If you're looking for a nice spot on the harbour, we've found a great little hidden gem in Sydney - Clontarf! Situated on the Northern bit of mainland across from the Spit Bridge; this charming and relaxing suburb will surprise you with natural attractions and beautiful coastline. It's often stumbled upon by those doing the Manly to Spit Bridge Walk - a 3 hour 10km walk with great views all the way through. More info on that here.
Things To Do
There are lots of outdoor activities in and around Clontarf. Another popular option if you're not up for the long 10km Manly to Spit Bridge walk (or vice versa) is Castle Rock Track - a short, moderate difficulty 30 minute, 200 metre walk from Ogilvry road down to Castle Rock Beach; more details here. You'll have a wonderful view from this secluded beach. Another little adventure is the walk to Grotto Point Lighthouse; a moderate 2 hour, 3.6km track with great views over to Manly and through the heads out to open sea - more details here. And of course Clontarf Reserve and Clontarf Beach are well worth spending time at. A peaceful park with lovely views of the Clontarf Marina and Spit Bridge. It's a great place for a picnic and ideal if you want to go for a swim and play in the water within their netted ocean baths.
Clontarf is great for families; the calm waters make it a safer swimming option to others; there's a well kept grass area and a nice playground. If you have a dog they're allowed at Clontarf Reserve with a leash between 10am and 6pm, and there is a small part of the beach which allows you to unleash your dog. There are also several BBQ's for those wanting to cook and have a picnic. Great for outdoor types and active types and the traveller or singleton; perfect place to take pictures, have a coffee, read a book, relax.
Food & Drink
There aren't a great deal of eateries in and around Clontarf but the main option to try for those at the beach area is called Conny's On The Beach - this place caters for everyone very well indeed. Open from 9am every day they offer takeaway options at their kiosk for those who want a coffee or a light bite. Or for something more substantial their restaurant has great breakfast and lunch options at a reasonable price, great options for kids also.
At Clontarf Reserve you'll find picnic tables, BBQs, outdoor showers and toilets easily.
The best options to get are Clontarf are by bus or your own car. From the city the 180 or 169 buses towards Manly are the ones to take then it's a 20 minute walk. Or of course take the ferry to Manly and then do the Manly to Spit Bridge Walk and detour to Clontarf for your well deserved rest.
There's a free carpark and street parking located at the Clontarf Reserve.
"A great place to have some fun with the family for a day or to start and finish a day's walking."