Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Manly to The Spit Walk

I was unsure whether to start at The Spit or at Manly, but it turns out that my decision to start at the Manly end was a good one.  The section of the track from Sandy Bay to the The Spit is closed, and although an occasional shuttle bus is provided from the Clontarf Reserve, it apparently goes back towards Manly.   What provision is made for people who arrive at The Spit looking for the path, I don't know.

Starting at the Manly end, the walk from Manly to The Spit is a sealed path along the beach front and past quite dense housing, but further along the track ranges from scrambling over rocks at Forty Baskets Beach (I wasn't sure that I was heading in the correct direction but fortunately was able to ask), up and down quite steep steps in parts of Debroyd Head national park and along bush tracks of various types. Signage is a little inconsistent and while it's quite good in parts, in other parts, even with my map, I took a couple of wrong turns and at one point missed a whole section, walking instead along suburban streets.

The views are very good, as I had expected, and in parts of the Debroyd Head park, you could be in the middle of remote bushland (save for the occasion intrusion of beeping from reversing construction equipment in the distance).  A lot of the vegetation is coastal heath, including banksias and the like.    Even in June, there were some wildflowers in bloom (not too many, though).

As mentioned, the section of the track from Sandy Bay to the The Spit is closed, so I took quite a lengthy detour along the streets to come out on the main road above The Spit, where I was able to catch a bus.    There was an hourly free shuttle from the Clontarf Reserve back to somewhere, but I didn't bother with this as it would have involved a 50 minute wait.

I had hoped to stop for a coffee along the way, but if there are any coffee establishments at the beaches I passed, they're off the track and I didn't see them (I ws later told I ought to have looked harder!).   The walk took a little over 3½ hours, which was definitely time well spent.
On the path near Manly

Manly ferries passing  just inside the heads

Steps in the Debryd Head section

Harbour view

1 comment:

  1. First photo looks very like part of my Manly stamping ground 1944-46. Very nostalgic. At that time the Ocean Beach was sown with barbed wire and concrete blocks (to slow Nippon invasion), all the buses terminating at the ferry wharf were painted camouflage khaki, and USA soldiers stationed at North Head were everywhere.