The 10 Best Bushwalks near Sydney, Australia

Wattamolla Beach
Wattamolla Beach | © Jayphen / Flickr
Tom Smith

Sydney might be better known for its beaches, but the Harbour City also provides plenty of scenic bushland to explore on foot. Lace up your walking shoes and pack plenty of water because we’re going on an adventure along these 10 spectacular Sydney bushwalks.

1. Spit Bridge to Manly

Natural Feature

Clontarf Beach © Graeme Churchard / Flickr
© Graeme Churchard / Flickr

This 10km trail hugs the northern edge of Sydney Harbour, taking in some of the city’s most stunning secret beaches. Beginning at the Spit Bridge in Mosman and winding up in beachside Manly, remember to pack your togs so you can have a dip at beaches like Clontarf, Fisher Bay and Forty Baskets Beach along the way. If you’ve got any energy left when you arrive in Manly, explore the rugged clifftops of North Head, too.

2. Taronga Zoo to Balmoral

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Manly ferry passes Middle Head © Graeme Churchard / Flickr
© Graeme Churchard / Flickr

Another epic harbour walk on the northern side of the Bridge, this medium-difficulty 6.5km trail links Sydney’s famed zoo with one of the city’s most underrated beaches. After you’ve visited the animals at Taronga, splash around in Taylors Bay and Clifton Gardens before following the coast along Middle Head and ending up in leafy Balmoral.

3. Three Sisters Walk

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Three Sisters, Blue Mountains © Kim / Flickr
© Kim / Flickr

It might only be one kilometre long, but every visitor to Sydney needs to include the Three Sisters Walk on their itinerary. This family-friendly trail links Echo Point in Katoomba with the towering rock formation, offering a postcard-perfect vista of the Blue Mountains’ most iconic landmark. Try the Grand Canyon Walk, the Six Foot Track, the National Pass and the Great Round Walk for more challenging adventures in the region west of Sydney.

4. The Coast Track

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Visitors sit on Wedding Cake Rock © Philip Terry Graham / Flickr
© Philip Terry Graham / Flickr

The 15,000 hectares of bushland in the Royal National Park south of Sydney contain more than a dozen bushwalks, and the Coast Track is the biggest of the lot. The two-day, 26km journey connects Bundeena and Otford via beautiful beaches, secret swimming spots, wild native vegetation, and stunning lookouts, including the bright white Wedding Cake Rock, clinging to the clifftop.

5. Berowra to Cowan

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Berowra Waters © FotoSleuth / Flickr
© FotoSleuth / Flickr

The Great North Walk is an epic 250km adventure from Sydney to Newcastle, but if you can’t afford to spend a couple of weeks trekking up the coast, enjoy a little taste between Berowra and Cowan. This 13km bushwalk has a train station conveniently located at either end, with the Naa Badu Lookout and the serene Berowra Waters in between.

6. Narrabeen Lagoon Trail

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Narrabeen lagoon © Shutterstock
© Shutterstock

This 8.5km track was opened to cyclists and walkers in 2015, allowing bushwalkers to experience the pristine bushland that surrounds this tranquil Northern Beaches lake. A boardwalk and bridges form a loop around Narrabeen Lagoon, which is home to a third of Sydney’s bird species as well as bats, frogs, lizards and a rich diversity of fish.

7. Aboriginal Heritage Walk

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Red Hands Cave in the Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park © Jeppe2011 / Flickr
© Jeppe2011 / Flickr

The Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park is full of walks worth doing—don’t miss the Barrenjoey Lighthouse for breathtaking vistas over Palm Beach—but none are as significant as this 4.4km loop. The Aboriginal Heritage Walk combines Resolute and West Head walking tracks with Red Hands Cave, which provides a canvas for ancient Indigenous rock art.

8. Kiama Coast Walk

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Kiama © russellstreet / Flickr
© russellstreet / Flickr

Located two hours’ drive south of Sydney, this seaside stroll is broken into three parts—Minnamurra to Blowhole Point (three hours), Blowhole Point to Kiama Heights (90 minutes), and Kiama Heights to Gerringong (two hours). Whichever segment you tackle, the sparkling South Coast is peppered with gorgeous swimming spots and sweeping views of the Pacific—don’t miss the chance to watch humpback whales migrating up and down the coast during winter.

9. Bouddi Coastal Walk

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Bouddi Coastal Walk © Brian Giesen / Flickr
© Brian Giesen / Flickr

This long but gentle 8km walk follows the windswept coastline of the Central Coast north of Sydney, twisting through shady rainforest, craggy clifftops, and secluded beaches. The Bouddi Coastal Walk connects the town of Killcare with Macmasters Beach, the perfect place to pop in for a dip after you’ve conquered the hike.

10. Mermaid Pools and Tahmoor Gorge

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Mermaid Pools, Tahmoor © Andrew Harvey / Flickr
© Andrew Harvey / Flickr

Fans of chasing waterfalls need to visit Mermaid Pools at the start of Tahmoor Gorge in the Southern Highlands. A 10km circuit starts at the picturesque natural pool—swimming is considered dangerous, FYI—before looping around the gorge, a difficult trek that’s rewarded with impressive views of this quintessentially Australian landscape.

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