If you’re working from home and getting a bit worn down by looking at the same four walls, exploring some local walking tracks will re-energise you. It’s also a great way to get some daily exercise and fresh air and get back in touch with nature. (Have you heard of ‘forest bathing’? It’s a real thing in Japan and now in Sydney.)
You can make sure that your chosen walking track is within 5 km of your home by using this handy app. (This is a great app to have on your phone even when there are no restrictions in place.)
Here are some easy Northern Beaches walks for you to enjoy.
Dee Why lagoon to Long Reef headland walk
This is a dry weather walk that includes a lot of beach walking. After heavy rain, you may find that the lagoon has opened up and you won’t be able to cross.
You can start the walk at Dee Why Surf Club at James Meehan Reserve and head north. Once you cross over the grassed area, you’ll come to a sign for the Dee Why Lagoon Wildlife Refuge. Follow the track beside the lagoon until you come to Long Reef beach. Walk along the beach to the headland. Use the boardwalk to walk right up to the headland for some magnificent views. From May to November you might even spot migrating whales, and dolphins can show themselves at any time of the year.
Length of the walk: 5 km
Grade: Moderate with a slight uphill climb
Facilities: Dee Why beach: toilets and water bubblers / Long Reef headland: seats and water bubblers
Narrabeen Lagoon trail
This trail takes you around Narrabeen Lagoon where you can see an abundance of wildlife and be surrounded by nature. Along the walk you can also explore some historical icons and places of cultural significance.
Length of walk: 8.6 km one way; however, you can find shorter walk options
Long Reef headland walk
Long Reef headland has a strong Aboriginal heritage. This area provides an important habitat for native plants and animals and is also a perfect spot for whale watching.
You can do a circuit walk around the headland following a formed track with some gentle slopes, occasional steps and a boardwalk. Parts of the walk will also take you through the ecologically significant Bangalay Sand Forest and Themeda Grassland. Stand still to spot the shy Fairy Wrens among the many bird species that inhabit or visit this area.
There’s also an off-leash dog area on the corner of Anzac and Pittwater Roads. For all other areas, dogs must be on the leash and they’re not permitted on the beach or the rock platform.
Length of walk: 3 km circuit
Facilities: Parking and toilets near the Long Reef boardwalk
Allenby Park walk
Allenby Park is a beautiful natural oasis in an otherwise urban environment. Once in the park, you’ll feel like you’re miles away from the city in this small pocket of natural bushland with waterfalls, mossy rocks and amazing coastal views.
Dogs are allowed but must be on the leash at all times.
Length of walk: 2.5 km covering various trails
Facilities: There’s a picnic area near the end of Clearview Place
Manly Dam circuit walk
Manly Dam contains Sydney’s largest freshwater lake that was created in 1892 when the Curl Curl Creek was dammed. There’s a circuit walk that takes you right around the dam and the surrounding bushland.
There are also shorter walks for those who just want a casual stroll. Dogs are allowed on the leash along the tracks but they’re not allowed in the picnic areas or the water.
Length of walk: 7.3 km for the park circuit walk
Facilities: Toilets at various spots around the dam;
Two picnic areas on the southern side of the dam