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Looking for seaside cliff views--Manly and/or Bondi?

Falls Church...
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Looking for seaside cliff views--Manly and/or Bondi?

We have one full day in Sydney in early January and we are looking for some walking options.

Ten years ago I came to Sydney and rode around on the Bondi Explorer bus. I remember seeing water views from high above, but I was so jet-lagged that I...um...fell asleep a few times on the bus between stops so I have no idea where I was. I just remember it was beautiful. I have been looking at google maps trying to figure out what locations we stopped in.

In the course of that I found the Bondi Explorer bus is no longer running the way it was in 2002. The new City Sightseeing bus route looks like it doesn't really run along the coast and therefore doesn't hit all of the stops that the old Explorer route took.

Looking through the TA archives, I see that the Spit Bridge to Manly walk is highly recommended, which makes me think we should be looking to the north shore instead.

Now getting on to my questions--do we have time to walk around both locations? The transport website shows Manly Fast Ferry provides service between Manly and Watson's Bay, which would cut down on some travel time. But the Manly Fast Ferries require separate tickets and do not accept MyMulti passes--is that right?

Could we take a bus to Spit Bridge, walk to Manly, take a ferry to Watson's Bay, walk around there a little, and then take the ferry back to CQ? Would that take a whole day? I guess that leaves out Bondi, doesn't it....

Ferry to Manly, and walk around there; then ferry from Manly to Watson's Bay and walk around there; then bus to Bondi and walk around there?

I know I'm trying to stuff three days of sight-seeing into one day. I have read descriptions of both areas in the TA archives as well as on the Sydney Coastal Walks website. Both sound like they have fantastic views and I wish we could see both. Please let me know if you think it's possible (and enjoyable), or if we would be rushing to see "everything" and therefore not have time to enjoy it.

Thank you all for your advice.

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1. Re: Looking for seaside cliff views--Manly and/or Bondi?

Hi Swimandsail, :o)

... now.... take a deeeep breath. Remember - less is more! Yes, there are spectacular views in all these places, but if you're going to see all of Sydney's magnificent views and scenery you had best apply for residency! haha Also, I think it's fair to say that while not identical, the views available in the areas you mention are reasonably similar, or at least similar enough that you really don't need to don your blue a&se fly outfit while you're here.

I guess you are talking about the eco hopper re the ferry from Manly to Watson's Bay. If you're going to use that service then IMHO you're better off using it to visit the attractions it stops at. Arriving by water is a brilliant way to arrive at Q - Station for example. I would say skip the Spit to Manly, it consumes too much time, concentrate on the other things along the route and take it easy. Spit to Manly is really only a sensible choice when you're in Sydney for a few days.

Edited: 03 November 2012, 03:02
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2. Re: Looking for seaside cliff views--Manly and/or Bondi?

I agree that Spit to Manly is probably too long if you only have a day in Sydney.

IMO, one of the best and most under-rated walks around Sydney is the Rose Bay to Watson's Bay walk.

…nsw.gov.au/__data/…harbwalk.1.pdf

walkingcoastalsydney.com.au/documents/MainWa…

It has a bit of everything - spectacular views across Sydney Harbour to the Opera House and the Bridge, quiet private beaches where you can stop and have a cool dip, a couple of nice cafes where you can stop for something to eat, a glass of wine or a cup of coffee, a wander through some of Sydney's most expensive real estate so you can see how the other 1% lives and at the end stunning clifftop views out to the ocean at Watson's Bay. From there you can take the ferry back to the city or a bust to either the city or Bondi Beach.

You can start the walk at Rose Bay ferry wharf as recommended in the leaflet or you can take a 325 bus and start the walk further along at Tivoli Avenue. It saves you climbing Heartbeak Hill.

The start of the walk can be a bit tricky to find so make sure you take a map with you.

Even at a gentle pace, the whole walk shouldn't take more than half a day and unlike the Spit to Manly and Bondi to Bronte walks, you'll have the track pretty much to yourself and it's very shaded.

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3. Re: Looking for seaside cliff views--Manly and/or Bondi?

I think this (outdated) page shows the old route:

www.discoversydney.com.au/maps/bbexp.html

Between Bondi Beach & Tamarama (and then on to Bronte) is a very popular path, packed on the weekends so better on a nice weekday morning.

Sydney, Australia
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4. Re: Looking for seaside cliff views--Manly and/or Bondi?

Hi,

I also suggest you don't do the Manly to Spit walk although I love it - you do need more time to explore Sydney.

IMO; you are best to do the Bondi to Coogee walk as its very scenic with beautiful seaside cliff views if that's what you are after.

Falls Church...
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5. Re: Looking for seaside cliff views--Manly and/or Bondi?

Thank you all for your advice! You are right, Snodge--I need to just settle down and remember (as I have seen written on the NZ forum) it's a holiday and not an endurance test. I get so wrapped up in trying to make sure we can see as much as possible but you are so right that less is more, and spending more quality time in one nice place makes for a better experience.

Evamelb, thank you for the recommendation for the Rose Bay to Watson's Bay walk. I did not know about that one and it looks very nice, and easier to get to from where we'll be staying.

Thank you SpencerB for the reference for the old Bondi route. Our full Sydney day is a Monday so we'll definitely take your advice for going on a weekday.

And Ellemay, thank you for the recommendation to stick with Bondi to Coogee. I think if we walk Rose Bay to Watson's Bay, we can then take a bus down to Bondi and walk from there as well.

I really appreciate your help. I know that no matter where we end up walking, it is going to be an excellent vacation. :)

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6. Re: Looking for seaside cliff views--Manly and/or Bondi?

i will add my recommendation to beginning at bondi and walk as far south as your legs will take you, even going all the way down to maroubra if you like.

bondi and then mackenzies and clovelly and bronte. see how youre feeling and you may want to continue on to coogee and maroubra. the views along the cliffs are great, just hopefully its not too windy that day

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7. Re: Looking for seaside cliff views--Manly and/or Bondi?

Enjoy Sydney !!

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8. Re: Looking for seaside cliff views--Manly and/or Bondi?

I just did half the Manly- Spit walk 2 weeks ago.(will try and post some pics)It is a long trek,but very scenic to.We went as far as Dobroyd Head(half way point)and its opposite the Heads,so stunning vista of the harbour up high.Be that it does take a couple of hours return on it,but am going on the Bondi walk in next couple weeks as well.

You do have the option to start early on the walk,would be a nice start to the day with a ferry ride across the harbour,then maybe a walk around the corso, before a ferry abck to CQ for an afternoon meandering around the Rocks etc.

There is no ferry from Manly to Watsons Bay direct,you have to come back to CQ and out again via a smaller "first fleet" service.

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9. Re: Looking for seaside cliff views--Manly and/or Bondi?

We just spent the weekend in Sydney and did the Coogee to Bondi cliff Walk.

Just fantastic and in parts breathtaking. We were very fortunate to be there for the Sculptures By The Sea exhibition, that was amazing.

I think the walk was 6.18 klms. We took our time and took in the scenery and had lots of photo opportunities. We had brunch at Clovelly and late lunch at Bondi.

I can't advise you on the other walks that you have mentioned but we found the bus system very easy to use and convenient. I definitely think the weekday walk would be better as weekends would be busy. Another stunning sight is the Waverly Cemetery right on the cliff edge, well worth a stop to look at the old inscriptions on the headstones.

Enjoy your time and soak up the atmosphere of the city.

Edited: 05 November 2012, 10:27
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10. Re: Looking for seaside cliff views--Manly and/or Bondi?

Manly Fast Ferry dies a direct Manky to Watsons Bay run.

I did it in Saturday and it's great - 15 minutes in a catamaran. They also go to Q Station, Taronga Zoo, Milsons Point, Darling Harbour & Circular Quay.

It's a private company, and has a different ticketing system from the STA ferries. At Manly, their wharf is to the east if the main wharf - in front of the Manly Wharf Hotel.

Posting from my iPhone so can't google & paste their link, but I think it is www.manlyfastferry.com.au

There are also some very good walks around North Head.

A loop that might work for you - STA ferry to Manly, walk to North Head via Shelly Beach, take the Fast Ferry from Q (Quarantine) Station to Watsons Bay. Have lunch there and then take the STA ferry back to Circular Quay.

North Head and the Quarantine Station are both very interesting and well worth investigating. There is a nice little cafe near the old Artilery Station ( before the Information Centre) at North Head.

There's no end to interesting walks around our Harbour - I'm doing the Rosé Bay to Watsons Bay one later this week. Just learned about it recently, and I've lives here for years!