The Best Bushwalks in and around Sydney

See this stunning city from a different perspective and roam its glorious bushwalking tracks. More than just a good ol’ walk, bushwalking offers sights, smells and sounds you can’t get walking the day-to-day footpath.

It’s done in natural and green areas, and offers the promise of unique plants and wildlife you’d never spot on a city street. From paths that hug the coastline to routes in majestic bushlands, greater Sydney has something for everyone to enjoy.

 

Aboriginal Heritage walk

West Head in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, Sydney

Steeped in Aboriginal history, this loop features ancient rock engravings and art of the traditional owners of the land. Starting from the Resolute picnic area in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, the route takes you to West Head lookout and back.

West Head offers impressive views of Pittwater, Barrenjoey Lighthouse and beaches as far as Patonga and Umina. Lush picnic spots and native birds are a many, so pack your binoculars and food for lunch.

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  • Distance: 4.4km loop
  • Duration: 3.3hr
  • Difficulty: Medium – steep gradients, many steps, a rough track, some bushwalking experience is recommended.

 

Jellybean track

Jelly Bean Pool Glenbrook Blue Mountains National Park

This return trail is a great way to introduce kids to bushwalking and the Blue Mountains National Park. Stay alert for bird watching opportunities with kestrels, rainbow lorikeets and blue kingfisher about.

The jewel of this walk is the pretty Jellybean Pool. Follow the track down the hill so you can cool off in blissful waters. Swimmers, binoculars and a picnic rug are a must. There’s a car park close by that gets busy on the weekends, so be sure to get there early.

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  • Distance: 1km loop
  • Duration: 1hr
  • Difficulty: Medium – there are steps and gentle hills.

 

O’Hares Creek lookout walking track

Jingga walking track, Dharawal National Park

Just south of Campbelltown you’ll discover a family-friendly bushwalk that’s only a short drive from Sydney’s CBD in Dharawal National Park. The track offers plenty of bird watching and wildlife-spotting opportunities. As you walk past tall scribbly gums and red bloodwoods look out for goannas, wallabies and the nectar loving Holland honeyeater.

The walk extends to O’Hares Creek lookout where you can eat your packed lunch and delight in spectacular views of bushland. If you fancy a dip, continue on to the Jingga walking track where you’ll find a beautiful freshwater swimming hole.

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  • Distance: 2.8km return   
  • Duration: 2hr
  • Difficulty: Easy. A flat and firm path, suitable for assisted wheelchair users.

 

Narrabeen Lagoon Trail

Take a bus or car to the Northern Beaches of Sydney for an invigorating bushwalk through ecosystems, past wildlife and over bridges. Relax and take a minute at the Cement Works Lookout for beautiful views across the lagoon.

This trail caters for everyone with wheelchair access from the Berry, Jamieson, Middle Creek and Bilarong car parks, and toilets at several locations. Pack a picnic to have at one of the many BBQ and picnic areas, otherwise pull up a chair at a cafe found on the route.

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  • Distance: 8.6km loop
  • Duration: 2-3hr
  • Difficulty: Easy

 

Wentworth Falls track

Couple enjoying a walk along the Wentworth Falls Track in the Blue Mountains National Park

The return walk starts at Wentworth Falls picnic area and takes you to a popular waterfall of the region, the Wentworth Falls waterfall. There are a few vantage points to view the magnificence of Wentworth Falls but the best on this track is Fletcher’s lookout.

This moderate bushwalk is perfect if you plan on visiting other sights in the Blue Mountains. In that case, check out nearby Wentworth Falls village, one of the most beautiful towns in the area. Take a few more steps down and check out where Jamison Creek cascades into a shallow pool.

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  • Distance: 1.4km return
  • Duration: 1hr
  • Difficulty: Medium  many steps, short steep hills.

 

America Bay walking track

West Head - Best Walks in Sydney

Located in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, this trail runs through breathtaking bushland to America Bay. Start from West Head Road in the West Head and Basin precincts of Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park where parking is available. 

The end destination offers wonderful views across Cowan Waters and a picturesque ocean waterfall. In spring you’ll see an abundance of wildflowers, and in winter, whales that migrate up the coastline. No matter what the season, pack a picnic rug for a perfect off-the-beaten-track picnic spot.

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  • Distance: 1.8km loop
  • Duration: 1-2hr
  • Difficulty: Medium – moderate fitness required for short steep hills and occasional steps.

 

Rigby Hill walking track

Rigby Hill Lookout Blue Mountains National Park

For a relaxing bushwalk, head to Rigby Hill in the Blue Mountains National Park. It’s a return walk from Pierces Pass with a gentle hill climb to spectacular views of Perrys Lookdown, and across the Grose Wilderness and Grose River.

You can get to the track from Bells Line of Road, between the Mount Wilson and Mount Banks turnoffs, down Pierces Pass Road. There’s a picnic area at the start of the trail, so once you’ve taken in the sights, head back for a lunch break or snack.

If you decide to tackle the Pierces Pass trail, which starts from the same spot, be prepared. It's a 16km return walk that can take up to eight hours, so it’s one for experienced bushwalkers only.

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  • Distance: 1.2km loop
  • Duration: 1hr
  • Difficulty: Easy

 

Bradleys Head to Balmoral Beach

Bradleys Head to Chowder Bay walk passes through remanant Sydney rainforest near Taylors Bay

Capture amazing views of Sydney Harbour as you bushwalk from Taronga Zoo, past Chowder Bay and onto Balmoral Beach. You’ll take in famous landmarks, the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge while boats and ferries sail past. History lovers should stop off at Bradleys Head to check out military relics including a battery built in 1839.

There are cafes at Chowder Bay to buy lunch, or pack a picnic and roll out your rug at nearby Clifton Gardens. The beautiful Balmoral beach also offers cafes and is the perfect end destination to relax and re-energise.

It’s a one-way track so you’ll need to organise transport at the end. Jump on a bus or ferry, or take the walk back to your car.

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  • Distance: 6km one way
  • Duration: 2hr
  • Difficulty: Medium

 

Spit Bridge to Manly Walk

Friends enjoying stunning coastal views of Sydney Harbour from Dobroyd Head, Balgowlah Heights.

For a tranquil experience, go north of Sydney’s CBD and walk from the Spit Bridge, Mosman, to Manly wharf. You can start the stretch at either end and from the CBD, catch a ferry to Manly wharf or a bus to Mosman.

Prepare to see a collection of locations that make Sydney alluring. You’ll trek through tree canopies and native bushland, and past secluded inlets and family-friendly rock pools. Look out for Aboriginal rock engravings by the local Cammeraygal people, and take a detour to the Grotto Point Lighthouse, an active beacon near Dobroyd Head.

There are plenty of hidden beaches for a refreshing dip. Grab a bite to eat and a refreshing drink at the many cafes, restaurants and bars that bookend the walk, or along the way at Clontarf Reserve.

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  • Distance: 10km one way
  • Duration: 3-4hr
  • Difficulty: Medium – sections of uneven stairs.

 

Lake Parramatta Circuit

Lake Parramatta Reserve at sunset in North Parramatta, Sydney West

Head west of Sydney’s CBD to North Parramatta and find a bushwalk that follows the edge of a decommissioned dam now called Parramatta Lake. Take the loop and explore unspoilt bushland featuring wildflowers, shrubs, trees and grasses of the Sydney Sandstone Gully Forest.

The bushland is also home to smooth-barked apple and blackbutt trees where sugar gliders and echidnas nestle. In summer you can enjoy a refreshing dip in the lake and other nearby facilities such as a playground, public toilets, picnic and BBQ area, a cafe and boat hire.

To get there, park your car at the 68 spot car park or take public transport via train and bus. You can enter via Lackey Street via Bourke Street North Parramatta. Avoid the walk in wet weather as it becomes impassable.

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  • Distance: 4.3km
  • Duration: 2hr
  • Difficulty: Medium – uneven surfaces.