With famous Taronga Zoo, fun Luna Park and iconic Manly Beach, Sydney’s north is wonderfully captivating. There is much more to discover, from beautiful national parks to gleaming waterways, from intriguing heritage to great outdoor adventures. You can even skipper a river houseboat.
Public transport is available to many popular attractions. Ferries depart from Circular Quay across sparkling Sydney Harbour for Manly, Taronga Zoo in Mosman and Luna Park, a beautifully restored 1930s amusement park next to the Sydney Harbour Bridge. There are buses to gorgeous Palm Beach.
Hop on a train for historic Windsor, Australia’s third-oldest colonial settlement in the Hawkesbury region. Or take a train across the world’s largest steel arch bridge to North Sydney and Chatswood for dazzling theatre and shows and to the Hornsby shire for Australia’s second-oldest national park.
Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park fans northeast to Pittwater, a glittering waterway in the Northern Beaches. A ferry from Church Point or Palm Beach will take you across Pittwater to the splendid national park, where the Red Hands Cave walking track leads to ancient Aboriginal hand paintings.
Other national parks include Lane Cove National Park, northwest of Chatswood, and Berowra Valley National Park near Hornsby. The World Heritage walk on the convict-built Old North Road is in Dharug National Park near Wisemans Ferry, on the banks of the meandering Hawkesbury River.
An enticing range of tours is available, including Hawkesbury River cruises, surfing lessons in Manly, snorkelling in a marine sanctuary, and kayaking and sailing on Sydney Harbour. Bring your mountain bike and explore bush trails, or hire a bicycle in Manly and ride to North Head for spectacular views.
Pretty Balmoral Beach, near Taronga Zoo, is a charming spot for a picnic. You’ll find many more picnic spots in Sydney’s north as well as delicious waterside restaurants. For that special occasion, fly in a seaplane from Rose Bay to acclaimed waterfront restaurants in the Hawkesbury and Pittwater.