings carved into rock at the park by Aboriginal Elders. The app is free to download from iTunes or Google Play.
6. Royal National Park
One of Sydney’s most challenging treks is the Bundeena to Otford Coastal Track. Take an overnight journey and spend the night listening to the waves roll in while surrounded by picturesque views including the sunrise over the horizon. The track is 26 kilometres around the Royal National Park in southern Sydney with rugged bushwalks calling health nuts down for the challenge. For anyone interested, but more realistic about their fitness level needing some work, an overnight stay at North Era Campground close to Bundeena is a good option.
7. Sydney Harbour Bridge
While the bridge climb is one of the hottest and most popular tourist attractions in Sydney, it costs absolutely nothing to cross the bridge’s eastern footpath along the deck of the bridge. This will suit those who have no interest in gazing down from the highest highs of the bridge’s arch. Connect to the bridge’s accessible footpath from Circular Quay (via the lifts near the train station) or from the steps from Argyle Street in The Rocks.
What are you waiting for?
Now fill up that water bottle, pack a sandwich, throw on a hat and swimming costume, and lace up your sneakers. It’s time to hit the streets or bush pathway on your walk around Sydney’s breathtaking coast. Don’t forget to take a selfie and make all your friends and family back home jealous.