National Parks in Sydney
Most people don't think of nature breaks when visiting a city. But Sydney has spectacular national parks where wilderness, culture and colonial heritage overlap. Go off the grid while bushwalking, camping, picnicking or hiking, enjoy magnificent views and spot wildlife such as kangaroos and kookaburras.
Royal National Park
The Royal National Park in Sydney's south was founded in 1879 and is Australia's oldest national park. It’s known for it by rugged cliffs, windswept beaches and indigenous rock art. Travel by train to Cronulla then by ferry to Bundeena, where you can rent a kayak and paddle on tranquil waterways. Don’t miss a swim at pretty Wattamolla Beach.
You can enjoy island picnics, foreshore walks in enchanting forests, and learn about the city's history and heritage while overlooking iconic attractions in Sydney Harbour National Park. Catch a Captain Cook Cruises’ ferry from Circular Quay to Shark Island, with its stunning views of the city skyline and harbour.
Camping and convict sites
Get close to nature at Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park in Sydney’s north, which is popular for bushwalking, camping and kayaking and contains significant indigenous rock art. Follow the Red Hands Cave walking track through a grove of red gums to a cave with ancient ochre handprints.
The convict-built Old Great North Road, near Wisemans Ferry in the Hawkesbury, is a World Heritage-listed attraction in Dharug National Park. Closer to the city centre is Lane Cove National Park, a pretty, sun-dappled pocket of bushland with picnic tables, barbecues, a heritage trail and rowboats for rent.
You can walk, camp, surf and kayak in Sydney's national parks, too. Barefoot Downunder and Sydney Coast Walks offer experiences that include cultural tours to indigenous rock art. Join Go Beyond Tours, Sydney Outback or EcoTreasures for memorable adventures and tours in Kur-ring-gai.
You’ll find more information on NSW National Parks below. The NSW National Parks app also contains downloadable maps.