A Scenic Walk in Manly

On our final day in Sydney we took the ferry from Circular Quay across the Harbour to the seaside resort of Manly. On one of the headlands at the entrance to Sydney harbour it has beaches facing both the Harbour and the open sea.


The ferry journey takes about half an hour and gives a great view of Sydney from the water

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Arriving in Manly, our plan wasn’t to spend time lounging on the beach, but to follow part of the Manly Scenic Walkway up on to the North Head, one of the headlands that form the 2 km wide entrance to Sydney Harbour

We set off along Manly Beach where groups of schoolchildren were taking surfing lessonsOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThere was a strong offshore wind and the sea was quite rough. The lifeguards were broadcasting stern warnings for bathers to stay within the flags or the beach would be closed.

We followed the coastal pathOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERApassing artworksOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAand local wildlifePC012643.JPGalong to Shelley beach, a more secluded inlet with calmer watersPC012647.JPGWe than began the climb up into the wilder country on the on North HeadIMG_4059.jpg




Although only a short distance from “civilisation” it felt as if we were going up into the “bush”


Due to it’s strategic position overlooking the entrance to Sydney Harbour, there had been military installations on the North Head for a good part of the 20th Century. We soon cam across evidence of this – abandoned gun emplacements.


We carried on following the path through the bush


A little further on we reached the Modernist style former army barracks


Our route took us straight across the parade ground


Today, the buildings are occupied by a private school and various small businesses, including an art foundry


We stopped for a while to look at some of the art works on display.


Carrying on through more bush


views of Sydney opened up


A short distance further on and we reached some more former military buildings where the North Head Visitor Centre is located as well as a café, so we stopped for a brew overlooking Sydney Harbour

Rejuvinated, we continued on with our walk, the route taking us along Australia’s Memorial Walk, a paved pathway with five monuments to remember the major military conflict periods in Australia’s history.


Carrying on through the bush towards Fairfax Lookout at the end of the headland and looking out over the Harbour and open sea


Having reached our objective it was time to head back. We could have followed the loop and walked back down to Manly, but we cheated. There’s a road up the North Head and there’s a regular bus service, so feeling hot and a little tired, we waited a short while and hopped on the next bus that took us back to Manly and the ferry back to Circular Quay.


18 thoughts on “A Scenic Walk in Manly

  1. Excellent walk with lots of variety and interest. I noted the Gallipoli memorial, thank you. Were you ever worried about coming across wild animals, snakes and such like? Happy New Year to you. Miladys travels recommence on Tuesday!

    • Yes it’s an excellent walk. The second time I’ve done it although last time I walked back to Manly past the Quarantine hospital and then along the harbour side shore – it wasn’t such a hot day! https://greatacre.wordpress.com/2014/12/28/a-walk-in-manly/
      There didn’t seem to be any dangerous animals, snakes and insects about – but I might just not have noticed them!
      Back to work for me on Tuesday 😦
      Where are you wandering off to next?

      • Work trip to London on Thursday and we’re adding on a day’s holiday on Friday (depending on whether Virgin train strike goes ahead). So looks like I might be stalking you again!
        Amsterdam for a few days to see daughter and do a bit of tourism in February – with a couple of work trips to Ireland in between!

      • We have a few things planned with my sister Wednesday, Thursday, Friday (will have to see if our paths cross!) and then visiting Surrey until Sunday. After problems with New Year train services in the past I’ve booked a flight (hopefully nothing will go wrong there) and my sister the coach. I’m returning from Surrey so Heathrow much more convenient.

      • Certainly not! I went once, when it first opened. It’s just across the footbridge from our ‘digs’ in Smithfield but we’ve booked Charterhouse tour that morning. On Wednesday Postal Museum and Thursday William Morris Gallery and Walthamstow walk with Wilton’s Music Hall in the evening. There – you have it all now!

      • Tate Modern not to your taste, then! Little chance of bumping into you, then, as we’re going to see the Mogdialani exhibition. But another coincidence that we’re visiting the same city. 😉

      • Indeed! Only those long faces popular in the 1970s. Not a modern art person (and nor is K) other friends may ask me to go along and I’ll give almost any art a try.

      • Enjoy your short break in the Smoke 😊. The Morris gallery has been on my list for a while, as is the Red House, but Walthamstow and Bexleyheath are a bit of a traipse out from the centre of London. I was staying not far from Bexleyheath last year but was working when the house was open

      • We enjoy our ‘off the beaten track’ walks and there’s a May Morris exhibition I didn’t think I’d get to see. In Bexley area I have had Eltham Palace on my list for simply ages.

    • It’s a great walk. For a good part of it you really feel that you are in the bush and away from civilisation, when, in fact, you’re only a short distance from a bus route! And a café to rest and get some refreshment. And great sea views too.

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