Sea Cliff Bridge Lookout – 2023 Complete Visitors Guide

Finding the Sea Cliff Bridge Lookout in the Illawarra NSW has become one of the most popular things to do near Sydney. It was very much a secret until it went viral all over social media. With knowledge on how to get to the top exposed, and the track made public friendly and easily accessible, the lookout is now one of the most popular places to visit near Sydney, amongst the locals and tourists.

In this guide I have included everything you need to know about visiting the Sea Cliff Bridge and specifically the iconic lookout, including how to get there, best time to visit, things to know before you go, best way to reach the lookout and what to expect once you arrive there.

Also in this guide I have included some useful information on where to stay in the Illawarra – the surrounding region of the Sea Cliff Bridge.

Sea Cliff Bridge Aerial
Sea Cliff Bridge Aerial

WHERE IS THE SEA CLIFF BRIDGE

The Sea Cliff Bridge is located in the Illawarra region of NSW, in the suburb Clifton. It is approximately a 30 minutes drive from North from Wollongong CBD and is about a 1 hour drive from Sydney CBD.

The bridge is situated along the Grand Pacific Drive, which offers beautiful, oceanic views the whole way, making it the perfect Sydney day trip.

Click here to see the location on Google Maps.

HOW TO GET HERE

The most popular and common way to get to the Sea Cliff Bridge and the lookout is by private vehicle. Alternatively, there are plenty of places in the Illawarra and Sydney to rent a vehicle if required.

Another option is via the train, whereby the closest train station is either at Coalcliff, which is only about a 10 minute walk from the start of the Sea Cliff Bridge at the northern end, or if you would rather just see the lookout and not walk over the entire bridge, Scarborough train station is 10-15 minute walk from the south end of the bridge.

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BEST TIME TO VISIT

The best time to visit the Sea Cliff Bridge Lookout would have to be in the mornings before 10am. You will get to experience the lookout with fewer people, or likely even have it to yourself. You can expect tourists to flock here shortly after 10am.

Since the lookout offers some of the best coastal views near Sydney and arguably Australia, I therefore specifically encourage you to hit up the lookout at sunrise if you are a photography enthusiast like myself.

THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE YOU GO

Despite it becoming a lot more public accessible and easier to reach the top, it is advised that you still exercise extreme caution when walking up. The track is very steep, uneven and can particularly be very slippery and muddy. I highly recommend you pack a good pair of walking/hiking shoes.

You can find toilet facilities at the south end of the bridge in Rube Hargrave Park and the north end at Coalcliff bridge

ARRIVING AT THE SEA CLIFF BRIDGE

When you arrive at the Sea Cliff Bridge, you are best to park on the south end, as this is where the lookout is. Along the road you will see parking on the side. If it is full, the nearest carpark is a couple hundred metres up at Rube Hargrave Park.

Sea Cliff Bridge Carpark
Sea Cliff Bridge Carpark

BEST TRACK TO THE SEA CLIFF BRIDGE LOOKOUT

There are a few different ways you can hike up to the Sea Cliff Bridge Lookout, however for the purpose of this being a visitors guide, I will detail the easiest and most public accessible way. This method is quite short and usually only takes me 10 minutes maximum to walk up.

On the cliff side of the road, just before the Sea Cliff Bridge sign, you will see a small opening in the bushes with a danger sign next to it. Proceed through here. As soon as you enter, you will straight away see rope and yellow markings on branches guiding you through the track.

Sea Cliff Bridge Lookout Walking Track Entrance
Walking Track Entrance
Start of Sea Cliff Bridge Lookout Track
Start of walking track
Yellow markings along Sea Cliff Bridge Walking Track
Yellow markings along the track

After walking for a couple of minutes, you will come to a section where you are required to turn left and head directly up, climbing a very steep incline. Extreme caution is to be taken especially from here on. 

Follow the rope and markings all the way to the top until eventually you see the opening for you to enter the top of the Sea Cliff Bridge Lookout.

Steep incline along Sea Cliff Bridge Walking Track
Steep incline along walking track
Last section before entering the lookout
Last section before lookout

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WHAT TO EXPECT

When you finally reach the top of the Sea Cliff Bridge lookout, you can expect to see plenty of space to walk around, chill, relax and admire the view of the stunning Sea Cliff Bridge. You will quickly see why it is regarded as one of the best lookouts in Sydney and surrounding regions.

Sea Cliff Bridge Lookout top viewing area
Top viewing area
Sunrise views of Sea Cliff Bridge
Sunrise views at Lookout

The lookout contains a few different areas, each with amazing views to take some beautiful photographs. Not only do the views show the Sea Cliff Bridge, but also the wider coastline, including the Royal National Park.

Interestingly, within the last year there has even been a seat placed at the lookout if you find yourself wanting to sit down on it.

Keep yourself safe along your adventures!

Keep yourself safe during your adventures against the risk of potential minor and major injuries with this First Aid Kit.

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WHERE TO STAY IN THE ILLAWARRA

With the Illawarra boasting an abundance of beautiful beaches, sights and attractions to visit, this therefore makes it a popular tourist region. You can expect no shortage of accommodations to choose from that suit you.

Whether you are a luxury traveller or budget backpacker, I have narrowed it down to a few of the best places to stay in the Illawarra:

Luxury: Mantra Wollongong

Luxury: Headlands Austinmer Beach

Budget: Five Islands Hotel 

Budget: Lakeside Inn Wollongong

FOR ALL OTHER PLACES TO STAY IN THE ILLAWARRA, SEARCH ON BOOKING.COM

Must have adventure & Travel accessories

Stainless Steel Drink Bottle

This insulated premium stainless steel, BPA friendly iron flask is the perfect drink bottle stay hydrated during outdoor adventures.

View on Amazon

Portable Powerbank

Keep your devices always charged with this 10,000mAh INIU Powerbank!

View on Amazon

Pocket Blanket

A lightweight, compact sand and waterproof picnic blanket

View on Amazon

Lightweight Backpack

This 15L lightweight, pocket sized day backpack by Kathmandu is a perfectly compact ‘pack&go’ travel and hiking solution.

View on Amazon

Mobile selfie stick & Tripod

Never miss capturing a moment along your travels and adventures with this TONEOF60 all in one tripod and selfie stick with wireless remote.

View on Amazon

MORE GUIDES

For years I have been adventuring to some of the most incredible places nature has to offer. From locations in my own backyard, to epic road trips, all the way to breathtaking travel destinations.

The goal of my blog is to ultimately inspire you to step outside of your comfort zone to get outdoors and immerse yourself in so much that mother nature has to offer.

You can check out my most recent blogs by clicking the links:

FINAL THOUGHTS

The Sea Cliff Bridge Lookout has quickly become one of the most popular places to visit near Sydney, providing a perfect Sydney day trip. With views of the iconic bridge and further views of the coast, it is no wonder that this is one of the best lookouts in Sydney and the surrounding regions.

I hope you enjoyed reading this guide. If you have any questions, please leave a comment below and I will get back to you.

Travel Resources

Here are some useful resources you can use to help book and plan your next travels and adventures and even grab some amazing deals to save money along the way!

Search and book accomodation worldwide on the worlds most popular booking website.

Search Booking.com

Find the best deals on car rentals world wide.

Search Discover Cars

Find, compare and book the cheapest airfares anywhere.

Search Skyscanner

Find discounted prices on tickets, tours and experiences worldwide.

Search Viator

Low cost travel insurance for your next trip.

Search Heymondo

Find great deals on tickets, tours and experiences specialized especially in the Oceania region.

Search Klook

Book any form of transport, from buses, ferries, trains and even private transfers all over the world.

Search Book A Way

Karloo Pools – Complete Visitors Guide

Karloo Pools is found in the beautiful Royal National Park and is one of the best and most popular swimming holes in Sydney. It features a 2.5km walking trail down to the pools, which is one of the best Royal National Park walks and walks in Sydney, and a pristine, emerald pool big enough to swim laps in!

I have put together a complete guide of Karloo Pools, including where it is, best times to visit, things to know before you visit and what to expect at the Pools.

Also in this guide I have included some useful information on where to stay in the surrounding city of Sydney

Karloo Pools
Karloo Pools

Where is Karloo Pools

Karloo Pools and the start of the Karloo Walking Track is located in the Suburb Heathcote, which is in the Southern Sydney region of the Sutherland Shire. It is around 45 minutes drive from Sydney CBD and 40 minutes drive north from Wollongong.

Click here to see the location on Google Maps

Karloo Pools - Google Maps

How to get here

The most popular and common way to get to Karloo Pools is by private vehicle. Alternatively, there are plenty of places in Sydney to rent a vehicle if required. There is plenty of parking along Wilson Parade and the fire brigade carpark.

Another common way to get here is via train, whereby the entrance to the Karloo Walking Track is only a 1-2 minute walk from Heathcote Train Station. You can see the Sydney network train time table via Transport NSW.

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Best time to visit

The best days to visit is through out the week Monday-Friday. Karloo Pools is quite a popular destination for the locals and tourists, so you can expect it to get pretty busy on the weekends. Since it is one of the best swimming holes and more popular bush walks in Sydney, it is generally pretty busy during the summer months.

Things to consider before visiting

Before you leave home to visit Karloo Pools, I highly recommend you pack a good pair of walking/hiking shoes, towel, swimmers, sunscreen and insect repellent.

Some sections of the walking tracks heading down to the pools are quite steep and uneven. I therefore wouldn’t recommend this trail to anyone who is pregnant or has a chronic injury.

Uneven sections along Walking track

There are no catering and food facilities here, therefore I high recommend you pack plenty of food and drink supplies to have there. Alternatively, there is an IGA in Heathcote, or other super markets in nearby towns, such as Engadine, if you wish to grab food along the way.

There are no rubbish bins provided anywhere along the walk and at the pools. So if you have any rubbish or see any lying around the area, please pick it up and take it back with you.

Karloo Walking Track

The walk down to Karloo Pools starts directly after the Heathcote Fire Brigade. You will see a large map of the general Royal National Park area that says ‘Karloo Track’ and displays other Royal National Park walks and sights in the area.

Enter the bush track here. After about 500m you will see another map and sign for the Karloo Track, whereby you will divert right into the start of the track here.

Entrance off the road
Start of Karloo Walking Track

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The start of the walking track is fairly uneven and descends down quite gradually for the first approximately 800m. Due to a lot of recent wet weather in Sydney, you can expect a lot of thick muddy patches along the way.

The next part of the walk flattens for a further approximately 1km. During this section you can expect to walk along a slanted rock with some lovely valley views, the track overall will be less muddy and will only be slightly uneven.

First part of track
The descent at the start
Slanted rock

The next and final section of the track starts to descend quite steeply for a few hundred metres. Whilst it is no scramble and still reasonably easy, extreme caution with your footing should be taken.

Shortly after you will reach the bottom where the track flattens out again for another couple hundred metres before it eventually opens up to Karloo Pools right in front of you.

Steep descent along track
Steep descent along track
Flat section before the pools

Keep yourself safe along your adventures!

Keep yourself safe during your adventures against the risk of potential minor and major injuries with this First Aid Kit.

View on Amazon

What to expect at Karloo Pools

The pool is situated along the stream of water called Kangaroo Creek, which has many hidden swimming holes to explore, however Karloo is by far the more well known and popular one to visit.

The pool itself is quite large and also very deep, which makes it perfect for swimming in. Around the pool on either side are sections to place your bags, sit, relax and even have something to eat. These sections also contain many ledges that slope down towards the water, making it very easy and safe to enter the pool and also for getting out.

The pool is surrounded by rich, dense vegetation, which makes you feel as if you are enclosed within a secret oasis, and it certainly has a tranquil and peaceful atmosphere, especially if you experience it to yourself.

View from other end
View from walking track end
Rest area around the pool

Where to stay in Sydney

Whether you are a luxury traveller or budget backpacker, Sydney has hundreds of accommodations to choose from that suit you. See list of recommended accommodations in Sydney below:

Luxury: Hyatt Regency 

Check on booking.com

Mid Range: Travelodge Hotel

Check on booking.com

Budget: Maze Backpackers 

Check on booking.com

FOR ALL OTHER PLACES TO STAY IN SYDNEY, SEARCH ON BOOKING.COM

Must have adventure & Travel accessories

Stainless Steel Drink Bottle

This insulated premium stainless steel, BPA friendly iron flask is the perfect drink bottle stay hydrated during outdoor adventures.

View on Amazon

Portable Powerbank

Keep your devices always charged with this 10,000mAh INIU Powerbank!

View on Amazon

Pocket Blanket

A lightweight, compact sand and waterproof picnic blanket

View on Amazon

Lightweight Backpack

This 15L lightweight, pocket sized day backpack by Kathmandu is a perfectly compact ‘pack&go’ travel and hiking solution.

View on Amazon

Mobile selfie stick & Tripod

Never miss capturing a moment along your travels and adventures with this TONEOF60 all in one tripod and selfie stick with wireless remote.

View on Amazon

More Guides

For years I have been adventuring to some of the most incredible places nature has to offer. From locations in my own backyard, to epic road trips, all the way to breathtaking travel destinations.

The goal of my blog is to ultimately inspire you to step outside of your comfort zone to get outdoors and immerse yourself in so much that mother nature has to offer.

You can check out my most recent blogs by clicking the links:

Final Thoughts

When you arrive at Karloo Pools, it is easy to see why it is one of the more popular swimming holes and bush walks in Sydney to visit. I highly recommend it if you are looking for a local spot in Sydney to escape to and makes way for a perfect Sydney day trip.

I hope you enjoyed reading this guide. If you have any questions, please leave a comment below and I will get back to you.

Travel Resources

Here are some useful resources you can use to help book and plan your next travels and adventures and even grab some amazing deals to save money along the way!

Search and book accomodation worldwide on the worlds most popular booking website.

Search Booking.com

Find the best deals on car rentals world wide.

Search Discover Cars

Find, compare and book the cheapest airfares anywhere.

Search Skyscanner

Find discounted prices on tickets, tours and experiences worldwide.

Search Viator

Low cost travel insurance for your next trip.

Search Heymondo

Find great deals on tickets, tours and experiences specialized especially in the Oceania region.

Search Klook

Book any form of transport, from buses, ferries, trains and even private transfers all over the world.

Search Book A Way

Bradleys Head to Chowder Bay walk – Complete Visitors Guide

The Bradleys Head to Chowder Bay walk is one of the best walks in Sydney you can do. The walk rewards you with some of the best views of Sydney, including Sydney Harbour, Eastern Suburbs, Sydney Harbour Bridge and the city.

In this guide, I have included everything you need to know about the Bradleys Head to Chowder Bay walk, including how to get there, best times to visit, things to consider before you visit and what to expect along the walking trail.

Bradleys Head to Chowders Bay walk
Taylors Bay

Where is the walk located

The Bradleys Head to Chowder Bay walk is located within Sydney Harbour National Park in the lower North Shore region of Sydney.

It is one of three coastal walks along the Northern Foreshores between Taronga Zoo and Balmoral Beach.

Click here to see the location on Google Maps

How to get to the walk

The most popular and common way to get to the start of the walk at Bradleys Head is by private vehicle. Alternatively, there are plenty of places in Sydney and North Shore to rent a vehicle if required. You then drive down Bradleys Head Rd located in Mosman, to the very bottom where there is a carpark.

Bradleys Head Carpark
Bradleys Head Carpark

Another popular way is to catch a ferry from Circular Quay to Taronga Zoo. Generally ferries will depart every 30 minutes. From there, it is about a 15-20 minute walk directly from Taronga Zoo wharf to Bradleys Head via Bradleys Head Walking Track.

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Best time to visit

The Bradleys Head to Chowder Bay walk can be visited year-round, whereby the best time in my opinion to embark on the walk is early morning – midday. This allows you plenty of time to complete the walk there and back, at your own pace and to experience everything this location has to offer.

If you love sunrises, then you can particularly experience amazing views of the sunrise from Bradleys Head and other view points along the walk.

If you are not an early bird, that is no problem! Just ensure you allow yourself up to a few hours to complete the walk there and back, including time to admire all the sites and views in the area.

Things to consider before you visit

If you wish to complete this track in reverse order – Chowder Bay to Bradleys Head, that is no problem at all! You would just need to drive to and park at Clifton Gardens.

Parking fees apply at both Bradleys Head and Clifton Gardens carpark. It is $8 all day at Bradleys Head. At Clifton Gardens it is $7 per hour ($25 all day) Monday-Friday or $8 per hour ($28 all day) Saturday, Sunday and Public Holidays.

A large part of the walking track is enclosed within dense vegetation and therefore doesn’t receive much sunlight. Therefore, you can expect various parts along the way to be quite muddy, particularly after wet weather. Ensure you wear appropriate walking clothes and shoes and ones which you don’t mind getting dirty.

Various Muddy sections along the track

The Bradleys Head to Chowder Bay Walking Trail

The trail that takes you from Bradleys Head to Chowder Bay is called the Taylors Bay Track. It is a 2.5km trail that takes approximately 40 minutes to just over an hour each way to complete

The track starts a few hundred metres up from the Bradleys Head carpark, towards Chowder Bay, and ends at Clifton Gardens.

Start of Bradley Head to Chowder Bay walk
Start of Bradley Head to Chowder Bay walk
View of Sydney Harbour

Taylors Bay Track is one of the best walks in Sydney in terms of the variety it offers. It is mainly a bush track, with some parts boardwalk. The track does consist of some short, steep sections and multiple sections with stairs. However, the vast majority of it is a flat track, whereby overall it is suitable for most fitness levels and ages.

Boardwalk
Flat, leafy track
Track consists of sections with stairs

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What to expect

When you arrive at Bradleys Head, you can expect quite a number of sites to admire and enjoy. This includes Bradleys Head Amphitheatre, HMAS Sydney Memorial Mast and the Bradleys Head Lighthouse. Bradleys Head further offers some of the best views of Sydney, including Harbour Bridge, the city and the wider parts of Sydney Harbour.

Bradleys Head Lighthouse
HMAS Sydney Memorial Mast
View of City from Bradleys Head
View of Sydney Harbour Bridge from Bradleys Head

During the Bradleys Head to Chowder Bay walk, you can expect to feel completely immersed in nature, as it becomes enclosed within some dense, lush green foliage. There are various parts along the walk that does offer some stunning views of Sydney Harbour and Taylors Bay, contributing to why it is one of the best Sydney coastal walks.

Start of Taylors Bay Track
Dense vegetation

When the walk reaches Taylors Bay, there are couple tracks that take you down to the bottom if you wish to check out the beach or even go for a swim. As the track approaches the end at Clifton Gardens in Chowder bay, it will start to descend to ground level through various hill sections and stairs.

Taylors Bay
Towards the end at Clifton Gardens
Klook.com

When you arrive down at Clifton Gardens, you can expect plenty to see and do. This includes Clifton Gardens Beach and Baths, a jetty, a playground for the kids and plenty of areas to sit down, relax and even have something to eat.

Clifton Gardens
Clifton Gardens Baths
Clifton Gardens Wharf
Clifton Gardens Beach

What else does Sydney have to offer?

As well as waterfalls, see what else Sydney has to offer by checking out a wealth of outdoor activities you can book.

Find Tours

Where to stay in Sydney

Whether you are a luxury traveller or budget backpacker, Sydney has hundreds of accommodations to choose from that suit you. See list of recommended accommodations in Sydney below:

Luxury: Hyatt Regency 

Mid Range: Travelodge Hotel

Budget: Maze Backpackers 

FOR ALL OTHER PLACES TO STAY IN SYDNEY, SEARCH ON BOOKING.COM

Must have adventure & Travel accessories

Stainless Steel Drink Bottle

This insulated premium stainless steel, BPA friendly iron flask is the perfect drink bottle stay hydrated during outdoor adventures.

View on Amazon

Portable Powerbank

Keep your devices always charged with this 10,000mAh INIU Powerbank!

View on Amazon

Pocket Blanket

A lightweight, compact sand and waterproof picnic blanket

View on Amazon

Lightweight Backpack

This 15L lightweight, pocket sized day backpack by Kathmandu is a perfectly compact ‘pack&go’ travel and hiking solution.

View on Amazon

Mobile selfie stick & Tripod

Never miss capturing a moment along your travels and adventures with this TONEOF60 all in one tripod and selfie stick with wireless remote.

View on Amazon

More Guides

For years I have been adventuring to some of the most incredible places nature has to offer. From locations in my own backyard, to epic road trips, all the way to breathtaking travel destinations.

The goal of my blog is to ultimately inspire you to step outside of your comfort zone to get outdoors and immerse yourself in so much that mother nature has to offer.

You can check out my most recent blogs by clicking the links:

Final Thoughts

The Bradleys Head to Chowder Bay walk is definitely one of the best Sydney coastal walks you can do. From stunning, picturesque views of the city and Sydney Harbour, to exploring the incredible nature of Sydney Harbour National Park, you honestly cannot go wrong.

This walk is definitely one I highly recommend as a Sydney day trip, since you can easily spend a few hours here, from the walk itself to checking out all the amazing sites in the area.

If you have any questions about The Bradleys Head to Chowder Bay walk, please leave a comment below and I will get back to you.

Travel Resources

Here are some useful resources you can use to help book and plan your next travels and adventures and even grab some amazing deals to save money along the way!

Search and book accomodation worldwide on the worlds most popular booking website.

Search Booking.com

Find the best deals on car rentals world wide.

Search Discover Cars

Find, compare and book the cheapest airfares anywhere.

Search Skyscanner

Find discounted prices on tickets, tours and experiences worldwide.

Search Viator

Low cost travel insurance for your next trip.

Search Heymondo

Find great deals on tickets, tours and experiences specialized especially in the Oceania region.

Search Klook

Book any form of transport, from buses, ferries, trains and even private transfers all over the world.

Search Book A Way