Sydney’s known for its stunning coastal and harbourside hikes, but what about linking them all together? Bondi and Manly are now joined by 80km of walking track, and we can’t wait to hike the whole thing!
The decision to link two of Sydney’s most famous beaches through a network of existing trails and public land might seem like a no brainer, but it’s a hell of a lot of work. In fact, 14 different landholders and all three levels of government had to be tamed to make it happen.
Luckily, back in 1828 the Governor of NSW at the time Ralph Darling decided to reserve ‘all land within one hundred feet of high water mark, on the sea coast, creeks, harbours and inlets’.
Legend, cheers Ralph!
Wait, 80km? In the city? Who’s this hike for?
Obviously 80 clicks is pretty intimidating, that’s longer than the Overland Track, Australia’s most famous multi-day trek down in Tassie. So what’s deal? Are there cabins or campsites?
Currently the Bondi to Manly website lists a bunch of itineraries based around taking the ferry back to Circular Quay each day (sooo Sydney, I know) to crash in a hotel (or backpackers). Or they suggest that you could book Airbnbs along your route (or sleep in a park, but you didn’t hear that from us).
Our fave’s the four-day itinerary, roughly 20km a day should be doable when you can stop at 7/11 for a slushy.
Follow the whale
Navigation should be a cinch, with over 350 trail markers installed along the route. Not only that, there’s an app you can find on their website that’ll geolocate you on a map!
Look out for striking yellow and black whale symbol as you hike. Whale sightings are a quintessential part of hiking in coastal Sydney and Aboriginal carvings show that this has always been part of the experience. The symbol features a Buri buri (whale) traversed by mundoes (footsteps).
Read more: 9 Epic Whale Watching Spots Near Sydney
Aboriginal culture is an important part of Bondi to Manly walk and local Aboriginal Land Councils were heavily consulted in its creation – look out for Indigenous rock engravings at Grotto Point in Clontarf.
It’s rare that we’ll tell you to stay in the city, but Sydney is particularly blessed with easy to access adventures and the Bondi to Manly walk only emphasises that. The walk also takes in some fan favourites: The Sydney Opera House, The Sydney Harbour Bridge, Manly Beach and Bondi Beach, so it’s a pretty excellent option for playing tour guide for your out-of-town mates.
If you’re a local, you’re almost guaranteed to discover something new, whether it’s Indigenous history, military tunnels from World War II or a new favourite secluded beach to swim at, 80km of coastline has a lot to offer!
Feature photo by Brian Giesen on Flickr