The Manly to North Walk covers about 10kms and takes roughly three hours, but rewards with some of the most impressive views in Sydney.
The classic version is to catch the ferry to Manly Wharf, and then walk The Corso to Manly Beach.
From here turn right and follow the beach to the end, then continue along the shoreline walking track (Marine Parade) until you reach Shelly Beach which is itself a charming little beach worthy of a separate article in itself.
Once at Shelly Beach head up the hill to the Car Park on Bower St. Turn right again and follow the twisting Bower St until you reach College St on your left. Then turn right into Reddall St, left into Addison Rd, and then left again into Darley Rd.
You can of course follow Darley Rd straight up from The Corso, however you would miss out on Manly and Shelly Beaches, and the fantastic views as you climb up from Shelly Beach.
Follow Darley Road all the way to a fork where you take North Head Scenic Drive to the right. Follow this road all the way until the loop at the end where you can transfer to the Fairfax walking track which takes you out to The Head and stunning views of the sea and harbour.
Once you've finished taking in the view make your way back to Manly, but this time walk straight down Darley Rd. Once back in Manly treat yourself to a swim and icecream, you've earned it!
I've heard (cough cough) that it's possible to walk across Parkhill reserve using various tracks which can be seen in this satellite photo. Obviously not recommended etc.
If you don't feel like walking such a long way you can also do the walk to Shelly Beach, and then return to your car and drive up to the Fairfax Track.
While you are walking on North Head, be sure to keep an eye out for the local flora and fauna. The area is evidently home to some 460 plant species, 14 mammal species, 87 bird species, 21 reptile species and 5 species of frog.
Why? A great walk with fantastic views, and a swim and icecream at the end.