Manly to Mona Vale

Manly to Mona Vale Coastal Walk via Long Reef (2024)

Venture out on a coastal journey that winds from the vibrant shores of Manly to Mona Vale, passing through the captivating landscapes of the Long Reef. This invigorating walk offers a perfect blend of breathtaking ocean views, rugged cliffs, and the sheer thrill of a coastal escapade.

Starting your expedition in Manly, where the salty sea breeze mingles with the lively atmosphere, you will set forth on a trail that uncovers Sydney’s coastline’s raw, untamed beauty. The rugged cliffs and undulating terrain create the perfect image for an exhilarating hike, making every step an example of the untamed spirit of the Australian landscape.

As residents of Sydney, our affinity for the coastline is undeniable, and our city is graced with an array of breathtaking coastal and one-day walks. Whether it’s the iconic Bondi to Coogee or the scenic journey from Manly to Spit Bridge, each pathway boasts its own charm and picturesque allure. Among these, the extended hike from Manly to Mona Vale via Long Reef stands out as yet another jewel in Sydney’s coastal crown.

This particular coastal expedition from Manly to Mona Vale unfolds a panorama of enticing beaches and enchanting views along its route. Venture through headlands that beckon to nature enthusiasts, offering a touch of wilderness amidst the coastal beauty. Despite its accessible nature, don’t be fooled – this walk presents a considerable challenge owing to the substantial distance it spans, adding an element of endurance to its scenic splendour.

Manly to Mona

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Manly to Mona Vale walk via Long Reef (Sydney)
PIN for later reference – Manly to Mona Vale walk via Long Reef (Sydney)

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About Manly to Mona Vale Coastal Walk

Go on a picturesque coastal journey from Manly Beach to Mona Vale Beach via Long Reef Beach, exploring some of Sydney’s most stunning shorelines.

  • Manly Beach – The expedition commences at the renowned Manly Beach, where history meets the waves. This beach hosted the world’s inaugural surfing contest in 1964. Beyond the breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean, Manly Beach boasts a submerged reef that gives rise to spectacular surfing waves, adding a touch of thrill to its scenic charm. The nearby Shelly Beach is famous among snorkelers and scuba divers.
  • Freshwater Beach – A short stroll from Manly on the northern side leads to Freshwater Beach in the suburb of the same name. This family-favourite beach, frequented by surf enthusiasts, offers a delightful coastal retreat.
  • Curl Curl Beach – Further along the route lies the 1.2-kilometer-long Curl Curl Beach, a haven for surfers. The name ‘Curl Curl’ derives from an aboriginal word meaning ‘lagoon,’ capturing the essence of this coastal gem.
  • Dee Why Beach – Discover the lively and sandy expanse of Dee Why Beach, stretching 1.2 kilometres along the Tasman Sea. Its vibrant atmosphere and scenic beauty make it a captivating stop along the coastal walk.
  • Collaroy Beach – Adjacent to Narrabeen Beach, the 3.6-kilometer-long Collaroy Beach is renowned for its excellent swimming conditions, making it an ideal haven for beginner surfers.
  • Mona Vale Beach – The journey culminates at Mona Vale Beach, where a rock platform creates two distinct beaches. With a length of 1 kilometre, Mona Vale Beach offers a serene spot for a leisurely stroll, wrapping up the coastal adventure on a tranquil note.

Historical Tidbit: Back in 1840, the designation for Dee Why Beach was documented as “Deewhy,” noted as a single word in the annals of time.

  • Long Reef Beach – The route also takes you through the pristine Long Reef Beach, a flawless expanse of white sand. Not only is it a protected aquatic reserve, but it also houses a golf course. The headland offers a panoramic view, serving as an excellent vantage point for whale watching during the dedicated season from May to October each year.
    • Extend your exploration by incorporating the Long Reef Headland Loop, spanning approximately 3.5 kilometres, into your walk.

For additional insights on whale watching locations in Sydney, consult the Whale Watching in Sydney guide for detailed information.

Manly to Mona
One of the beaches during the walk

How to Get to Manly Wharf (Starting Point)?

For this specific coastal trek, I recommend utilizing public transport, providing the most convenient way to reach Manly Beach from Mona Vale Beach without the need for a loop.

By Public Transport

  • Starting Point: Commence your journey at Manly Wharf, with Manly Beach a mere 500 meters away, conveniently located at the nearest ferry point.
    • Regular trains operate between Central and Circular Quay.
    • Ferries traverse between Circular Quay and Manly Wharf, where the walk begins.
  • Finishing Point: Conclude your adventure at Mona Vale Beach.
    • Accessible bus services run frequently between Mona Vale and Manly Wharf.
  • For comprehensive details and real-time updates, consult the Transport for New South Wales (TfNSW) website.

By Road

Given the linear nature of the walk, beginning at Manly Beach and concluding at Mona Vale Beach, road travel is another viable option.

Optimal Strategy: Park your vehicle at Manly Beach, and upon completing the walk at Mona Vale Beach, take a bus back to Manly Wharf.

  • Manly Wharf is approximately 16 kilometres from the Sydney Central Business District (CBD), with Manly Beach conveniently situated 500 meters away.
  • While there are ample parking spaces at Manly Beach, please note that it tends to be bustling, particularly on weekends.
  • Similarly, Mona Vale is also 16 kilometres from Sydney CBD.

Selecting public transport or road travel depends on your preference for convenience and the overall experience you seek during this captivating coastal journey.

Details of the Manly to Mona Vale Coastal Walk

This stroll unquestionably ranks among the most effortlessly enjoyable extended walks in Sydney, offering enchanting vistas throughout. Winding along the coastline, the path gracefully navigates headlands, enhancing the scenic allure of the journey.

Logistics of Manly to Mona Vale Walk

  • Distance: 16 to 23 kilometres depending on the route.
  • Time: 6 to 7 hours.
  • Starting point: Manly beach.
  • Finishing point: Mona Vale beach.
  • Grade: Easy to Moderate. Moderate only because of the long distance.
  • Path: Manly beach -> Freshwater beach -> Curl Curl beach -> Dee Why beach -> Collary beach -> Mona Vale beach.


Is Manly to Mona Vale Coastal Walk Safe for Solo Female Hikers?

Sydney proves to be notably secure for solo female travelers, standing out as one of the safest cities in my travel experiences. I’ve encountered no issues or concerns during my time here. Nonetheless, exercising prudence, particularly during nighttime, and familiarizing oneself with the surroundings remains a wise practice, as is the case in any city worldwide.

Manly to Mona

Closing Notes

While not claiming the title of the ultimate and iconic Sydney walk, this particular route certainly boasts its own brand of beauty and charm. Offering unending vistas of the ocean, it stands as a delightful option for a weekend stroll. I wholeheartedly recommend this walk on your Sydney itinerary, and keep a keen eye out for passing whales during the dedicated whale-watching season!

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Manly to Mona Vale Coastal Walk via Long Reef (2024)
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    PIN for later reference – Manly to Mona Vale Coastal Walk

    Manly to Mona Vale walk via Long Reef (Sydney)
    PIN for later reference – Manly to Mona Vale walk via Long Reef (Sydney)