Whilst it might be a bit busy in Manly, there are plenty of walks to make you feel like you are a world away from the crowds in this Sydney suburb.
Luckily there are so many Manly walking tracks that I’m forever finding new places to escape the crowds, especially along the coastal walks in Sydney.
Whilst everyone is trying to find more secluded walks in Sydney right now, we’re here to tell you about some of our favourite Manly walks you need to know about. Hopefully this will help any of you looking to find quieter walks in Manly and a bit further a field.
Heading Out To Exercise During Self-Isolation?
Loosely use this post as a guide to find new walks in Manly, which may be quieter than walking along Manly Beach for example.
Try to stay away from crowds and keep at least 1.5m away from others. And of course, don’t sunbathe or go swimming at the swimming spots mentioned – we don’t want you getting fined up to $11,000!
Check here for the most up-to-date advice from NSW Government regarding the Corona-Virus.
1. Flat Rock Beach Walking Track
Where is it? Roseville Bridge to Flat Rock Beach in Killarney Heights
How long? Approx 2.5km / 30min
We’re going to start this post just outside of Manly in Killarney Heights as some people reading this might want to get away from Manly and discover something completely new.
Around the area of Forestville and Killarney Heights lies loads of walking tracks. One that sticks out in our minds is the Flat Rock Walking Path. Start at Roseville Bridge and walk down to Flat Rock Beach which is a great spot for families, complete with a little waterfall too.
2. Spit To Manly Walk
Where is it? Manly Wharf to The Spit
How long? Approx. 10KM / 2h30min
Manly to Spit walk map.
Obviously it would be a bit weird if we didn’t include the Spit to Manly walk in our post. Although it’s not exactly the quietest of walks, it’s definitely much quieter than the Bondi to Coogee walk.
Manly to Spit walk is also quite a difficult walk at 10KM long. Expect to be quite fit to do this Sydney walk, but it’s totally worth it as it really is incredibly beautiful. You’ll come across loads of hidden beaches and bush land to really feel like you’re away from the city, within the city.
3. Castle Rock Beach to Grotto Point Lighthouse via Washaway Beach Walk
Where is it? Balgowlah Heights
How long? Approx. 1KM / 15min
If you’re not up for completing the whole of the Spit Bridge to Manly walk, then opt for an easy stroll from Castle Rock Beach down to Grotto Point Lighthouse.
Washaway Beach, Sydney
Although it’s just a 15min walk, you can easily detour to the Aboriginal Rock Engravings and to Washaway Beach. I remember when I first found Washaway Beach purely from finding it on Google Earth, I really felt like I had found a total gem in Sydney. I couldn’t believe how quiet it is whilst watching the Manly ferry in the distance.
Although Washaway Beach has that secluded beach in Sydney feel, it is popular with nudists. Just wanted to give you a heads up!
4. Manly To North Head Walk
Where is it? Manly Beach to Fairfax Lookout
How long? Approx. 4KM / 1hr
When I was training for a half marathon in Sydney, I used to get up early on a Saturday and go and watch the sunrise in Manly before embarking on a bit of a climb up to Fairfax Lookout on the North Head walk.
This is a great run or walk to take on because you certainly feel like you’re away from it all, and you feel like you’re rewarded with the views out from North Head overlooking Sydney Harbour. Plus, it’s all down hill on the way back!
5. Fairfax Track
Where is it? North Head
How long? 1km / 18 min walk loop
The Fairfax Track is a great little loop for families to explore. You’ll come across a couple of lookout points and it’s all boardwalk so it’s easy to get around it.
READ: Best 25 Things To Do In Manly >
6. Manly To Shelly Beach Walk
Where is it? South Manly Beach to Shelley Beach
How long? Approx. 800m / 10 min
Although it’s one of the most famous walks in Sydney, the Manly Beach to Shelly Beach walk is a classic.
It might not be suitable for anyone looking for quiet walks in Sydney right now, but it’s worth a mention on this list anyway as it’s nice and flat and the entire walk is just so beautiful. I must admit, every single time I do this walk, I start wondering how I can make it happen to move to Manly.
7. Little Manly Beach To Collins Flat Beach
Where is it? Little Manly to Collins Flat Beach
How long? Approx. 800m / 10 min
Although the map might say otherwise, there is a walking track which goes from Little Manly Beach right over to Collins Flat Beach. This is a great little track which goes right past Jump Rock, a popular rock kids jump off and onto the gorgeous Flat Collins Beach.
Apparently, you can see the resident penguins at this beach although we’ve never been able to find them yet.
8. Manly Lagoon Walk
Where is it? Manly Lagoon
How long? 1km / 15 min
Manly Lagoon, or known as the Manly Dam walk is a great little spot to take the family for a walk. This short walk is a great way to get away from it all – you could even bring your bikes with you.
9. Queenscliff to South Curl Curl Beach (or Freshwater Beach)
Where is it? Queenscliff to Curl Curl Beach
How long? 3-4km / 1hr
A unique walk to do rather than opting for the Manly to Spit walk is from Queenscliff to Curl Curl Beach. It takes a good hour or so but there are some highlights to check out along the way.
Firstly, you’ll get an opportunity to walk through the famous Queenscliff wormhole and you’ll walk past the iconic Duke Kahanamoku Memorial, dedicated to the Hawaiian surfer who originally taught Aussies how to surf.
You’ll then take the beautiful Curl Curl boardwalk before walking down into South Curl Curl beach. It’s a stunning walk you should definitely check out.
If you wanted to make this walk shorter, start from Freshwater Beach and head over to Curl Curl. It should take about 20 minutes.
10. Bondi to Manly Walk
Where is it? Bondi Beach to Manly Beach
How long? Approx. 80km / up to around 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.
If you’ve ever wondered what the fastest time recorded for runners tackling this route is, Mike Lichtwark ran it in under 7hours. That’s 80KM in under 7 hours!
Read more from us.
Best Manly Walks In Sydney
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