Palm Beach, NSW
10.3 km (3 hrs )
Taking a break from my recent hikes in the Blue Mountains, I decided with the unusually warm winter weather, to enjoy the sand and surf of the Northern Beaches. This hike is part of Sydney's Costal Walk, the southern part of which my son and I did last year in our Seven Beaches hike.
The hike begins from Palm Beach, the northern most beach in Sydney. If time and energy permits, consider beginning the hike (like I did) with a walk to Barrenjoey Lighthouse. This will add 4 km to the total distance, but is well worth the effort. The hike makes its way south along the coast, exploring the beaches along the way, including Whale Beach, Avalon Beach, Bilgola Beach and New Port Beach. If you are really keen, you can continue all the way south to Manly, a total distance of about 42 km! The scenery along the way is quite spectacular, the highlight for me being the views from Bangalley Head, but be warned, there between each of the beaches is a headland to climb and descend, some of which are over 100 m in height.
I very much enjoyed the hike, but the extensive sections where you have to walk on roads with no footpaths detracts from the overall experience. For those with children, consider doing the southern part of the Coastal Walk instead, where the walk is on paths seperate to the roads. The walk is also easier, fewer steps to climb, and does not have as many unfenced cliff edges. The councils are working on developing off road paths, which will very much improve the hike.