Monday, December 8, 2014

North Head Scenic Walk

In March 2014, Mr H and I completed Manly Scenic Walk (Spit Bridge to Manly Wharf). Yesterday, we decided to do another one of the free walks available in Manly, the North Head Scenic Walk.

What is North Head Scenic Walk?
It is a 9.5km walk that begin and end at Manly Wharf. Please allow 3-4 hours to complete this walk. 

How to get there?
From Circular Quay, take a ferry to Manly. 

What is interesting?
The main highlight would of course be beautiful and breathtaking scenery. We also came across several places of interest along the way as listed below. 

Little Manly Cove - nice cosy spot for a swim, sun bake or even a picnic. There's a pretty decent kiosk too.
Little Manly Point Plaque
Little Manly Cove - a nice spot to sit by the beach, swim and just hang out.
Spring Cove - another nice spot to swim, sun bake or just hang out. The beach is bigger and longer compared to Little Manly Cove.

Your first glimpse of Spring Cove from the top of the stairs.
Sydney Harbour National Park - a short bushwalk from Spring Cove before you get on Collins Beach Road. Nothing much to do here but enjoy nature.

North Head Sanctuary - we did not realise North Head Sanctuary is an attraction on its own. In fact, we thought it was something we walked through to get to Fairfax Lookout. If you intend to explore the sanctuary, do add in another 1-2 hours.
The Gatehouse, now a Visitor Centre
Parade Ground at the Barracks. Looks like a desert to me.
To get the best out of your visit, do drop by North Head Sanctuary Foundation's Volunteer "booth" at the start. Friendly volunteers will be able to advise you on where to go depending on your interests and time constraints.

We were recommended to take their newest trail which would lead us to North Fort. Then there is an option to continue to tour North Fort or to exit the sanctuary and head towards Fairfax Lookout.
Newly laid path among Precious Scrub - one of the few remaining patches of Eastern Suburbs Banksia Scrub.
There used to be around 5,000 hectares of this type of scrub between North Head and Botany Bay. Today less than 3% of this remains.
View of Sydney city from City lookout (duh)
Third Quarantine Cemetery - a cemetery with a gorgeous view although you need to be there to believe it.
Fairfax Lookout Point - an easy walk suitable for all ages with superb views of the ocean, harbour and Sydney CBD.
Not Fairfax Lookout yet, getting there.
One of the several lookout points at Fairfax Lookout. Railings are there to prevent people from getting too near and falling off the edge of the cliff. However this did not prevent a group of tourists from climbing over and walking along the edge for a better view. In fact on the day of our visit, a tourist was not lucky and fell down onto the rocks and died.
It's a 90m drop to rocks below from here.
If you come June-July or August-October,  you might be lucky enough to see humpback whales or southern right whales from here.

From Fairfax Lookout, the remainder of the scenic walk would take you to Cabbage Tree Bay Coastal Walk before ending at Manly Wharf. Due to change of weather, we skipped this part of the walk and boarded the bus instead.

p.s. Bus 135 goes to North Head Sanctuary and Fairfax Lookout.

For more information visit the websites below:

1. North Head Scenic walk & map - Manly Council - Manly Scenic Walk
2. North Head Sanctuary - North Head Sanctuary, Manly

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