While many people tend to be familiar with walking tracks in their local area its rare that they’re aware of the many interconnecting walking networks that exist. One such track is the 80 km Bondi to Manly Walk in central Sydney which is a hidden gem of a walk. This track provides an opportunity to see historic, residential and natural parts of Sydney that most people never visit. It can be done as a thru hike all in one go or section by section over an extended period.
This newly released guidebook The Bondi to Manly Walk : The Definitive Guidebook is just that, the definitive printed guide to this amazing walk and the first of this type. First and foremost this is a guidebook that provides all the relevant details to help you do this trail including clear directions and suggested itineraries. But where it does a really good job is all the added extras.
This book highlights key places to stop along the trail providing history and reasons for stopping. In addition, this guidebook lists dog friendly sections, identifies suggested accomodation options and potential activities. This book is more along the lines of an international travel guide than a hiking book and benefits from it. In addition, the author Tara Wells has a very personal connection to this trail having spent her honeymoon walking the Bondi to Manly Walk. I must admit this wasn’t something I had thought about but it makes this walk the ultimate ‘staycation’.
I did this walk in 3 days but there’s nothing preventing someone taking 7-8 days, stopping along the way to spend time at the beach, stay in flash accomodation and eat out every night – this is where this guidebook comes in handy.
With any book or piece of gear there are always negatives and this book only has a couple of minor ones. While there are a number of coloured images, they are concentrated in a couple of sections rather than being spread throughout the trail. The second is a very minor one but a bug bear of mine is that trail itineraries are usually written in one direction – in this case from south to north. From my perspective I’d like to see an itinerary written in both directions to suit a wider range of experiences.
Having said that, this really is the ultimate guidebook for this trail and very well worth investing in if you are looking at walking part or all of this trail.
The Bondi to Manly Walk Map
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AUD $37.64 RRP
The Bondi to Manly Walk : The Definitive Guidebook – front cover
This review was done with product provided by the publisher
We interviewed Tara about her guidebook in the Australian Hiker Podcast episode 196. To listen go here (episode released 15/9/21)