Grab your walking shoes and soak in the sunshine this summer. Here are our top picks for the best coastal walks in Sydney.
Distance: 6km (one way)
Time: 2-3 hours (one way)
Difficulty: Easy, suitable for most ages and fitness levels.
It might be Sydney’s most Instagrammed walking trail, but that doesn’t make it any less worthy of inclusion. The Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk takes walkers alongside some of the eastern suburbs’ most beautiful beaches, kicking off at the famous Bondi Icebergs swimming club before continuing along to Tamarama Beach and then following the coastline to Bronte Beach. The track continues along to Gordon’s Bay before you hit your final destination, Coogee Beach. May we suggest heading into Coogee Pavilion for a well-earned pizza and drink (or two)? Oh and pup parents can bring their pooch along (on leash) to walk the track with you, too.
Have you heard Coogee Pavilion’s middle floor is welcoming a trio of new venues this month? Check out our guide to what’s opening soon in Sydney to stay up to date with the latest news.
Distance: 4km (one way)
Time: 1.5 to 2.5 hours (one way)
Soak in sparkling views of Sydney Harbour at the Bradleys Head to Chowder Bay walk, an easy track taking you from Taronga Zoo to the heart of Chowder Bay. This bush track gives you prime ‘gramming position for Sydney’s iconic buildings such as the Opera House and Harbour Bridge, with water views at every turn. Expect a gentle walk with views of boats on the water from Bradleys Head Amphitheater, military relics at Bradleys Head plus ancient trees and wildlife in abundance.
Distance: 1.8km (one way)
Time: 30 minutes – 1hr
Want to get a quick walk in before brunch? This is the perfect coastal walk for you. Head to Bayview Hill Road or Nielsen Park to try one of Sydney’s best coastal walks, the Hermitage Foreshore track. This easy-going trail delivers stunning vantage points to Shark Island and the Sydney Harbour Bridge, and won’t break too much of a sweat. Pack a picnic and finish with snacks on the grass at Nielsen Park, or head to The Nielsen for a picturesque lunch spot overlooking the water.
Distance: 2.2km (return)
Time: 1.5 hours (return)
Difficulty: Easy with steep sections.
Head up the road to Palm Beach and you’ll find a coastal walk well worth the drive. The Barrenjoey Lighthouse sits 91 metres about sea level, with two different tracks that will take up from the car park to the top. The Access Trail offers a longer but easier trail, with a few steep sections. For those up for a bit of a challenge, give the Smugglers Track a go, a short but challenging walk with plenty of steps and a short but steep climb. Either way, you’ll be greeted with sweeping vistas of the water and Palm Beach below.
Distance: 10km (one way)
Time: 3 hours 45 minutes (one way)
Difficulty: Moderate, suitable for most ages and fitness levels.
For a breathtaking walk on the northern beaches, we can’t go past the Manly to Spit Bridge Walk. This coastal track takes you through both bushland and alongside the harbour, featuring sculptural rocks, stunning beaches and an abundance of picnic spots. The trail boasts plenty of sign-posts to keep you heading in the right direction, drinking fountains and can be completed in under four hours, making it a great half-day coastal walk. Make sure to look out for the tidal pool in Fairlight, Crater Cove and Reef Beach for a quick dip.
Distance: 26km (one way)
Time: 2 days
Not one for the faint-hearted, the Royal National Park’s spectacular multi-day hike the Coastal Track offers incredible coastal lookouts, swim spots and even whale watching. Spread across 26km, walkers will be taken from Bundeena to Otford along the rugged sandstone escarpment with plenty of beaches along the way. Make sure to come prepared as this hike will take 2 days, with all hikers needing to book ahead into the North Era campground online (make sure to get in quick as this site tends to book out between October and March). With very steep sections, rough track and lots of steps to tackle, this coastal track is one for experienced bushwalkers. Bring along water, sun gear, food, a tent, sleeping back and a raincoat to make sure you’re ready for the epic adventure.