The Spit to Manly walk boasts lush Australian bushland, sparkling harbour views, and is only 30 minutes from the Sydney CBD. This 10 kilometre hike features a series of short trails with breathtaking views that wind through bushland and a few leafy northern beaches suburbs, ending in the thriving tourist and surfing mecca of Manly.
You start the walk at the Spit Bridge in Mosman, an easy bus ride from the city. As soon as you step off the bus you’re captivated by the glamorous yachts that dot Middle Harbour. You wander down to Clontarf beach and grab an aromatic coffee from Clonny’s at Clontarf. Families congregate in large groups under the shade of the ancient trees and you wonder whether to simply stop here, hire a kayak, and bob languorously in the spectacular blue water. However you’re determined to walk to Manly, so rejuvenated by your excellent brew, and you continue on.
Fortunately your decision is rewarded. The Spit to Manly walk takes you around the shoreline, offering unparalleled views of this magnificent harbour. You admire the beautiful mansions that surround the water, particularly the ones that have access straight onto harbour beaches. What a life!
You take the easy deviation down to Grotto Point to check out the lighthouse and take some fabulous snaps of the harbour. In the distance you can hear a ferry’s horn tooting and the sound of the waves crashing on the rocks. After you return to the main track, you walk past some Aboriginal engravings. You spot the outline of a whale and a fish, plus a few other less distinct animals, and you’re thrilled to see such an important piece of Australia’s history. You keep walking, arriving at Tania Park, where you find groups of families taking advantage of the breeze with kites and model aeroplanes. Children squeal with delight as their kite takes to the sky, whooping and shouting as it dips and sways amongst the clouds.
From this vantage, you see spectacular views of Manly and the northern side of the harbour. You wander through some Australian scrub, past some more fancy homes, and, soon, the end is almost in sight. You join another sealed path at Fairlight and wander amongst the locals who are enjoying the day with their prams, bikes, or dogs.
You make the final descent into Manly and stop to watch a seagull audaciously steal a chip from a family’s picnic. Another bird squawks with indignation as it attempts to grab the snack. It reminds you how hungry you are after your big walk, and so you decide a refreshing beverage and some lunch is in order.
There are plenty of choices in this popular seaside suburb. You decide on Manly Wharf Hotel and take a seat overlooking the water. You sip your refreshing local beer, demolish a burger, and watch the kids splash in the shallows of the nearby harbour beach. When it’s time to go, getting back to the city is as easy as jumping on a ferry.