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National parks in Sydney

Highlights

National parks around Sydney

One of the best ways to make the most of Sydney's beautiful national parks is to explore them on foot. Bushwalking trails crisscross the national parks close to Sydney: Royal National Park to the south, Blue Mountains National Park 90 minutes from Sydney to the west, Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park and Lane Cove National Park to the north, and Sydney Harbour National Park, which encompasses six foreshore areas north and south of the harbour, plus five Harbour Islands

Must Do

Visit Sydney's National Parks

Hiking at Barranjoey Headland, part of Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park. Image Hamilton Lund

Surrounded by national parks, many within easy reach of the CBD, Sydney offers a diverse landscape of rainforests, rugged bush and marine reserves. Set your sights on some of Sydney's popular natural attractions this winter: Royal National Park, Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park and the world heritage listed Blue Mountains National Park, only 90 minutes' drive from the Sydney CBD. There are walks suited to every fitness level, as well as places to hike, cycle, canoe and sleep under the stars at camping grounds.

Get close to Sydney's wildlife at night with the Royal National Park's Bungoona Moonlight Experience, a walk that takes in the sounds of owls, frogs and other creatures of the night.

Head to the Blue Mountains National Park for abundant wildlife, quiet forest retreats and tranquil freshwater lakes and streams, which provide ample opportunities to swim, walk, camp and picnic. Adventure seekers can get their adrenaline going with a rock climb or canyoning experience tailored for beginners to outdoor veterans.

Lane Cove National Park is a mere 20 minutes' drive from the Sydney CBD and provides a great day out for picnicking, bushwalking and canoeing along the peaceful Lane Cove River. The Lane Cove River Tourist Park offers camping in a lovely leafy location. Choose from well-set-up cabins or pitch a tent – there are barbecues and camp kitchens to make this an enjoyable experience, giving you time to soak up the atmosphere.

Within the heart of the city, Sydney Harbour National Park encompasses stunning foreshore areas and islands. Explore and immerse yourself in its natural beauty with magnificent beaches, inlets and cliffs, or learn about the area's historical significance, which includes 70 Aboriginal sites and 200 historic buildings.

Guided national park walks

Guided tours will enrich your experience of Sydney's national parks. Sydney Coast Walks in The Royal National Park are available as daytrips or overnight stays. Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park's tours range from gentle walks and tours on Aboriginal history. With more than 140 km of walking trails in the Blue Mountains you can take your pick of walks from eco-outings to ghost tours.

Exploring Royal National Park with Royal Coast Walks. Image James Pipino
Discovery Tours with National Parks and Wildlife Services. Image You Shoot for OEH
Discover local flora and fauna

National Park and Wildlife Service rangers lead discovery walks and tours, and provide amazing insights into the secrets of the natural world. Learn about nocturnal wildlife, native plants and Aboriginal history. Most activities run during school holidays.

Snorkeling at Royal National Park in Bundeena. Image James Pipino
Water sports

With an ongoing diversity of lakes, rivers and beaches, Sydney's national parks are ideal for enjoying water sports all year round. Explore the harbour by kayak, go canoeing in the Royal National ParkSouth of Sydney, or try boating or stand-up paddleboarding at The Basin in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park.

Camping at Cockatoo Island. Image Pierre Toussaint
Camping by Sydney Harbour

Enjoy Sydney's mild winter weather and try camping overnight on Cockatoo Island with its spectacular views of Sydney Harbour. Head to Lane Cove National Parkjust 10 km from the heart of Sydney, or experienceRoar and Snore at Taronga Zooto be one with nature.

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