Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Sydney - Manly Scenic Walk

One of the best walks in Sydney is the Manly to the Spit Scenic Walk. Back in 2010, Marianne and I walked the first section from Manly but that is only about a quarter of the whole walk which is about 10k long. Robin also did part of the walk from the Spit end with her friend Amanda back in 2010. This time, Robin and I were going to do the whole walk.

You can get some idea of the route from this map.

We took the ferry out to Manly and headed inland. We had had some discussion about whether to start at Manly or the Spit. I prefer to take photos with the sun behind me so I preferred to start at Manly, particularly in the morning. In the afternoon it might be better to start at the Spit end.

Robin insisted that she take a photo of the two of us with her camera. She reckoned that only the young had the talent to do this so I had to have a go with my camera. This is my attempt with no cropping. It actually turned out to have relatively decent composition.

Note that I am wearing a hat. This was a hot sunny day and we both put on plenty of sunscreen.

The Manly Sea Life Sanctuary. Apparently you can swim with sharks in there which is not my idea of having a good time. I prefer walking.

Tiled wall on building next to the Manly Water Works. Sydney has been a very wealthy city for some time and it's common to see little touches like this. 

I don't know what the function of this building is but this colonnade is impressive.

As usual, the water is crystal clear.

There is a colony of small penguins in the area. Signs like this one are painted onto the path.

There are quite a few of these small coves.

The rock swimming pool. The tide was out this day and the water was very calm but back in 2010 waves were sloshing into the pool.

Robin reckoned this was a penguin and Marianne reckons it is a cormorant. Take your pick.

We liked the gates to this art-deco style house.

Towards the bottom of the photo you can see that the swimming pool has a glass or poly-carbonate wall.

This was as far as Marianne and I walked back in 2010. There is a park off to the right.

There are sailing boats in every nook and crannie around the harbour. There must be thousands of them and I suspect most are used once or twice a year.

So this was where the walk starts to get more hilly.

Grand mother with the kiddies going for a walk. They seemed to be having a good time.

Interesting location for a house. It looks like they made the most of it.

The path follows this street for a short distance.

It's very easy walking for most of the walk but there are some steep climbs and descents. It's pretty well sign posted, not like the Coast 2 Coast walk in Cumbria.

Looking back to where we had already walked and the Manly Ferry Terminal in the distance.

The walk now goes through a large nature reserve that overlooks the harbour.

There are a few small beaches along the way so here is a toilet block where there are also showers and changing rooms.

Did you notice the bowl for dogs to drink from. There were quite a few people walking their dogs.

The fence keeps the sharks out. This beach may be in the harbour but it is not too far to the ocean.

Patterns on the rocks.

An Eastern Water Dragon. They have very good camouflage and often you only notice them if they move.

The path started to climb and there were numerous places where you could get a great view.

Houses and apartments that have a water view command very high prices. There would not be one place with a sub million dollar price in this photo.

Anybody who has taken the Manly ferry would recognize this building. which have been called 'toilet rolls'.

Personally I can't see the attraction of lying on the sand in the hot sun but there are lots of people who seem to really enjoy it. I would be really worried about developing skin cancer.

Interesting seat.

The vegetation is fragile and no doubt has been burnt quite a few times.

Typical low scrub.

These flowers were about an inch long.

Bottle brush. It is the state flower for New South Wales.

Most of 2013 has been very dry with above average temperatures. It's easy to see how bush fires could rage with vegetation like this.

Another view point coming up.

Starting a 180 degree panorama of the harbour.

The former Quarantine Station. I may do a walk over there in a week or so.

This flower is incredibly soft.

North and South Heads, the entrance to the harbour, along with a Manly Ferry. When the sea is rough, the trip on the ferry can be quite an experience. When the sea is very rough, they suspend the ferry service.

I suspect these are old gun emplacements left over from WWII. You might find the following article about the Japanese midget submarine attack interesting.

It's quite a steep hill down to the water's edge.

The temperatures were in the 80's so the lizards were out in force sunning themselves. Fortunately we saw no snakes.

The tall towers of the city came into view.

Wattle, the national flower.

Flannel flowers. We saw quite a few of these.

Just off the path is an area of Aboriginal rock carvings.

Of course, some hoon had to carve his name for posterity.

More wattle.

Stones for repairs to the walkway. These would be dropped off by helicopter.

The tree trunks and branches are spectacular.

We rounded a corner to see this cove that leads to the Spit.

This section of the path was much more rugged with numerous steps some of which were quite steep.

Large overhangs of rock. No doubt the local aborigines used these for shelter in storms.

Flat out!

I presume there is iron in the area to produce these rust stains.

Boats to teach kids how to sail.

Eventually we reached a large beach close to the Spit. We had spoken a few times to the three gentlemen on the right who referred to themselves as the riff raff.

At high tide you have to avoid the beach or walk in the water. Since I was wearing my sandals,  I tried out the water and it was reasonably warm.

It was school holidays so plenty of small kids were enjoying themselves.

In the background you can see the Spit Bridge, the end of the walk.

Some street drains flow into this beach area so it's pretty deserted.

There were quite a few lizards in this area.

Another cave.

Maybe we should just buy this instead of looking for a house on land.

I think one of the great features of this walk is the variety of paths. Within the 10 kilometers there are quite a few distinct areas so the walk is never boring.

The bridge. It took us about 2 1/2 hours.

Crossing the bridge to find the bus stop which is about 100 meters further south.

It has been a long blog but I can't think of another walk that I have done that has so much beauty and variety within such a short distance. It has to be one of the best short walks in the world. If you ever come to Sydney, make sure you do it. Just remember the hat, the sun screen and a bottle of water.

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