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Spit to Manly Harbour Walk - NSW

sunny 25 °C

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If asked to recommend a single day trip outside the city, most Sydneysiders would nominate the 7 mile ferry ride from Circular Quay to Manly. this narrow stretch of land lying between the harbour and the ocean walls named for it's impressive bearing of Aboriginal men.
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This walk is viewed by many as one of the most scenic harbour walking tracks in the world, it contrasts old and new Australia, taking you past modern harbour-side suburbs juxtapose with Aboriginal sites, native coastal heath and pockets of sub-tropical rainforest.
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The walk from Spit Bridge to Manly Beach is rated to be one of the best harbour walks in the country.
They weren't wrong. It's a meandering path that hugs the shoreline and takes you up and down through fishing bays, harbours, national parks and beaches.
These images give you a sample of the varation of the path
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Through the trees and under the rocks
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In the image below, you can see where I walked, from the far right, to the far left!
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Bridging the Spit
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As early as 1834 there was a rowing boat service to ferry passengers across Middle Harbour. This proved inadequate and in 1888 proposals for a low level bridge at The Spit which could open for yachts was submitted by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Works PLans were also prepared for a stream punt designed to carry eight horse drawn buggies in one trip with a crew of two. IT was planned that this pount would operate until the bridge was complete and then be removed to another site.
The punt introduced in 1889 became a reality. The low-level bridge was to follow 35 years later.

Sandy Bay
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One of the many beautiful seafront houses I passed, dreaming
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and who needs a car on the drive when you're metres from the beach
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Ellery's Punt Reserve
Sight of the punt connecting Manly to the Spit for foot, horse, tram and vehicular traffic. The tram service ceased in 1939 and the walkway follows the old tram route for 200 metres towards Fisher Bay.

Middle Harbour
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Fisher Bay
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Sub-tropical rainforest vegetation can be seen at the head of the bay and along the creek that runs into the bay.

Aboriginals Shell Midden
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This protected archaeological site contains layers of shells probably food refuse left by the Guringai Aborigines who inhabited the area.

Sandy Bay
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A large sand flat is exposed at low tide. The sound of crabs scuttling and digging may be heard when walking over the firm sand.

Clontaf Beach
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Sit of an early Sydney picnic ground and dance hall previously served by a ferry from Sydney. Prince Alfred survived as assassination attempt here in 1868 by Henry O'Farrell. The force of the bullet was slackened by the Prince's Indian-rubber braces.

Grotto Point Lighthouse
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A First Fleet survey party camped at Grotto Point on 28th January, 1788. the lighthouse was built in 1911 and guides ships entering Sydney Harbour when aligned with the Parriwi light at Mosman.

Aboriginal Engraving Sit
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Several Aboriginal engravings are readily accessible 20 meter from the main track. Images include boomerangs, fish, wallabies and relate to local storylines.
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Fish
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This is one of several engravings at the site depicting a variety of fish. Marine wildlife and wildlife played an important part in the social economy of the Eora, who actively fished, speared and netted from the harbour waters and foreshores.
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Fish and marine mammals provided food as well as teeth and bone for tool manufacture.

Crater Cove Look-Out
Offering sweeping views of the harbour, the Heads and beyond.

Arabanoo Lookout
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Whilst sitting admiring the view and enjoying my lunch I heard a noise and suddenly a Water Dragon came running at me from the bush! Hopefully after my lunch.
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Shortly followed by his mate.
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and then a Blue Tongue Lizard wanted some.
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and also this fella!!
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My salmon rolls must have been good :)
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Banksia
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the coastal Banksia once grew all along the harbour foreshore. Banksias are named after Sir joseph Banks who took some specimens back to England in 1770.

Crater Cove
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The first hut was built in 1920's for use by weekend fishermen,. Over the next fifty years, further huts were built and their use became more permanent. No one has lived in them permanently since the 1980's. The huts are still looked after by caretakers on behalf of the National Parks and Wildlife Service.

Reef Beach
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Also known as 'Pirates Camp', a camping area was established there during the 1930's Depression. Today the camp is no longer in existence but easy access and peaceful surroundings make it an attractive destinations for many day visitors.

Fisher Harbour
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Fisher Bay
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Jilling Cove
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Walking into Manly I was in line with a Kayaker, peacefully paddling long at about the same pace as I walked around the coastline
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Manly
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From this lookout, formally attired spectators watch a surf carnival against a sweeping panorama of thriving pines. Today high-rise buildings dwarf the trees, which were damaged by airborne pollution from North Headland sewage works.
Named by Capt. Arthur Phillip in 1788 for the indigenous people living here. "Their confidence and manly behaviour made me give the name of Manly Cove to this place."
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Cabbage Tree Bay Coastal Walk
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This coastal walk between Manly and Shelly Beach takes you along the foreshore of the Cabbage tree Bay aquatic reserve.
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In 1898 the promenade to Fairy Bower was constructed above the sewer line to cabbage Tree Bay. Originally, Manly Beach was known as Cabbage Tree Beach because of the many cabbage tree palms growing in the area.

b]Shelly Beach[/b]
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Looking back to Manly
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Not sure what this sign meant...
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Sandstone wall from 1880's
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Built to separate the quarantine land from the land owned by the Catholic church.
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North Head
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Approximately 156 hectare, the North Head area of Sydney shelters a variety if native animals and plants as well as historic buildings and structures dating back to last century.

Blue Fish Heavy Anti-Aircraft Battery
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A WWII installation that protected Sydney from enemy aircraft.

The Barracks Precinct
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The area is home to some beautiful birds and animals, including this New Holland Honey Eater.
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Gunners' Walk
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Once a school of Artillery where Army gunners lived and trained, the headland is now a sanctuary.

Command Post
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Gun Turret
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Looking north up the coast
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Fairfax Lookout
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A spectacular harbour and ocean view, one of Sydney's best vantage points.
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Sunset Ferry Ride back to Sydneylarge_Sydney_Skyline_sunset.jpg
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One of the highlights of the long day's walking was returning to Sydney on the Ferry as the sunset behind the city. Although tricky to take sharp photos on a moving boat!
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Opera House Twilight
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CBD at twilight coming into the harbour
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A full on scenic day!
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Posted by charlystyles 13:43 Archived in Australia Tagged manly spit_bridge Comments (0)

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