Sydney is mostly known for its main icons, The Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge, but it is also surrounded by stunning and dynamic coastlines that are unique to the region. From beach to beach you will find dozens of walking tracks that scale the cliff-sides and tower above the crashing waves. This is the list of my favorite coastal tracks found just miles from Sydney’s CBD.
BONDI TO COOGEE COASTAL WALK
This coastal trail extends 6 km from Bondi Beach to Coogee Beach, taking just under 2 hours to complete. It passes through tons of other beaches while following the edges of cliffs and shoreline with some of Sydney’s best beach views. You can also take on the challenge of running the trail or stopping at one of the many outdoor gyms for a quick workout sesh.
- Pack snorkel gear and take a swim at Clovelly for some great fish viewing
- Stop and swim in the Coogee baths at the end of the walk
- Start with a swim at Bondi Icebergs
- Wander up the streets to see some of Sydney’s best coastal mansions
SPIT TO MANLY COASTAL WALK
The harbourside track crosses bushland, bays, beaches and cliff sides for about 10 km. There are numerous short tracks that are well posted so going the entire 10 km isn’t the only option. On the walk you will see some of Sydney’s stunning northern beaches, and you probably won’t want to leave. This one will take you 3-4 hours.
- Catch a city bus to the Spit Bridge to access the trail
- You will end in Manly and can catch a ferry back from there to Circular Quay
- Keep your eye out for Aboriginal rock carvings
THE COAST TRACK
This bad boy is a 26 km trail that extends through Royal National Park and is intended to be a multi-day hike. The length may sound scary but it offers some god damn beautiful views and a chance to see Royal National Park in its entirety. But is only made for serious hikers with the right equipment. If you are up for the challenge you will explore swimming holes, coastal lookouts, whale watching and more.
- Book North Era Campground ahead of time is you are planning to overnight camp
- Download the Azena App for an interactive map of Royal National Park
- Pack a raincoat, weather always changes quickly in this area
FEDERATION CLIFF WALK
The coastal track extends from Watson’s Bay to Bondi Beach and is close to 6 km if you extend all the way to Bondi. This walk is very similar to the Bondi Coogee coastal track but is different enough to add to your list. You will get ridiculous views of the Tasman Sea and have a bit more of an open view of the cliffs and seaside.
- Visit Macquarie Lighthouse
- View “The Gap” also known as Suicide Cliff (although a common suicide spot, this is a super cool spot on the walk)
- Travel on the 324 or 325 bus from Circular Quay to Watson’s Bay to start the hike
BALCONIES TO MARLEY BEACH
Extending on the northern end of The Coast Track, this walk is a 9 km stretch that only takes 3-4 hours and is super easy. If you aren’t up for the entire Coast Track, this is a great option for a day hike to see part of it. You will see some ridiculous landscapes and enjoy a quieter vibe.
- Go to the famous Wedding Cake Rock
- Keep a look out for humpbacks between June and August
- Take a ferry from Cronulla to Bundeena to access this section of the trail
- Visit Marley Beach – an ancient super beach
BARRENJOEY TO AVALON COASTAL WALK
This trail starts at the famous Barrenjoey Lighthouse in Palm Beach and extends to Avalon. You will want to start at the Palm Beach Golf Club and travel from there, you can catch public transport at Avalon Beach. Otherwise I recommend starting in Avalon and finishing in Palm Beach where you can catch public transportation back to the City.
- Stop at Whale Beach Hang out in Palm Beach and visit the famous Barrenjoey Boathouse which is now a 5-star restaurant
- Explore the Barrenjoey Lighthouse
- Visit Bangalley Head – Northern Sydney’s highest coastal point
- Visit the shopping center at Avalon Beach
BOTANY BAY COASTAL WALK
Ending (or starting) in Cronulla, one of Sydney’s best surfing spots, the Botany Bay track is 6 km of beauty that starts in Kurnell passing through Botany Bay. Hop off the bus from Cronulla Station at the Kurnell Reserve Captain Cooks Landing stop. It is an incredible coastal track that allows you to see some of Botany Bay National Park.
- Follow the Monument Track to access the visitor’s centre where you’ll start on one of the many hikes that take you to Cape Solander where you will then start the walk
- Look out for planes at Botany Bay as the Sydney Airport is right across the bay from it
- Cape Baily Lighthouse
BRIGHTON-LE-SANDS TO SANS SOUCI
The Brighton-Le-Sands path extends only 5 km is located on the southern side of Sydney’s CBD and sits on the western side of Botany Bay. This one is more of a stroll along the coast offering food, coffee and more along the way. Sans Souci is a beachside suburb of Sydney and is known for its rich history.
- Grab a cup of coffee and take a sunset or sunrise stroll before hanging out in Brighton-Le-Sands for the rest of your day
- Take the T2 from the city going towards Parramatta and hop off at Croydon Station where you will walk 10 mins to Brighton-Le-Sands Beach