Sydney is home to some of the most beautiful and diverse hiking trails in Australia, from coastal walks to bush tracks and national parks. Whether you're a seasoned hiker or just looking for a leisurely stroll, there's something for everyone to enjoy within a day trip of Sydney. Here are our top 9 hikes to add to your bucket list:
The Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk is a must-do activity for any visitor to Sydney, who has 2-3 hours to spare. The 6km trail takes you along one of the most scenic coastal stretches in the world, offering breathtaking views of some of Sydney's famous coastal landmarks including the Bondi Icebergs Club, the Bronte Baths, Tamarama Beach (affectionately known as "Glamorama", so keep your eyes peeled for models and fashion photographers), and Bronte Beach.
The Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk (Source: Sydney)
The Royal National Park Coastal Track is a 26km hiking trail that takes you along the breathtaking coastal cliffs of the Royal National Park, starting at Bundeena and finishing at Otford. The trail is considered one of the most challenging hikes in the region (compete with steep inclines and rocky terrain) and takes around 8-10 hours for experienced hikers to complete. The trail passes by several famous natural Sydney landmarks including the Figure 8 Pools, and Wedding Cake Rock, a white sandstone rock formation that resembles a wedding cake and features prominently on many travelers' Instagram feeds. The trail also passes by Marley Beach, Curracurrang Beach, and Wattamolla Beach, which are great spots to take a break and enjoy watching the world pass by.
The Royal National Park Coastal Track (Source: NSW National Parks)
The Three Sisters Walk is one of the most popular hikes in the Blue Mountains, located just a short train ride from Sydney. The Three Sisters is a unique natural landmark that is a sacred place for the local Indigenous Gundungurra people. Legend has it that the three sisters were named Meehni, Wimlah, and Gunnedoo, and were turned to stone by a witch doctor. The 3.6km trail takes 2-3 hours to complete as it winds through ancient rainforest, is moderate in difficulty, and allows walkers to experience breathtaking views of the iconic rock formation and the Jamison Valley below.
The Three Sisters Walk (Source: Blue Mountains)
The Spit to Manly Walk is a scenic trail that takes visitors along the beautiful Northern Beaches from The Spit to Manly. The 8km trail takes around 3-4 hours to complete and is suitable for all fitness levels. The walk starts at the Spit Bridge and winds its way along the beachfront, passing through Castle Rock Beach, and Balgowlah Beach along the way. The Spit to Manly Walk also provides walkers the opportunity to see several famous landmarks including the Clontarf Reserve (stunning city views!) and the Fairy Bower Pool, a popular spot for swimming and snorkeling. The trail ends at Manly Beach, one of Sydney's most famous beaches and the perfect spot to take a dip and cool off after your journey.
The Spit to Manly Walk (Source: Sydney Coast Walks)
The Great North Walk is a challenging 250km trail from Sydney to Newcastle, and is not for the faint of heart! The trail takes an average of around 10-15 days to complete, is suitable for experienced hikers only, and provides a diverse range of landscapes, including rainforests and sandstone cliffs, showcasing the wide spectrum of natural beauty on offer in New South Wales. The trail begins in Sydney's northern suburbs and winds north, passing through a number of national parks, including the Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, the Berowra Valley Regional Park, and the Watagans National Park. The Great North Walk trail is well-marked and maintained, with campsites, shelters, and water points along the way. There’s no better feeling than completing an epic walk of this magnitude!
The Great North Walk (Source: Hiking Australia)
The Blue Gum Hills Track is a 6km long hike located in the Lane Cove National Park, 15 minutes from Sydney. The trail winds its way through diverse landscapes including eucalyptus forests and sandstone cliffs, with several scenic lookouts providing visitors with incredible views of the Lane Cove River and the surrounding bushland. This walk is a must-do activity for visitors to the area.
The Blue Gum Hills Track (Source: Walk My World)
The Manly Dam Walk is a 4km long hiking trail located in the Manly Dam Reserve, offering walkers a peaceful and scenic 2-hour stroll through the reserve's natural bushland. Enjoy the numerous scenic lookouts with beautiful views of the dam and if you’re lucky, spot the local wildlife as you make your way through the reserve. The reserve also provides visitors with picnic areas and playgrounds, so make sure you pack a nice lunch to enjoy along the journey.
The Manly Dam Walk (Source: Sydney)
The Heathcote to Waterfall Walk is a 10km long hike located in the Heathcote National Park. The Heathcote to Waterfall Walk offers hikers an opportunity to explore the natural beauty of the Heathcote National Park, which is known for its rugged sandstone cliffs, and eucalyptus forests. As the trail weaves through the bushland, keep an eye out for scenic lookouts, some of which allow hikers stunning views of Waterfall Creek. The trail takes around 4 hours to complete and is only suitable for intermediate hikers as areas of the trail involve navigating some steep and rocky terrain.
The Heathcote to Waterfall Walk (Source: Walk My World)
The Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park is a protected area located 30 minutes from Sydney and is well-known for its natural beauty and diverse landscapes, offering a variety of hiking experiences including the Bobbin Head Loop Track, and the Cowan Creek Track. The trails are suitable for all fitness levels, taking around 2-4 hours to complete. Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park is also home to several historic Indigenous sites, including Aboriginal rock engravings, which are sacred to the local Indigenous people and are believed to date back thousands of years, making it some of the oldest art in the world.
The Bobbin Head Loop Track is an easy 2km trail, guiding visitors through the park's bushland. The trail starts at the Bobbin Head picnic area and takes around 1-2 hours to complete, providing hikers with the opportunity to see authentic Australian wildlife such as kookaburras, wallabies, and echidnas.
The Cowan Creek Track is a moderate 4km trail that provides stunning views of Cowan Creel and the opportunity to birdwatch along the journey. The trail starts at the Cowan railway station and takes around 2-3 hours to complete.
The Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park (Source: Travel Made Me Do It)
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