Tracks & Trails

Avalon to Bungan Beach
Tracks & Trails | beach | urban walking | Sydney Northern Beaches | New South Wales

Avalon to Bungan Beach

Another beautiful day exploring Sydney’s beaches

by Susie Baber  |  25 April 2022

Avalon | 7km | medium

This is our second day of walking the Sydney Coastal walk. So far, we have done Barrenjoey headland and Palm Beach to Avalon – mostly in the rain. Today’s forecast isn’t much better, but we are going anyway with fingers crossed that the rain will hold off. We have left the car at Avalon – parked in the same spot as last time and will get the bus back when we have had enough for the day. Buses run along Barrenjoey Road very regularly so it shouldn’t be a problem.

At Avalon Beach I stop to take some photos of the ocean pool. One day I hope to swim in all of NSW’s Ocean pools – there are almost 100! But today is not that day so let’s press on…

South of the surf club, walk up the cement stairs to Avalon Parade, which becomes Surfside Avenue. At the end of the street you will find a path that runs between the houses to Barrenjoey Road. Barrenjoey Road is the main road through this part of the northern beaches and is very busy. There isn’t really a proper sidewalk along here so you need to take care, walk behind the barrier rail and along the grass verge until you get to The Serpentine.

Bilgola Beach

The Serpentine winds its way up to the headland where you will find North Bilgola Lookout with spectacular views north and south along the coast. Looking south you can see Bilgola Beach, which is the next stop on our beach hopping tour today. The Serpentine is also a bit short on sidewalks for much of its length but not as busy as Barrenjoey Road. Between numbers 20 and 22 you will find timber stairs that take you down to the northern end of Bilgola Beach. The stairs are not well signposted so keep an eye on the house numbers. From here you can choose to walk along the sand or head left along Allen Avenue to sticky beak at some of the lovely houses in this beautiful beachside area.

Bilgola has always been one of my favourite Sydney beaches, it is quite small and has a lovely tropical feel to it. Follow The Serpentine again until you turn down the access road to the SLSC and carpark. There is a café here if you are in need of refreshment, toilets and yet another fabulous ocean pool at the southern end of the beach.

Between the Surf Club and the toilets is a set of wooden stairs up to Eric Green Reserve. The walking track through the reserve is a lovely path with raised boardwalks and an almost rainforest atmosphere. You hardly realise that you are following Barrenjoey Road around the headland. There is a viewing platform looking over Newport beach and before long the track brings you down to the carpark near Newport SLSC.

Newport Beach

So far, we haven’t done a lot of walking on beaches considering this is a coastal walk. But the ocean pool at Newport, which again is at the very southern end, is only accessible by walking over the sand. Unlike the other pools we have seen, this one is not tucked in under the cliffs of the headland. It is set further out on the rock platform and currently requires a bit of a scramble over small boulders to access it. Looking at satellite images I think there has been some erosion around the pool and maybe with a change of seasons and weather the sand might come back. We sit on the sand to have some lunch and watch the surfers, before walking back up the beach to the access track to Calvert Parade.

At Queens Parade we turn toward the water and the end of the cul-de-sac where there are sweeping views of the ocean but sadly no access to walk along the shore. Back down the hill we turn left into Melaleuca Street and at the end of the street there is a public path through to Bungan Head Road. As you wind up the headland keep an eye out for a lookout on your left, directly opposite the ‘Bungan Castle’ an interesting sandstone building with a turret that looks like it is just waiting for a princess to appear. The ‘Castle’ was built over 100 years ago high on the headland and at the time was surrounded by bush. Today it is hemmed in by multimillion dollar properties sharing its panoramic views.

Bungan Beach

Continue along Bungan Head Road until you reach Betty Morrison Reserve where there is a very long, steep driveway down to Bungan Beach SLSC. Bungan is one Beach I have never been to – in fact I didn’t even know it existed. This is probably because there is no carpark at the beach and the narrow windy streets above also offer little in the way of parking. Access is limited to a steep walk in and trek back out again.

The beach is backed by the slopes of Betty Morrison reserve, rising up to Barrenjoey Road. About halfway along there is a track between the sand dunes that leads up through the trees to a steep access road linking the path to Karloo Parade. It is a little hard to spot the path amongst the dunes, but if you look for the red emergency box and then come a few meters north you should be able to find it. The track out is very pretty, but by the time we reach the top of the hill we decide we have had enough for today. Luckily for us there is a bus stop directly opposite on Barrenjoey Road and the transport app informed us it was only a few minutes till the next bus would be there to carry us back to Avalon.

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