10 Walks to Take When You Study Abroad in Sydney

Aug 11, 2015 1:30:00 PM / by Stephanie Sadler

Walking can be one of the best ways to discover a new city away from the tourist trail, understand its layout and observe the everyday life of locals. Download some offline Google maps, pull on a pair of sneakers and head out the door for some fresh air and exercise. Here are 10 of our favorite routes to explore when you study abroad in Sydney.

1. BONDI TO COOGEE. The Bondi to Coogee walk is a coastal cliff walk with great views of the eastern suburbs’ beaches - Tamarama, Bronte, Clovelly and Gordon's Bay. Along the 6km walk, you'll see stunning views from the cliffs including rock pools, bays and beaches and parks. It is also the venue for Sculpture by the Sea, which runs from October to November each year and features over 100 sculptures by artists from Australia and around the world. The walk is considered a medium grade walk; however, there are plenty of rest stops and beaches along this coastal track to keep you refreshed and energized. (website)

Sculptures By The SeaPhoto: Sculpture by the Sea, Sydney by Nicki Mannix

2. MANLY LAGOON TO NORTH HEAD WALK. North Head Sanctuary is a world of its own with diverse wildlife and plants and stunning views of the city all within walking distance of Manly Lagoon. Take advantage of the lookouts along the walk which are great vantage points for the August to October whale migration or just a virtual postcard home to Mum! (website)

North Head Sanctuary, Manly, NSW, Australia
Photo: North Head Sanctuary, Manly by Jeff Turner

3. MANLY TO SPIT BRIDGE WALK. Looking for a different angle for your travel selfies? Put on your exercise gear and hit the Manly Scenic Walkway, a well-maintained track with beautiful views over Middle Harbour. If you have time, the side trips down to Grotto Point and up to Arabanoo Lookout are definitely worth the effort. If it all sounds like too much exercise, don't worry! There are plenty of opportunities to stop for ice cream along the way. (website)

Sydney, Middle Harbour, Long Bay
Photo: Middle Harbour, Sydney by Julia Gross

4. RAZORHURST. Modern King’s Cross, a suburb with a bit of a bad rap, has nothing compared to the den of iniquity that it was in the 1920s. Grab your smartphone and relive it today, dodging criminals armed with cut-throat razors as you scour the streets for sly grog (illegal alcohol). There is a dedicated app for this tour that takes us back to the days of Darlinghurst's Razor Gangs, so make sure you pick it up and really live by the saying “there’s an app for that”. (website)


5. DOMAIN WALK. If you're worried that you don't have enough #photosformum, this easy two hour walk will provide you with everything you need and more. Start at the Opera House and follow the shoreline of Farm Cove around to Mrs Macquarie's Chair to enjoy panoramic views of the harbour, from the Heads through the city skyline to the Harbour Bridge and Opera House. If you're getting sweaty, stop off for a swim at Boy Charlton pool, then dry off by walking through the Domain and the back of the Botanic Gardens. The walk is a pretty good crash course in Sydney tourism with a hefty side of classic architecture. Perfect for one of those "I'm so lucky" moments you'll have multiple times when you study abroad in Sydney. (website)

Andrew (Boy) Charlton pool in Sydney
Photo: Boy Charlton Pool by Esme Vos

6. ANZAC BRIDGE TO PYRMONT BRIDGE. Lovers of seafood beware: you will be eating from go to whoa between these two bridges. You’ll travel right around the gourmet Pyrmont with harbour views to your left and urban views to your right. You’ll go past the Sydney Fish Market, Darling Harbour and the beautiful Cockle Bay and you’ll be embracing the cool sea breeze all along the way. It’s about 4km so you could rush it in an hour, but why would you do that when you can meander for a day? (website)

Prawns - Sydney Fish Market
Photo: Sydney Fish Market by Alpha

7. COCKATOO ISLAND. Catch the ferry to the largest island in Sydney Harbour! Hand built by convicts, the island was one of Australia’s biggest shipyards for over a century, and was also used as a prison, reform school and air raid shelter. Now, it’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the only harbour island where you can spend a few hours or stay overnight. Go take in the gorgeous sunset and sunrise over the unique city skyline. (website)

Cockatoo Island
Photo: Cockatoo Island by Dave Keeshan

8. BALLS HEAD RESERVE. See Australian Bushland right in your backyard at Balls Head Point (now now, we’re all adults here). Just 10 minutes away from Waverly station you can begin a trek past shore caves, an Indigenous Waterhole and wind up for lunch at one of the public barbeques. Just make sure you bring your own snags! (website)

Sydney CBD
Photo: View from Balls Head Reserve by Andrea Schaffer

9. CIRCULAR QUAY TO BOTANIC GARDENS. Just a quicky to showcase the best Circular Quay has to offer, this is a mid-afternoon stroll past some iconic sites dotted around the ferry terminal. The Museum of Contemporary Art and the Art Gallery of NSW are just two of the architectural marvels you can see on your way to lush, fragrant botanical gardens. This walk will only take about an hour but who knows? You might get side-tracked and disappear for half the day! (website)

Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney
Photo: Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney by Simon_sees

10. CHINA HEART. Another for you technophiles, the China Heart app will take you into the winding streets of Sydney’s Chinatown. With oral histories, clues and great location suggestions you’d be barmy to miss out on this quick look at one of the best cultural (and foodie!) districts that Sydney has to offer. (website)

Image: China Heart App

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Topics: Sydney, Australia