Exploring Sydney on foot reveals charms that are both familiar and unexpected. Best of all, you can choose from a range of walks – from harbourside hikes to off-the-grid trails. Amble along in awe while admiring Sydney Harbour and its surrounding beaches and national parks.
Sydney Harbour walks
One of the best city walks in the world starts at Woolloomooloo or Barangaroo and follows the harbour foreshore past Sydney Opera House, Sydney Harbour Bridge and Royal Botanic Garden. Stop at Mrs Macquarie's Chair to take some pictures (then upload them to Instagram with the #ilovesydney hashtag).
The 30km trek from Sydney Harbour Bridge to South Head is considered one of the best coastal walks in the world. The Heritage-Listed Barrenjoey Lighthouse – which sits at Sydney's most northerly point – is another famous Sydney attraction, perched on Barrenjoey Head along the sun-beaten path from Palm Beach.
Hermitage Foreshore Track begins in Nielsen Park and winds past the heritage-listed Strickland House to Milk Beach, a small sandy beach regarded as one of Sydney’s best-kept secrets. Join friendly locals along the walking trail, which offers stunning harbour views of Shark Island and Sydney Harbour Bridge.
Sydney coastal walks
Another beautiful walk is the Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk. A little further north is Gap Park in Watsons Bay, the start of the Federation Cliff Walk, which winds along the Pacific Ocean to Australia’s oldest lighthouse. You can also find dog-friendly walks in the city or take guided walking tours with locals
Malabar Headland National Park’s Western Escarpment walking track near Maroubra, south of Coogee, feels a world away from Sydney's bustling metropolis. The path, which is edged by rugged coastline and boasts views of Botany Bay, is teeming with wattlebirds, honeyeaters and fairy wrens.
Walk between Australia’s two most famous surf beaches on the new Bondi to Manly Walk. The 80km trail passes landmarks like South Head, the Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney Harbour Bridge, Bradley’s Head and the Spit Bridge. You can tackle short sections or complete the whole track over multiple days.
Walks in national parks
The Royal National Park in Sydney’s south is Australia’s oldest national park and a bushwalker's paradise. Walk along empty beaches and tree-lined tracks on the outskirts of the park to find rock carvings from thousands of years ago. For campers and hikers, the Coast Track is a wonderful two-day adventure.
Take the well-trodden 10km Manly to Spit Bridge Walk and Manly Lagoon to North Head Walk in Sydney’s north to appreciate the jewel that is Sydney Harbour. Discover Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park with EcoTreasures or Sydney Outback and explore Red Hands Cave, home Aboriginal hand paintings.