Blue-tongued lizards, eucalypt forests and aboriginal rock engravings are familiar to Sydney-siders but it's this natural abundance in the centre of Australia's largest city that has won over the Americans.

The New York Times travel section joined Chief Guide Ian Wells on a full day guided walk of Sydney on the Spit to Manly Tour.

The walk began on the fringe of Sydney among tidy beach homes but soon turned to remote dirt track, where banyan roots snake around boulders, freshwater streams trickle from fern-covered cliffs and piles of oyster shells mark ancient Aboriginal dump sites.

We stopped for snacks at a deserted beach, then continued upward through the coastal gum forest, listening to our guide’s encyclopedic identification of plant species and their Aboriginal uses in making fire sticks, bedding, baskets and spears.

It's a pleasure to share the Sydney we know and love for those who live both near and far, because there really is no better way to experience this city.

Read The New York Times Travel Sydney feature.

Spit to Manly Walk, Sydney, NSW


Tara Wells is a freelance journalist who is delighted to combine her love of hiking – and Sydney – with storytelling.

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