Sydney Train Walks

From Taronga Zoo via Sydney Harbour 6h / 20km to Manly

About this walk

The first part of this walk follows the Bradleys Head to Chowder Bay Walk.

The second part follows the Spit to Manly Walk.

It takes about 6 hours to complete the full 20 kilometre walk, with plenty of breaks and photography stops. A brisk walker can do this much faster, but consider that there's a lot to see along the way.

Getting there and back

Get the ferry to Taronga Zoo using transportnsw.info. Plan your return trip from Manly at transportnsw.info.

Along the way

From the ferry dock for the Zoo, start up the road to the Zoo entrance.

Opposite the bottom entrance of the Zoo, follow the path down.

Follow the signs along the path to end up on the trail to Bradleys Head.

The path ends at a toilet block near the monuments at Bradleys Head.

Follow the footpath along the road up to the hairpin turn.

At the hairpin turn a bush trail continues on along the shore.

The trail finally ends at a grassy reserve near Chowder Bay. From there follow the stairs down to the beach.

At the far end of the beach follow the path past the cafe on the dock.

Before the open area of the dock, a stone staircase leads up to the headland.

The path ends at a roundabout. On the other side next to a cafe, a staircase and bushtrail lead up further.

The climb ends at a road. Cross the road and follow the bushtrail on the inside of the bend.

This trail leads to the Middle Head Gun Placements. From there a footpath continues along the headland.

The footpath ends at a pedestrian crossing. Cross the road and follow the metal staircase down to Balmoral Beach.

The metal staircase ends at a sportsfield next to the beach.

Cross the parking lot next to the sportfield to get to the promenade along the beach.

Follow the promenate past the pavilion on the far end and conitnue on the footpath to the end of the beach.

There a stone staircase leads up to the suburb above.

Follow the road straight across the intersection.

After several hundred meters on the right, the narrow Rosherville Road leads down to the picnic area of Chinaman's Beach.

Follow one of the paths through the bushes across the reserve to get to the beach.

At the far end of the beach, follow the staircase up to the street.

The steep streets lead up to the main road.

Follow the main road to the right, down to Spit Junction.

Walk along the footpath past Spit Junction and across Spit Bridge.

On the far side of the bridge a small road leads down to a waterside reserve.

From the reserve follow the Spit to Manly signs along the gravel track, away from the bridge.

After a bushtrail around Fisher Bay, continue on the footpath along the shore.

Cross Clontarf reserve to the beach at the far end.

At low tide this beach can be followed to the next section of bush trails.

At high tide exit the reserve at the car park near the beach instead.

Follow the street to the right, around the houses nearest to the beach.

At the end of the street a footpath leads back to the beach, past the flooded section.

At the far end of the beach follow the signs along the next section of the Spit to Manly bushtrail.

Several side trail lead to small beaches. Keep following the signs to Manly.

Eventually the trail climbs up from the shore onto the headland.

Keep following the signs to Manly across the headland.

The trail descend passes several small beach on the Manly side of teh headland.

Eventually the trail ends at a gate to the road. Follow the left fork up.

At the top of the climb a footpath on the right leads to a predestrian bridge.

If the bridge is still broken, follow the detour signs to the other side of the bridge.

Down the street from the bridge a stair case leads down to North Harbour Reserve

Follow the footpath along the shore to the far end of the reserve.

Take the staircase up to the street from the reserve.

Follow the sign to Manly along the urban street.

At the end of the street follow the bicycle path to the right.

After a short distance a footpath to the right leads down to a reserve along the shore.

Follow the path through the reserve along the shore.

At the end of the reserve a staircase leads down to the aquarium.

Walk around the aquarium to get to the esplanade.

The ferry back to Sydney is located halfway up the esplanade.

What to bring

  • Check the national parks website for possible detours, closures and restrictions.
  • Install an OpenStreetMap app for Android or iOS and preload the area.
  • Download the GPS data if your device can import it.
  • Print out this map and get a better one from a visitor information centre if possible.
  • Be sure to leave enough charge in your phone's battery for emergency calls.
  • Bring plenty of water, comfortable shoes, a hat and SPF 30 sunscreen.
  • Also bring a light windbreaker/raincoat in case you get caught out in the rain.