bondi to manly walk

Bondi to Manly Walksport Crowd Walk

I'd pretty much walked the whole length of the Bondi to Manly walk, just never in one hit. So it was time to put it all together.  A call went out to the Walksport Crowd to see if anyone was interested in joining me. 'You can walk the lot or one or two sections - up to you' was the message.  And, we're walking it in reverse!!

Day One

We met at Circular Quay Wharf 3 at 6:10am for the ferry trip to Manly and started walking at 6:33am towards Manly Beach, Shelly Beach and North Head. We walked the Memorial walk and Fairfax walk and stopped at the lookouts, then through the Barracks Precinct and Collins Flat Beach. Gorgeous. The native flora was beautiful; the colours and fragrance were overwhelming. The flannel flowers were the standout.

We met up with more of the Walksport Crowd at Manly Wharf at around 9:00am and set off towards The Spit. The walk is undulating and spectacular; the views of the harbour are amazing. You walk past Forty Baskets beach, Reef beach, Castle Rock beach, Grandma's beach and Clontarf Beach. Then up and over The Spit Bridge. This was where the first group left us with 10km firmly in their legs. The blue BLUE harbour was a highlight, offset by the challenging terrain that really test you.

After lunch and a rest, we were off again towards Taronga Zoo. The terrain doesn't ease up - it's still bumpy but the views are beautiful.  We walked past Koosha beach, Edwards beach and Balmoral beach as well as the Gunners Barracks, Chowder Bay, Bradleys Head on the way to Taronga Zoo. The majority of this walk is through the Sydney Harbour National Park, with the paths clearly marked and the canopy of vegetation keeping us cool. When we arrived at the zoo, our next group left me to catch the ferry back to Circular Quay, with a well-earned 20km or 30km recorded on their Walksport app.

From the zoo to Circular Quay, I was on my own. I followed the Bondi2Manly app when I couldn't see a whale sign with a directional arrow (usually pretty obvious) and I didn't take (many) wrong turns. The walk goes around Little Sirius Cove following the Foreshore Walk, onto the Cremorne Point Walk, along the wharf at the Sub Base Platypus, the Ensemble Theatre, Kirribilli and Admiralty House over the Sydney Harbour Bridge and around to Wharf 3 Circular Quay - where I started in the morning. 46.5km. One more set of stairs up to Macquarie Street, then my walk home to Darlinghurst.

Day Two

I started on my own back at Wharf 3 at 6:15am heading towards the Sydney Opera House. I arrived at the gates to the Botanic Gardens, but unfortunately, it doesn't open until 7am (hmmm...attention to detail).  I circumnavigate the gardens and get back on track via Mrs Macquaries Road. The next 15 kilometres took me via Mrs Macquaries Point, Andrew (Boy) Charlton Pool, past Harry's Cafe De Wheels in Woolloomooloo, through Potts Point, then the bays; Elizabeth, Double, Rushcutters and the Point Piper loop.

Walksport Crowd walking the Bondi to Manly walk with the Walksport app

Two of the Walksport Crowd were there to meet me at Rose Bay for the final 20km into Bondi Beach. The next stand out section is the Hermitage Walk which runs between Rose Bay and Nielsen Park passing Queens Beach, Hermit Bay, Tingara Beach, Milk Beach and Shark Beach in Nielsen Park along the way. Then right through the Vaucluse House Beach Paddock and over the Parsley Bay Bridge to Watsons Bay. As we rounded South Head walking towards to Horby Lighthouse, a pod of dolphins popped up in front of us, playing with the boats in the area. 

Along Gap Bluff Walking track we spot whales - just off shore. We can hear them blow, see them breaching and slapping their fins. They had quite an audience along the fences. We head south past the Macquarie Lighthouse, Christison Park with its spectacular views of the city skyline and down into Bondi Beach along to Icebergs to ensure that my fellow walkers clock a full 20km and their day of walking is now complete. One of them had completed 20km the day before, so 40km in total for the weekend - a huge achievement! I grab a drink and head home (up the hill) to Darlinghurst.

Day two was shorter and the terrain was easier, although still challenging. I clocked up a total of 94km over the weekend (including walks to and from start/end points). I stepped up 263 flights of stairs over the two days. 

Walksport Crowd walking the Bondi to Manly walk with the Walksport app


It was a great weekend. We had perfect weather, great company and the walk was interesting and challenging. There are plenty of places to fill your water, buy a snack if you need to, amenities to keep you comfortable. Anyone with a medium level of fitness could walk parts (if not all) of this walk. The Bondi2Manly Walk app is helpful and the signage mostly clear. It's a great way to see parts of a city that you may have lived in all your life - but you've never seen. It's also a great way to see Sydney if you're visiting.
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