On foot in Sydney: Bondi Beach to Watsons Bay

Another great walk in Sydney – an 8km ramble from the iconic Bondi Beach to Watsons Bay via some great parkland and coastline with tremendous views.

The walk commences at Bondi Beach and proceeds to the eastern end of the beach, where Campbell Parade is joined. Not long thereafter this becomes Military Road and the next part is a rather steep upward slog until Pindan street is reached on the right as Military Road curves sharply to the left. Follow Pindan Street to the end and then turn right into Raleigh Street which leads into Raleigh Reserve. (You could skip this whole section by catching a no. 380 bus which travels along Military Road, and getting off near Pindan or Raleigh Streets.)

The walk then follows the impressive coastline, dropping back to Military Rd on a couple of occasions where private property blocks the way along the coastline. On the second occasion, cross Military Rd into Dudley Page Park and take in the fine view of Sydney Harbour before leaving the park along some old steps in the north-east corner and then crossing back over Military Rd into Lancaster Road and soon rejoining the coastline.

At Oceanview Avenue, don’t go back to Military Rd, but instead take a right into Ray St; where this road curves to the left there is a path that follows a wooden boardwalk and steps that go around Diamond Bay. A short road walk is then required along Marne Street and Jensen Avenue before reaching Christison Park. (If you click on the Google map below, check out the message to Google written on the basketball court at the north end…)

Immediately after Christison Park is Macquarie Lighthouse (first lighthouse in Australia). The lighthouse reserve is private property, but you can get a good look at the lighthouse from the path. From here it’s pretty much downhill through some pleasant remnants of bushland at Signal Hill Reserve to where the path again meets Military Road at the Gap. At this point you can catch a bus back to Dover Heights or the City, walk downhill through Robertsons Park to Watsons Bay and catch a ferry or have a beer at the pub, or if feeling energetic, enter The Gap Park and take the steepish clifftop path to a nice vantage point.

All in all, I found this a very enjoyable walk on a warm Sydney afternoon – highly recommended.

Walk date: 30 Jan 2010
Distance/level: About 8kms, took me around 2 hours, easy/moderate
Map: Not required – see Google Map below for outline of route.
My rating: A

Access: Bondi Beach can be accessed via bus from Circular Quay (routes 333 or 380), or train to Bondi Junction and then bus (routes X84, 333, 380, 381 or 382). If you want to start the walk at Raleigh reserve, bus no.380 is the one that continues along Military Road. This is also the bus that can be taken at the end of the walk to return to the CBD, but if you’re going back to Circular Quay, I’d recommend taking the ferry from Watsons Bay instead.

Further resources:
Official NSW Walks site for this walk
Map of applicable bus routes (pdf)

The route on the map below was hand plotted is intended as a general guide only

View Bondi Beach to Watsons Bay in a larger map