St. John's Uniting Church Wahroonga

Spit Bridge to Manly, 18th June 2011

Crossing Reef Beach

We had an almost perfect day for a dozen Cartophiles to take on the iconic Spit Bridge to Manly walk (officially known as the Manly Scenic Walkway).  This beautiful 9km walk was opened as a bicentennial joint project between Manly Council and the National Parks and Wildlife Service.  Lonely Planet travellers ranked it number 26 of 950 things to do in Sydney.   It’s a truly lovely walk, mostly through the Sydney Harbour National Park, and it’s often easy to forget you’re right in the middle of Australia’s largest city!

Regular walkers Mary, James, Doug, Don, Aida, Michael, Gabriel, Sue S, Sue C and Kit welcomed new Cartophiles Margaret and  John.  James mistimed his arrival, but ran to catch us up at Contarf Beach Reserve.

Beauty on beauty: Aida, Sue C & Sue S with South Head in the background

Up the rock steps near Grotto Point

The first part of the walk is past quiet bush, rock shelves, waterfalls, aboriginal shell middens and lovely views over Spit Bridge to Middle Harbour.  The walk then crosses Sandy Bay to Contarf Beach Reserve, and climbs from Clontarf Beach to Castle Rock.  It tracks alongside Middle Harbour to climb to Dobroyd Head, with stunning views of both North and South Heads.  It then drops to Reef Beach, follows the shoreline to Forty Baskets Beach and tracks around North Harbour, past Fairlight Beach and Manly Oceanworld into the Manly Wharf end of the Corso.

We met Chris, Sureka, Jeyanth and Maya at Fairlight Beach.  When we finished the walk most of us gathered at The Steyne Hotel for a counter lunch and celebratory drinks.   This was a thoroughly delightful day that we’ll repeat in the future.

Our next walk is also our first two day hike for the year: along the Great North Walk from the Old Watagan HQ to Barraba Trig and return.