Taronga Zoo to Chowder Bay

Walk Highlights

Taronga Zoo to Chowder Bay
  • Distance: 8 km return
  • Time: 3 hours
  • Location: Athol Wharf Rd, Cremorne, NSW
  • Facilities: Interpretive signs
  • Getting There: Ferry from Circular Quay to Taronga Zoo wharf, or a bus from the city
  • Highlights: Sydney Harbour views, lush foliage, rocky bays, historic monuments

Walking Track Description

A ferry ride across Sydney Harbour is a great way to start any short walk, and as this walk starts at Taronga Zoo ferry wharf, it’s a great opportunity to enjoy the much-loved ride from Circular Quay to Taronga. Part of the 6 km Taronga to Balmora Beach Walk, the track is a mix of graded gravel and rough limestone steps, generally quite flat except towards the Chowder Bay end, where we descend to the water level.

Once docked at Taronga, head out of the wharf and turn right at Athol Wharf Rd. Walking uphill for a few minutes, a sealed path commences on the right of the road. Following this path, you walk below the road level, heading around the bay towards Bradley’s Head.

A few hundred metres along you’ll pass Athol Hall, a grand old estate with a cafe (that hosts functions) and a view to die for. Continuing on, you’ll soon be walking along the cliffs above the bay, with a stunning south-easterly view of the city, Opera House and bridge.

At Bradley’s Head, take time to wander out onto the limestone jetty which juts out from a man-made amphitheatre – very popular with local anglers. Kids will also love the impressive remains of convict-built cannon batteries, and the mast of HMAS Sydney (the first one), erected on the headland. There are toilets available too.

Heading around the point, and on from Bradley’s Head, we walk north towards Taylor’s Bay, a lush, shady bay that hosts a great collection of birds, butterflies and spiders! Tall walkers might keep an eye out for dangling arachnids, weaving their huge webs. Taylor’s Bay is also where the Japanese midget-sub came to rest after it’s WWII torpedo raid in Sydney Harbour.

The last section of the walk includes a descent from Chowder Head to Chowder Bay, a sharp, rocky beach that’s great for crab hunting.

Walking Trail Map

(Start at red marker)

Weather Forecast (Sydney)

More Walks in New South Wales, Sydney

  • Govetts Leap Falls (Bridal Veil Falls)
  • Fitzroy Falls
  • Lake Parramatta
  • Euroka to the Nepean River, Glenbrook
  • Uloola Track (Heathcote to Waterfall)
  • 3 Responses to “Taronga Zoo to Chowder Bay”

    1. Hike from Spit Bridge to Manly (Something to Do on SAT?) « AeroDragons Down Under 2012 | 21/01/12

      […] Taronga Zoo to Chowder Bay […]

    2. Minimal time, maximum reward: Sydney’s best microadventures | habitualhiker | 14/04/15

      […] on a ferry at Circular Quay and head to Taronga Zoo Wharf (and walk to Chowder Bay) or Watsons Bay (and walk to Hornby Lighthouse at South Head). Alternatively, catch a train to […]

    3. The 14 Best Walks in Sydney - PARKROYAL Blog | 5/01/16

      […] a picnic and take the ferry from Circular Quay to Taronga Zoo, where this leafy walk beside the water offers vistas of the Opera House and ‘The Coathanger’. Once you arrive at Chowder Bay, […]

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