Barrenjoey Lighthouse Walk

Palm Beach Lighthouse Walk

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Barrenjoey Lighthouse Walk

The Barrenjoey Lighthouse Walk at Palm beach (AKA the Palm Beach lighthouse walk) is popular with locals and tourists alike. The trail has absolutely stunning views as you reach the most peninsular point of the Northern Beaches. At the top, you will have water views on all sides and might even see some whales if you’re lucky and the season is right. The lighthouse is an official Heritage site and has kept its original sandstone finish from when it was completed in 1881!  

Woman sits on a large boulder overlooking the palm beach lighthouse walk.
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To reach the trailhead you will first need to walk along the beach. There are beautiful views! If it is not obvious as to where you should go, just follow the crowd!

Which path to take?

Heading back down the smuggler’s trail

There are two paths to take. The first is a smooth, winding path that will take longer. It is rated a level 2 hike and is great for families with young children, people looking for a longer or less strenuous route up, and for those looking for the best photography vantage points. The path to the right – the “smugglers track” is slightly more strenuous and is graded as a level 3 hike.

I highly recommend taking both routes if you are able, for a better workout you can take the smugglers path up and then head down the easier path to take in the views on your walk back down. Or you could take the easier path up and the smugglers path down. My kids are 3-years-old and had no issues on the way down, in fact, they loved it. The easier path on the left was best for their limited stamina though as there was plenty of space to take breaks without blocking the entire path.

Barrenjoey lighthouse tour

Ok, so we messed up here because I didn’t do any research before our first trip. If you are interested in doing the lighthouse tour, bring cash as they do not accept cards. Tours are every 20 minutes so if you are on a time crunch or with tiny humans with short attention spans you may want to take that into account.

Barrenjoey Lighthouse walk time

This will vary greatly on how many beaks to take to rest, soak up the views, or if you have kids like mine to try to free the shell that’s trapped in the walkway. It will also depend on which paths you take and how much time you spend at the top but on average people spend about an hour and a half on the Barrrenjoey lighthouse walk. That said, you could take a round trip in less than half that time on the smuggler’s trail without any breaks – but honestly, where is the fun in that? 

Restrooms and accessibility

Unfortunately, neither trail to the top is accessible or stroller friendly because the paved path is too steep.

There are restrooms at the top of the trail – near the lighthouse. It took me a while to find the first time, you actually have to start heading down the smuggler’s path (not too far don’t worry) and you will see it on your left before you really get into the trail. They are permanent out-house style toilets with no hand soap – so bring some hand sanitizer.

How far is palm beach from Sydney?

Palm Beach is about an hour’s drive from Sydney if you are driving. You will need to double that though if taking public transport. Which is not terribly bad. With the free wifi on-board many buses, you can enjoy a movie on your way to the Barrenjoey lighthouse walk. If you are really feeling it and are on Holiday in Sydney you can even charter a seaplane and get in that way too.

What to bring for the palm beach lighthouse walk

Sunscreen if you plan on taking your time on the walk, otherwise you can get away with just applying beforehand. Bug spray, depending on the time of day that is, particularly for the smuggler’s track. Snacks for the top if desired – or if hiking with kids 😉  A camera, GoPro (this was my pick), or cell phone to take photos!

Two children walk along the Barrenjoey lighthouse walk

Palm Beach: What’s nearby?

Palm Beach is right at the base of the trail, why not have a swim!? Just up the street from the beach, you will find a decent sized children playground. So if your kids still have energy left after the trek they burn off some more afterward. The Boat House restaurant is probably the most popular dining option nearby. You can also take a leisurely ferry ride from the nearby wharf. 

Have you done the Barrenjoey lighthouse walk? Let us know how it went below! 




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