Hey, I am Erik and I have been studying at UTS for one year, being a study abroad student from Germany. After I was asked to write an article for this blog, I came up with the idea to focus on all the amazing walks and hikes you can do in the Sydney area. Although it is great to travel and explore the large Australian continent, you could fill months in Sydney with great activities. And for an active person like myself, walking is a great way to explore the area. Here are a few of my favourite walks.
Bondi to Coogee Walk
Probably the most famous walk in Sydney and for good reason. The walk starts at Bondi Beach, Sydney’s most popular beach.
From there, you walk south along the coast past Bondi Icebergs entering a beautiful cliff landscape. You will eventually arrive at the surf beach with Australia's oldest surf life saving club, Tamarama Beach. From here, it is only a short walk to Bronte Beach, where is the half-way mark of the walk.
Next, make your way through the Waverley Cemetery, which has the best view a cemetery could have. In the evening, I think it would also make a great location for a zombie movie! Afterwards, you pass a few smaller, but no less beautiful bays. You will finally arrive at Coogee, which could definitely be worth a full trip on its own!
Another very famous place of interest is Watsons Bay. After arriving by ferry, it is only a short walk to the tip of South Head, where you will find the old Hornby Lighthouse. Even more impressive is the very colourful cliff right next to the lighthouse that unfortunately earned itself the name Suicide Point. Luckily, there have been people like Don Ritchie, the “Angel of the Gap”, who has saved 164 people’s lives with his kind words.
After checking out the Hornby Lighthouse and cliff, do not forget to make your way to Laings point, where you can take a beautiful selfie with the Sydney’s skyline.
Of course, Watson's Bay has also its very own beach, Camp Cove, where you can relax after you have enough of walking and taking pictures.
Watsons Bay to Bondi
If your visit to Watsons Bay did not involve enough action for you, you can walk all the way to Bondi Beach! The walk is not as famous as the Bondi to Coogee walk so there isn't a dedicated path and you have to leave the coastline at some points, but it is much a lot less crowded.
On your way, you will not only pass more beautiful cliffs of Gap Park but you also encounter another lighthouse, the Macquarie Lighthouse. Additionally, there are a few really beautiful houses to admire, where you might end up if your studies go well. ;)
The end of the walk leads you along the Bondi Golf Club which would probably be my favourite spot, if I played Golf.
Taronga to Balmoral Beach
This is the most recent walk I did and it was absolutely stunning. The trip starts with a beautiful ferry ride to Taronga Zoo, which is worth checking out as a day trip on its own. From there, you turn right and head towards Bradleys Head. Have a look at the signs at the side of the path. They provide information about native Australian animals and plants, so you can learn on the way. In summer, you will also see heaps of lizards during the walk (no worries, those belong to the few non-deadly animals in Australia, although I would not try to touch them).
Bradleys Head is one of the best spots to take a panoramic shot of the Sydney’s skyline providing an incredible view over the harbour as well. In fact the whole walk provides incredible views, so do not only look on your feet as you walk!
After exploring the amphitheatre, head north to the beautiful cliff beach at Taylor Bay. After passing the Clifton Gardens, a beautiful bush walk, you will arrive at Chowder Bay, which is a nice but usually busy beach with a few restaurants. From here, you follow the path which will lead you to a choice; you can either take the path to explore Middle Head with its nice views over the harbour and the old fort ruins, or you can directly head over the Balmoral Boardwalk to the beautiful Balmoral Beach where you can enjoy a coffee and relax.
Spit to Manly
If you still have a lot of energy after finishing the previous walk, you can directly continue on the equally beautiful Spit to Manly walk. Of course, you could also just take a bus to the Spit bridge and start from there.
The walk leads you through small paths along the coast so that you will have another opportunity to encounter lizards. You first come to Shell Cove, a small bay with beautiful water. Keep your eyes open for a few aboriginal sights along the way such as the cave shelters or shell midden.
The next large beach is Clontarf Beach. From there, you head back onto a bush walking track that will bring you to Castle Rock providing a great view of Sydney Harbour.
At Grotto Point you will find some aboriginal stone carvings, for example one of a fish and another one showing a kangaroo. After checking out a few more lookouts on Dobroyd Head, you make your way back along the coastline to Manly passing a few more lovely bays and lookouts.
Finally, don't forget the scenic Manly Ferry ride back to Circular Quay. If you want some amazing views, the best time to board is shortly before sunset!
I hope I inspired you about how you can spend your free time and use the cheap travel Sundays in Sydney. This list is not even close to being exhaustive, so keep your eyes and ears open for new inspirations. ;)
RWTH Aachen University, Germany
2017 Autumn and Spring sessions
All pictures by @x20ckx