The Spit to Manly walk is a classic bushwalk on Sydney’s Northern Beaches. The walk follows a well-maintained track and provides beautiful views over Middle Harbour. This walk is great for those looking for exercise or just a stroll along the shoreline of Sydney Harbour. If you have time, the sidetrips down to Grotto Point and up to Arabanoo Lookout are definitely worth the effort. There are also a few places to get a bite to eat along the way.
3 hrs 45 mins
(0km) Int. Battle Boulevard and Manly Rd → Int. Ellery’s Punt Reserve Rd and Manly Scenic Walkway
Continue straight: From the end of Battle Boulevard, this walk heads down the stairs following the sign ‘To Manly’. The walk follows the stairs under the bridge then across the grass clearing to the ‘Manly Scenic Walkway’ map and info sign on the footpath, in Ellery’s Punt Reserve.
Ellery’s Punt Reserve
(0.23km) Int. Ellery’s Punt Reserve Rd and Manly Scenic Walkway → Int. Sandy Bay Rd and Fairbairn Ave
Continue straight: From the end of Sandy Bay Rd, this walk heads along the road, keeping the water to the right, coming to the signposted intersection with Fairbairn Ave.
(1.26km) Int. Sandy Bay Rd and Fairbairn Ave → Clontarf Reserve (Clonny’s)
Turn left: From Clontarf Marina, this walk follows the footpath along Sandy Bay Road, keeping the water on the right. About 100m from the marina, the footpath turns right and heads into ‘Clontarf Reserve’. The walk passes the ‘Manly Scenic Walkway’ signpost and heads over the grass towards the children’s play area, then past the public phone to Clonny’s Cafe.
(1.74km) Clontarf Reserve (Clonny’s) → Monash Cres Track
(2.24km) Monash Cres Track → Int of Manly to Spit track and Castle Rock Beach steps
Continue straight: From the intersection, this walk follows the ‘Manly’ sign (keeping the water to the right) as it passes up the stairs between the rocks. The track soon comes to a signposted intersection, with the ‘Access to Cutler & Amiens Rd’ off to the left.
Continue straight: From the intersection, this walk follows the ‘Manly’ sign as it heads up the slight hill and across the rock shelf, keeping the water on the right. The walk then steps off the rockshelf to continue along the hillside, undulating steeply in parts. The track is board-walked in many places, with a few access points to the water along the way. The walk crosses a bridge before continuing left around the hill to a well signposted intersection.
Turn right: From the intersection, this walk follows the ‘Manly Scenic Walk’ arrow down the concrete steps towards the water, to the signposted intersection of the ‘Manly to Spit’ and ‘Castle Rock’ beach tracks.
(2.95km) Int of Manly to Spit Track and Castle Rock Beach steps → Castle Rock Beach
Castle Rock Beach
(2.95km) Int of Manly to Spit Track and Castle Rock Beach steps → Int of Grotto Point Lighthouse and Manly to Spit tracks
Continue straight: From the rest area, this walk follows the bush track up the rock steps and along the side of the hill, keeping the water to the right. The track continues steadily up to the 4-way signposted intersection.
(3.34km) Int of Grotto Point Lighthouse and Manly to Spit tracks → Grotto Point Lighthouse
Veer right: From the intersection, this walk winds down the hill, passing an old, blank signpost. The track wanders through dense bush and along the ridge, flattening out for a while until it drops down another hill towards the end of the point, coming to the Grotto Point Lighthouse. At the end of this side trip, retrace your steps back to the main walk then Turn right.
Grotto Point Lighthouse
(3.34km) Int of Grotto Point Lighthouse and Manly to Spit tracks → Grotto Point Engravings track
(3.45km) Grotto Point Engravings track → Grotto Point Engravings
Grotto Point Engravings
(3.45km) Grotto Point Engravings track → Crater Cove Lookout
Continue straight: From the intersection, this walk follows ‘Crater Cove Lookout 700m’ sign along bush track, keeping the water to the right. The walk crosses several separate sections of boardwalk and rock platforms as it winds through the heath, to come to a large rock platform with great views at the unnamed lookout in southern Crater Cove .
Continue straight: From the lookout, this walk follows the bush track along the hillside, keeping the water out to the right. The track continues for a short while until coming to an intersection at the base of some stairs on the left.
Turn right: From the intersection, this walk follows the bush track down the short hill towards the ocean, soon coming to the Crater Cove Lookout.
Crater Cove Lookout
(4.12km) Crater Cove Lookout → Int. Arabanoo Lookout Trk and Manly Scenic Walkway
(4.41km) Int. Arabanoo Lookout Trk and Manly Scenic Walkway → Arabanoo Lookout
Turn right: From the car parking bays on the north eastern edge of Tania Park on Dobroyd Scenic Dr, Balgowlah Heights this walk heads towards the ‘Arabanoo Lookout’ sign. From the edge of the road, this walk follows the (1.5m wide) concrete footpath, directly away from the oval and road, gently uphill, initially passing the ‘Arabanoo’ information sign. About 35m from the road this walk comes to the fenced (1.2m high) lookout area, and seats
. At the end of this side trip, retrace your steps back to the main walk then Veer left.
at the lookout.
This lookout is named after Arabanoo, an Aboriginal man kidnapped in December 1788, by British marines on Governor Phillips orders. The Governor believed that this was justified as he wished to facilitate communication between the British and the Aborigines. Arabanoo lived in the company of the Europeans until the 18th May 1789 where he died due to smallpox infection.
(4.41km) Int. Arabanoo Lookout Trk and Manly Scenic Walkway → Reef Beach platform
Continue straight: From the intersection, this walk follows the ‘Manly via Reef Beach’ sign down the hill to a fenced lookout. From the lookout, the track heads further along the hillside to wind down past some more views. The track soon passes by a large rock shelf, as it comes close to the water and then comes to a boardwalk with bench seat behind Reef Beach.
(5.25km) Reef Beach platform → South end of Forty Baskets Reserve
Continue straight: (This section of track may not be passable at higher tides, alternate route provides drier option). From the intersection, this walk follows the ‘Manly via Forty Baskets Beach’ sign along the well-defined track, keeping the water on the right. Soon the walk heads down a series of stone steps, passing some National Park signs onto the rock beach. From here, the walk follows the beach/rocks till coming to an intersection with a narrow laneway on the left, just past the start of the hardened footpath.
Forty Baskets Reserve
(5.84km) South end of Forty Baskets Reserve → End of Gourlay Avenue
Continue straight: From the toilet block, the walk follows the footpath up the gentle hill, keeping the water on the right. The footpath soon comes the intersection with a set of stairs, uphill to the left.
Continue straight: From the intersection, this walk follows the footpath up the gentle hill, keeping the water to the right. The path soon comes to another intersection with a set of stone and dirt stairs (uphill to the left).
Continue straight: From the intersection, this walk follows the footpath, keeping the water below on the right. Soon, the walk passes around a blue metal gate then continues on to the hairpin bend at the end of Gourlay Ave, just above a small marina.
(6.29km) End of Gourlay Avenue → Int of Beach Ln and North Harbour St
Veer right: From the intersection, this walk follows the ‘Manly’ arrow down the hill and across the bridge (and a wonderful waterfall after rain). On the other side, the footpath leads up to Clarence St.
Turn right: From the intersection, this walk follows the ‘Manly’ sign down along North Harbour St. The road then comes to the top of a set of stairs (heading down to North Harbour Reserve) at the intersection of Beach Ln (unsignposted).
North Harbour Reserve
(6.75km) Int of Beach Ln and North Harbour St → Int. of Lauderdale avenue and Manly Scenic Walk
Continue straight: From the intersection, the walk follows King Road, as it bends to the right, then left up the gentle hill, reaching a ‘T’ intersection with Lauderdale avenue.
Turn right: From the intersection, the walk follows the footpath along Lauderdale Avenue, down the hill past the bus stop sign. After a couple of houses the footpath comes to a clearing on the right, with views of the water and a signposted intersection with the sealed ‘Manly Scenic Walk’ footpath.
(7.26km) Int. of Lauderdale avenue and Manly Scenic Walk → Manly Wharf
Turn right: From the end of Bolingbroke Parade, this walk follows the concrete footpath, keeping the water to the right. The path winds behind the houses, through the open parkland, following the water. The walk passes picnic chairs and some nice views before coming to Fairlight Beach and ocean bath.
Continue straight: From Fairlight Beach, this walk follows the wide yellow footpath past the pool, keeping the water on the right. The footpath continues behind the houses and past several information signs before emerging onto Commonwealth Parade. Once beside the road, the footpath bends left and heads past Manly Waterworks. Just before West Esplanade, this walk turns right and heads along the footpath, with Manly Cove beach on the right, and soon comes to the ferry wharf.
Maps for the Spit Bridge to Manly (Manly Scenic Walkway) walk
You can download the PDF for this walk to print a map.
These maps below cover the walk and the wider area around the walk, they are worth carrying for safety reasons.
|Parramatta River||1:25 000 Map Series||91303N PARRAMATTA RIVER||NSW-91303N|
|Sydney Heads||1:25 000 Map Series||91302N SYDNEY HEADS||NSW-91302N|
|Sydney||1:100 000 Map Series||9130 SYDNEY||9130|
Overview of this walks grade – based on the AS 2156.1 – 2001
Under this standard, a walk is graded based on the most difficult section of the walk.
|Time||3 hrs 45 mins|
|AS 2156.1||Gradient||Short steep hills (3/6)|
|Quality of track||Formed track, with some branches and other obstacles (3/6)|
|Signs||Directional signs along the way (3/6)|
|Experience Required||Some bushwalking experience recommended (3/6)|
|Weather||Storms may impact on navigation and safety (3/6)|
|Infrastructure||Limited facilities, not all cliffs are fenced (3/6)|
Some more details of this walks Grading
Here is a bit more details explaining grading looking at sections of the walk
3.6km of this walk is flat with no steps and another 3km has short steep hills. The remaining (2.6km) has gentle hills with occasional steps.
Quality of track
4.2km of this walk follows a smooth and hardened path and another 2.7km follows a formed track, with some branches and other obstacles. The remaining (2.2km) follows a clear and well formed track or trail.
Around 7km of this walk is clearly signposted, whilst the remaining 2.1km has directional signs at most intersection.
Around 9km of this walk requires no previous bushwalking experience, whilst the remaining 450m requires some bushwalking experience.
Around 9km of this walk is not usually affected by severe weather events (that would unexpectedly impact safety and navigation), whilst the remaining 240m is affected by storms that may impact your navigation and safety.
Around 7km of this walk is close to useful facilities (such as fenced cliffs and seats), whilst the remaining 1.8km has limited facilities (such as not all cliffs fenced).
A list of walks that share part of the track with the Spit Bridge to Manly (Manly Scenic Walkway) walk.
This is a great, short walk to a lookout with a fantastic views. The lookout has great views out through the heads, and also much of the upper reaches of Sydney Harbour. From the lookout, you can even see down into Crater Cove, to the old houses built during the great depression. The walk is very short and starts on Dobroyd Scenic Drive. Whilst in the area, it is worth looking at Arabanoo Lookout at the north-eastern corner of Tania Park.
Total climbing: 9m
60 m Return
This short and easy walk leads from Tania Park to wonderful views of Arabanoo Lookout. The views over North Head and the water are wonderful. There is a concrete path leading the whole way and two seats at the top waiting for you to soak up the views. Tania Park can get busy on weekends with sport and walkers. A lovely walk if you are in the area. There are toilets, picnic area and playground at the far end of the Oval.
Total climbing: 5m
142 m Return
This is a short walk down to Castle Rock Beach, tucked into the rocky shores of Middle Harbour. The walk is mostly along boardwalk or footpath through rainforest vegetation. The foliage surrounding the track is topped by a closed canopy which provides shade, before opening out onto the sunny beach.
Total climbing: 20m
200 m Return
This is an excellent walk with some very scenic views. The walk travels along a well used track through the thick coastal bush. The views are capped off by the vista over Sydney Harbour from the Grotto Point Lighthouse. Easy parking, a few good side trips, and in particular, the Aboriginal Engravings, make this walk all the more appealing.
Total climbing: 83m
1.7 km Return
2 km Return
Walking around Dobroyd Head is a fantastic experience. The heath vegetation high up on the walk provides many opportunities to view flowers and insects close up, whilst still enjoying plenty of views out to the sea. Reef Beach is a great place to stop for a snack or lunch and to get the feet wet before heading back to the road.
Total climbing: 109m
2.5 km Circuit
3.6 km Circuit
1 hr 30 mins
3.6 km Return
This walks follows the coast from Balmoral to the Spit and across Spit Bridge. There are some alternate tracks to consider at high-tides, which take the streets over the headlands. Balmoral and Chinamans Beaches are very nice places for lunch and a swim. Allows time to wander and explore. There are plenty of options for swimming.
Total climbing: 85m
4.3 km One way
2 hrs 30 mins
This loop walk from the Spit Bridge is an interesting walk with many different things to see and do along the way. The walk passes Ellery’s Punt Reserve, Sandy Bay and goes along the shoreline to Castle Rock Beach. The walk crosses Dobroyd Head and comes around to Reef Beach, which is a great place for lunch. The walk then heads back to the start via the roads.
Total climbing: 381m
8.7 km Circuit
This is a scenic and culturally rich walk with views over Sydney Harbour and many interesting heritage buildings along the way. The start at the zoo allows for a possible visit. The walk then passes the Bacino Bar on the way through the military heritage buildings. This is an excellent walk to do on a hot summer’s day, with access to beautiful beaches along the whole walk.
Total climbing: 410m
10.4 km One way
This walk follows the Manly to Spit Scenic Walkway, then continues past The Spit Bridge to Seaforth Oval. The walk provides magnificent bushland and Harbour scenes with many small beaches, reserves and coves to stop at. A very scenic and fun walk along the Harbour. Stop for a coffee or ice-cream at one of the cafes along the way.
Total climbing: 624m
13.7 km One way
5 hrs 45 mins
This very long day walk has some stunning views, excellent heritage sites, a Zoo and beautiful beaches. What more could you ask for? The many sidetrips and places to stop and enjoy the views, having a coffee at the Bacino Bar or fish and chips on Balmoral Beach, will all make this walk an excellent way to ease into longer distance walking. The walk spends most of its time on the coast, and follows the Spit to Manly walk for the last half.
Total climbing: 746m
18.9 km One way
This full day walk starts at the southern end of the Spit Bridge and explores a lot of Garigal National Park and Middle Harbour Creek. The walk follows the ‘Harbour to Hawkesbury’ track into Garigal National Park, skirting around Bantry Bay and along Middle Harbour Creek before crossing Roseville Bridge. The walk continues to explore the other side of Garigal, before leaving the National Park and arriving at Lindfield train station.
Total climbing: 1181m
22.6 km One way
9 hrs 45 mins
Other Nearby walks
A list of walks that start near the Spit Bridge to Manly (Manly Scenic Walkway) walk.
This scenic walk takes you from the Spit Bridge, along the coast to explore the Middle Head Forts. There are a few alternate routes for use at high tide or high seas. Balmoral Beach offers a few spots for a coffee or fish and chips along the way. Middle Head offers plenty of options for exploring the old forts and enjoying a view out the heads.
Total climbing: 172m
6.1 km One way
2 hrs 30 mins
Following the edge of Middle Harbour, this walk has excellent views and Special spots, including the views from the end of North Arm Rd and the trail near the Mannerim Rd Turnoff. The change in the track from bush track to mangroves and mudflats south of the Pump Station gives a good feel of the diversity of environments that can be found in the area.
Total climbing: 145m
3.1 km One way
This is the main walk around Manly Dam, and is popular for both walkers and bike riders. Prepare for spectacular views from both sides of the dam, along well managed trails. Good spots to break include the picnic areas on King St. Features of this walk include walking the bridge across the top of the dam and the beach on the north side. Watch out for bike riders as this is a shared track. (This walk has changed since these notes were written, the track notes are now somewhat out of date sorry)
Total climbing: 251m
7.3 km Circuit
A short walk along the southern hill above Manly Dam, with great views and fantastic scenery. One of the few tracks in the Manly Dam area where you won’t get run over by bike riders, this is a great walk for those looking for something short and peaceful. Look out for black snakes and goannas along the way, especially in the McComb Hill area.
Total climbing: 150m
3.2 km Return
1 hr 30 mins
Starting at Seaforth Oval, this walk follows the Engravings track parallel to the Wakehurst Parkway to the end of Bantry Bay Road, Forestville. The first half of the walk is along bush track and the second half follows a service trail. The engravings, after which this track is named, are fenced off to protect the area, the fence limits the view of the rock platform and engravings.
Total climbing: 39m
2.2 km One way
10 km One way
4 hrs 30 mins
Starting at Seaforth Oval, this walk follows a section of the ‘Harbour to Hawkesbury’ track along Middle Harbour Creek. The walk has many highlights, including great views of Bantry Bay, the Historic Magazine Buildings and the Natural Bridge. This walk is blessed with great bushland and views of Middle Harbour. Stop and relax, or wet your toes, at Flat Rock beach before the last section to Davidson Picnic Area.
Total climbing: 491m
10 km One way
This great return walk starts from Seaforth oval and follows the Timbergetters Track down to Bantry Bay, and the pleasant waterfront picnic area. The walk then climbs steadily, out of the valley, to the Bluff Lookout. From this lookout you can see all the way across Middle Harbour.
Total climbing: 363m
5.4 km Return
Starting at Seaforth Oval, this walk explores the historic logging track that heads down to the picnic area on the eastern shore of Banty Bay. The picnic area is a great spot to relax and enjoy the water, and bush views, before heading back up to Seaforth oval. This is just one section of the greater Harbour to Hawkesbury walk.
Total climbing: 120m
1.8 km Return
516 m Return
This walk to the Middle Head fortifications is a great way to break up your day at the beach. There are plenty of places to explore, and the forts are quite interesting and historically significant. The track is well marked and has some information signs. The views of Sydney Harbour are great and it is well worth carrying a picnic lunch to allow more time to enjoy North Head.
Total climbing: 187m
3.9 km Circuit
1.9 km Circuit
Park Information & Alerts
Short URL = http://wild.tl/sbtm
There are other downloads I am still working on.
You will probably need to login to access these — still all free.
* KML (google earth file)
* GPX (GPS file)
Special Maps/ brochures
* A3 topo maps
* PDF with Lands Topo map base
* PDF with arial image (and map overlay)
I wanted to get the main site live first, this extra stuff will come in time.