One of my favourite things about living on the northern beaches of Sydney is that there are a number of walking tracks that are not only close-by and easy to access, but are extremely beautiful too. Last weekend, some friends and I ventured out to walk the Gulgadya Muru walking track, located at Manly Dam.
Manly Dam (also known as Manly-Warringah War Memorial Park) is an extensive, tranquil bushland valley containing Sydney’s largest freshwater lake created by the damming of Curl Curl creek in 1892. It wasn’t my first visit to Manly Dam; being less than 10 minutes drive from my apartment, it’s often been one of my go-to spots in the summer to enjoy a picnic and a swim in the lake. While I live quite close to the beach, the dam can be much nicer on a windy day due to it being quite protected.
The walk itself averaged out to be approximately 8km and took around 3 hours to walk at a pretty easy pace, not to mention that we also stopped a couple of times to take a few snapshots and generally, soak up our surroundings. I would consider the track to be quite a relaxed walk however, there are a few stairs and rocks to climb over from time to time. It’s also important to note that some parts of the track are shared with mountain bikers, so just be cautious of incoming riders to avoid any collisions!
Scroll down to see some of the highlights from the walk, and for a map of the walking track.
Plant life in the dam
Bees making the most of the winter sunshine, gathering pollen from native flora
Just a couple of the many flowers throughout the walk
Close-up shot of a little lizard – he was basically camouflaged amongst the tree’s bark
Bees need to stay hydrated too!
An old cicada shell, still latched onto a tree
Just one of the spectacular spots on the walk
The outline of the track – click on the map to see a larger version!
How to get there: There are several entry points to Manly Dam, however the only vehicle access is through the main entrance at the end of King Street (off Condamine Street, Manly Vale). From this entrance, Sir Roden Cutler V.C. Memorial Drive provides access to the four picnic areas and carparks.
Attractions: Rock pools, a waterfall, native flora, insects and even echidnas (if you’re lucky)!