Top Tips for Strolling the Bondi to Manly Path, Sydney

Sadly, my Bondi to Manly adventure is done and dusted. It is such a glorious experience with every stage of the walk delivering stunning views, intriguing history and a wonderful opportunity to get the heart rate, and daily step count, UP.

Here are my top tips for this must-do walk.

What is it?

For the uninitiated, or those who have not heard me endlessly rabbitting on about it in the past, the Bondi to Manly Path is a +80km stretch of footpaths, boardwalks and bush paths linking Bondi Beach on the southern side of Sydney Harbour to Manly Beach, tucked behind North Head, on the northern side of the Harbour.

The path is pretty unique with its diversity, accessibility, and the fact that, often competing, local government areas have decided to work together to bring this journey into being.

Walking Options/Conditions

  • Stages: The path is divided into 8 stages of roughly 10km each. There is nothing stopping you walking multiple stages on the same day and, on most days I was out on the path, I did just that. Conversely if a shorter distance appeals, then check the Bondi to Manly website for connections to public transport and some suggested itineraries. You may be interested to know that the fastest time for completing the full length of the Bondi to Manly path is 6hrs and 9minutes. Hmm, not my idea of fun.
  • Terrain: As I mentioned in the introduction, the walk offers a bit of everything in ascent, descent and the path underfoot. There are some stiff climbs up steep roads and sets of stairs that get the heart rate up and there are an equal number of lovely strolls through native bush over dirt paths, and smooth concrete paths with waves lapping at the edge.
Buri Buri - Bondi to Manly logo
Buri Buri
  • Accessibility: Some of the middle sections of the path are fully accessible to wheelchairs and/or prams, but you may have to plan some small detours to avoid steps and stairs. The team at Bondi to Manly have identified two mobility-friendly routes here.
  • Signage & Waymarking: It has taken me nearly three years to walk the entire length of the path – scheduled during sporadic visits to Sydney. During that time, the signage and waymarking has improved dramatically and, on some sections, you could walk the entire stage just following the Buri Buri (whale) signs. I do recommend you download the Bondi to Manly app for a little reassurance if/when the signs disappear.

Preparation

  • Training: It is not really necessary to put in any serious training hours as the path is so well-connected to public transport, you could walk whatever distance suited you – 2km to 20km. Obviously you do need a certain level of fitness to make it enjoyable, but this path is open to all.
  • What to Wear: Be comfortable. Along the path you will meet everyone from lycra-clad Yummy Mummies to strolling octogenarians. Wear whatever you damn well please. I recommend a good hat to protect you from our serious sun and some good sneakers, or those walking sandals. Hiking boots are not necessary
  • What to Carry: Carry whatever your essentials be. I recommend you pack some sunscreen, snacks and a water bottle. While there are cafés at various points along the path, the ability to walk independently without having to rely on regular food stops, gives you a whole lot more flexibility. Many of the Council areas you pass through provide filtered water bubblers to top up your water bottle and staying hydrated is vital when it is hot. Also, don’t forget your phone/camera. You will definitely want to capture some of the breathtaking views.

Logistics:

  • Getting There/Away: As mentioned previously, the entire length of the path is really well-connected to public transport – buses, trains and ferries. I especially loved the ferry rides. Go to Transport NSW to plan your trip. An Opal Card is super-convenient to access all forms of public transport.
  • Where to Stay: Your choice of accommodation depends on two things (1) your walking plan, and (2) your budget. You could easily use a hub-and-spoke model by basing yourself in the Sydney CDB and travelling out to the different stages each day. Some of the suburbs you walk through have a few accommodation options and, what they do have, are expensive. AirBnB may be a good option.

Lowlights:

  • There is very little not to love about this path.
  • Sometimes the signage did disappear, but the app on my phone fixed that quick smart.
  • The Ending: Finishing at Manly Beach was a small let down as there is no ‘The End’ or “Ta-Da-You-Did-It” signage. That is a small thing in the scheme of 80km of pure joy.

Highlights:

  • It’s too hard to pick a favourite section as they were all so diverse and each seemed to showcase a different aspect of Sydney and its history.
  • History:  I loved learning so much about our indigenous, colonial and military history. Many sections include comprehensive interpretative information boards and I think I would still be out there walking if I stopped and read every single sign.
  • Views: The views range from sweeping water views across the glorious Sydney Harbour, to small windows through pockets of lush bushland, hidden beaches and coves, to million-dollar yachts bobbing in secluded bays. Stunning!

It is a terrible cliché, but the Bondi to Manly walk is a ‘must-do’ activity. For visitors to Sydney, you will experience the Emerald City in all her glory, going off the main tourist drag in many places and revelling in the well-trodden paths that edge the Harbour. For locals, the Bondi to Manly Path will reveal a few of Sydney’s hidden stories, good and bad history, and create serious housing envy as you stroll through the well-heeled streets of luxury suburbs.

If you:

  • have a few days to spare
  • feel like a city break, or
  • enjoy a good walk

don’t miss the Bondi to Manly Walk.

Is there anything I have forgotten to tell you? Happy to answer any questions.

For a review of each stage, see my posts describing:

  • Stage 1 from Bondi Beach to Watsons Bay – here
  • Stage 2 from Watsons Bay to Rose Bay – here
  • Stage 3 from Rose Bay to Darling Point – here
  • Stage 4 from Darling Point to Kirribilli – here
  • Stage 5 from Kirribilli to Taronga Zoo – here
  • Stage 6 from Taronga Zoo to Spit Bridge – here
  • Stage 7 from Spit Bridge to Manly Wharf – here
  • Stage 8 from Manly Wharf to Manly Beach – here

#travelinspo #bonditomanly #sydneywalks #bondi2manly #walkingsydney #manlywharf #waterviews #daywalks #shortwalks #sydneyharbour #manly #sydneybeaches #militaryhistory #manlybeach #northhead #nationalparks #BondiToManly

31 thoughts on “Top Tips for Strolling the Bondi to Manly Path, Sydney

  1. Easymalc July 20, 2022 / 5:42 pm

    For somebody like me who will never get to walk this path you’ve summed it up perfectly. This is a brilliant post with some wonderful pictures. Thanks for sharing it, and I’m sure your in-depth stages of the walk will be invaluable for any lucky person who will follow in your footsteps.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Life...One Big Adventure July 21, 2022 / 8:29 am

      Many thanks for your lovely feedback. Never say never, but I know Aus is not ‘just around the corner’ for you guys. Take care over there in your heatwave. Mel

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Heyjude July 20, 2022 / 9:27 pm

    I have loved walking every section with you Mel, some which I have done myself, others I recognise, but haven’t actually walked. As you say it is a beautiful place with so much to see. I look forward to exploring the northern beaches with you too. Thank you for sharing these wonderful places with us xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Life...One Big Adventure July 21, 2022 / 8:30 am

      That’s my pleasure. We are both so lucky to be able to follow each other’s adventures. What did we do before the internet and blogging became a thing? 🙂 x

      Like

  3. wetanddustyroads July 20, 2022 / 11:55 pm

    With such views, who would not want to walk this path? If I were a local, I would have grabbed my hat and water bottle and be gone tomorrow!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Life...One Big Adventure July 21, 2022 / 8:31 am

      Hmmm…maybe not tomorrow as it is STILL raining in Sydney!! I think London and Sydney have swapped weather systems!!

      Like

  4. Toonsarah July 21, 2022 / 1:28 am

    Your walk posts are always such a good blend of practical info and inspiring photos to tempt others to follow in your footsteps 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Life...One Big Adventure July 21, 2022 / 8:32 am

      You nailed it in one! You would see all the touristy spots and discover many more even more beautiful hidden ones.

      Like

  5. france55 July 21, 2022 / 5:08 am

    wonderful photos !!! This trek is too far from me ( based in Canada)..

    Liked by 1 person

    • Life...One Big Adventure July 21, 2022 / 8:34 am

      It is funny that the distance from Aus to Canada is the same as from Canada to Aus! But both our countries are so worth the effort to visit. I have only had a flying visit to your eastern coast and can’t wait to return one day. Have a good day. Mel

      Liked by 1 person

      • france55 July 22, 2022 / 10:06 am

        maybe one day I’ll visit Australia. 😉

        Like

  6. NattyTravels July 22, 2022 / 4:34 am

    If only I could walk this path and experience this adventure. It looks absolutely stunning! 😍

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Monkey's Tale July 22, 2022 / 7:35 am

    What a great trek, so many varied and with spectacular views. Hard to believe it’s in the city! Maggie

    Liked by 1 person

    • Life...One Big Adventure July 22, 2022 / 10:23 am

      Hardly a ‘trek’ in your definition of the word, but maybe something you would like to do on your day off? 😉

      Like

  8. The Travel Architect July 24, 2022 / 8:33 am

    I didn’t know Sydney is called The Emerald City, so I just went down a rabbit hole with that information and discovered Seattle, Toronto, and a few others around the world share this nickname. The things you (accidentally) learn.

    Liked by 1 person

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