SYDNEY’S TOP TEN DAY WALKS
One thing Sydney is blessed with is natural beauty – from one of the world’s most famous harbours, to the coastal areas offering magnificent views of the Tasman sea, and lush bushland that spreads throughout the city’s urban fringe.
And one the best things is you can immerse yourself in all this natural beauty by putting one foot in front of the other, so here are our ten ten Sydney day walks.
Sydney Circular Quay to Balmoral (16km one way, 7 hours)
This walk, with its wonderful bushland, awesome harbour views and well formed tracks is the perfect place to be a tourist in your own city. Local cafes add to the joy. Easy public transport options mean you can start or finish at different points. The section from Circular Quay to Taronga Zoo is 10km/3-4 hours, but add the Taronga Zoo to Balmoral section, which is another 6.8km/90min.
Manly to the Spit (9.5km one way, 3-4 hours)
This popular track is a mix of solid paths and pleasant bush trails. It heads through a diverse range of forests and passes by some pretty and secluded bays and beaches. Make time for the side-trips to the Grotto Point Aboriginal engravings and up to Arabanoo Lookout. They are definitely worth the effort. And you’ll find plenty of places to eat and drink around Manly so make sure you leave time for that.
Bondi to Coogee (6km one way, 2 hours)
A cliff top coastal walk, the Bondi to Coogee walk extends for 6km in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs. The walk features stunning views, beaches, parks, cliffs, bays and rock pools. The beaches and parks offer a place to rest, swim or a chance to eat at one of the cafes, hotels, restaurants. There are public transport options on either side of the walk if you’re coming from the city.
Jerusalem Bay Track – Cowan to Brooklyn (13km one way, 6 hours)
This is part of the Great North Walk, that epic 250km track that runs from the city of Sydney north to Newcastle. This section is a hard walk, with plenty of ups and down, but it has amazing views of the Hawkesbury River and good wildflowers in late winter and spring. And, it can be done using public transport, walking from one train station to the next. The other goods news is it ends right next to a pub. Just saying!
Mt Kuringai to Cowan (via Berowra Waters) (17.6 km, 8 hours)
If you want to get your heart rate up this is the walk for you. It climbs up and over two ranges with a cumulative ascent of more than 1100m for the day! There are spectacular views along the ridge tops, there are creek crossings, and did I mention the ascents and descents. You can refuel midway by taking the short, and free, ferry ride across to Berowra Waters for lunch before returning to resume your walk.
Mount Ku-ring-gai track to Berowra Station (10km one-way, 3.5 hours)
Only an hour from Sydney, it’s a great bush getaway taking in several fascinating historic sites. Mount Ku-ring-gai track links Mount Ku-ring-gai and Berowra train stations, so it’s a perfect day out by public transport. Starting from Mount Ku-ring-gai Train Station, this moderately challenging track leads through dense woodlands past an Aboriginal midden. Middens are common throughout the park and often found along creek lines and near rock overhangs.
Barrenjoey Lighthouse Walk (2km, 1 hour)
This short but strenuous walk, heads straight up a steep sandy trail, with steps and rocky lookout points, but the sweaty ascent is short and the views at the top are well worth it. As you’re climbing, look back at Palm Beach on the left (east) and Pittwater to the right (west). There is an access trail, which cuts out some of the climb but is still steep and narrow.
Bouddi Coastal Walk (8.5km one way, 4.5 hours)
This walk is actually on the Central Coast but, its stunning beaches, cliffs, flower rich coastal heath and woodland are all within easy access of the city. From May to October, you can spot migrating whales from the numerous lookouts along the track and definitely pack your swimmers because this walk passes some drop-dead gorgeous beaches.
The Big Marley walk (14km return, 5 hours)
Big Marley and Little Marley beaches have to be two of Sydney’s most beautiful beaches. This is an awesome day out, either drive, or catch a ferry from Cronulla, to the quaint little seaside village of Bundeena where the walk starts. The track hugs the coast as it heads south and the views along the cliffs are astounding but when you crest the headland and get views of Big Marley beach you’ll feel the love.
Royal Coast Walk, Otford to Garrie Beach (10km one way, 3 hours)
Nudist beaches, the famous Figure of Eight rock pool, stunning costal cliffs and pristine beaches. This walk has it all! From Garrie Beach you can continue on to Wallamolla for a total of 18km, or, how about doing the whole Royal Coast Walk in one day if you have the legs for the 28km one-way hike. Most people do this over two days, camping overnight at North Era Campsite. You can also make a 10km circuit by starting at Otford then walking as far as Burning Palms and returning via Garrawarra Ridge.