BreakingModern — It’s a mix between bush and trail that connects well-used beaches around Sydney, but I particularly enjoyed the view and proximity to nature during the Spit Bridge to Manly walk.
Time: Two to four hours
Distance: 10 kilometres (6.2 miles), one way
Conditions: Some shade
After a few stormy Australian nights, a nice walk is always a great way to discover the area. The Spit Bridge to Manly walk is one of many trails local residents and tourists of Sydney enjoy for its views and access to local beaches. The trail is open both ways (obviously) but most people begin at Spit Bridge and head towards Manly, as there is more to do once you arrive at Manly — as opposed to Spit where there are many wharfs and boats. At Spit there is, however, a chance to hire (rent) a kayak/canoe for a period of time, if you’re into that sort of thing.
From Spit, the trail begins at the northern end of Spit Bridge and heads east to Fisher Bay and around Clontarf Reserve. There are signs and directions at frequent intervals, so it’s difficult to get lost. The path itself ranges from an easy stroll along paved roads hugging the coastline, to an uphill hike through bush leading up to a spectacular view of Sydney’s coastline.
If you care for a detour, there is a beautiful turnoff towards the Grotto Point Lighthouse (around 500 meters off trail). The lighthouse, also known as the Port Jackson Entrance Range Front Light, is still active and serves as a front range light for boats on the north side of Sydney Harbour. Constructed out of masonry and brick, the domed tower was built in 1909. The grounds itself are open but the tower is closed to the public.
Midway through the hike from either direction is the Grotto Point Aboriginal site at Dobroyd Head. It’s a small detour from the main path, but when you look down into multiple timber-enclosed sections, you can see Aboriginal carvings of local animals, fauna and history engraved into the rock. Some are faded and harder to see, while others make you think of years past when such art was first chiseled into the ground.
Keep your eyes open for little critters along the paths, from geckos to larger lizards, as well as the beautifully colored birds. However, don’t forget to look down every so often, or you may sprain an ankle on loose rocks or stray branches, as I nearly did.
Though the trail winds through several beaches and well-paved pathways, shoes are recommended, as there are portions of the trail that go through bush and rough terrain.
If you’re not up for the trip back, the Manly ferry runs to Circular Quay or buses 143 or 144 run from Belgrave Street (Stand D) to Spit Bridge. Enjoy the hike!
All images: Cassandra Chin