Whether you are a visitor trying to choose the best coastal walk in Sydney or a local looking for something fun and healthy to do this weekend, this list of our favourite coastal walks across the city is an excellent starting point. Some will challenge, others are nice and relaxing, but all are truly delightful!
- Coastal Walks in Sydney Eastern Suburbs
- Coastal Walks on Sydney’s Northern Beaches
- Coastal Walks in Sydney Southern suburbs
Walking along the Sydney coastline or doing a Sydney beach walk is a top way to spend a day. We have listed all the best-known Sydney coastal walks along with a few less well-known, even secret sydney walks that we think locals or visitors will love.
To help make it easier for you to decide which walk to do, we have included all the main facts you need to know to make your choice.
- How long is the walk?
- Can you reach the walk by public transport?
- Is this walk suitable for prams or wheelchairs?
- Can I take my dog on this walk?
- Are there good places to eat/drink nearby?
So lace up your walking shoes, grab yourself a hat and let’s go for a walk!
We think these are the best coastal walks in Sydney, but we have not listed them in any order because they are all great for different reasons; instead, we have divided them by area, north, south and east, to make it easier to find walks near you.
If you are looking for walks like the Spit Bridge to Manly, Bradley’s Head, South Head to the Hornby Lighthouse or North Head Sanctuary, check out our Sydney Harbour walks page.
Coastal Walks in Sydney Eastern Suburbs
The Iconic Bondi to Coogee Walk
The Bondi to Coogee coastal walk, or if you are short of time and energy, the Bondi to Bronte walk, is likely the most famous beach walk in the country. It needs little introduction, and chances are it might already be on your to-do list.
Highlights of the Bondi walk:
- Pass five gorgeous ocean beaches; Tamarama, Bronte, Clovelly, and Coogee
- Swim at the Instagram worthy Bronte Pool above
- Stroll past (or through) the historic Waverly Cemetery
- Snorkel the beautiful Gordon’s Bay
Before you head out, check out our very detailed guide to the Bondi to Coogee walk, where we have answered every question we have ever received about walking this track.
Insider tip: There is a natural bogey hole at Bronte only visible when the tide is right – approx. halfway between high and low tide.
Length: 6km. If you prefer a short walk, you could stop at Bronte
The Impressive Federation Cliff Walk
The Federation Cliff Walk, also known as the Waverly Cliff walk or the Dover Heights walk, links Bondi to Watsons Bay. This 5km eastern suburbs coastal walk gives you outstanding views of the sheer sandstone cliffs that protect Sydney Harbour.
Official starting at Dover Heights, you can navigate from North Bondi if you wish by following the coastline and heading in and out of the streets when you hit a fence.
- Fantastic Sydney Harbour views from Dudley Page Reserve.
- Dramatic sandstone cliffs and old staircase at Diamond Head
- Historic Macquarie Lighthouse
From Dover Heights, it’s a pretty clear walk which we have outlined in detail in this post. Alternatively, take the 380 bus from Bondi to the start of the walk.
Insider tip: Resist the urge to go off the track at Diamond Bay and under the cliffs for the magic Insta shot; the cliff is fenced off because it is unstable.
Length: 5km one way.
The Hermitage Foreshore Track in Sydney Harbour National Park at Rose Bay is another great Eastern Suburbs option.
The Family Friendly Coogee to Maroubra Walk
The first section of this walk, known as the Coogee Clifftop Walk, is an excellent choice for wheelchair users or those with prams. A boardwalk with a slight incline gives access to the first section.
The rest of the walk will reward with some very pretty rock pools and panoramic views of Sydney’s coastline. There are also fewer people on the pathway than the more popular walk Bondi trail. Great for those who prefer to take the road less travelled.
Highlights of the Coogee to Maroubra Walk:
- McIvers Ladies Baths
- Wylies Baths
- Ivor Rowe rock pool
- Mahon rock pool – my favourite sunrise spot in Sydney
All these rock pools are hard to resist, so I suggest you pack your swimmers
More info on parks along this route: Randwick Council website
Have you taken the Taronga Zoo to Balmoral Beach walk yet? It’s a stunning harbour option.
Maroubra to Malabar Beach Walk – The Road Less Travelled
This coastal walk begins at Maroubra, one of Australia’s official National Surfing Reserves. The name ‘Maroubra’ is said to be an Aboriginal word meaning ‘like thunder’, and the surf here rarely lets you down. This kilometre-long trail offers visitors a less crowded experience, and it’s a great place to watch local surfers in action.
If you decide to swim while you are here, stay between the flags; the current can get quite strong here.
The walk begins on the northern side of Maroubra Beach. The first section takes you from Mistral Point along Maroubra Beach to the park at South Maroubra. This section is just under 2.5km and is wheelchair and pram friendly.
- Great views of Botany Bay
- Family-friendly rockpool at Malabar
- Whale watching spot in season (June-October)
- picturesque bays
The next section to Malabar Begins in Arthur Byrne Reserve in South Maroubra and connects to Pioneers Park in Malabar. This 1.15km walking track, officially known as the Western Escarpment Walking Track, links with the 3.7km Boora Point Walking Track. You can also walk a 4km loop around Malabar Headland. This section has quite a few stairs, so not suitable for prams and wheelchairs.
Your final destination is Malabar Beach, pretty much a hidden gem and one that I am almost reluctant to share. The rock pool here, pictured below, is sheltered and has a wheelchair ramp into the pool. Not so much a sandy beach as a beautiful rocky bay.
Download the detailed map (PDF) if you would like to give this walk a try.
La Perouse to Yarra Bay – Discover History and Identity
La Perouse is full of history and has a strong indigenous identity. The Kameygal people refer to this land as Guriwal, and many still live and work in the area. La Perouse comes from a French Naval Officer, Jean-Francois La Perouse, who arrived in Botany Bay days after the First Fleet.
“La Perouse is the one area of Sydney with which Aboriginal people have had an unbroken connection for over 7,500 years.”Dictionary of Sydney
This walk is a relatively short and easy one, great for younger kids who may tire on others on this list. From La Perouse, head to the playground, and you will see a walking track heading into the bush.
The Guriwal Bush Tucker Track features signage highlighting traditional foods and medicines. Once you reach Yarra Bay, return to La Perouse via the beach.
- Bare Island Fort (open last Sunday of the month) at La Perouse
- Signposted Bush Tucker Track between Yarra Bay and Frenchman’s Bay.
- Weekend snake shows in Cann Park
Insider tip: The Blak Markets, which sells fabulous indigenous goods, are held at La Perouse regularly. Check the dates here
Cape Baily Track
Located in the southern half of Kamay Botany Bay National Park at Kurnell, The Cape Baily track is a 6km walking track that takes you from Cape Solander to the Cape Baily Lighthouse.
The walk is relatively flat and exposed, but you will be rewarded with some great views of the ocean. Unfortunately, there are no facilities along the way, so make sure you bring your own water and dress for the weather. It can be freezing in winter and offers no shade in summer.
Insider tip: This is one of Sydney’s best whale-watching spots, so a visit between June-August is usually well rewarded.
Length: 6km one way
Coastal Walks on Sydney’s Northern Beaches
Long Reef Walk – An Aquatic Delight
There is so much to love about this walk. Its unique position between the beach and a golf course, giving it a lovely contrast of green against the ocean blue, is quite beautiful.
- Long Reef Aquatic Reserve – great for snorkelling in calm weather
- Whale watching between April and November
- Watching the hang gliders and paragliders
Local tip: Visit at low tide and wander down the stairs at the base of the headline.
It’s super popular with photographers, particularly at sunrise, so if you can get up early, you will find you often rewarded with a magnificent sunrise.
More details are on the Northern Beaches Council website.
Collaroy to Manly Walk- A Bondi to Coogee Alternative
I like to begin this walk in Collaroy and end for lunch or sunset drinks in Manly. From Collaroy Beach, you head past Fisherman’s Beach, Long Reef via the headland, Dee Why, Curl Curl Beach and Freshwater Beach, before you reach Queenscliff and finally Manly.
- Walk along six surf beaches
- Long Reef Aquatic Reserve
- Statue of Duke Kahanamoku
It’s a long walk, but it’s full of rewards and a perfect walk if you are looking for something to contrast the world-famous Bondi Beach walk.
Insider tip: For the best views, do this walk north to south
Palm Beach Walk – Summer Bay and Away
Best known by many as the filming location of Home and Away, Palm Beach, the most northern beach in Sydney, is a holiday hotspot for the well to do and well worth the effort it takes to visit.
- Barrenjoey Lighthouse walk
- Outdoor sets of Home and Away
- Calm Pittwater shores perfect for kids
- A ferry ride to Ettalong or the Basin
Insider tip: Weekdays are your best option if you want to see the Home and Away gang recording.
Read our tips for exploring Palm Beach before you go.
Length: 2.3km one way.
Coastal Walks in Sydney Southern suburbs
Brighton to Sans Souci – Parasailing Paradise
This is my regular walking route; an easy, flat 4-5km path hugs Botany Bay. Being a bay walk, it’s not as dramatic as Bondi to Bronte, but the path is great for prams and wheelchairs, with almost all of it paved and flat.
You can get from Captain Cook Bridge at San Souci all the way to Kyeemagh with just a small section moving away from the shoreline for a few hundred metres.
- Bike path running the entire way
- Two netted swimming areas
- Watch the wave jumpers
- Spot the planes taking off at Mascot
- Lots of cafes along the route
- Large parks with BBQ areas
A big bonus is that the path can be almost deserted on weekdays, particularly in autumn and winter. Check out our guide to Brighton Le Sands before you visit.
Insider tip: There is almost no shade along the way, so be sure to bring a hat and sunscreen.
Cronulla Beach Walk – Ocean Pools Galore
This is the beach of my childhood; we spent many summer days at the Cronulla beaches; there are several beaches, Wanda, Elouera, North Cronulla, South Cronulla, Blackwood’s Beach and Shelly Beach. They are great family beaches with ocean pools, plenty of parks and facilities and several great playgrounds.
The beach is also just two blocks away from excellent cafes and restaurants. Get more details on what you will find on the Cronulla beach walk here.
This is a straightforward walk, with most of it being pram friendly. The walk officially starts at Wanda and finishes at Bass and Flinders Point, but most people start at North Cronulla.
- Lots of great children’s playgrounds
- Nuns Pool – a beautiful natural rock pool
Insider tip: Darook Park, just around from the end of the walk is a great picnic spot with plenty of shade and a lovely beach.
The Coast Track – Royal National park
The Coast Track is a challenging walk through native bushland with some of the most incredible coast lookouts you will find in NSW. It’s also one of the most popular, so you will likely find yourself sharing the path with others, especially on weekends.
- Dharawal Aboriginal engravings along the Jibbon Beach Loop Track
- Wedding Cake Rock
- Eagle Rock
- Curracurrong Falls
- Garie Beach and Burning Palms
- Figure Eight Pools
It is recommended you tackle this 26km track over two days, although some people manage to do it in one long hard session.
You can do it easily in three one day walks.
- Jibbon Beach to Wattamolla
- Wattamolla to Curracurrong Falls or on to Garie Beach
- Garie to Otford
If you do go for the two-day option, the North Era campground is the official overnight stop. Check National Park alerts before you start planning, as there are some closures in place at the moment. We have a detailed guide to walks in the Royal National Park here.
We hope you enjoy these great walks in Sydney. If you want more walking ideas for around Sydney, check out these articles:
- A guide to the Best Sydney Harbour Walks
- Short Blue Mountains Bush Walks
- Easy Family Bushwalks
- Sydney Harbour Walks
Do you have a favourite coastal walk in Sydney? We would love to know which one you think is the best.
First published Oct 2019 – Updated 30/10/2021