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.
2.5km (one way) - 1.5 hour - Medium difficulty
Wolli Creek walking track is a 2.5km section of the Two Valley trail, linking Campsie to Bexley North via a riverside trail that passes through ...
Australia's second-oldest national park, Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park is a recreational favourite for locals and visitors alike. This large park, located in Sydney's north, lets you feel at one wit...www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/ku-ring-gai-chase-national-park
'Crosslands Reserve' has been maintained by Hornsby Shire Council since 1921. In 1987 the reserve was incorporated into Berowra Valley Bushland Park, forming 38 square kilometres of bushland, stretchi...www.hornsby.nsw.gov.au/my-lifestyle/sports-and-recreation/parks-and-playgrounds/hornsby-heights/crosslands-reserve
When you feel the need for a quick nature escape but don't have the time to get out of town, why not enjoy a weekend getaway in your own city? South of the harbour, between South Head and Camp Cove, t...www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/sydney-harbour-national-park/lady-bay-beach/swim-surf
1.4km (one way) - 1 hour - Medium difficulty
The short South Head Heritage trail offers something for everyone; incredible beach and harbour views, a glimpse into history and excellent whale ...
3.2km (one way) - 1.5 hour - Hard difficulty
Seaforth Oval to Natural Bridge track is a scenic walk that's full of history, but that's not all that'll get your pulse racing. The descent into ...
1.5km (one way) - 1 hour - Easy difficulty
One of Sydney's great coastal walks, the easy Hermitage Foreshore track offers up stunning views of Sydney's harbour, islands and icons. Be sure to ...