My top priority for this year is to walk and hike more. The Spit Bridge to Manly coastal walk was the first walk I did this year and is definitely one of my most favourite walks in Sydney. All the Sydney coastal walks including this one is a great way to explore the beautiful panoramic landscapes of the harbour and bushlands. The views are breathtaking and provide great opportunities to take amazing photographs. The walk also comes across some historical places including a few aboriginal rock carvings.
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About Spit Bridge to Manly walk
The Spit Bridge to Manly coastal walk is a very well known and well-marked coastal walk in Sydney. It was opened in the year 1988 and it passes through the Sydney Harbour National Park, bushlands and local suburbs. The walk is famously known as the Manly Scenic Walkway.
A bit about Spit Bridge
The original Spit Bridge was built in the year 1924 to replace the punt service. The current Spit Bridge was built in the 1950’s, which replaced the old wooden bridge. The bridge is really cool where the middle section can be raised to allow the tall ships or boats to pass through.
The Bridge opening times can be found on the Roads and Maritime website.
How to get there?
- Getting to Spit Bridge – There are frequent buses between Wynyard and Spit Bridge. The fare costs around AUD 3 to 4.
- Getting from Manly – There are ferries and buses between Manly and Circular Quay.
- More up-to-date information on public transport can be found on the NSW Transport website.
It is advisable to get an Opal card to travel in Sydney. However, one can pay using the credit or debit cards.
Even though one can drive to one point of the walk, you still need to take public transport or a taxi as this walk is just one way and is not a loop or a return. The Spit Bridge is about 11 kilometres from the Sydney Central Business District (CBD) and there is a parking near Spit Bridge.
The walk starts at the Spit Bridge. The Spit Bridge is a movable bridge across the Middle Harbour in Sydney city. The walk passes through some spectacular beaches. The path of the walk is also through the Grotto Point aboriginal engravings. They are protected aboriginal art and they belonged to the Eora group who lived in the Sydney harbour region. The engravings depict kangaroos, fishes, and a whale. They are said to be about 1000 years old. More information can be found on the ATNF website.
The walk gets busy over the weekends with many runners.
Below are the logistics one need to know for the Spit Bridge to Manly coastal walk:
- Starting point: Spit Bridge. (The walk can be done the other way as well i.e. starting from Manly Wharf.)
- Finishing point: Manly Wharf. (The walk can be done the other way as well i.e. finishing at Spit Bridge.)
- Distance: 11 kilometres; well-marked coastal walk.
- Type: One way.
- Time: ~5 hours.
- Grade: Easy to Moderate.
- Path: Spit Bridge > Ellery’s Punt Reserve > Clontarf Reserve > Clonny’s > Castle Rock Beach > Grotto Point Lighthouse > Grotto Point Engravings > Crater Cove Lookout > Arabanoo Lookout > Reef Beach > North Harbour Reserve > Manly Wharf.
- There are cafes at the Spit Bridge and Manly. There are also a few cafes along the way.
- Certain sections of the walk go through the Dobroyd Head and dogs are not allowed in that area.
- There are various swimming points along the way.
- The path of the walk is through headlands and suburbs (streets). So be careful and look out for vehicles when walking on the streets.
- There are toilet facilities at various points.
- There are water facilities along the way where one can refill water.
- This is a family-friendly walk.
- This walk is fit for all kinds of hikers and walkers. As it is an easy walk, it is perfect for beginners.
- Look out for humpback whales during the whale migratory season.
- This walk is in the city and hence it gets quite busy over the weekends.
General Hiking Information
- Wear sturdy and comfortable shoes.
- Carry an extra pair of socks.
- Keep yourself hydrated along the way.
During the whale migratory season (between the months May and October), whales migrate from the south to north and then back. This is a perfect time to spot some humpback whales. Even though I have not spotted a single whale on this walk, I have been told by my fellow hikers and walkers that some of them have seen whales. So do watch out for them.
Ensure to carry a binocular.
Is it safe for solo female travelers?
This walk is definitely very safe for solo female travelers. There are so many people walking over the weekend and hence there is no section where it gets lonely and scary. Help is always there if needed.
However, like any other place, better to be a bit cautious, especially at nights and to trust your instinct.
The Spit Bridge to Manly coastal walk is undoubtedly one of the best walks in Sydney. It is an easy relaxed walk over the weekend, where one can enjoy the spectacular views and still get good exercise. Having done this walk many number of times, I vouch for it and I would recommend doing this walk while visiting Sydney.