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 ...
Just a short walk from Watsons Bay ferry wharf, wheelchair-accessible Camp Cove boasts millionaire views that are hard to miss. Nestled on the harbour side of South Head, this delightful beach is pack...www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/sydney-harbour-national-park/camp-cove/swim-surf
10km (one way) - 4 hour - Hard difficulty
If you're an adventurous walker, you'll love the Little Bay to Smoky Cape walk. This 10km coastal track begins near Little Bay picnic area in Arakoon...
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
Arabanoo lookout at Dobroyd Head offers fantastic views over to North Head and South Head and the expansive Pacific Ocean. Named in honour of Aboriginal man Arabanoo, the first Aboriginal man to live ...www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/sydney-harbour-national-park/arabanoo-lookout-at-dobroyd-head/lookout
Whether you arrive on your water skis, in your kayak or walk in, this picnic spot won't disappoint. It's in the western most part of the park, so you can only get there on water or on a short walk fro...www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/georges-river-national-park/burrawang-reach-picnic-area/picnic-bbq