Best Hikes in Sydney: Palm Beach

After doing some research on hiking in Sydney, I quickly discovered (and lusted after) the Palm Beach hike to Barrenjoey Lighthouse. The Palm Beach hike drew me in so quickly – the view from the top of the mountain is spectacular. I would have hiked hours for that view, but luckily, it’s just a short hike to the top.

Palm Beach is famous in Australia because it is where the daytime soap opera Home and Away is filmed. This series has been on Aussie TV since the 1980’s – it’s a big deal. I wandered around Palm Beach, not recognizing anything, while Michael the Australian was losing it over being there. Palm Beach Hike Sydney Australia Palm Beach Hike Sydney Palm Beach Hike Sydney

There is a restaurant on Palm Beach, called the Boathouse. It’s super cute and very expensive. If you’re on a budget (which I always am, #travellife), I’d recommend bringing a picnic to enjoy at the top of the mountain.

The hike up took about 45 minutes. There are two trails to choose from on the way up – one of them is a challenging, steep stairs; the other is a more gradual ascent. The mountain is a pretty steep one, so whichever way you take will be relatively challenging.

Palm Beach Hike Summer BayPalm Beach Hike Barrenjoey Lighthouse

Once we got to the top, we found a spot for our picnic.

Hiking Sydney: Palm Beach Hiking Sydney: Palm Beach

There may or may not be wine in that cup…

Hiking Sydney: Palm Beach

Okay, we definitely had wine. We sat up at the top of the mountain for about an hour and a half, just talking, eating, drinking, and watching the boats in the bay.

Palm Beach Hike: Sydney Australia

The hike down was a bit easier, but those steep descents can be hard on the knees. We watched the sun go down over the bay and headed home, tired and full.

If you’re planning a trip to Sydney, make sure to check out my favorite hikes in Sydney: the Coogee to Bondi hike, the Figure 8 Pools, and the Blue Mountains.

Palm Beach Hike: Sydney

PS. You can spot these colorful lorikeets outside of the Boathouse at Palm Beach!

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Sydney Hikes: Bundeena to Marley Beach

Of all of the Sydney hikes that I’ve done, this one was one of my favorites for a few reasons. It’s outside of the city and feels remote; it is on the shorter side (only about one hour each way); and it has cliffs, beach, and dirt trails. The trail ends at gorgeous Marley beach, which has loads of hilly grasslands for picnics. This is one of the many trails to hike in the Royal National Park, just south of Sydney.

Sydney hikes: Bundeena to Marley Beach

Sydney Hikes Marley Beach CabinZero

Sydney Hikes Marley Beach

I completed this hike on a wintery Saturday, when the sky was full of clouds and the wind current was moderate. I carried along my new 28L CabinZero backpack – it was the perfect size for our picnic, a couple liters of water, and a few layers of warmer clothes.

Sydney Hikes Marley Beach CabinZeroSydney Hikes Marley Beach

My favorite hiking lunch lately is wraps – they are super easy to bring along and so easy to make on the trail. This time, I brought some wholemeal pitas, beetroot spread (it’s kind of like a beetroot hummus), greens, and tomatoes. I like to bring a liter of coconut water as well for extra hydration.

Sydney Hikes Marley Beach Cabinzero picnic

Sydney Hikes Marley Beach Picnic

The trail is relatively flat, with very few ascents and descents. We took the fire trail, which was very rocky, to get to the beach. However, there is a man-made walking trail that starts at Bundeena and would be much easier to walk on.

Sydney Hikes Marley Beach

On the day we went, there were a lot of strong winds. Definitely pack a windbreaker and put your hair up securely, if it’s long. See Exhibit A here:

Sydney Hikes Marley Beach

And Exhibit B:

Sydney Hikes Marley Beach

This hike is located in the Royal National Park, which is about a half hour drive south of Sydney CBD. To get here, you will need a car. Parking in the National Park is $12 per day.

To get the most out of your trip to Royal National Park, also check out the hike to the Figure 8 pools!

 

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Sydney Hikes: Bondi to Coogee Beach

One of the most famous of Sydney hikes, the Bondi to Coogee Beach Walk was high on my list of treks to take. After the hike to Bradley’s Head, I was excited to see the views of the more coastal Sydney hikes. The total distance of the Bondi Coogee walk is 6 km, or 3.5 miles. If you’re not interested in a 1.5 – 2 hour walk, some people take the shorter route and just do Bondi beach to Bronte beach.

Coogee Beach

I decided to take the long way in reverse, starting from Coogee Beach, so that I could experience the dramatic reveal of Bondi.

Sydney Hikes Bondi Coogee BeachSydney Hikes Bondi Coogee BeachSydney Hikes Bondi Coogee Beach

10 am. I quickly made my way to the first coffee shop I found ( #priorities ) and picked up a coffee. I stopped in this adorable little pavilion, and ordered up my favorite, a soy cappuccino.

Sydney Hikes Bondi Coogee BeachSydney Hikes Bondi Coogee BeachSydney Hikes Bondi Coogee Beach

When you head up the hill from Coogee, you’ll get epic, cliff-side views of the ocean.

Sydney Hikes Bondi Coogee Beach

Along the way, you’ll discover countless hidden beaches.

Sydney Hikes Bondi Coogee BeachSydney Hikes Bondi Coogee BeachSydney Hikes Bondi Coogee BeachSydney Hikes Bondi Coogee Beach

The path even leads through a cemetery overlooking the ocean.

Sydney Hikes Bondi Coogee Beach Sydney Hikes Bondi Coogee Beach

Bronte Beach

Soon after the cemetery, you’ll come to Bronte Beach.

Sydney Hikes Bondi Coogee BeachSydney Hikes Bondi Coogee Beach

It’s the perfect stopping point for a swim!

Sydney Hikes Bondi Coogee BeachSydney Hikes Bondi Coogee Beach

After a stop off at Bronte Beach, take the rest of the trail just over the hill to Bondi. This way, you’ll run into even more hidden beaches.

Sydney Hikes Bondi Coogee BeachSydney Hikes Bondi Coogee BeachSydney Hikes Bondi Coogee Beach

Bondi Beach

Soon you’ll run into Bondi Beach, and the reveal is truly epic.

Sydney Hikes Bondi Coogee BeachSydney Hikes Bondi Coogee BeachSydney Hikes Bondi Coogee Beach

Check out the Bondi Icebergs Club, then head down to the beach.

Sydney Hikes Bondi Coogee Beach

If you’re tired from the walk, head into Speedo’s Cafe (on the north side of the beach) for a vegan burger and green juice! It really hits the spot 😉

Sydney Hikes Bondi Coogee Beach

I highly recommend the Bondi Coogee Beach walk – it’s a must-do when you visit Sydney! See the Sydney Coastal walks website for all the details of this walk (toilet stops, water stations, etc). Also make sure to check out the Bradley’s Head walk – it has a great view of the Opera House and Sydney Harbor Bridge.

Sydney Hikes Bondi Coogee Beach

Let me know in the comments:

  • Have you ever done this walk?
  • Would you try it out?

 

 

 

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