Taronga Wharf to Chowder Bay
Borogegal & Cammeraigal Country

1 h 45 min to 2 h

4.4 km
oneway

↑ 199 m
↓ -189 m

Moderate track
Starting at Taronga Wharf, this walk passes many icons of Sydney, including Taronga Zoo, HMAS Sydney Mast, Chowder Bay. The walk also provides views across the water to the Harbour Bridge, Opera House, Fort Denison and the city skyline. The walk has many brilliant vantage points over the harbour with some spots to stop for a coffee and lunch. A great walk to see Sydney Harbour from a different view. Let us begin by acknowledging the Borogegal & Cammeraigal people, Traditional Custodians of the land on which we travel today, and pay our respects to their Elders past and present. 
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Looking Down road from Lower end of Taronga Zoo. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Lower end of Taronga Zoo. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Track east of Taronga Zoo. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Atholl Hall. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Seat with a view on Bradleys Head. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Mast at Bradleys Head. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
View from the track. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Track on western side of Bradleys head. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Lookout over Taylors Bay. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Track over Chowder Head. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Track behind houses near Clifton Gardens. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Clifton Gardens baths. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Clifton Gardens. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Chowder Bay. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Chowder Bay. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Downloads GPX PDF

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Safer Bushwalks
Tips on staying safe on track
Before you start any bushwalk ensure you;
• Tell someone you trust where you are going and what to do if you are overdue
• Have adequate equipment, supplies, skills & knowledge for the whole journey
• Consider the impact of weather forecasts, park/track closures & fire dangers
• Can respond to emergencies & call for help at any point
• Are healthy and fit enough for this journey
If not, change plans and stay safe. It is okay to delay and ask people for help.
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Getting There
Transport options and directions
Start (-33.8457205,151.2397244)
Mode Bus Car (There is free parking available.) Ferry
DirectionsFrom Bradfield Highway
  • Turn on to Warringah Freeway, M1 then drive for 65 m
  • Keep right onto Warringah Freeway, M1 and drive for another 1.3 km
  • Keep right onto Military Road Offramp, A8 and drive for another 260 m
  • Continue onto Military Road, A8 and drive for another 1.9 km
  • Turn right onto Belmont Road and drive for another 310 m
  • At roundabout, take exit 2 onto Belmont Road and drive for another 260 m
  • At roundabout, take exit 2 onto Belmont Road and drive for another 620 m
  • Turn right onto Military Road and drive for another 295 m
  • At roundabout, take exit 2 onto Bradleys Head Road and drive for another 920 m
  • At roundabout, take exit 2 onto Bradleys Head Road and drive for another 1.6 km
Finish (-33.8384259,151.2560745)
Mode (end) Car Shuttle   Bus   Car   (There is free parking available.)
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Track Notes
Turn by turn instructions & maps
Getting started
From the wharf, the walk heads uphill along the footpath beside the road to the Taronga Zoo entrance at the pedestrian crossing.....
Turn map Directions & comments
Start.
After another 10 m turn left.
After another 30 m pass a seat (45 m on your left)., has a backrest.
Then pass a seat (80 m on your left)., has a backrest.
Continue straight.
Then pass the "Taronga Zoo Cafe" (30 m on your right).
After another 8 m pass a seat (50 m on your right)., has a backrest.
After another 10 m pass the shelter (15 m on your right).
After another 100 m pass a seat (30 m on your left).
After another 90 m turn right, to head along Bradleys Head Road.
After another 15 m turn right.
After another 10 m find the "Taronga Zoo" (5 m on your left).
Taronga Zoo
Taronga Zoo

Taronga Zoo was founded in 1916, with the vision of imitating the Hamburg Zoo's bar-less exhibits. Since its opening, Taronga Zoo has directed more attention to research, education and conservation efforts to support the animals. Taronga Zoo is open everyday 9am- 5pm. Phone: +61 2 9969 2777 or email: groups@zoo.nsw.gov.au.
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Taronga Zoo was founded in 1916, with the vision of imitating the Hamburg Zoo's bar-less exhibits. Since its opening, Taronga Zoo has directed more attention to research, education and conservation efforts to support the animals. Taronga Zoo is open everyday 9am- 5pm. Phone: +61 2 9969 2777 or email: groups@zoo.nsw.gov.au.

After another 15 m pass the toilet (20 m on your left).
After another 10 m continue straight.
After another 30 m continue straight.
After another 225 m continue straight.
The starting point of an optional sidetrip. An optional side trip to Athol Hall. To start this optional side trip turn sharp left here. On returning from this side trip turn left when you get back to this intersection. Details below.
After another 85 m continue straight.
After another 650 m continue straight.
After another 30 m turn right.
After another 60 m pass the toilet (on your left).
Then pass the water tap (on your left).
Then find the "HMAS Sydney Memorial Mast" (6 m on your left).
HMAS Sydney Memorial Mast
HMAS Sydney Memorial Mast

The HMAS Sydney Memorial Mast was erected in 1934, following the HMAS Sydney's decommissioning in 1928. The mast stands as a sign of respect for 'Australian officers, sailors and ships lost at sea and in combat'. HMAS Sydney itself was a Chatham Class light cruiser which saw action in WW1.
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The HMAS Sydney Memorial Mast was erected in 1934, following the HMAS Sydney's decommissioning in 1928. The mast stands as a sign of respect for 'Australian officers, sailors and ships lost at sea and in combat'. HMAS Sydney itself was a Chatham Class light cruiser which saw action in WW1.

Turn left.
After another 15 m veer right, to head along Bradleys Head Road.
After another 115 m continue straight, to head along Bradleys Head Road.
After another 30 m veer right.
After another 30 m pass the shelter (15 m on your left).
After another 590 m continue straight.
After another 660 m continue straight.
After another 400 m veer right.
The starting point of an optional sidetrip. An optional side trip to Chowder Head. To start this optional side trip turn right here. On returning from this side trip continue straight when you get back to this intersection. Details below.
After another 155 m turn left.
After another 125 m veer left.
After another 160 m turn right.
Then head up the steps (about 60 m long)
Then find the "Morella St lookout" (on your right).
Morella St lookout
Morella St lookout

This informally named clearing behind some houses on Morella St provides a great view across the harbour. The fairly large clearing has been maintained and is a good place to stop if wanting to avoid the large groups at Clifton Gardens.
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This informally named clearing behind some houses on Morella St provides a great view across the harbour. The fairly large clearing has been maintained and is a good place to stop if wanting to avoid the large groups at Clifton Gardens.

After another 30 m turn right.
Then head up the steps (about 30 m long)
After another 105 m continue straight.
After another 35 m pass the water tap (20 m on your left).
After another 150 m pass the water tap (on your right).
Then find the "Clifton Gardens Reserve" (15 m on your left).
Clifton Gardens Reserve
Clifton Gardens Reserve

Clifton Gardens was developed as a picnic spot in the late 1800s, with a local hotelier building a wharf and dance pavilion. In 1909, Sydney Ferries Ltd purchased the estate, and further developed the area, including a large swimming enclosure. The structure burned down in 1956. Today, Clifton Gardens is touted as 'remnant bushland', offering birdwatching, a netted swimming enclosure, change rooms, a fenced playground, and of course, spectacular views over Chowder Bay. A short bush track leads through to Rawson Oval.
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Clifton Gardens was developed as a picnic spot in the late 1800s, with a local hotelier building a wharf and dance pavilion. In 1909, Sydney Ferries Ltd purchased the estate, and further developed the area, including a large swimming enclosure. The structure burned down in 1956. Today, Clifton Gardens is touted as 'remnant bushland', offering birdwatching, a netted swimming enclosure, change rooms, a fenced playground, and of course, spectacular views over Chowder Bay. A short bush track leads through to Rawson Oval.

After another 65 m turn right.
After another 150 m find the "Bacino Kiosk" (on your left).
Bacino Kiosk
Bacino Kiosk

The Bacino Kiosk, just next to Clifton Gardens, is a smaller version of the Bacino Bar above at Chowder Bay. This kiosk supplies passers-by with a home-blend coffee and sandwiches, and all at a reasonable price ($5-12). The Kiosk is open from 7am-4pm every day, except Christmas and bad weather.
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The Bacino Kiosk, just next to Clifton Gardens, is a smaller version of the Bacino Bar above at Chowder Bay. This kiosk supplies passers-by with a home-blend coffee and sandwiches, and all at a reasonable price ($5-12). The Kiosk is open from 7am-4pm every day, except Christmas and bad weather.

After another 8 m pass the "Bacino's Kiosk" (7 m on your left).
After another 50 m head up the steps (about 9 m long)
After another 8 m pass the "Ripples at Chowder Bay" (20 m on your left).
After another 9 m veer right.
After another 80 m turn left.
After another 5 m turn right.
After another 10 m come to the end.
"Chowder Bay".
Chowder Bay
Chowder Bay

Chowder Bay looks over Sydney Harbour, to Vaucluse and Rose Bay. The bay is named after the food of the American whalers stationed at Clifton Gardens, 'clam chowder'. Chowder Bay then became a Submarine Mining Depot in 1889. Today, Chowder Bay still has great views from the remaining military buildings on the hillside. One of the newer buildings houses a cafe, and other buildings stand as monuments to their former use. Chowder Bay offers great views with easy access to Clifton Gardens for a swim.
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Chowder Bay looks over Sydney Harbour, to Vaucluse and Rose Bay. The bay is named after the food of the American whalers stationed at Clifton Gardens, 'clam chowder'. Chowder Bay then became a Submarine Mining Depot in 1889. Today, Chowder Bay still has great views from the remaining military buildings on the hillside. One of the newer buildings houses a cafe, and other buildings stand as monuments to their former use. Chowder Bay offers great views with easy access to Clifton Gardens for a swim.

About 25 m past the end is a car park.
This car park is wheelchair accessible.
About 40 m past the end is "Bacino Cafe".
Bacino Cafe
Bacino Cafe

The Bacino Bar is in Building No.2 at Chowder Bay, with great views across Sydney Harbour. The bar sells pastas, panini, arancini, tramezzini, stuffed eggplant and biscotti, along with homemade sandwiches and treats. The Bacino Bar prices are reasonable, ranging between $5-12 for the delicacies, and their coffee is made of their own blend. The bar is open every day from 7am- 4pm except for Christmas. A public toilet is available at the Eastern end of the building.
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The Bacino Bar is in Building No.2 at Chowder Bay, with great views across Sydney Harbour. The bar sells pastas, panini, arancini, tramezzini, stuffed eggplant and biscotti, along with homemade sandwiches and treats. The Bacino Bar prices are reasonable, ranging between $5-12 for the delicacies, and their coffee is made of their own blend. The bar is open every day from 7am- 4pm except for Christmas. A public toilet is available at the Eastern end of the building.

About 50 m past the end is a toilet.

An optional side trip to Athol Hall.
Turn map Directions & comments
Start.
Then head down the steps (about 30 m long)
After another 45 m head down the steps
After another 10 m come to a toilet.
The end.
Turn around and retrace your steps back the 85 m to the main route.

Turn map Directions & comments
Start.
After another 15 m come to the end.
Turn around and retrace your steps back the 15 m to the main route.

An optional side trip to Chowder Head.
Turn map Directions & comments
Start.
After another 20 m come to the end.
Turn around and retrace your steps back the 20 m to the main route.
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Terrain
Know the Hills, grading & facilities

Taronga Wharf to Chowder Bay


Grading
Class 3/6
Moderate track
Length 4.4 km
Time 1 h 45 min to 2 h
Quality of track Formed track, with some branches and other obstacles (3/6)
Gradient Short steep hills (3/6)
Signage Directional signs along the way (3/6)
Infrastructure Limited facilities, not all cliffs are fenced (3/6)
Experience Required No experience required (1/6)
Weather Weather generally has little impact on safety (1/6)

Some facilities on route
Shelter: There are 2 on route, on average they are 1.5 km apart with the largest gap of 2.8 km.

Toilet: There are 4 on route, on average they are 920 m apart with the largest gap of 3 km.

Seat: There are 4 on route, on average they are 880 m apart with the largest gap of 4.2 km.


Order of key facilities on route
ItemFrom StartName & link to notes
Shelter
45 m[shelter]
Toilet
275 m[toilet]
Toilet
630 m[toilet]
Toilet
1.4 km[toilet]
Shelter
1.5 km[shelter]
Toilet
4.4 km[toilet]
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