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.
The City's renewal of Paddington Reservoir Gardens on Oxford Street won the prestigious 2009 Australian Award for Urban Design, from a field of 42 nominated projects. Sustainable Sydney 2030 rece...www.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/residents/parksandleisure/ParksPublicOpenSpace/PaddingtonReservoirGardens.asp
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
13km (return) - 5 hour (each way) - Medium difficulty
Discover the Hawkesbury Sandstone ridge tops and explore the tidal creek lines of Marramarra on this beautiful day walk. Enjoy easy walki...
Wolli Creek Regional Park is a long sliver of greenery in Sydney's urban inner southwest; a beautiful gem in the suburbs. It's an important place for the local community and the Wolli Creek Preservati...www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/wolli-creek-regional-park
11km (one way) - 4.5 hour - Hard difficulty
Ever dreamt of completing the legendary Great North walk? Why not try a taster, without wearing out your walking boots? Great North walk - Ku-ring-...
Nestled within Towra Point Nature Reserve near Kurnell, Quibray Bay viewing platform offers magnificent views of maintained, fragile ecosystems without disturbing the surrounding plants and animals.
1km (one way) - 0.5 hour - Easy difficulty
The Fairfax walk offers superb views and an enjoyable, gentle walk. This short paved track starts at the end of North Head Scenic Drive and then loo...
34km (one way) - 24 hour - Medium difficulty
Glenrock State Conservation Area provides excellent opportunities for mountain bike riding. With 14km of purpose-built bike trails and 20km of lin...