Sydney Walks Guide: Spit Bridge to Manly

GUEST ARTICLE: Sydney Harbour can be mesmerizingly beautiful and has many walks following the harbour coastline leading to secluded beaches and houses tucked away on the trail. The Spit Bridge to Manly walk is one such trail beginning at the Spit bridge in Seaforth and ending 9 kms later at the Manly ferry wharf from where you can catch a 30 minute ferry ride back down the harbour to Circular Quay, just next to the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Spit Bridge to Manly Scenic Walk Panorama

view from spit to manly walk

The day began with a bus ride from Carrington St outside Wynyard station in Sydney’s CBD, to the Spit Bridge, low in the valley. The bridge itself is busy with noisy traffic which belies the beauty of the walk ahead. Very quickly we reached a trail and began to walk along the harbour.

Thanks to the wonders of modern technology (Neerav’s Google Android mobile phone), the entire journey from Sydney CBD to Manly Wharf was logged and tracked using GPS

View Spit Bridge To Manly Walk (incl. bus there) in a larger map

The trail can be rocky and steep on occasion but accessible to most walkers including children as long as you wear sensible runners/sneakers (not suitable for strollers).

waves on sydney harbour near the heads

Taking one of the many available short detours can lead to some surprising discoveries – our intended lunch spot was to be near the lighthouse, but a detour to the left on that side trail led us instead to an area overlooking North and South Head at the mouth of the Harbour in beautiful winter sun.

There are also several opportunities to walk off the track and enjoy the sea breeze, explore rock pools and go for a swim.

Manly Scenic Walk Rock Pool

Another detour took us to view some Aboriginal rock carvings which have been preserved for public viewing. However, the highlight of the day was a chance encounter of a Pelican on a secluded beach who was too intent on lunch to be perturbed by nosy photographers.


If the day you take the walk is sunny then it’s quite likely you’ll see plenty of lizards such as this Eastern Water Dragon absorbing sublight on nearby rocks.

Eastern Water Dragon Lizard close up on bush walk path

All in all the walk took us around 3.5 hours at a very leisurely pace with 3 stops on the way including lunch. There are more people on the trail at the weekends so if it’s a secluded walk and ferry ride you’re after then a weekday is recommended.

However, if like us you end up going on a weekend, it is still a walk that is well worth doing and taking a camera along.

view from manly to circular quay ferry

This travel diary has been written by Heidi Allen

Heidi has over 15 years experience in the publishing, health and education industries, working internationally in England and Australia. She presents on social media marketing and strategy and is also part of the team at, a medical search directory launched in Australia. She can be found on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Spit to Manly Walk Photo Gallery

EDITOR NEERAV: The photos in the following Spit to Manly Walk Photo Gallery slideshow were taken using different cameras and camera phones across several different times I’ve done this walk.

Manly to Spit Bridge Walk

7 thoughts on “Sydney Walks Guide: Spit Bridge to Manly”

  1. Thanks for the post. Next month my wife and I are finally going to make it to Sydney for a week, and although I can’t wait to explore the city it might be nice to break out into the surrounding area for a day!

  2. What I enjoyed most, besides your pictures, is that you mentioned how valuable those detours can be when traveling. It is good to have a destination in mind, but following a side path often brings an unlooked for wonder or moment of complete serendipity.

  3. I did this walk when I was living in oz a few years ago and it really is beautiful – we got lost (detour to a pub) on the way and it took a whole day but well worth it!

  4. Great walk, inspired by this article. If I could attach a picture it would be of the lizard that ran up my leg and stole a grape from the bunch on my lap.

  5. This walk looks epic!

    I’ve never done it, but I’ll definitely give it a try…. when the weather warms up at least!

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