Last time Nathan and I were in Sydney, we did the Bondi to Coogee walk (which you can read about here). We absolutely loved it so we were really keen to do something similar on our second visit. Numerous people recommended the Spit to Manly walk and as we had already visited Manly and adored it, we thought this would be the perfect way to spend a sunny summers day.
It’s a 10k walk and is meant to take about 3 hours- which it did for us, even walking at a leisurely pace and stopping for pictures every ten minutes.
We set off pretty early from Spit bridge and within minutes realised that summer is not the right time to be walking around Sydney- although, luckily, the views made up for the insane sauna-like conditions.
Spit itself has a beautiful little harbour and we spent a few minutes admiring all the scenery before commencing on our sweaty trek.
There’s plenty of signs and arrows telling you which way to go so, even if you’re as bad at directions as I am, you’ll hopefully not get lost. Thankfully, I didn’t need to utilise the signs as I have a boyfriend with an in-built sat nav in his brain.
The first section is pretty well sheltered by the trees which is an absolute blessing on a scorching summers day.
There’s also plenty of spots to snap some cute ‘candid’ shots if you’re as much of an Instagram addict as I am.
There’s also numerous beautiful, little secluded beaches that are so much prettier than the more touristy ones. We seriously regretted not having swimwear on under our clothes. If you’re considering the walk, I would definitely have a bikini to hand so that you can stop at one or two of these beaches as they are much more ‘what Australia is all about’, in my opinion, than somewhere like Bondi or Manly.
At least we were able to dip our toes in and regulate our body temperatures ever so slightly.
There’s tonnes of beautiful plants as well and we counted well over 60 lizards so it’s a great way to see some of the nature that Australia has to offer- slightly away from the bigger cities.
Unfortunately, similar to the Bondi to Coogee walk, stairs feature far too often. The awful, uneven stone type that really hurt when I inevitably fall up them. Cue ten minutes of moaning and sulking from me.
When you reach the top of the super stairy section- you may assume that’s the most difficult section out of the way. You would be wrong. After the stairs comes the (albeit very stunning) sandstone cliff tops. With no shade at all you can feel the weight of the sun burning down on you at an alarming temperature. Nathan’s peeling shoulders are testament to the strength of the sun up on the top.
An exciting discovery along the way is that of the Grotto Point Aboriginal Site- something which I hadn’t heard of so wasn’t expecting. I am very interested in indigenous art and culture so the engravings were a highlight for me- and they offered a nice excuse to enjoy standing still for a couple of minutes too.
The outlook from here is also insanely gorgeous.
I like to think I have a pretty high fitness level and although this walk was completely manageable for me, I was a sweaty mess by the end of it. However, at this point, we did see an incredibly muscly couple come running- yes ,RUNNING- past, all while talking and LAUGHING so maybe I’m more unfit than I realise.
After the challenge of this section is over- you will catch your first glimpse of Manly. However, you really haven’t made it just yet! It took much longer from this point than it looks due to the way the bay curves around so much. I honestly could have swum straight across here faster than it took us to walk the long way round- and I am a seriously terrible swimmer. (I can’t really- I would drown for sure).
Luckily, there’s plenty more beautiful beaches and views along the way to make it all worthwhile.
There’s even a swimming pool in the sea kind of set-up- similar to the famous Bondi Icebergs- although this is free and much quieter so it may even be nicer.
The sea here is so breathtakingly blue.
When you see this view, you can definitely say that you have made it to Manly- finally.
Although Manly beach is fairly busy and touristy, it has lovely, soft, pale yellow sand and a really fun, bustling atmosphere. Plus, there’s plenty of bars and restaurants to get that well deserved lunch and glass of chilled wine after all those calories you will have burnt off!
This walk is definitely tougher and definitely takes longer than the Bondi to Coogee walk. However, for me, the scenery is more beautiful and varied and it feels all the more rewarding when you finish because it is that bit harder. I think the actual walk isn’t even very difficult (my muscles weren’t actually sore at all)- it’s more about choosing the right day for it. We went on a blistering hot day and it’s so easy to get dehydrated and sluggish in those conditions, so my biggest tip would be to choose the coldest day that you possibly can.
Just like the Bondi to Coogee one, I would 100% recommended this walk as it shows you such a different, and more special, side to Sydney than the more central locations or busier beaches do.