Sydney is known for the world-famous Sydney Opera House, Sydney Tower, over 100 beaches, and many other breathtaking spots and places that make it one of the most magnificent cities in the world. It’s also home to numerous walk routes that are bound to mesmerise you with beautiful views and picturesque scenery. What are the best walks in Sydney, though? Check them out below. Whether you’re a beginner or a more experienced hiker, you’ll find the best walks here. Scroll down to see them all.
Best Sydney bush walks
There’s a lot to like about Sydney, but if you’re a hiker or nature-lover you’ll love all the parklands and bush around the harbour. National parks around Sydney are worth visiting. Below, you can take a look at some of the best bush walks in this city.
The Forest Path (Royal National Park)
The Royal National Park in Sydney is home to dozens of trails that lead to breathtakingly beautiful beaches, bushlands, and coastal cliffs. The Forest Path is one of those trails. The path itself is relatively short, only 4.4km and you can easy complete it from the beginning to end in a little bit over than one hour. At the same time, you’re going to enjoy the beautiful scenery and landscapes that one of the oldest tracks in this area has to offer.
The Forest Path has two starting points, which are quite near to one another. They’re about 50m apart. However, it’s a lot easier to start from Sir Bertram Stevens Drive because that’s where you will also exist, since this is a loop route.
While walking along this track you’ll be amazed by its biodiversity. You’ll see all kinds of plants, trees, birds, and so much more. The rainforest in this area is home to eucalyptus trees, cabbage tree palms, vines, flowers, and other plants. The entire walk is calming and peaceful.
You will also notice a creek and river along this path. Together, these bodies of water have made the well-known Forest Island isolated, because they basically envelope it from all sides.
Gibberagong Track (Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park)
Gibberagong track is the perfect trail for people who are looking for hidden gems i.e. walks that aren’t as popular as many others, but are still equally magnificent. What makes it so amazing is that this track offers proper bushland experience. You’re surrounded by bush from both sides. Plus, it’s located in the Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, which is absolutely stunning.
The Starting point of this track is in Wahroonga. As you go along the track, you’ll notice several creeks and even a beautiful swimming spot. If you pay close attention, you can notice how calming it is to walk down this track. You’ll hear sounds of water and birds. At the same time, you will be in awe with beautiful birds and a variety of trees and plants.
The Resolute Track (Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park)
Some people prefer bushland paths whereas others are more into beaches. And then, there are people who want to see both. If you’re in this last group, the Resolute track is an excellent choice. You can see both the bushland and beaches on a single walk. Along this path in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park you’ll catch sight of 2 major Aboriginal sites and a Resolute beach, a small and secluded beach known for its emerald green water.
On this path you will change different types of terrain including bushland, rainforest, and heath. If you’re into picnics (and who isn’t), there’s plenty of place for you to relax and enjoy a nice meal. The Resolute picnic area comes with a shelter, benches, and even an electric BBQ. It’s useful to mention the bathroom is wheelchair-accessible and there’s also a designated area to change your baby’s diapers.
Keep in mind there is no drinking water in the picnic area so make sure to take water or other refreshing beverage with you.
Wentworth Pass, Blue Mountains
Ideal for people who are looking for hard, challenging walks, Wentworth Pass starts at Wentworth Falls and takes you through the upper section of Valley of Waters in Jamison Valley at Blue Mountains National Park. Keep in mind you can also get to the base of Wentworth Falls where you will also see a pool where you can relax and enjoy, especially when the weather is hot.
On this walk, you can gaze upon scenic waterfalls, relax in amazing forests, and even enjoy the dense rainforest. You can complete this walk in about five hours, depending on your pace. While the trail isn’t too long, some parts are very steep so make sure you prepare accordingly. Leave your luggage in a safe place and only take the necessities you need for a challenging hike.
Blue Gum Walk, Joe’s Mountain Circuit
Blue Gum Walk is one of the most beautiful paths in Sydney. You don’t have to go too far to start this walk. It begins in bushland right by Hornsby town centre. However, it doesn’t take long to reach different types of forests as well as Angophora trees and large water holes. You’ll also come across blue gums, hence the name of this walk. While on this path, you’ll get to walk upstream and reach several small cascades on your way to cross Waitara Creek.
Although this walk is mostly flat, prepare to climb a few steep hills. For that reason, this walk is ideal for active people.
Lady Carrington Drive
Lady Carrington Drive is one of the longest walks in Sydney, but it’s also easy. You don’t have to be an avid hiker to conquer this trail. Basically, Lady Carrington Drive is a historic carriage route extending from Audley in the north to Sir Bertram Stevens Drive in the south.
Walking down this trail will take you about three hours, but you can also ride a bicycle and complete it in one to two hours. Regardless of the method you choose, you will come across more than 15 creeks and learn their Aboriginal names. Along Lady Carrington Drive you will see blue gums, rainforest patches, and turpentine.
Excellent for bird-watching, this route provides a wonderful experience. Plus, you can hear the lyrebird’s mimicking call. Along the way, you will also find some practical picnic stops where you can take a break and eat something.
If you’re traveling by bicycle, make sure to give way to walkers or hikers that are exploring this path.
Best Sydney coastal walks
Coastal walks have many physical and psychological benefits. Ocean air and that well-known scent, calming scenery, and beautiful paths are some of the many reasons to consider taking coastal walks in Sydney. Here are the best options you may want to consider.
Bondi to Coogee
Bondi to Coogee coastal walk is one of the most popular attractions in Sydney. Bondi is among the most popular beaches in the city and also the name of the suburb. Coogee is also a suburb. You can start this path at Bondi Icebergs swimmers club which overlooks the well-known Bondi beach.
As you’re taking this path, you will have an uninterrupted view of the ocean and observe the golden sand of beaches and clifftops. Beaches you’re going to see on this walk include Tamarama beach, Clovelly beach, Bronte beach, and Gordon’s bay.
Wattamolla to Eagle Rock (Royal National Park)
While this walk may seem long, it’s totally worth it even if you’re a beginner. The reason is simple, you’ll get an opportunity to see the best waterfall around – Curracurrong Falls, a twin waterfall that drops into the ocean from a cliff.
It won’t take longer than three hours to complete this walk. During summer it’s nice to walk down this route at sunset. You’ll find the view breathtaking, especially when night comes along and you see stars gracing the sky.
The path itself is mostly flat and you don’t have to be an expert hiker to complete it. There aren’t many climbs, but those that exist are gradual.
The Cape Baily Track (Botany Bay National Park)
This scenic coastal walk extends from Cape Solander to Cape Baily Lighthouse. This path offers marvellous ocean views from the cliffs. The trail hardly features any climbing meaning it’s a great choice even if you’re not an avid hiker. However, since the surface is uneven in some parts you may want to get quality hiking footwear.
Compared to many other walks around Sydney, this path isn’t as busy. The Cape Baily Track is known as a whale-watching spot, so you may get lucky and see one or more of them.
You can start The Cape Baily Track walk at a car park in Cape Solander. Keep in mind you will need to pay a parking fee. You can also start from Polo Street, which is free but longer. Choose the option that suits you best.
Manly to Spit Bridge Walk
If you’re into longer paths, this one is a great choice. With almost 10km in length, Manly to Spit Bridge, that spans across Middle Harbour, walk offers something to everyone. It’s a type of walk that has it all including gorgeous bushland, secret beaches, amazing harbour views, and so much more. While on a coastal walk, you get there through areas of native bush habitat and subtropical rainforest. This moderate-level path includes areas within Sydney Harbour National Park.
Be prepared for some short steep hills and choose footwear accordingly. On this walk, you can also see Grotto Point Lighthouse, Crater Crove, Reef Beach, and Aboriginal rock carvings at Castle Rock Beach. Indeed, reasons to choose this coastal walk are numerous. If you’re just visiting Sydney, this walk is perfect because it offers different terrains and views in one single path. Just store your luggage so it’s safe and head on to Manly to Spit Bridge Walk.
Figure Eight Pools (NSW National Parks)
Figure Eight Pools is a coastal rock shelf in Royal National Park. The rock shelf has pools of water with interesting shapes. While the name of these pools is in the plural, only one pool is shaped like 8, but others are also impressive to see as well.
Although it’s not a very long walk, the difficulty level is hard because it can be quite dangerous. People are advised to visit this area during low tide only. Use a wave risk forecast to plan your trip there. When the wave risk forecast is extreme you could risk getting severe injuries. For that reason, be wise and plan your walk to Figure Eight Pools only when it’s safe and you’ll absolutely love it.
You start the walk at the Garawarra Farm car park and go down the steep hill where you’ll reach the Coast Track. Then, you just follow the track to Burning Palms Beach and continue walking south to Figure Eight Pools.
Wattamolla to Little Marley Beach walking trail
Wattamolla to Little Marley Beach is among the prettiest trails in the Royal National Park. It’s well-signposted and consists mostly of boardwalks, which means it’s a great choice for people of all fitness levels. Whether you’re going there alone, with friends, or with family one thing is certain – you’re going to love this path, its cliff-top views, and wild beaches.
As you’re walking down this trail, you’re going to reach the Wattamolla Dam, which is known as a wild swimming spot. This area is particularly amazing if you are into bird-watching, there are tons of them and you’ll love their calls as well.
When you reach Little Marley beach you can watch the waves hitting the shores and enjoy the view.
Best Sydney harbour walks
Sydney harbour is truly magnificent. If you want to see more of the harbour alongside the city skyline, the expanse of water, and breathtaking scenery, you should check out these amazing harbour walks around Sydney.
Cremorne Point Walk
People who are into short walks will definitely love this 3.3km path. Although short, Cremorne Point Walk has a lot to offer and it’s perfect for those moments when you just want to relax and enjoy the views of Sydney Harbour, the city skyline, and Mosman Bay.
While street parking is available in the northern area of Cremorne Point, it’s a lot more fun to catch a ferry. Not only are you going to see an adorable lighthouse on this walk, but there’s also a secret garden. The path is paved for the most part, which makes walking a lot easier. The only uphill area is when you have to cross between the eastern and western sides of the path.
Balls Head to Lavender Bay
This stunning walk, whose starter point is Waverton Train Station, offers incredible views of the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House. As you walk down this path, you’ll also come across bushland and reach Wendy Whiteley’s Secret Garden. There’s also ancient Aboriginal carving down this trail.
As you move from the Waverton Train Station, you reach Lavender Bay and finish the walk under the magnificent Harbour Bridge. Lavender Bay is incredibly photogenic, which is amazing if you are into photography.
Rose Bay to Watsons Bay walking track
Rose Bay to Watsons Bay walking track starts and ends with a ferry trip, which can be quite relaxing (and romantic if you’re walking with a significant other). The path starts at Rose Bay Ferry Wharf and offers secret beaches with marvellous views of the Harbour Bridge. There are also pockets of rainforest, which give this path a dose of adventure. The good thing is that there is no difficult terrain and you’ll find plenty of picnic stops where you can rest and eat something.
Taronga Zoo to Balmoral Beach Walk
This particular walk has several names depending on where you start and finish. Other names include Bardleys Head to Chowder Bay and Middle Head walk. Throughout this path, you will come across the bushland of Sydney Harbour National Park, the old Naval Base, harbour beaches, harbour views, Sydney Harbour Maritime Institute, and cafes and restaurants at Chowder Bay.
The path starts at the back of the zoo and takes around two hours to complete if you walk at an average pace. There is also Bradleys Head Amphitheatre worth visiting.
As you finish this walk you will realise why Balmoral Beach is considered the prettiest harbour beach. Visitors love how calm the area is, the shaded park, the clean water, and the great views. There are a lot of places where you can eat, sit back, and relax.
Harbour Bridge Walk
Although short, this walk is a must in Sydney. There is no better way to witness the beauty of this city and its spectacular harbour and Opera House. Plus, it’s the only way to gaze upon the harbour from above. Whether you’re a pedestrian or a cyclist, you’ll love this walk. Don’t worry, you’re on opposite sides of the bridge. As a pedestrian, you won’t have to be on the lookout for cyclists and vice versa.
There are two access points to the bridge for pedestrians. They are Bridge Stairs in The Rocks and Bridge Stairs in Milsons Point. All you have to do is to enter the building in The Rocks, walk up the stairs, and just follow the signs that will take you to the bridge. When it comes to the other access point, you’ll find a staircase right next to the pedestrian tunnel at the Broughton and Burton Street intersection.
Since it’s a one-way path, it doesn’t really matter where you start. Returning from this walk is simple. One option is a train between Milsons Point and Wynyard while the alternative is to catch a ferry between Milsons Point and Circular Quay.
South Head Heritage Trail
South Head Heritage Trail is short and easy, but still has plenty to offer. It will take you to scenic beaches and great spots with views of the harbour. In addition to harbour views, South Head Heritage Trail is also known for whale-watching from the Hornby Lighthouse. Plus, the path also takes you to the military remnants that give you a glimpse of history.
The path starts at Camp Cove in Watsons Bay. From there you follow the cobblestone road from the 1870s to reach Lady Bay Beach and move along to the lighthouse with red and white stripes.
How to get the most from Sydney walks?
There are dozens of walks in and around Sydney. Each path offers a great experience, but the tips below will help you get the most every time. So, here they are:
Choose wisely – not all walks are the same. They offer different views and types of terrain. Take some time to consider your preferences. Do you prefer the coast, bushland, or maybe harbor? Choose the path that meets your needs the most. Of course, you should also make your choice based on your fitness levels
Secure your luggage – if you’re not from Sydney and want to see as much as possible, there is no point taking all the luggage with you. Make sure you store it at a storage place and then you’re ready
Plan your trip – many paths are short and easy, and they don’t require a lot of planning. Others do, not just because of length, but due to the terrain. Plan your trip so that you take everything you need for your walk whether it’s coastal, bushland, or something else.
Equipment – to get the most from the best walks in Sydney, you also need to make sure you take proper equipment. Regardless of the walk or distance, you should always take a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen. Wear adequate footwear, especially in bushland. You want your shoes to be comfortable, yet sturdy and protective. You will also need a rucksack, walking poles, a water bottle, and comfortable yet protective clothes that keep you warm. Dress in layers so you can take something off when it’s warm. Insect repellent is also useful, especially in bushland.
There are many ways to explore Sydney and see why it’s such an amazing city. But, the best thing to do is to opt for walking. Sydney is home to dozens of paths and trails that are usually easy to moderate in terms of difficulty. Some paths are short whereas others are longer. What they all have in common is that they take you to some of the best spots with outstanding views. This post featured the best walks in Sydney. Choose the type of setting you prefer, get ready, and start walking. You’ll love it.