The Barrenjoey Lighthouse Walk is an absolute must do when you are in Sydney.
Located on Barrenjoey Head at Palm Beach, this is Sydney’s northernmost point and the viewpoint at the top offers some of the most stunning panoramic views in Sydney.
The Barrenjoey Lighthouse Walk is a short but steep 15 minute climb but the 360 degree views across Sydney’s Northern Beaches, Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park and The Central Coast are absolutely breathtaking and it is well worth the climb.
BARRENJOEY LIGHTHOUSE WALK
Where: Palm Beach
Distance: 2km return (less than one hour)
Difficulty: Easy. It is a very short hike going uphill and there are two options for steepness level that you can choose from.
Where is the Barrenjoey Lighthouse Walk?
You’ll find the Barrenjoey Lighthouse Walk at Palm Beach – a suburb located on Sydney’s Northern Beaches 41 km north of the Sydney CBD.
Palm Beach is Sydney’s most northern beach and lies at the end of the Northern Beaches peninsula – you can see it’s location in relation to Sydney on the map below.
On the second map you will see a zoomed in version of Palm Beach, with the Barrenjoey Lighthouse visible at the tip of the peninsula on Barrenjoey Head.
As well as the suburb being called Palm Beach, the beach on the right hand side of the zoomed in map on the right is also called Palm Beach and it faces the Pacific Ocean.
The beach on the other side (where you’ll find The Boathouse Palm Beach) is known as Station Beach.
Why should you visit Palm Beach?
Besides going on the Barrenjoey Lighthouse Walk and seeing the fantastic views from the top, there are many things to do in Paml Beach.
A popular option is to go stand-up paddle boarding or to visit all the outdoor filming locations of Home and Away (Palm Beach is the location of ‘Summer Bay’ – the fictional beach town where Home & Away is filmed)!
How to get to Palm Beach
If you are coming by public transport you can get the 190 bus from Sydney CBD (Wynyard Station, Town Hall or Central Station) or the 199 bus from Manly.
Despite the buses stopping at limited stops, remember it is a long journey going past all the beach suburbs along the way so the bus takes around 1.5 hours.
Especially at weekends lots of Sydneysiders like to head to the Northern Beaches so there will be a fair amount of cars on the road.
The bus is however the best option as it is still quite fast and then you don’t have to worry about finding a parking space or paying for parking when you get to Palm Beach.
Get off at the last stop.
Driving will still take you over an hour to get to Palm Beach from Sydney CBD. Park your car in the car park next to The Boathouse Palm Beach (not The Boathouse Home & Bakery which is located half a kilometre away on Beach road!).
The car park is located on the narrow strip of land that separates Palm Beach from Station Beach (but is closer to Station Beach) and it will cost you $8 per hour to park here.
There are a few places in some side streets a little bit further away where you can park for free so feel free to have a drive around if you begrudge paying a lot for parking.
However just always remember to check the parking signs to avoid getting a fine as they are very strict here!
The Barrenjoey Lighthouse Walk is about 2km return from the car park by Station Beach. You can easily get up and down to the viewpoint as well as relax and have some time for pictures if you only want to stay for one hour.
However I definitely advise to stay longer as there is such a lovely vibe here at Palm Beach!
Climbing the Barrenjoey Lighthouse Walk Track
To get to the start of the Barrenjoey Lighthouse walking track go onto Station Beach (where you’ll find The Boathouse Palm Beach), located on the opposite side of the peninsula to Palm Beach.
Walk on the sand for a few minutes to the end of Station Beach in the direction of the lighthouse and the bushland.
Just before you get to the end of the beach you’ll find the sign leading the way to the start of the walking route. It will say that the route is 35 minutes return and will point out the two different routes you can take to the top.
Turn right off the sand and onto the track, where it will then split into the two tracks:
The quicker but steeper route (10/15 minute walk – 450 metres). It involves a series of steep stone stairs and will definitely get your heart pumping! This is a Grade 3 track.
Barrenjoey Track/Access Trail:
The slightly longer route (20 minutes – 800 metres) that is a paved uphill path with a more gradual incline. This is a Grade 2 track.
This is the fast route (Smugglers Track) on Google maps and how to access the path from the beach. You can also see the slower paved route on the map as well.
Whilst both trails are steep, as the hike is so short it won’t feel too bad!
Best viewpoints on the Barrenjoey Lighthouse Walk
The best spots to take photos are whilst you are climbing up, before you get to the lighthouse. There are a few big boulders and rocky outcrops just off the main path that you can stand on.
The view is just incredible: you get an incredible aerial view of the two beaches on the narrow Barrenjoey Peninsula that make up Palm Beach.
Even though this walk is very popular as it is so short, it is incredibly easy to get pictures here without other people in.
When you reach the lighthouse you can see stunning views out onto the Pacific Ocean and the Central Coast.
Are there toilets/food/water on the Barrenjoey Lighthouse Walk?
There is a water fountain and toilets next to the Barrenjoey Lighthouse.
If you want to buy food or drinks head down to The Boathouse, Dunes or the corner shop.
Other walks you can do from Palm Beach:
The great thing about Palm Beach is that despite it being at the end of the peninsula you can do many day trips from here.
You can do a coastal walk from Palm Beach all the way down the Northern Beaches.
The coastal walk actually goes all the way down to Manly Beach (35km) but you can stop wherever you wish – a good place to stop is Avalon Beach. The Palm Beach to Avalon walk is the first part of the coastal walk and is about 8km.
Also there is a wharf at Palm Beach and from here you can take the ferry to The Central Coast or Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park. Check out the walks you can do from these places – click on the links for more information!
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Catrina is a Travel Writer, SEO Specialist and ex-Flight Attendant based in Sydney, Australia. She has visited 85 countries and lived in several – including Italy, Australia, United Arab Emirates and England. Her work has been featured in a variety of popular travel publications including Fodors, Escape, Australian Traveller and Bear Grylls, as well as several international aviation and travel companies. The majority of her work however features on her own website – 24hourslayover.com where she has written over 500 travel articles!