Middle Harbour Reserve to Forty Baskets Beach – The Coastal Walk with Kids
We visited Middle Harbour Reserve primarily for the playground and discovered its actually a really cool place. Not only is there a big piece of open grass but it looks out over the water and has a fairly straightforward path running between the grass and the water.
After some googling I realised that the path was part of a bigger coastal walk.
Heading South from Middle Harbour Reserve you can walk along the coast to Forty Baskets Beach.
In an attempt to get the kids out the house on a coolish winter afternoon I convinced everyone to gather their scooters and helmets so we could scoot to Forty Baskets Beach. In hindsight I should have researched more…
Why should I have researched the Forty Baskets Beach walk better?
Well then I would have known that it was a bad idea to park where we did and take the scooters. We should have parked elsewhere and taken the scooters or parked where did near the playground and left the scooters at home.
I also should have researched a bit more so I knew what to expect as the route we took crossed over some roads.
This post is how I will do the walk going forward.
Where are Middle Harbour Reserve and Forty Baskets Beach
Middle Harbour and Forty Baskets Beach both lie on Middle Harbour, along the bay which Manly forms part of.
Middle Harbour is in the suburb of Balgowlah and Forty Baskets Beach is in the suburb of Balgowlah Heights.
In the map below you will see Middle Harbour Reserve in the top left and the red pin is Forty Baskets Beach.
Parking for the Beach Walk
Next time we visit we will park at the very end of Gourlay Avenue, Balgowlah in Wellings Reserve. There is a small car park area just inside Wellings Reserve. If you can’t find a parking there you should be able to find some along Gourlay Avenue.
Doing this Coastal Walk With Kids
This is a great walk for kids because the path is wide and flat. It feels a lot like Berry Island Reserve Walk but with less rocks and stones. Kids can easily take their scooters or bikes. It’s an easy walk.
While the scenery is gorgeous for adults to take in, the area along the path is equally exciting for kids.
There are rocks and trees and spiders and who knows what else to be discovered.
The walk from Wellings Reserve to Forty Baskets Beach isn’t too long so the kids will easily make it. Even my 2 year old managed with plenty of energy to spare.
The walk to Forty Baskets Beach
Starting at Middle Harbour (without bikes and scooters, picnic paraphernalia and swimming stuff)
1. If you start at Middle Harbour walk to the water and find the path, follow the path south until you find the wooden steps leading up above the big rocks. You’ll know exactly what I mean when you see them.
2. Take the wooden stairs up to the parking lot looking over the playground.
3. Walk South (up and away from the playground) along North Harbour Street until you see a gap between the houses with a little ramp down to a bridge.
4. Cross over the bridge and keep walking until you get to a road.
5. Go left down the road (Gourlay Avenue) and keep walking through Wellings Reserve.
6. Keep walking straight along the coastline.
Starting at the end of Gourlay Avenue
All you have to do is walk down the steep hill and stick to the coastal walk to Forty Baskets Beach.
How you’ll know you’ve reached Forty Baskets Beach
As I hadn’t seen enough pictures or read enough I wasn’t sure what to expect from Forty Baskets Beach. Every bit of sand with a boat on it looked like Forty Baskets Beach to me.
Thankfully Forty Baskets Beach is pretty well signposted.
Even if you miss the signs, you’ll know you’re at Forty Baskets Beach when you see any of the following
- a swing set overlooking the water
- an enclosed swimming area
- the jetty that goes out into the water
Forty Baskets Beach is a swimming beach and it has a nice patch of grass for a picnic too.
Next time we visit it will be in the Summer, we’ll go swimming, have a picnic and spend hours there. I can’t wait.
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For more great walks to do with kids, you should try The Wildflower Garden up in St Ives or the Fairfax Walk on North Head.