Nature and parks in Sydney
No trip to Sydney is complete without spending some time in the city’s beautiful parks. Whether it’s in central areas like Hyde Park or the Royal Botanic Gardens or further out in Centennial Parklands, there’s plenty of green space to go out and enjoy, even when winter comes knocking. There are bushwalks aplenty, and popular coastal walks take you by some of Sydney’s most spectacular views.
Sydney's natural wonders and attractions
With its rich natural environment, Sydney has some of the country’s best hiking trails and most relaxing leafy parks.
One of the best ways to enjoy Sydney's stunning natural attractions is on a coastal trail such as the Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk. It’s not only a great year-round workout, you’ll also discover secret nooks for picnics, be able to grab a coffee at a beachfront cafe along the way, or simply sit down and take in the spectacular views.
Leafy Centennial Parklands is an idyllic spot for cycling, walking, rollerblading and horseriding with plenty of room to move – 360 hectares, in fact. The Royal Botanic Gardens in the heart of the city is peaceful and beautiful. Lie back under a shady tree and watch the world go by or enjoy the views over Sydney Harbour. More central still is Hyde Park, home to Sydney’s ANZAC Memorial.
Sydney Harbour is the gateway to a world of natural attractions. Navigate your way around the inner-harbour islands by ferry, or hire a kayak and paddle your way to a secluded harbour beach for some peace and quiet.
A short drive from the city reveals even more beauty. The world’s second-oldest national park, the Royal National Park, lies to the south of the city, while the Blue Mountains World Heritage Area is a scenic 90-minute drive west of the city. Both are popular tourist attractions and fantastic destinations for a range of outdoor activities ranging from bushwalks and hiking to camping, mountain biking, abseiling and canyoning. You’ll discover wetlands, eucalypt woodlands, rugged bushland, lush rainforests and sandstone gorges. With stunning photo opportunities at every turn, you’ll come away feeling refreshed and invigorated.
It's rare for busy global cities to be surrounded by nature. However Sydney has it all with its unique Sydney Harbour National Park. Lane Cove National Park and Ku-ring-gai National Park lie to the north of the city, Blue Mountains National Park to the west and Royal National Park to the south.
Sydney Harbour has several small islands that are accessible by water taxi, by ferry or on a guided tour. Learn about Australia’s colonial heritage and admire the sublime views from Fort Denison, Shark, Clark, Rodd, Goat and Cockatoo Island.
Take to Sydney by foot and you'll be rewarded with beautiful scenery at every turn of the track. Popular walks include the Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk, the harbourside walk along the Manly to Spit Bridge Scenic Walkway or any number of bushland and river trails in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park.
In 1866 Commandment Rock was home to a family who had a small vegetable and strawberry farm. Now, the flat rock and wide stretch of grass is a popular place to picnic or meet up for a barbecue.
7km (one way) - 2 hour - Medium difficulty
Junction walk leaves from Lemon Tree Flat campground, making it a convenient opportunity to strike out into the white cypress pines for a relaxing d...
1km (one way) - 0.25 hour - Easy difficulty
It's a short, easy stroll on North Head walking track from the carpark down through a lovely section of endangered littoral rainforest to the mouth...
48km (one way) - 48 hour - Hard difficulty
Explore the rugged and remote landscape of Parr State Conservation Area on foot, by mountain bike or in a 4WD along Womerah Range trail. This steep ...
Waterfall Flat picnic area could be your first port of call on a day trip to Royal National Park. Near Waterfall, it's also a great spot for getting the bikes out ready for a cycle tour, or a perfect ...www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/royal-national-park/waterfall-flat-picnic-area/picnic-bbq
Fibrosa Pavilion is one of two picnic pavilions in Rouse Hill Regional Park. It's suitable for small or large gatherings alike, and because it's at the highest point of the park, there are scenic view...www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/rouse-hill-regional-park/fibrosa-pavilion/picnic-bbq
The Rock Lookout area of Blue Mountains National Park is situated within the historic Mulgoa Valley, only minutes from the bustling city of Penrith. A short track of a few hundred metres leads to 'The...
You'll find the idyllic Bottle and Glass Point in the Eastern Suburbs' renowned Nielsen Park. In this flat, grassy area you'll not only enjoy magnificent views over Vaucluse Bay - gorgeous surrounding...www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/sydney-harbour-national-park/bottle-and-glass-point/picnic-bbq