Sydney’s Coastal Walks and Hidden Beaches

portrait of hotel concierge
10 min Dec 19th, 2023
Aerial view of Coogee Beach

We get a lot of advantages from a wander. It clears the mind, gets us some fresh air and Vitamin D, and, in some cases, we might be lucky enough to experience jaw-dropping views! In Sydney, there are some hidden sandy gems and coastal wonders that offer postcard-perfect panoramas.

Some of these are even a little bit secret, but we’re blabbering about them so you can enjoy some of Sydney’s finest coastal walks! See why Mother Nature is the uncontested queen of the harbour city.

Coastal Trails

Visit one, or tackle them all like a healthier version of a pub crawl – a beach crawl! Here are some of the top coastal walks in Sydney for your next weekend adventure.c

Taronga Zoo to Balmoral Beach

balmoral beach drone shot

This trail, starting at Taronga Zoo Ferry Wharf, can be anywhere up to 7.2km if you decide to tackle the side trails as well. As an easy-to-moderate trek, we recommend allowing around just over two hours, as you certainly want to take a few scenic stops.

After a picturesque ferry ride from Circular Quay, you’ll find yourself in the bushland opposite the Taronga Zoo entrance. The well-marked path is technically a part of the Bondi to Manly walk and includes views of Athol Bay, a hidden gem, an unobstructed view of the Harbour Bridge, and Bradleys Head, which has even more harbour views). Bradleys Head also has a concrete jetty, stunning clear waters and an ideal picnic spot. This coastal walk has it all!

Here is a direction recommendation from one of our Veriu hosts in Sydney:

“Highly recommend the Balmoral to Taronga coastal walk (or the other way, starting in Taronga). There’s also an option to grab the ferry from Circular Quay to the zoo and head right, plus the Balmoral bus will take you up to Military Road and then onwards to the city.”

Distance: Roughly 7km
Difficulty: Easy with slight uphill sections

Spit Bridge to Manly

People relaxing at Manly beach in sydney, australia.

This is a long one, but if you are feeling energetic, it’s well worth it! A 10km walk that runs from Manly Wharf to Spit Bridge at Middle Harbour, the views of the harbour and ocean will have you hooked. However, the subtropical rainforest of Sydney Harbour National Park is the real highlight here.

Spit Bridge offers some beaches that you’ll likely be able to enjoy all to yourself, and you can grab a bite to eat in Manly when you are done. Clontarf Beach and Crater Crove are also great for stops, and see if you can spot Castle Rock Beach’s indigenous rock carvings.

As one of our Veriu hosts in Sydney recommends: “Make sure to check out the lighthouse and Washaway Beach during this super cool walk.”

Distance: 10km one-way
Difficulty: Medium

Coogee to Maroubra

Maroubra beach coastline

The Coogee to Maroubra Walk is a captivating coastal trail that follows the ocean past cliff tops, with plenty of ocean baths to cool off in. This easy walk has minimal elevation and will take just under two hours. If you are really feeling fit, you can actually tack this trail onto the popular Bondi to Coogee hike.

The paved path winds south, passing through Grant Reserve, and if you take the high tide path, you’ll see the historic Wylie’s Baths and the Mahon Pool – two excellent spots for a dip. Trenerry Reserve provides panoramic views of the beach and Wedding Cake Island, and you’ll find a scenic boardwalk at the end of the trail to view the cliffs stretching towards Maroubra.

Distance: 4.9km
Difficulty: Easy

Sydney's Secret Beaches

Now for the hush-hush stuff! These lesser-known spots are well worth the trek, not only for some untouched beauty but the crowds won’t be anywhere near as big as the popular walks above.

Castle Rock

Castle Rock beach view

If you take the Spit Bridge to Manly Walk mentioned earlier, you’ll be able to find something special hidden among the cliffs between Clontarf and Grotto Point. It’s a spot that is actually becoming quite the TikTok star, a tiny cove called Castle Rock Beach, complete with crystal blue waters, native bushland, boulders and rocks. Not bad for something a mere 15kms from the centre of the Sydney CBD.

Head down the stairs from Oglivy Road, hit the shoreline and enjoy the isolated bliss of Castle Rock Beach. Just note, there are no facilities here, so bring everything you’ll need, and be sure to take it all with you when you’re done.

Little Congwong Beach, La Perouse

A view of the coastline at Little Congwong Beach

Hidden in the Kamay Botany Bay National Park lies a protected bay surrounded by natural bushland known as Little Congwong Beach. This place can get a bit busy on hot summer days, but is just a short walk along the Congwong track and is otherwise pretty quiet throughout the year.

There are toilets and cafes outside the National Park, and ice-cream-selling boats often come close to shore on hotter days. The waves are gentle, and you’ll have a great view of Botany Bay and Bare Island; it’s everything you could need and want from one of Sydney’s best little secrets, just a 30-minute drive from the centre of the CBD!

Hit the beach, then spend the night at Veriu Sydney

If you’ve had a great day out at the beach, you’ll want somewhere just as comfortable to rest at night. For those visiting Sydney, we recommend Veriu Randwick, which is right by Coogee Beach and a number of other Sydney attractions and nightlife.

These serviced apartments are the perfect base to explore Sydney and its beaches, and at Veriu, we place our emphasis on comfort and convenience. Come and experience our great local village vibe for yourself today!