Sydney Walks

A little aside from the usually travel post until we head to Burma over the Christmas/New Year period. Over the past few months we have been enjoying the great outdoors and doing a bit of exploring a little closer to home. Benefiting from the beautiful Spring weather, we have been spending our weekends doing a series of walks around Sydney. Here are a few of our favourite (and some of the Instagram photos I took along the way).

Royal National Park

Located south of Sydney, this National Park has a plethora of walking tracks to explore. The coastal walk, starting at Bundeena, takes you along weather beaten coastal vegetation and spectacular rugged cliffs. Depending on how long you want to walk,  you can walk for about 1.5-2 hours and turn back in the same direction, or you can complete a loop, going all the way to Wattamolla Beach.  Stop at the information centre at Audley when entering the National Park and ask for a map. 10404249_10152281427530544_7336009455081714731_n

West Head, Kur-ring-gai Chase National Park

Again, this is another National Parks which is dotted with spectacular walks. Ask for a list of the walks from the information booth upon entering the park. This guide explains each walk, its duration and level of difficulty. All the walks are clearly sign posted along the road, so they are not difficult to locate. Don’t miss West Head Lookout, with it’s spectacular views onto Pittwater and Palm Beach Lighthouse. 10003988_10152293879745544_8810428419472530380_n 10423750_10152293950215544_6420437849163333322_n

Spit Bridge to Manly

Start at either Manly or the Spit for this stunning coastal walk. Walking between The Spit and Manly is about 10km and takes about 3 hours to complete. Download the Manly Scenic Walkway map from the Manly Council website before you go. Buses connect Manly and The Spit if you’re too exhausted to return the same way. 10484509_10152108524760544_1408797141693708907_n

Double Bay to Watsons Bay

I’m not sure if we’re crazy or not, but we spent one Sunday walking from Double Bay to Watsons Bay and back, and arrived home utterly exhausted. Walking along New South Head Road, follow the promenade at Rose Bay continuing until you get to Kincoppal School. Go along Vaucluse Road/Wentworth Road/Fitzwilliam Road, stopping at Nielsen Park and Parsley Bay. Continue along Hopetoun Avenue until you get to Watsons Bay. This walk takes you through some of the exclusive eastern suburbs – we spent the day admiring the houses and gardens we passed. 10527298_10152409464925544_781127559665545944_n

Bradleys Head Walk – Taronga Zoo to Chowder Bay

Another must do walk when you’re in Sydney is the Bradleys Head Walk from Taronga Zoo to Chowder Bay through Sydney Harbour National Park. This well maintained walkway gives up spectacular views of Sydney city and its world renowned harbour. If you still feel energetic after your ice-cream stop at Chowder Bay, you can continue the walk to Balmoral Beach for some fish and chips. 10580016_10152269360020544_6687051038959203806_n

Bondi Beach to Clovelly Beach

This popular walk is popular for a reason – the walkway is fantastic and the scenery even better. Try going in the early morning or late afternoon to avoid the crowds. The crowds usually thin out by the time you get to Bronte Beach. If you have time, spend a while exploring the historic graves at Waverley Cemetery (an incredible location for a cemetery!). For a few weeks, usually in October/November, this walk is also the site of the fabulous Sculptures by the Sea exhibition. 10644671_10152224908520544_2387103584722432799_n

Newport Beach to Avalon

This is my local – walking from Newport Beach, over South Bigola Headland, along The Serpentine to AJ Small Lookout and then on to Avalon. When in Avalon stop for a bite to eat at Nourish Cafe (serving fantastic healthy food. A great place if you’re on a vegan, gluten free, sugar free or raw diet). 10670246_10152342513800544_932375545179395327_n

La Perouse

I’ve lived in Sydney almost my entire life, and I think this was the first time I had ever been to La Perouse. I was so impressed with Little Bay Beach and Frenchmans Beach – it’s almost like a little world unto its own (other then the airport/port botany eye sore). There are a few short walks you can do to Congwong Bay and Cruwee Bay. photo

Palm Beach Lighthouse

From the carpark at the base of the headland, take a short walk along the beach on the Pittwater side of the Peninsular until you reach to path to the light house. There are two routes you can take, the narrow path, or the paved fire track. From the top, you have a 360 degree view over Palm Beach, Pittwater and the Central Coast. Stop at The Boathouse for a coffee overlooking Pittwater for an afternoon snack on your return, or a couple of drinks at Cranky Fins.
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The Fleurieu Peninsula, Australia

After a day exploring the Adelaide Hills, we went south of Adelaide to explore the stunning Fleurieu Peninsula – it stunning coastline, beautiful national parks and the fantastic wineries of McLaren Vale.

First stop was Newland Head Conservation Park, stopping at Parsons Beach to take a hike along the coastal track, which forms part of the Heysen Trail. The coastline was absolutely stunning and the ocean so turquoise and clear. We walked over headlands and along beaches, before heading north-west to Port Willunga for lunch.

At Port Willunga we stopped at the Star of Greece restaurant and bistro for some fish and chips (not minding the calories). We were so impressed with Port Willunga Beach – it reminded me of somewhere in the south of Spain. The yellow cliffs which hug the beach are spectacular – the place was stunning! After lunch, wandered along the beach, which was busy with weekend holiday makers.

Next stop was Mclaren Vale for some wine tasting. We were overwhelmed by the vast number of wineries located in such a small space. McLaren Vale was not quite as scenic as the Adelaide Hills, but we were in some luck and visited some quaint little wineries on beautiful estates.

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Essentials:

Eat:
The Star of Greece restaurant at Port Willunga. Fantastically situated about the beach, with a sunkissed view of the expansive ocean below, it’s difficult to drive past without stopping for lunch and taking in the view. If you’re after something a bit kinder to the wallet, there is a take-away fish and chips stand just outside the restaurant entrance – there really isn’t anything better than sitting on the beach enjoying a delicious lunch.

Wineries:
Our favourite winery in McLaren Vale was by far Dogridge Wine. Located in a little tin shed, beside a creek, you can sit outside in the shade of the guntrees, take in the scenery and enjoy the fine wine. Our favourites were their Wylpena Chardonnay and the PUP Sauvignon Blanc.