You know, there’s plenty more Bondi walks to consider than heading out amongst the crowds along the Bondi to Coogee walk, or the Bondi to Bronte walk. Whilst it’s undoubtably one the best coastal walks in Sydney, sometimes you just need to head off the beaten track and find quieter Bondi walks to discover.
So we’re going to give you loads of options to explore some of the best coastal walks in Sydney as well as some hidden gems in Eastern Suburbs you might not have heard of before.
Table of Contents
1. Federation Cliff Walk In Sydney
Where is it? North Bondi to Watsons Bay How long? Approx. 7.5KM / 1h35min
I love the Federation Cliff Walk in Bondi because it’s quite remarkable how quiet it actually is. You could start at Speedo’s Cafe after getting a Bondi breakfast or lunch there – opt for the vegan pancakes, they are insane!
Then head up to the Aboriginal Rock Engravings, walk through the super quiet Rodney Reserve, and over to Dudley Page Reserve for beautiful views of Sydney Harbour.
A little bit further on and you’ll come to Diamond Bay that you’ll wonder if you’ve been faced with a scene from ancient Greece which depicts a set of ruins on the cliff front. Just be careful here because there have been fatalities in this area.
Then continue on and you’ll come to Macquarie Lighthouse and onto the famous The Gap Lookout. You’ll find it starts to become quite busy in the area of The Gap as tourist buses park up at this spot.
Continue down Military Road and you’ll come to Watsons Bay. You could continue up to Camp Cove which is a beautiful Sydney Harbour Beach (one of our favourites!) and onto Hornby Lighthouse at South Head if you fancy walking a 20minutes further (1KM).
Beautiful Camp Cove Beach in Sydney
Then head to Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel or Doyles for lunch and congratulate yourself for finishing one of the best Bondi walks in Sydney! You can jump on a ferry at Watsons Bay back to Circular Quay or to Manly. Yep, that’s right – you can get a ferry over to Manly from Watsons Bay!
Looking for a shorter version of this Watsons Bay walk? You can obviously break up the Federation Walk in Bondi if you wanted and start from Diamond Bay which takes around 40 minutes to walk 3KM.
2. Hermitage Foreshore Walk In Sydney
Where is it? Rose Bay to Nielsen Park How long? Approx. 2KM / 30 minutes one way
If it’s a bit windy, take a look at the Hermitage Foreshore Walk which is located on the Sydney Harbour side between Rose Bay and Vaucluse in the Eastern Suburbs. This is a fantastic alternative Bondi walks which makes a much more chilled out day to explore more of the Eastern Suburbs.
The great thing about the Hermitage walk is that it’s pretty easy. Most of it is on a boardwalk and there’s no hills to climb up. Plus, you’ll have uninterrupted views of the Sydney Harbour skyline, beautiful little beaches to discover like Queens Beach and Milk Beach as well as Strickland House.
You’ve probably seen Strickland House before as it features on many blockbusters including Baz Luhrmann’s Australia. Make sure you pop into the gardens at Strickland House for some ultimate peace and quiet time.
Check out Strickland House in the trailer for ‘Australia’ below at 1:06.
Continue along the track which will bring you to the end at Nielsen Park which is also known as Shark Beach. This is a fantastic beach for families in Sydney.
Shark Beach is a brilliant family beach near Bondi.
The flat water, shark net as well as space to spread out and let the kids run around in the park is priceless. Be warned, parking can be a bit of a nightmare to find at this Sydney beach. READ: 10 Best Hidden Beaches Near Bondi Beach >
Where is it? Coogee Beach to Maroubra Beach How long? Approx. 5KM / 1hr10m one way
It’s actually quite amazing how quiet the Coogee to Maroubra coastal walk is in Sydney. As soon as you leave Coogee Beach and walk along the path, it quietens down fast. This is something that has always baffled me, like it feels as if you’ve taken on a walk no one knows about.
You know what’s good about the Coogee to Maroubra walk? There’s loads of amazing rockpools and ocean pools to discover. Honestly, when I’m in Eastern Suburbs in Summer, I’ll always head to a rockpool or ocean pool in Coogee or Maroubra because they are awesome.
So let’s just tell you about what to expect on this walk. If you’re starting in Coogee, you’ll immediately be able to stop at the beautiful women’s only McIver Baths or onto the family friendly Wylie’s Baths.
You’ll need to pay $5 to get into Wylie’s Baths but it’s worth it especially when you’re looking back at the crowds on Coogee Beach. There’s toilet facilities and a kiosk onsite so you could potentially stay the entire day.
Continue on along the path on this Sydney coastal walk and you’ll come to my favourite rock pool in Sydney called Ivor Rowe Rockpool.
Whilst it technically doesn’t have the wow moment like Bondi Icebergs or Bronte Baths, you could potentially spend the day here and have the pool to yourself. There’s no toilet facilities or cafe nearby which is why it probably keeps the crowds away. To me, this place is my slice of heaven 🙂
Continue along the path and you’ll come to another rock pool called the Rob Walker Rock Pool at Lurline Bay. Although you’re supposed to divert away from this area – especially in high tide – this could be a good spot if you’re looking to escape the crowds in Sydney.
The beautiful Mahon Rockpool in Maroubra.
Around the corner from Lurline Bay is the incredible Mahon Pool – one of our favourite ocean pools in Sydney. It’s actually pretty beautiful and you’d have no idea it existed if you drove past on the road as it’s hidden away.
People sunbath on the rocks and go for a dip. There’s toilets at the top of the hill and there’s a cafe on the corner of the road, aptly named Pool Cafe which is serving up decent food.
Stroll on down Marine Parade and you’ll come to Maroubra Beach. This is a fantastic beach if surfing is your thing, but most of all, Maroubra Beach is never anywhere near as busy as any of the other famous beaches nearby.
4. Henry Head to Bare Island Bridge
Where is it? Henry Head Lighthouse to Bare Island in La Perouse How long? Approx. 4KM / 1hr15m one way
FYI – We were able to walk onto Little Congwong and around the beach to Congwong Beach rather than to go onto the road.
La Perouse wasn’t somewhere that’s usually my go to place for hiking in Sydney until I finally went to explore Little Congwong and Congwong Beaches. I did some research and before we knew it, we embarked on the Henry Head Walking Track.
You can either head over to the grafitied Henry Head Lighthouse and onto Cruwee Cove beach (I don’t think there’s actually a beach here) or onto the crystal clear water of Browns Rock (don’t swim here though) and onto Little Congwong Beach. Be warned, Little Congwong is a nudist beach but there’s a mixture of nudists and people in their cozzies from what we saw.
If you time it right, you can walk directly from Little Congwong over to the family friendly Congwong Beach according to the tide and over some rocks.
Image via absolutely-australia.com.au
Once at Congwong Beach, head over to the famous Bare Island Bridge which was the set location for the end scene of Mission Impossible 2.
5. Bondi To Manly Walk (80km)
Where is it? Bondi Beach to Manly Beach How long? Approx. 80 KM / Up to 6 days
This is a rough version of the Bondi to Manly walk map to show you to follow the walk along the water.
The newly built Bondi to Manly walk opened late 2019, which takes on eight sections of Sydney’s best walks. Although it will take up to around six days to complete, you’ll get to see some of the best sights in Sydney.
Ever wondered the fastest time recorded for runners tackling this route? Mike Lichtwark ran it in under 7hours. That’s 80KM in under 7 hours. I know!
6. Centennial Parklands
Where is it? Grand Drive Circuit in Centennial Park How long? Approx. 3.5km / 45min walk
There’s actually loads of really cool spots to explore in Centennial Park, some which will make you think you’re up in Queensland with the palm tree lined paths and other parts will make you feel like you could be in a park in London.
Take on the Grand Drive Circuit which takes you around the park for around 3.5KM. Make sure you stop off at the Centennial Park Labyrinth to do some walking meditation!
And if you’re feeling a bit lazy, you can always hire a bike or even go on a horse ride around Centennial Park!
If you’ve got kids with you, check out the super cool Ian Potter’s WILD PLAY Garden, located in the middle of the park.
7. Cooper Park Cliff Walk
Where is it? Bellevue Hill How long? Approx. 1km / 15min walk
We love a hidden secret garden in Sydney, which brings us to Cooper Park, located in Bellevue Hill near Woollahra. Take on the Cooper Park Cliff Walk which is an easy 15 minute walk through this secret garden.
There’s also tennis courts, playgrounds, a kiosk and picnic tables to enjoy in this totally hidden gem in the middle of Sydney. Although it’s not technically not one of the Bondi walks, we love a secret garden and just had to include it!
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