There are regular ferries from Circular Quay to Taronga Zoo, and we took one of these keenly dressed in our ‘active wear’ for the hike. The path is easy to find and well-trodden but that doesn’t stop all kinds of wonderful Aussie creatures turning up. We were only two minutes into our walk when we met a large, striped lizard basking on the footpath. And a few steps later we were greeted by the cry of a kookaburra who had taken a perch on a nearby tree.
The walk takes you south, past Athol Hall down to Bradley’s Head where you get a good view of Sydney Harbour. The views never stop being amazing to be honest. From there you head back up the coast and pass through Taylor’s Bay and Clifton Gardens, a lovely beach with some conveniences and refreshments which you may well need by this stage of the walk.
From there, it’s past Chowder Bay, which was a base for the Submarine Mining Corps from 1890s onwards, and up to Georges Head, another fantastic viewpoint and photo opportunity. This part of the walk has quite a few stairs, so be prepared for a bit of a puff!
If you’re heading to Balmoral, you turn inland at this point, and the path takes you through luscious bush land. After being lost amidst tall ferns, you soon find yourself at Balmoral Oval. Jog past the afternoon cricket game and you’ll land on Balmoral Beach where you can take a dip in the ocean to cool off.
The walk is 6km (3.7 miles) long and took us an hour and a half. If you’re up for more of a leisurely afternoon, it’ll take you two or three hours, depending on how many iced lattes you fancy on the way (there are several cafes). Happy hiking!
– All words and photos: Rosie Pentreath