Tracks & Trails

Palm Beach to Avalon
Tracks & Trails | beach | Urbanwalk | Sydney Northern Beaches | New South Wales

Palm Beach to Avalon

Starting Sydneys Coastal walk from the top

by Susie Baber  |  19 March 2022

Palm Beach to Avalon | 6.5km | moderate

Parking the car near the shops at Avalon and getting the bus along Pittwater Road makes this a one way walk. Once you catch the bus you are committed to the whole thing as you have to get back to the car – no matter what the weather does! So, despite the forecast and with raincoats packed we set off to explore a beautiful part of Sydney. It is only 11 minutes on the bus to the entrance of Governor Phillip Park, the starting point for today’s adventure.

If you are going to do a walk from Palm Beach, you really should walk up to the light house on Barrenjoey Headland before you start. This is Sydney’s most northern point and at 113m above sea level the lighthouse offers outstanding views. Barrenjoey Lighthouse walk

Palm Beach

The Palm Beach to Avalon walk starts from Governor Phillip Park and goes along the ocean side of Palm Beach peninsula. You can walk along the footpath or along the perfect 2km sandy beach. There are a couple of shops at the southern end of the beach if you need any supplies, having started the day by walking to the top of Barrenjoey Headland we were ready for a snack and while we were eating it started to rain. The shower was brief, and we congratulated ourselves on the good timing before continuing our walk. We made it as far as the other side of the road before it started raining again…. on with the raincoats!

At the southern end of the beach is the Palm Beach Rock Pool. Swimming in all of Sydney’s ocean pools is on my bucket list, but today was not a good day to start that adventure. Even if the weather had been warmer the pool was closed, I assume due to the rough seas.

When you get to the rock pool you will see a set of timber stairs just behind it, which take you up to Whale Beach Road. There are some very impressive houses along Whale Beach Road to admire in between ocean vista, after about a kilometre there is a set of steps down to Whale Beach. If you prefer to avoid walking on the sand (particularly if it has been raining and wet sand sticks to everything) you can continue along the road until you reach Surf Road which will also take you down to the beach.

Whale Beach

Whale Beach is smaller than Palm Beach and is absolutely beautiful. There are several benches and a playground under the Norfolk Pines that line the edge of the sand. This would be a perfect spot to have a break and a snack in the shade – if it weren’t still raining!

This beach also has a rock pool at the southern end, smaller and shallower than some of the other rock pools around Sydney but would still be nice on a better day. There are public toilets nearby if you need.

Between the toilets and the rock pool there are stone steps heading up the hill to Malo Road. We are going to turn right and join back up with Whale Beach Road, but if you would like a small detour the view from Malo reserve at the end of this street is worth a look.

Continue south along Whale Beach Road, with many more ocean views and many more spectacular houses to admire. Half way along Whale Beach Road you will see a sign to Bangally Headland. This track is an alternative to the road walk we are doing, and will take you down to Marine Parade via some spectacular ocean views – Jen and I are leaving this for a dryer day, but when we do I will add it into this story.

Just before reaching Barrenjoey Road turn left along Milga Road and right along Watkins Road. This will take to Marine Parade which leads down to the northern end of Avalon Beach. The reserve behind the beach is Des Creagh Reserve and once again you can choose to walk along the sand or take the path through the reserve to the carpark at the Surf Club.

Avalon Beach

Another beautiful beach with a rock pool at the southern end. Crossing over Barrenjoey Road (where we got the bus from) there are lots of cafes and restaurants to refuel at, and for us this is the end of the line for today. We will back to Avalon soon to continue trekking south in our coastal exploration.

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