“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.
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.
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.
Distance: 10 km – one way
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,