Walking from Manly to The Spit & Balmoral

If you’re looking for an excellent walk that showcases views of Sydney’s harbour, the Manly to The Spit and Balmoral walk is for you.

Dobroyd Head

The walk starts at the Manly Wharf and winds around the lower northern beaches foreshore to The Spit and along to Balmoral. The total walk is 14 kilometres in length and takes about 3 hours. A map of the Manly to The Spit and Balmoral walk is located below.

Map showing the Manly to Balmoral coastal walk

Most people normally walk from Manly to The Spit — this might be because there’s a handy bus stop that can take walkers back to Manly or onto Sydney’s CBD. The Manly to The Spit walk is 10km one-way.

Castle Rock beach

After speaking to some walkers, there seemed to be a lot of people who walk from Manly to The Spit, and then back again. It’s a 20km return walk.

The view of Sydney Harbour from the Manly Ferry

We chose to catch the Manly Ferry from Circular Quay to Manly.

Our walk began at the ‘First Fleet’ monument near Manly Wharf. Manly Cove is where Captain Arthur Phillip landed on 21st January 1788 — this was five days before the First Fleet, full of convict passengers, moved from Botany Bay into Sydney Cove.

Captain Arthur Phillip monument at Manly Cove

The walk continues past Federation Point along the Fairlight Walk.

View of Sydney Harbour from Fairlight

The path takes walkers into the North Harbour Reserve.

Near North Harbour Reserve

Walking south, the path winds through the bush into Forty Baskets Beach at Balgowlah.

Forty Baskets Beach at Balgowlah

You’ll walk through bushland to Dobroyd Head where you’ll come across an excellent view of Sydney’s Heads and Manly.

The view from Dobroyd Head

The track then winds back into bushland to the Tania Park.

Hidden below the Tania Park is a collection of cabins at Crater Cove. The huts were built as ‘weekenders’ between 1923 and 1963.

Tania Park, Balgowlah Heights

The next highlight on the walk is the aboriginal rock carvings, called the Grotto Point Engravings.

The aboriginal drawings is titled ‘The Land And Sea’ by the NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service.

Aboriginal drawings along the Manly to The Spit walk

The artwork depicts a kangaroo, sun fish and other smaller fish.

Grotto Point Engravings

The walk then continues onto Clontarf beach and Clontarf Reserve.

Clontarf beach

It was at Clontarf Reserve where Queen Victoria’s son Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, was shot by Henry O’Farrell in 1868. The bullet was impeded by the double thickness of the Duke’s trouser braces. O’Farrell was hung inside Darlinghurst Gaol five weeks later.

At this park, you’re about 20 minutes away from The Spit bridge.

The Spit Bridge

The walk into Balmoral continues along Parriwi Road past the Parriwi Lighthouse.

Walking from The Spit to Balmoral

I hope you enjoy your walk and the views.

I’d love to hear about your walk, drop me a message on social media @BrendenWood.

#Manly #TheSpit #Balmoral #SydneyHarbour

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