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The Manly to Bondi walk is the harbour section of Sydney's Great Coastal Walk. It's between the Palm Beach to Manly Walk and the Bondi to Coogee Walk, and is smack bang in the middle of Sydney's coastal walks.

You could do this in the opposite direction as a Bondi to Manly walk, but if you prefer the sun on your back rather than in your face, walk north (Manly) to south (Bondi).

The Manly to Bondi walk links two of Sydney's most famous beaches and is the highlight of all Sydney Harbour walks.

Start with the Manly to Spit Walk and continue through to Balmoral Beach. We recommend including the Middle Head walk too. It's easy to skip Middle Head but the views out the heads from the gun emplacements are well worth the walk.

A couple enjoying a bush walk beside Sydney harbour. The Bradleys Head walk is part of the Manly to Bondi Walk, also called the Bondi to Manly walk

Bradleys Head on the Manly to Bondi Walk. A bush walk by Sydney Harbour. Image: Destination NSW

The city views as you round Bradleys Head are pretty special before walking over Sydney Harbour Bridge to The Rocks.

Do a Sydney City Walk or head straight out towards the Hermitage Foreshore Walk at Vaucluse via Rose and Double Bays. Continue to South Head for the Watsons Bay Walk before finishing your Manly to Bondi walk at the start of the Bondi to Coogee Walk… go on, it's only another couple of hours to Coogee!

Ideally, you need four days to complete this walk. We know you're time poor, so there are itinerary variations to suit your time frame. Read on or skip straight to:

Manly to Bondi Walk Distance

69 km / 43 miles

Manly to Bondi Walk Time

23.5 hours

A group of friends admiring the Aboriginal engravings at Grotto Point on the Manly to Spit Bridge walk. Sydney Harbour is visible through the trees in the background.

Grotto Point Engravings, Manly to Spit Bridge walk and Manly to Bondi walk. Image: Destination NSW

How Hard is the Manly to Bondi Walk?

Difficulty

Grade 3 track suitable for most ages and fitness levels. Several steep sections of stairs, some being uneven sandstone and other ascents and descents throughout the walk. (Walking geek note: technically, any walk over 20km is Grade 5, but this is a Grade 3 walk.)

Track Conditions

A mix of paved walkway, boardwalk and maintained bush track.

Quick Start Guide

Public Transport

Regular bus and ferry service between the city and Manly. Regular bus between the city and Bondi (jump to more details in Getting There below).

Water

Regular refill stations throughout the walk (except in Sydney Harbour National Park on the Spit Bridge to Manly Walk section).

Toilets

Toilets at regular intervals throughout the walk (except in Sydney Harbour National Park on the Spit Bridge to Manly Walk section).

Mobile phone reception

There is good mobile phone reception along the track.

A couple walking through trees on the Bondi to Manly walk. A boat sailing on the harbour is visible through the trees behind them as they enjoy one of the best walks in Sydney on a late, sunny afternoon.

Bondi to Manly walk. Part bush walk, part Sydney Harbour walk; one of the best walks in Sydney. Image: Hamilton Lund, Destination NSW.

Four Day Itinerary for the Manly to Bondi Walk

Here are our itinerary suggestions to complete the Manly to Bondi Walk in four days.

  • Total Walking Distance: 69 km / 43 miles
  • Total Walking time: 20.5 hours
  • Average Walking Distance Per Day: 17 km / 10.5 miles
  • Average Walking Time Per Day: 5 hours

Summary

  • Day 1: Manly to Balmoral Beach. 14.5km / 9 miles, 5 hrs.
  • Day 2: Balmoral Beach to The Rocks. 21.5km / 13.5 miles, 6.5 hrs.
  • Day 3: The Rocks to Watsons Bay. 21km / 13 miles, 5 hrs.
  • Day 4: Watsons Bay to Bondi. 12km / 7.5 miles, 4 hrs.

Day 1: Manly to Balmoral Beach

Manly Wharf is the start of the Manly to Spit Bridge Walk, more often called Spit Bridge to Manly Walk or Manly Scenic Walkway.

This is the first of two days walking Sydney Harbour on a mixture of bush tracks, elevated timber pathways and concrete walkway. Find yourself a nice AirBnB by Balmoral Beach for the night.

Day 2: Balmoral Beach to The Rocks

Get your blood pumping with a few stairs to start the day and enjoy harbour and ocean views from Middle Head.

Explore the military history on Middle, Georges and Chowder Heads before rounding Bradleys Head for panoramic city views. Continue past Taronga Zoo, exit Sydney Harbour National Park and walk suburban streets before crossing Sydney Harbour Bridge to The Rocks for a well earned rest. Check prices and availability for accommodation in The Rocks.

A Stand Up Paddle-boarder paddles back to Balmoral Beach, Mosman. A couple of people are on the beach and some walkers on the Manly to Bondi walk watch from the track behind the beach.

Balmoral Beach, Mosman, on the Manly to Bondi walk. Image: Destination NSW

Day 3: The Rocks to Watsons Bay

Is there a better way to start a day in Sydney than walking around Circular Quay, past Sydney Opera House and through the Royal Botanic Gardens to Mrs Macquarie's Chair?

Today isn't all walking harbour foreshore however. It's predominantly a suburban walk interspersed with waterside walkways to enter Sydney Harbour National Park again briefly at Nielsen Park before continuing through suburbia to Watsons Bay. Well, ‘suburban' may not be the kindest term for some of Australia's most expensive real estate but it's not coastal walking.

Watsons Bay Hotel has a cold drink and a warm bed waiting for you.

Day 4: Watsons Bay to Bondi

After a couple of long days you have a short one to end your walk.

Stroll out to Hornby Light on the Watsons Bay Walk and enjoy ocean, harbour and city views before continuing along the coast to Bondi.

After yesterday's very urban day, you're spoiled with coastal sights today and the reveal of Bondi Beach this afternoon is pretty special. Check prices and availability for accommodation at Bondi Beach.

Hornby Lighthouse perched on the tip of South Head beside a World War II bunker. The lighthouse is painted in red and white vertical stripes to differentiate from Macquarie Light, several kilometres south. Walk around it on the South Head and Watsons Bay Walk.

Hornby Lighthouse, South Head, on the Watsons Bay Walk. Image: Andrew Gregory, Destination NSW

>>> Buy the Sydney Coastal Walks Map Bundle Pack. Includes the Spit to Manly walk map, the Bondi to Coogee walk map, and two Royal National Park maps.<<<

Two Day Itinerary for the Manly to Bondi Walk

If you are really pressed for time, it is possible to complete the Manly to Bondi Walk in two days. It involves a couple of rides on public transport, but you're missing suburban, rather than coastal walking.

  • Total Walking Distance: 34.5 km / 21.5 miles
  • Total Walking time: 11 hours
  • Average Walking Distance Per Day: 17.5 km / 11 miles
  • Average Walking Time Per Day: 5.5 hours

Summary

  • Day 1: Manly to Taronga Zoo 22.5km / 14 miles, 7 hrs.
  • Day 2: Watsons Bay to Bondi. 12km / 7.5 miles, 4 hrs.

Day 1: Manly to Taronga Zoo

Manly Wharf is the start of the Manly to Spit Bridge Walk, more often called Spit Bridge to Manly Walk or Manly Scenic Walkway. This is a long day walking Sydney Harbour on a mixture of bush tracks, elevated timber pathways and concrete walkway.

You can save time and distance by not doing the Middle Head loop and by catching a ferry from Taronga Zoo to your accommodation in the Rocks. Check prices and availability for accommodation in The Rocks.

Day 2: Watsons Bay to Bondi

A bus from The Rocks to Watsons Bay will save you walking through the suburbs on the southern side of the harbour, which – unlike the northern side – aren't beautiful national park walks.

Stroll out to Hornby Light on the Watsons Bay Walk and enjoy ocean, harbour and city views before continuing along the coast to Bondi. Enjoy coastal views and the reveal of Bondi Beach later in the day. Check prices and availability for Bondi Beach accommodation.

A young couple enjoying a coastal walk along the Federation Cliff Walk from Watsons Bay to Bondi, Sydney. They are walking along the cliff edge near Dover Heights, behind a fence with the ocean behind them on a clear Sydney day.

The Federation Cliff Walk between Watsons Bay and Bondi. Image: James Pipino, Destination NSW

>>> Buy the Sydney Coastal Walks Map Bundle Pack. Includes the Spit to Manly walk map, the Bondi to Coogee walk map, and two Royal National Park maps.<<<

Three Day Itinerary for the Manly to Bondi Walk

Three days is still enough time to complete the Manly to Bondi Walk. It involves a ferry from Taronga Zoo to The Rocks, missing a bit of suburban walking on the lower north shore of Sydney Harbour. Not a bad way to end your first day though is it?

  • Total Walking Distance: 55.5 km / 34.5 miles
  • Total Walking time: 16 hours
  • Average Walking Distance Per Day: 18.5 km / 11.5 miles
  • Average Walking Time Per Day: 5.5 hours

Summary

  • Day 1: Manly to Taronga Zoo. 22.5km / 14 miles, 7 hrs.
  • Day 2: The Rocks to Watsons Bay. 21km / 13 miles, 5 hrs.
  • Day 3: Watsons Bay to Bondi. 12km / 7.5 miles, 4 hrs.

Day 1: Manly to Taronga Zoo

Start at Manly Wharf for the Spit Bridge to Manly Walk. This is a long day walking Sydney Harbour on a mixture of bush tracks, elevated timber pathways and concrete walkway.

You can save time and distance by not doing the Middle Head loop and by catching a ferry from Taronga Zoo to your accommodation in the Rocks. Check prices and availability for hotels in The Rocks.

Looking from a grassy, harbourside park at Middle Head towards Sydney Heads heads in the distance. A couple of boats bob in the water on a glorious Sydney day.

Middle Head, Manly to Bondi walk. Image: Hamilton Lund, Destination NSW

Day 2: The Rocks to Watsons Bay

Start the day exploring the best of Sydney harbour foreshore, walking from Circular Quay, past Sydney Opera House and through the Royal Botanic Gardens to Mrs Macquarie's Chair.

After leaving the harbour foreshore, it becomes an urban walk interspersed with waterside walkways, entering Sydney Harbour National Park again briefly at Nielsen Park before continuing to Watsons Bay.

Watsons Bay Hotel has a cold drink and a warm bed waiting for you.

Day 3: Watsons Bay to Bondi

A shorter walking day completes your walk.

Stroll out to Hornby Light on the Watsons Bay Walk and enjoy ocean, harbour and city views before continuing along the coast to Bondi.

You're spoiled with coastal sights today and the reveal of Bondi Beach later in the day is pretty special. Check prices and availability for Bondi Beach accommodation.

>>> Buy the Sydney Coastal Walks Map Bundle Pack. Includes the Spit to Manly walk map, the Bondi to Coogee walk map, and two Royal National Park maps.<<<

Looking north along Bondi Beach. The start of the Bondi to Manly walk or the end of the Manly to Bondi walk, whichever way you choose to walk, it's one of Sydney's best walks.

Bondi Beach, Manly to Bondi walk. Image: Destination NSW

Manly to Bondi Walk Route

Whether you're walking Manly to Bondi or Bondi to Manly, the walking route rings the harbour east of the bridge. It's a bit tricky to follow in places so we'll have more details for you soon.

Remember, if you're walking north the sun will be in your face. The old Irish blessing “May the wind always be at your back, May the sun shine warm upon your face” wasn't written about walking in Sydney, particularly in summer.

Where to Start the Manly to Bondi Walk?

The Manly to Bondi walk starts at Manly Wharf and follows the Spit Bridge to Manly Walk for the first few hours. The Manly to Bondi walk finishes at Bondi Beach.

Walking Route Track Notes

Coming soon

>>> Buy the Sydney Coastal Walks Map Bundle Pack. Includes the Spit to Manly walk map, the Bondi to Coogee walk map, and two Royal National Park maps.<<<

Getting to Manly

Public Transport

If you're coming from the city side of Sydney harbour, catch the ferry to Manly. It’s a delightful 30 minute ferry ride across the harbour. If you want to save ten minutes and pay slightly more, catch the privately operated Manly Fast Ferry (note an Opal card is not valid on this service). There are also numerous buses that service Manly.

Check Transport NSW for detailed trip itineraries and latest public transport information.

things to do in Manly, catch a Manly ferry

The Manly ferry

Manly to Bondi Walk Parking

To drive from the city centre to Manly takes about 35 minutes (17km – go over Spit Bridge and turn right at the top of the hill) but in peak times may take much longer. Refer to Google Maps for exact details from your address. But the tricky thing is finding long-term parking for the 2-4 days it takes to walk from Manly to Bondi.

If you want to park and leave your car for the duration of the walk, you could risk free street parking. In both Manly and Bondi Beach areas, there are more apartments than parking, so residents of both areas park overnight in the street all the time. To find free, untimed parking in either popular beachside areas, you'll likely have to park at least a 15 minutes walk back from the beach.

An aerial shot of Manly and North Head. A ferry is approaching the harbour wharf in the bottom of the picture and the ocean stretches to the horizon on the other side of the peninsular.

Manly and North Head in the background. Image: Hamilton Lund, Destination NSW

Private company, Secure Parking, operate the carpark at Manly Wharf. They recommend emailing for a quote for  long-stay or multi-day parking. Find more details here.

Another private company, Wilson Parking, operate many carparks in the city centre. Four offer what they bill as “cruise parking” (pfft, who needs a boat when you can walk?), meaning multi-day parking rates from $20 per day, with pre-bookings up to three months in advance. Find more details here.

Aim for a spot in one of the two carparks in The Rocks for a packing hack… don't bother carrying four days worth of stuff and a nice outfit for your night in the city when you could leave a second bag in your parked car and swap stuff over midway through your walk. Wilson Parking also operate a carpark at Pacific Bondi, opposite North Bondi Surf Club.

Near Sydney airport also has multi-day parking. Taking advantage of the airport train, allow about an hour on public transport from the domestic airport train station to Manly Wharf, and the same from Bondi Beach back to the airport station.

Swimming on the Manly to Bondi Walk

There are plenty of harbour beaches to swim along the walk. Castle Rock Beach is the pick for feeling like the only person around. Balmoral Beach, and Shark Beach at Nielsen Park, Vaucluse are great for people watching.

There are a couple of nice surf beaches at either end of the Manly to Bondi walk too (you've probably heard of them…?). At patrolled beaches, always swim between the red and yellow flags. If the flags are crossed it means the beach is closed due to dangerous surf conditions and swimming is not permitted.

Best Places to Eat along the Manly to Bondi Walk

Manly has plenty of coffee, gelato, takeaway eateries and restaurants.

Chic Hugos Manly has great pizza and views from the end of the wharf. Try 4 Pines Brewing Company for local craft beer and gourmet pub food (just past Manly wharf). Grab quality fish and chips dine-in or takeaway from Fishmongers Manly. Banana Blossum has huge, healthy salads made fresh to order, eat-in or grab-to-go.

Bondi Beach is also full of cafes and eateries. As a generalisation, Campbell Parade and eateries near Bondi Pavilion cater to visitors rather than fussy, repeat local customers. So for better food – but without the views –  head up Hall Street, which runs perpendicular to Campbell Parade. Le Paris Go Cafe is a Bondi institution, Bills Cafe with it's world-renowned ricotta hotcakes is here too, along with Gelato Messina.

Another local hangout at Bondi Beach is up the northern end of the beach. Try takeaway from Speedos Cafe or for something more fancy try Sean's Panorama.

The best views at Bondi Beach don't have to be expensive: Bondi RSL at the northern end, and Bondi Icebergs at the southern end offer bistro dining and reasonably priced drinks (that's a relative term!). Just note that at Icebergs, there's the very swanky Icebergs Dining Room and Bar upstairs, and the much cheaper bistro downstairs.

Manly to Bondi Accommodation

This section contains affiliate links which means we may earn a small commission (at no cost to you) to help offset the costs of running this website.

Manly has plenty of places to stay. Novotel Manly Pacific and The Sebel Manly Beach are two options and there are holiday apartments, B&Bs and hostels. Check prices and see all Manly accommodation.

Of special mention is Q Station (check availability) at Manly, meticulously converted from the original Quarantine Station. Situated in Sydney Harbour National Park, it has harbour views, its own sandy beach, good food and a feeling of getting away from it all.

Bondi also had plenty of places to stay on the beachfront. Check prices and availability for Bondi Beach accommodation.

Now that you've done the Manly to Bondi Walk, you may also be interested in…

  • the Palm Beach to Manly Walk. You've done the middle section of Sydney's Great Coastal Walk, now do the top half.
  • walking Sydney's Great Coastal Walk in full. Go on, you've done a quarter of it already!
  • Things to Do in Manly for people who love the outdoors. Seriously, this beachside area is just asking for more time to explore it.
  • 24 Hours in Sydney's Outdoors – itinerary suggestions to make the most of Sydney's natural areas in a limited time.
  • 1001 Walks You Must Do Before You Die – The Spit Bridge to Manly Walk is one of four Sydney walks that feature in this definitive guide. Make sure you do them all while you're in Sydney, and get inspiration for more walks around the world.
  • Prefer to leave the buildings behind and escape to the trees? Try Wedding Cake Rock or Figure 8 Pools in Royal National Park, on Sydney's southern border.

Images courtesy of Destination NSW



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