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NORTHERN FOOTPRINT

“Everywhere is within walking distance if you have the time.”

Steven Wright

A walk on the north side of town, from the Spit Bridge to Manly, Sydney, Australia

Every walk starts with just one tiny footprint. It’s where that footprint takes you that matters.

The Spit to Manly walk.

When I started this walk I wondered who had walked this area before. I don’t mean the manufactured walking trail but the entire area between the Spit Bridge and Manly. Bush walkers perhaps, convicts, early explorers? Actually, I was thinking of the Indigenous people of this land who hunted and gathered food here for thousands of years and we know that they were here and there were many of them. I wonder what they thought as they saw the first sailing vessels coming through the heads. The surprise and wonderment at the garments and uniforms of the first officers and sailors on landing.

Seaforth, Sydney, N.S.W.
Seaforth, Sydney, N.S.W.

Some of the harbour side beaches throw the most spectacular patterns in the water and you can see just how clean and clear the water is which brings me back to thinking about the aboriginal people who lived on these shores and what a life style they must have enjoyed with plentiful fresh water, native animals, birds and an abundance of fish and crustaceons to feast on, a temperate climate with lots of sunshine, life must have been very good.

The above view was our introduction to our walk and we couldn’t have wished for better weather and couldn’t wait to see what we had in front of us.

Our next location was Clortarf where we were greeted by this natural sculpture in sandstone.

Is the above view for real? Is it some mystical bottom dwelling sea creature from the bottom of Sydney Harbour that I have accidentally photographed? or is it an illusion produced by the water passing over a rather large submerged rock? You be the judge!

This is a view across Sydney Harbour looking from Clontarf to South Head at the entrance to Sydney harbour. If you read my post on the walk from Watsons Bay to Bondi Beach, the land depicted in the above photograph is the subject of the article. I may be biased but I think it is quite spectacular. The ferry you can see in the photo, is heading to Manly from Circular Quay and it would be this ferry that you would catch to start the walk from Manly to The Spit.

As we passed through Balgowla Heights I was attracted to the beautiful native flora which goes to show you that there is more to this walk than awesome harbour views.

At the top of this photograph is North Head at the entrance to Sydney harbour. This headland used to be an army installation and out of bounds to the general public, but in recent times it has been turned into Sydney Harbour National Park and can be walked as an extension to the Spit to Manly walk.

When we reached this spot, I knew that we were nearing the end of our walk. Our destination, Manly, is a little to the right of centre in the above photo. It was an enjoyable walk, not too difficult with ample interesting coves and beaches at which to stop and admire the panoramic views of Sydney Harbour. We continued our walk to the ocean side through the pedestrian only Corso ( 5 mins,) where we had an ice cream before catching a ferry back to Circular Quay and a bus to Bondi Beach. All in all an awesome day out.

Information:

Distance: 10 km – one way

Gradient: Moderate

Walk time: 3-5 hrs. depending on fitness and how many stops you make on the way.

If you are planning on staying in Sydney and intend playing the tourist, I would suggest buying an Opal Card which will cover all public transp

Just keep walking,

Jimmy Bee,

FOOTSTEPS ON SANDSTONE Watsons Bay to Bondi Beach

“Take a discovery walk to-day to find what’s missing in your life. There is peace in the whisper of the wind, hope in the sun smiling from behind the clouds, strength in every step forward. You can do it! “…..Toni Sorenson, The Great Brain Cleanse.

Courtesy of – https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/walk

Watsons Bay, NSW walk
Federation Cliff Walk to Bondi Beach, NSW

As we were staying at Bondi beach and without a vehicle, we hopped onto a bus which took us on a nice leisurely ride to Watson’s Bay. Being a long weekend we expected to find hordes of people as it is a very popular destination for day trippers. The Watson’s Bay Hotel was overflowing and the parkland and foreshore also had a number of families picnicking and enjoying themselves beside the bay. We found however, that only a few were attempting the walk and decided, due to it being such a beautiful day to increase our walk by adding the 4.5 km Watsons Bay Walk to the Federation Cliff Walk making it a total of 11 km.

If you look at the above photograph, you can see the start of the walk at the top between the white building on the left and the jetty. You then have a choice of whether you walk along the promenade beside the boats or along the beach or perhaps remove your shoes and paddle through the water. The photograph doesn’t lie, the water is very inviting.

What we are looking at in the above photograph is the southern headland of the entrance to Sydney Harbour. This landmark is known as The Gap. These majestic sandstone cliffs rise many metres above the sea. Unfortunately, as well as offering a truely panoramic vista across the Tasman sea, it also hides a dark and sinister secret. Many people unable to cope with life have chosen this spot to end it all by jumping to their death from the top of the cliffs.

The opposing headland visible at the top of the photograph is North Head, a very similar cliff-scape to South Head, mainly sandstone escarpments.

There’s nothing quite as raw as the sound of your footsteps on sandstone.

This walk between The Gap and Dover Heights (Federation Cliff Walk) is not long at 5 km, nor is it hard but it is worth the effort if only for the coastal views. If I was to do it again, I think I would take a bus from Dover Heights to Bondi Beach rather than walk, as this last 2 km wasn’t all that stirring except for the portion between Bondi North and Bondi Beach.

The above view was taken from North Bondi looking south and to the start of another alluring walk along the cliff tops to Coogee. Once we arrived at North Bondi, we knew our destination was close at hand. One more stop was made before completing our walk at the Adina Apartments and that was the Hotel Bondi where we enjoyed a refreshing, frothy, cold beer to celebrate our cliff walk.

For further information: 1. Watsons Bay Walk – https://www.sydneycoastwalks.com.au/watsons-bay-walk/

2.Federation Cliff Walk with extension to Bondi Beach: – https://www.bestsydneywalks.com/federation-cliff-walk/

3. Adina Apartments, Bondi Beachhttps://www.adinahotels.com/en/apartments/bondi-beach-sydney/?

4. Hotel Bondihttps://www.hotelbondi.com.au

Take care and enjoy your life,