The Bradleys Head to Chowder Bay walk is one of the most beautiful and scenic coastal walks in Sydney!
Hugging the coastline, the Bradleys Head to Chowder Bay walk passes through Sydney Harbour National Park and rewards you with some of the best views in Sydney, from stunning views of the Opera House, Harbour Bridge and Sydney CBD, to views across to Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs.
Along the way you’ll pass historic military sites, secluded beaches and plenty of bush that will make you feel a million miles away from city life!
Sydney’s coastal walks are some of the best in the world, and the Bradleys Head to Chowder Bay Walk is one of my favourite!
This walk is a lot quieter than the more famous Sydney Coastal Walks such as the Spit to Manly, the Bronte to Bondi or Bondi to Coogee walks, the beaches are a lot less crowded, and it has stunning Harbour views that you just can’t get on those other walks!
Bradleys Head to Chowder Bay is an easy coastal walk and makes for a great day out for all the family.
Here’s all you need to know about the Bradleys Head to Chowder Bay walk, including how to get there, what to bring, what to expect, and other nearby places you can walk to!
Where Is The Bradleys Head to Chowder Bay Walk?
The Bradleys Head to Chowder Bay walk is located in Sydney’s Lower North Shore, within Sydney Harbour National Park.
Length of walk: 2.5km
Time to walk: just under an hour
Area of Sydney: Mosman – Lower North Shore
Along with the Middle Head walk, the Bradleys Head to Chowder Bay walk actually makes up part of the much longer Taronga Zoo to Balmoral Beach walk.
How To Get To The Bradleys Head to Chowder Bay Walk
Drive to the car park right at the end of Bradleys Head Road. There are only around 12 car parking spots so you’ll want to get here early to get a spot. Parking is $8 here for the whole day.
Alternatively, getting to Bradleys Head by public transport is pretty easy, and may even be preferable on a sunny summer’s day when it can be difficult to get a car parking spot.
A stress-free way to get to Bradleys Head is to take the F2 ferry from Circular Quay to Taronga Zoo. Ferries depart roughly every half an hour, and the ferry ride is around 12 minutes.
From the Taronga Zoo Wharf it’s a 1.3km (20 minute) walk to Bradleys Head along the Bradleys Head Walking Track, with stunning views of the Harbour along the way.
You can also get the 238 bus to Bradleys Head from Balmoral Beach.
The bus cuts through the residential streets, where you’ll be able to get a peek at some of Sydney’s finest houses, before it stops on Bradleys Head near Athol Hall.
Remember if you plan to travel on public transport in Sydney you will need a pre-paid transport card (Opal card).
Should You Start The Walk From Bradleys Head Or From Chowder Bay?
Whilst you can of course complete the walk in either direction, whether you’re arriving by car or by public transport, it is easier to start the walk from Bradleys Head as opposed to Chowder Bay.
Bradleys Head is much more convenient and quicker to reach by public transport compared to Chowder Bay.
Also, parking at Bradleys Head is just $8 for the day, but at Clifton Gardens – the car park for Chowder Bay, parking is $7 per hour, or $25 for the day during the week.
On Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays it is $8 per hour, and $28 for the day! This is more than three times more expensive than the parking at Bradleys Head.
That being said, the car park at Bradleys Head is a lot smaller, with only around 12 parking spots, so you need to arrive early to guarantee a parking space!
Bradleys Head peninsula is where the Bradleys Head to Chowder Bay walk starts, and here you’ll see one of the best views of Sydney!
You’ll get to see stunning almost 360 degree harbour views, looking out to the CBD, Opera House and Harbour Bridge (which also makes this a great place to watch the Sydney New Year’s Eve fireworks!).
You’ll also get to look out to the Eastern Suburbs – from Watsons Bay to Rose Bay – another affluent area of Sydney with great Harbourside walks.
At Bradleys Head, you’ll also see the Bradleys House Lighthouse, as well as the Bradleys Head Amphitheatre, the HMAS Sydney Memorial Mast (in memory of all the Australian sailors who died at war) and a gun battery, as this was a vital place to protect Sydney Harbour from foreign boats and attack during WWII.
Make sure to spend some time enjoying the sights at Bradleys Head before you start the walk!
Taylor’s Bay Track – Bradleys Head to Chowder Bay Walking Trail
The Taylor’s Bay Track takes you from Bradleys Head to Chowder Bay. It’s a 2.5km trail and usually takes around 45 minutes to an hour to walk one way.
Head onto the track, and within a few minutes you’ll be within Sydney Harbour National Park.
A large part of the walk between Bradleys Head and Chowder Bay is a bush walk, surrounded by dense lush vegetation (although there is still a well-defined footpath), so if it has rained lately it may be a bit muddy, so wear appropriate footwear.
It’s important to be aware of ticks here, especially in the summer months so it’s wise to wear a hat and long sleeves to protect yourself.
Most of the walk is flat, but there are some sections with stairs.
Along the walk you may also be able to spot some native wildlife. Please note as this is a National Park no dogs are allowed here (or in any National Park in Australia).
It is a $3,300 fine if you are caught with a dog in a National Park as they can cause a lot of damage to native flora and fauna.
Plus you definitely don’t want to risk bringing your dog to National Parks as there is often fox poison spread around which is lethal for dogs.
Continue along Taylor’s Bay track, past the beautiful Taylor’s Bay Beach, down some stairs and you will end up in Chowder Bay, also known as Clifton Gardens Reserve.
Chowder Bay and Clifton Gardens Reserve has a lovely beach, and you’ll also find the Clifton Gardens Wharf here that has a shark-netted swimming area (Clifton Gardens Baths) so you can go for a swim!
There’s also a children’s playground, and dogs are allowed n the beach in the un-netted area.
Chowder Bay is a really family-friendly beach and is a great place to spend a couple of hours relaxing or having a picnic before walking back to Bradleys Head, or even continuing the walk to Middle Head if you wish (home to two of Sydney’s nudist beaches!).
Bradleys Head to Chowder Bay Walk Summary
The Bradleys Head to Chowder Bay walk is a lovely Harbourside walk in Sydney.
Offering perfect views of Sydney Harbour and the city, as well as a stunning walk through a National Park, historical landmarks and a lovely beach to swim in, there’s something for everyone.