A SEA CHANGE IS AFOOT!
3 Sensational Walking Tracks on Sydney's Northern Beaches:
One of the great highlights of living in the Northern Beaches of Sydney is the accessibility to the incredible landscapes. With just the right amount of distance from the city, you are able to straddle both worlds, busy city work-life and coming home to relax in nature. From scenic beaches to lush, green bushwalks and challenging riding trails, the Northern Beaches is a great place to raise a family, spend a weekend or make a sea change.
Below are 3 of our favourite walking tracks to explore while venturing out on the Northern Beaches:
Narrabeen Lagoon walk
The Narrabeen Lagoon Trail is a fantastic addition to the Northern Beaches, offering great opportunities for walking, bike riding or jogging – in a beautifully scenic stretch of native bush. It’s wonderful how the trail winds around the shore, providing different views every other minute and crossing so many different landscapes.
Narrabeen Lakes (or Lagoon) is Sydney's Northern Beaches largest estuary system located just close to the world-renowned surf beach at Narrabeen.
Anyone on the Northern Beaches who may be an exercise fanatic of any sort and is always searching for new adventures will have completed a loop or two of Narrabeen Lagoon. Approximately an 8.4km circuit, the Narrabeen Lagoon bush trail is one of those ‘fun for the whole family’ places with room for walkers, runners, cyclists, and dogs.
Completed in 2015, the circuit is broken up into five sections, so while 8.4km is a worthy goal, you can choose different options of the trail to complete yourself all at differing lengths while enjoying the natural beauty and serenity of an idyllic lake surrounded by thriving bushland.
Stretching 55 square kilometres and encompassing a waterway area of 2.2 square kilometres, Narrabeen Lakes is not only a great place for bushwalking as water sports and line fishing is also permitted in the aquatic reserve. You can windsurf, sail and as well boating is also permitted.
Narrabeen Lakes guides you through ecosystems with an abundance of wildlife, historical sites, and cultural heritage. The area is home to birds (In-fact – a third of Sydney’s bird species live here), rodents, bats, frogs, marsupials, lizards and many different types of fish.
Narrabeen Lakes is also referred to as Narrabeen Lagoon because the lake is basically a coastal lagoon separated from the ocean next door. The area around the lagoon has become popular for camping and leisure since the beginning of the 19th century when the tram line was extended to Narrabeen in 1913 providing easier transport.
The Narrabeen Lagoon trail is divided into 5 different sections, starting at Middle Creek, that makes its way around the lake in a clockwise manner. If you’re feeling hungry, Berry Reserve is a great place for a pitstop. Have a picnic in the park or go to one of the cafes nearby for a bite. At Jamieson Park, you can also hire equipment for kayaking and stand-up-paddling.
Spit Bridge to Manly Walk
Everyone’s heard of the Spit Bridge to Manly walk, it is a beautiful 10 km hiking trail, boasting native bushland, quiet inner harbour beaches, picturesque bays, and panoramic ocean views. The route takes you from sandy coves to beautiful vantage points of Sydney Harbour, up and down rocky staircases, and to at least four secret beaches, creeks, canopies, and cliffs.
The well renowned “Spit Bridge” is located in The Spit and carries Spit Road to connect the suburbs Mosman and Seaforth. The Spit Bridge, completed in 1958, is a bascule bridge and its middle section can be raised to allow tall boats to get through.
The bridge has played a crucial role in the development of the Northern Beaches and forms the gateway to the beaches further North.
The Spit to Manly walk is a picturesque bushwalk on Sydney’s Northern Beaches. The walk follows a track providing beautiful views over Middle Harbour. This walk is popular for exercise or just a stroll along the shoreline of Sydney Harbour and also offers a selection of spots to eat along the way, all packaged up to be ideal for a day’s escape, or you can opt for shorter intervals if you don’t want the challenge of the full 10kms.
This first stretch will encapsulate you as it weaves under lush rooftop canopies and over wooden stairs that propel you toward the azure views of Pearl and Sandy Bays. Surrounded by a lush tunnel of green, the trail transports you out to a world-class view of Manly. By about halfway the blistering sun has you craving a refreshing dip. Cut through one of the exit points between Grotto Point Lighthouse and Reef Beach and make your way down to the sand and glistening waters edge for a swim.
You’re on the home stretch when you slide into Fairlight Pool, one of the best ocean baths in Sydney. Protected from the sea by Manly and Dobroyd Head – home to Sydney Harbour National Park – this calm rock pool is the ultimate place to chill.
Along the final stretch of beach to Manly wharf, there are various historic plaques, including commemorative plaques of Manly’s many Olympians
Palm Beach to Barrenjoey Lighthouse Walk
The Barrenjoey Lighthouse Walk is a short bush walk with big rewards, amazing views over Palm Beach and whale watching in Winter and early Spring, ideal for those wanting a great walk on Sydney’s Northern Beaches.
Barrenjoey Headland is a relatively small peninsula, with spectacular views. Features of this track include views of the Central Coast, the Pacific Ocean to the East, Hawkesbury River to the North and the gorgeous sparkling waters of Pittwater and Broken Bay to the West along with historic remnants of old lighthouses. Barrenjoey Lighthouse sits at Sydney’s most northern point – Barrenjoey Head at Palm Beach in the Northern Beaches. The heritage-listed Barrenjoey Lighthouse, built-in 1881, sits at 113 metres above sea-level, is an iconic Sydney attraction and was the third light constructed on this headland. This lighthouse was built from sandstone quarried on site.
The extraordinary views of Palm Beach to the left and Broken Bay to the right is the most photographed viewpoint of the Barrenjoey Lighthouse Walk. To get there, take an easy and picturesque walk along Barrenjoey track for 1km. The walk to the top requires moderate fitness and will take about 30 minutes each way from Governor Phillip parking area. You could choose to walk Smugglers track instead for a more challenging hike to the top. There is a rock platform, about halfway up Smugglers Track, which is the perfect place for these extraordinary views.