A spring in your step – 5 great walks on the Northern Beaches

A spring in your step – 5 great walks on the Northern Beaches
October 27, 2015 Amanda On My Side

The chill has well and truly left the air and it’s time to get outside and celebrate spring! 

For the lucky folk on Sydney’s Northern Beaches, spring is all about getting out and about in the great outdoors and making the most of the beautiful local beaches and bush land. This time of year is perfect for a bush walk thanks to the mild weather.

Here are 5 highly recommended walks on the Northern Beaches:

 

Manly to Spit Walk
Distance: 10 kilometres

Skill level: Taxing

Stride west from the bustling hub of Manly, past the oceanfront at Fairlight and around the back streets of Balgowlah and you’ll find yourself on the iconic Manly to Spit Walk. The wide track narrows to a true bush walk that involves several steep pathways and rocky surfaces. It is definitely worth the effort, with stunning views out to the harbour and even the chance of a whale sighting in spring. Hikers can follow a trail down to old fisherman’s huts, unoccupied but still in their original condition with century old furnishings.

The Manly to Spit walk takes three to four hours and is a one-way trip you might want to organise transport via a bus or taxi or ask someone to pick you up when you reach your final destination.

 

Narrabeen Lagoon
Distance: 10 kilometres

Skill level: Easy

Mums with prams, joggers and kids with bikes populate the easy trail around expansive Narrabeen Lagoon. Set out for a round trip or plan to have a shorter walk and turn back when you’re done. Plan your walk right and you’ll be able to finish up near the Narrabeen bus station, where there are several shops offering coffee and ice cream. The kids will love the many playgrounds that punctuate the lagoon walk and you can even hire a paddleboard or kayak and get out on the water if you’re feeling adventurous.

The walk alternates between lagoon-frontage and sheltered bush trails, allowing the opportunity for spotting the plentiful local bird life, including pelicans and barking owls.

Palm Beach Lighthouse
Distance: 1 kilometre

Skill level: Medium

Take the 45 minute / 1 hour return trip up to Barrenjoey Lighthouse from Palm Beach to enjoy views right across to Lion Island and Gosford.  This moderate hike will take you to 91 metres above sea level, where you can get up close with the 1881 structure that makes regular appearances on TV’s Home & Away.

After your walk, head back down the hill to enjoy the local treats on offer at one of Palm Beach’s many cafes and restaurants. Take a swim in the ocean and keep an eye out for local celebs who make this area their home.

 

Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park Aboriginal Heritage Walk
Distance: 4.5 km

Skill level: Medium

Drive up to the Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park and prepare to take in spectacular scenery, with views out to Pittwater and beyond. Collect a guide from the Ranger’s station and immerse yourself in history by seeking out the rock engravings of the original Guringai people that punctuate the headland. In the first section of the Heritage walk you’ll come across Red Hands Cave, where there are mesmerising hand paintings potentially centuries old.

Expect some close encounters with the local wildlife in the National Park, including rock wallabies, bush turkeys and monitor lizards.

Eastern Hill, Manly
Distance: Varies

Skill level: Medium

Manly plays an integral part of Sydney’s history during Australia’s early settlement and the first and second World Wars. Take an afternoon to explore Eastern Hill and discover what is essentially an outdoor museum.

Start your walk by climbing the steps from Shelley Beach, then weave along bush paths with views out to sea. Explore the old military barracks, pass by the 1900s Quarantine Station and keep an eye out for bilbies, wallabies and geckos. Pass by the old Manly Gasworks and then head to Little Manly Beach Kiosk for a refreshing drink or cup of coffee.

A real estate buyer’s agent can find your dream home on Sydney’s Northern Beaches. For more information contact Amanda On My Side.