Manly Dam Bushwalks

The bush surrounding Manly Dam is a special place that includes remnants of Aboriginal camps. It is also home to a wide diversity of flora and fauna, including a number of threatened species. Please respect the bush and minimise your impact by staying on marked tracks and washing soil from your boots before entering the park.

Please note: Dogs are not permitted in the picnic areas, the internal road, carparks, or the water at any time.

Dogs, on a leash, may be walked on the bushland tracks which can be accessed at various external (outside of the picnic area) entry points.  (see fox baiting notice below)

NOTICE: FOX BAITING - Park staff will be undertaking fox baiting throughout the Park from 12th to 30th August 2019. To ensure the safety of domestic dogs, and meet legal requirements, dogs will be prohibited from ALL areas in the Park from 12 August - 27 September 2019.

Park Circuit Track

Distance: 7.3km

Time: 3 hours

Grade: Some steep sections, mostly easy walking. This track is shared with mountain bike riders.

TRACK WORKS: Council is undertaking works between July and September to upgrade the Manly Dam Park Circuit Track between Picnic Area 4 and the Fire Trail Bike Track. Workers and machinery may be present. Please Use Caution and Follow any Directions. We apologise for any inconvenience.

Access: Section 1, Dam Wall or Section 4 picnic area

Attractions: Waterfall and rockpools​​​​​​

Wildflower Walk

Distance: 0.35km

Time: 15 min each way

Grade: Gentle slope, easy walking

Access: Road next to Section 3 carpark

Attractions: Thick woodland and seasonal blooms

Nature Trail

Distance: 1.5km

Time: 40 min each way

Grade: Some steep sections, mostly easy walking

Access: 100m inside the main gate, next to interpretive map

Attractions: Scenic views, sandstone cliffs

McCombs Hill Track

Distance: 1km

Time: 25 min round trip

Grade: Some steep sections, mostly easy walking

Access: 100m inside the main gate, next to interpretive map

Attractions: Excellent views of surrounding district

Curl Curl Track

Distance: 2km

Time: 1 hour circuit

Grade: Some steep sections, mostly easy walking

Access: Intersection of Circuit Track and Curl Curl Creek

Attractions: Rockpools, cool wet forest, echidnas

Eva’s Track

Distance: 2km

Time: 1 hour circuit

Grade: Gentle slope, easy walking

Access: From the section of fire trail linking the Circuit Track to Allambie Heights

Attractions: Rock platforms, views over Manly

Heath Track

Distance: 1km

Time: 25 min

Gulgadya Muru – Aboriginal Self Guided Walk

Grade: Gradual climb, generally easy walking

Access: Via fire trail next to tennis courts on Roosevelt Ave, Allambie Heights

Attractions: Spectacular views and wildflowers

The Gulgadya Muru, or Aboriginal self-guided walk, gives everyone the opportunity to see Manly Dam through the eyes of its original inhabitants.

You can see evidence of Aboriginal life including rock engravings and paintings as well as axe grinding grooves. You may also be lucky enough to discover the remains of ancient camp sites such as stone tools, baked clay, fire blackened stones and charcoal.

The full Gulgadya Muru brochure, including information about stops along the track, can be picked up at Council's Civic Centre, Libraries and the Manly Dam Office.

Walk Type Circuit

Distance: 350m to 8km.

Duration: 20 minutes to 3 hours.

Grade: Nature Trail only - easy. Park Circuit track - hard.

Facilities available: Toilets, barbecues, picnic tables and playgrounds.

Potential Hazards: Uneven surfaces, tree roots and rocks. Be wary of vehicles while walking along the road.

About the Guringai People

Aboriginal settlement

Before European settlement, the Guringai people occupied a vast area from Newcastle through to southern Sydney. Evidence of this can been seen from rock engravings and paintings, shell middens, axe-grinding grooves and occupation sites, such as food remains, stone tools, baked clay, fire-blackened stones and charcoal. These can all be seen in a range of sites.

European settlement

At the time of European settlement the northern beaches was the traditional home of the Guringai people. The Manly town area was inhabited by the Cannalgal and Kay-ye-my clans. The history of these tribes dates back around 20,000 years - older than Sydney Harbour, which changed from a deep river valley to a harbour after the end of the last Ice Age, 6,500 years ago.

The Spirit of the Guringai

There are many ancient sites associated with the Guringai, ranging from manufacturing sites showing grinding grooves and ochre mines, to rock engravings, ochre stencils, rock shelters and shellfish middens.