It was recently announced that Sydney has dropped out of the Economist magazine’s global top 10 liveable cities, plummeting all the way to 11th out of the 140 cities surveyed in 2017. However, despite this terrible result (London came 53rd) we still couldn’t be happier with our choice to live here!
Our first few months in Sydney have mostly been spent exploring as much of the city as possible. It has been a very mild winter (according to the Aussie’s in my office anyway), and we have tried to make the most of winter sunshine by enjoying lots of coastal walks.
After spending our first four weeks in Sydney living in Bondi, we were sure to revisit the famous Bondi to Coogee coastal several times. Although we had walked the route already while travelling, it was great to do it again, especially with it being so much quieter on weekdays, and the early morning lighting made the views all the more impressive.
We enjoyed the walking so much, we became a bit more adventurous and even tried to run the route several times, joining the large number of other runners out each morning. Healthy living is a big deal in Sydney’s eastern suburbs! Whilst the clifftop views remain just as impressive, the hills become considerably more noticeable and far less agreeable when travelling a bit faster.
Another coastal walk that is frequently mentioned as one of the best Sydney has to offer is the 10km Manly to Spit Bridge walk. This popular walk is located on the North Shore, and takes in some of the best beaches and coves on that side of the Harbour Bridge.
We decided to complete the walk on a Sunday, and took the busy ferry from Circular Quay over to Manly, taking advantage of Transport NSW’s $2.50 (£1.60) unlimited Sunday travel initiative.
Starting from Manly Wharf, the walk follows the coast around to Dobroyd Head, from where the views of the harbour were spectacular. It was another beautiful day, with a cloudless blue sky to match the glistening, crystal-clear water.
The walk continues along the coast, and takes in several sheltered coves between narrow, winding trails through thick bush. It was mostly quiet along the route, especially when compared to the Bondi walk, although i’m sure it still gets incredibly busy in summer.
The North Shore includes some of Sydney’s wealthiest suburbs, and while the views of the harbour were great, some of the houses and boats we walked past were possibly even more impressive!
As is often the case with us, we embarked on the walk completely unprepared, forgetting to even take a water bottle with us, and after several hours of walking we were looking forward to some much needed refreshments once we reached Spit Bridge. Unfortunately there were none on offer, and we disappointedly made our way back to the city tired and empty handed.
Next on our list was the lesser known walk from Rose Bay to Watson Bay, back in Sydney’s eastern suburbs. This route takes you past some of the cities most expensive and sought after real estate, and with the views across to the CBD and Harbour Bridge it is not difficult to see why.
Our first attempt at the walk was cut short by bad weather, in one of the very few rainy days we have experienced in Sydney so far. In fact, without wanting to make anyone jealous, you could probably count them on one hand!
The weather was far better on our second attempt, and we had a very enjoyable Friday afternoon walking along the almost deserted trail, with the harbour views becoming more and more impressive the further we went. The walk includes several very secluded beaches, as well as the larger and more popular Shark Beach. While it didn’t live up to its name during our visit, I certainly wouldn’t want to venture past the netted off swimming area just in case!
The walk ended in Watson Bay, another place we had visited while travelling and were keen to return to. This time the end of walk refreshments didn’t disappoint, and we treated ourselves to some well earned gelato, before making our way back to Bondi.