Sydney Spotlight: Spit Reserve

Spit Reserve- Why Go?

Sparkling blue water, perfectly polished yachts, endless walking trails…not to mention the views. Spit Reserve is the perfect place for relaxing, walking, fishing, or boating, in a stunningly scenic landscape, located just north of Sydney, towards Manly. The flat waters make it a good place to try out kayaking or stand up paddling boarding (‘SUP’), by those in the know- and can be hired near the marina.

The area is also dog-friendly, a rarity at Sydney beaches, so it’s a great place to let Fido go for a swim.

For serious walkers, you can pick up the Spit Bridge to Manly trail, and trek all the way to Manly Beach, a 10km walk passing by spectacular headlands, Grotto Point Lighthouse, and scenic photo-ops abound. The whole area is extremely hilly, so consider yourself warned- your quads will definitely feel it in the morning.

stairs to Manlt
Stairs up the hill towards Manly…bring your muscles.

I love exploring this area as I can walk there from home, if I feel like a challenge, and once you’re there, the place has a really relaxing feel to it, and often less crowded than some of the nearby beaches. The eye candy of all the beautiful yachts is not so bad either.

How to Get There

Spit Reserve is accessible from the A8, either by car or bus. The Spit Reserve Bridge is a drawbridge, so keep an eye on the posted opening times to avoid a long wait. Speaking of waiting, traffic can be a nightmare in this area, as it is the main thoroughfare to/from Manly and the city. If possible, try to avoid getting there in peak hour.

If you’re driving, metered parking is available near the marina. There’s also plenty of parking on the Clontarf Reserve side (closer to Manly), and you can walk across the bridge to the Spit side.

If you’re coming by bus from the city, look for #169, #180, or #179 to take you there. Plan your trip with Transport NSW.

twilightspit reserve
The Reserve at twilight. (Pic courtesy of Merran D.)

Top Tipsinstagram spit reserve

As mentioned, traffic can be bad in this area, as there is only one traffic lane in each direction, so be prepared. For something different, consider exploring the area at night, perhaps before a dinner at one of the restaurants near the marina.

A sunset over the water is hard to beat, and the evenings can be good for wildlife spotting- on a recent walk, a friend and I saw a bandicoot- it made my day! Or night, I should say.


  1. I have been hearing a lot of good things about the Spit Reserve. It seems to have so many great ways to get out and enjoy the water. It’s so wonderful that areas like this can be accessed by bus routes. So cool that you saw a bandicoot.

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