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!
- The very best coastal walks in Sydney
- Coastal Walks in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs
- Coastal Walks on Sydney’s Northern Beaches
- Coastal Walks in Sydney’s South
The very best coastal walks in Sydney
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.
Coastal Walks in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs
The Iconic Bondi to Coogee Walk
The Bondi to Coogee 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.
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.
Bondi walk highlights:
- 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
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
Public transport rating: super easy, buses at every beach however Bondi Beach has the most frequent services
Wheel-friendly: not really, prams with plenty of lifting may be possible
Dog-friendly: yes, on a leash on the paths but not the beach.
Nearby dining: You will be spoilt for choice!
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 walking trail 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.
From Dover Heights, it’s a pretty clear walk which we have outlined in detail on this post. Alternatively, take the 380 bus from Bondi to the start of the walk.
- Fantastic Sydney Harbour views from Dudley Page Reserve
- Dramatic sandstone cliffs and old staircase at Diamond Head
- Historic Macquarie Lighthouse
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.
Public transport rating: Super easy regular buses from Watsons Bay or Bondi
Wheel friendly: Partially – miss the Diamond Bay Stairs by walking around the back streets instead.
Dog-friendly: Yes, on a leash
Nearby dining: A few options at Watsons Bay but not much en route
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 a great choice for wheelchair users or those with prams. A boardwalk with a slight incline gives access for 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
Public transport rating: Easy bus access
Wheel-friendly: Part of this walk is very suitable
Nearby dining: Plenty at Coogee and Maroubra but not much in between
More info: Randwick Council website
Have you taken the Taronga Zoo to Balmoral Beach walk yet?
Maroubra to Malabar Beach Walk – The Road Less Travelled
This 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 offers visitors a less crowded experience and it’s a great place to watch local surfers in action. If you do decide to have a swim while you are here be sure to stay between the flags, the current can get quite strong here.
This 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 up 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 from 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.
Public transport rating: Easy bus access
Wheel-friendly: The first section of this walk is very suitable
Dog-friendly: Only the first section to South Maroubra
Nearby dining: Plenty at cafes Maroubra
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. The name La Perouse comes from a French Naval Officer Jean-Francois La Perouse, who arrived in Botany Bay just 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 some of the others here. 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
Public transport rating: Easy bus access – L94 or 393 from Central Station
Dog-friendly: Yes, but not in the beach or in the National Park
Nearby dining: Several cafes at La Perouse and the Yarra Bay Sailing Club
Coastal Walks on Sydney’s Northern Beaches
Long Reef Walk – An Aquatic Delight
There is so much to love about this walk. It’s unique position between the beach and a golf course, giving it a lovely contrast of green against the ocean blue is quite lovely
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.
- 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.
Public transport rating: Easy – the bus stop is less than 100m away.
Wheel-friendly: Prams are OK, just a few spots to lift over. The first section from the carpark to the top of the hill and the lookout is suitable.
Dog-friendly: Yes, on a leash. An off-leash area nearby.
Dining Nearby: Long Reef Golf Club is an option.
More details on the Northern Beaches Council website.
Collaroy to Manly – 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.
t’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.
- Walk along six surf beaches
- Long Reef Aquatic Reserve
- Statue of Duke Kahanamoku
Insider tip: For the best views do this walk north to south
Public transport rating: easy bus access to Collaroy
Dog-friendly: yes, on leash only
Dining nearby: A few options along the way and plenty at the finish.
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
- A ferry ride to Ettalong or the Basin
Insider tip: If you want to see the Home and Away gang recording, weekdays are your best option.
Read our tips for exploring Palm Beach before you go.
Length: 2.3km one way.
Public transport rating: Super easy but it’s a 41km trip
Wheel friendly: not really
Dog-friendly: No, although you can walk nearby Careel Bay with your dog
Nearby Dining: Yes some great options
Coastal Walks in Sydney’s South
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. A big bonus is that on weekdays it can be almost deserted.
- 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
Insider tip: There is almost no shade along the way so be sure to bring a hat and sunscreen.
Public transport: limited, but plenty of parking
Nearby dining: All along the route
Check out Joanne’s walk in Brighton le Sands for more local exploring.
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 in Cronulla here.
This is a really easy 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.
Public transport rating: Super easy – the only beach with a train station.
Wheel-friendly – yes very, we do this with a pram quite a lot.
Dog-friendly – Yes on the paths
Nearby dining – All along the route
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.
It is recommended you tackle this 26km track over two days although some people manage to do in on one long hard session.
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.
- Dharawal Aboriginal engravings along the Jibbon Beach Loop Track
- Wedding Cake Rock,
- Figure Eight Pools
- Garie Beach and Burning Palms.
Public transport rating: Super easy – Train at both ends (+Ferry between Bundeena and Cronulla)
Wheel-friendly – No
Dog-friendly – No
Nearby dining – pick up supplies in Cronulla or Bundeena.
We hope you enjoy these great walks in Sydney. If you want more walking ideas for around Sydney check out these articles:
Do you have a favourite coastal walk in Sydney? We would love to know which one you think is the best.
Pin this guide to Sydney’s Best Coastal Walks for your next day out walking.
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First published Oct 2019