SYDNEY

Walking in Sydney; Spit Bridge to Manly Walk

Spit Bridge to Manly Walk

One of the greatest things about living in Sydney is the city exceptional natural setting. Few cities are as blessed to have such environmentally spectacular surroundings – Rio de Janeiro, Cape Town and Malé come to mind as competitors.

A cove on Sydney's Middle Harbour

A cove on Sydney’s Middle Harbour

Taking advantage of the natural setting is a popular pastime of many Sydneysiders, and the harbour is lined with parks, pools and walking trails offering incredible views of Australia’s largest city. One of my favourite walks is the Spit Bridge to Manly walk, starting in the exclusive districts on Sydney’s Middle Harbour and ending at the beachside area of Manly.

Sydney Heads from Dobroyd Head

Sydney Heads from Dobroyd Head

The walk is about 10 kilometres long, and takes about 4 hours if you stop to rest and take in the view a few times. A lot of it is unpaved, through the naturally scrubby bushland which lines much of the harbour, although some of it is sealed, and parts even veer on to main streets for a short while.

Walking along Dobroyd Head

Walking along Dobroyd Head

It’s not an overall difficult walk, although there are sections which could be described as moderately strenuous – part of Sydney’s beauty is the hilly topography. There are a lot of steps and 4 hours is a long time to be on your feet, so a moderate level of fitness is required. Don’t forget to wear comfortable shoes, and pack some snacks and water – you’ll appreciate them!

Steps lead away from a cove and up over the hill on Sydney's Spit Bridge to Manly walk

Steps lead away from a cove and up over the hill on Sydney’s Spit Bridge to Manly walk

The walk attracts visitors for different reasons; some come to pass the time and discover their city staycation-style, some are exercising and walking their dogs, others photograph, there are tourists, students studying the local flora and fauna, and some even use it as an alternative way to get between the Spit Bridge and Manly, a great place to stop for lunch. Don’t forget to check out some of the beautiful homes along the way – this is some of Australia’s prime real estate!

Beach on Middle Harbour, Sydney

Beach on Middle Harbour, Sydney

Lizard on a rock

To get to the Spit Bridge (which, by the way, is referring to a sandy isthmus, not the act of projecting saliva!), take a bus from Wynyard or Town Hall Stations in Sydney city. Several buses ply this route, so use the Transport NSW trip planner to find the next one available, but routes 169, 178, 179 and 180 seem to be the most frequent. From the city centre, the Spit Bridge is about 35 minutes by bus, and costs about $3.50.

A quiet moment on Sydney's Spit Bridge to Manly walk

A quiet moment on Sydney’s Spit Bridge to Manly walk

To return (after having fish and chips on Manly Beach), catch the Manly Ferry ($7.20, 35 minutes) or the Manly Fast Ferry (up to $8.60, 25 minutes) to Circular Quay in the city.

Manly Cove

Manly Cove

(All images in this article with thanks to my good friend Gordon Lau)

Which city do you think has the best natural setting? Comment below!

Meet Tim Blight


Writer, traveller, amateur photographer, teacher. Based in Melbourne and Lahore.

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{ 12 comments }

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  • Flora April 30, 2016, 10:51 am

    I’m glad you guys went together…because Gordon was asking me whether it was a good walk to go on since I went with my friends previously. You guys had great weather too! It’s funny when you put up these posts…because I get confused about where you are in the world. XD

    Reply
    • Tim Blight May 4, 2016, 8:56 pm

      Actually we didn’t go together!! I was writing about a previous experience, and Gordon very kindly took the pics for me!! 😀

      Currently in Melbourne – will be leaving soon though 🙂

      Reply
      • Flora May 8, 2016, 3:46 pm

        Oh! Haha…no wonder I’m so confused! Too funny.

        Reply
  • Anna @ shenANNAgans April 30, 2016, 11:50 am

    Wow, gorgeous photos, wish i was enjoying this walk today. Its overcast and chilly here today. Im totally adding this walk to my list, set myself a goal to walk new mountajns and tracks every month. To answer your question, i reckon Canberra has a pretty rad natural setting.

    Reply
    • Tim Blight May 4, 2016, 8:57 pm

      Yeah – totally agree – Canberra has a gorgeous setting!

      Reply
  • Agness May 2, 2016, 2:57 pm

    This place is perfect for a morning run or tabata! Really love how peaceful it is!

    Reply
    • Tim Blight May 4, 2016, 8:57 pm

      It is really beautiful, and you can only do a part of it if that’s what you feel like! And by the way, I had to look up tabata to find the meaning 😛

      Reply
  • Andrew May 3, 2016, 11:25 am

    looks like a wonderful, colourful walk Tim! Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
    • Tim Blight May 4, 2016, 8:58 pm

      It’s gorgeous! These are the things that I love Sydney for 🙂

      Reply
  • SnowSomewhere May 5, 2016, 2:03 am

    Australia really is so beautiful 🙂

    Reply
    • Tim Blight May 6, 2016, 11:41 am

      Thanks for stopping by! There’s certainly no shortage of places to see in Australia 🙂

      Reply