The Spit to Manly
Part 1 The Spit to Grotto Point
This walk is the first section of The Spit to Manly Walk and is approximately 4 kilometres.
To begin with, catch a bus to The Spit and get off near the marinas on the southern side of the bridge. Walk north on the bridge footpath and, at the end, take the stairway to the left which takes you under the bridge. Follow the coastline on Fisher Bay Walk and continue around Shell Cove. On the way to Bradys Point is an Indigenous Cave Shelter and you will see many harmless lizards in the undergrowth and occasionally on the track.
The track ends at Sandy Bay, but then follow the pathway on to Clontarf Beach. Here there are two restaurants, The Sandy Bear and Bosk. On the beach at Clontarf is a netted pool, picnic tables and public toilets.
Walk along the beach past the homes on the shoreline to Clontarf Track. However , if the tide is too high, walk south along Monash Crescent which you can access from Clontarf Reserve and which will take you to the bush track.
Clontarf Track joins Castle Rock Track and there is access down to Castle Rock Beach. Further along, our tracks intersect. To the left is Barrabooka Street. Straight ahead a sign indicates the way to Manly and to the right is Lighthouse Track. This leads to Grotto Point Lighthouse. It is a working lighthouse located on a rocky headland near Dobroyd Head. It is sometimes referred to as the 'Disney Castle' and was designed by Maurice Festu in 1910. It lights the way across the scenic northern waters of Sydney Harbour National Park.
Scroll down to Part 2 Grotto Point to Manly.
Part 2 Grotto Point to Manly
This walk is the second part of The Spit to Manly Walk and is approximately 4.5 kilometres long. Start at the intersection of four tracks at Grotto Point - Castle Rock, Lighthouse, Barrabooka and Grotto Point. A sign indicates the direction to Manly proceeding along Grotto Point Walk.
A short stroll will take you to Aboriginal rock engravings which date back thousands of years. From there, continue along the path until it becomes Dobroyd Head Track. This section winds its way down through the bushland, with wonderful views across the entrance to Sydney Harbour. At Dobroyd Head Lookout you can enjoy 180 degree views from the city skyline to Manly.
The track then descends through the bush to secluded Reef Beach, which was once a favourite for nude swimmers. A further short walk take you to Forty Baskets Beach, with impressive homes overlooking the harbour. There are public toilets at Reef and Forty Baskets beaches.
Follow Gourlay Avenue to a pathway on the right, then walk down and across a small bridge. At North Harbour Street turn right and continue until you reach Forty Beans, a delightful cafe with great coffee.
Walk across spacious North Harbour Reserve and up the stairs near the shoreline. Go along King and Lauderdale Avenues until the pathway veers to the right into North Harbour Walk which becomes Fairlight Walk. It is a great journey overlooking the harbour, with a few small beaches and an ocean pool at Fairlight. There are many signs on the path asking you to watch out for little penguins. The penguins can only be seen at night so you would have to be lucky. The pathway takes you to Manly Cove where you can catch a ferry or a bus to anywhere in the city.