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10 Best Places to Go Hiking around Sydney

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The area that surrounds Sydney is packed with fascinating hikes that range from easy walks to a challenging walk-through to nature filled circuit trails that will stun your eyes. Sydney has a plethora of national parks such as Blue Mountain, Kanangra Boyd, Royal, Bouddi and Ku-ring-gai Chase which offer a variety of interesting features from aboriginal rock engravings to lush rainforest to secluded beaches. Take a look at some the special places that are highlighted below and you can find a trail that is tailored to your interest to go hiking in Sydney.

The Grand Canyon Loop

 The Grand Canyon Loop is one of the best hikes in Sydney which has been rewarding hikers with big views of the Blue Mountains, waterfalls and plenty of rainforest since 1907. The moderate to difficult 6 km circuit trail has you descending sharply from the start into lush rainforest where you will be engulfed in greenery. A great place to stop for lunch is the Rotunda which is a huge rock overhang. Other highlights on the trek include vast panoramic views of the Grose Valley at Evans Lookout and glimpses of Beauchamp Falls at Greaves Creek.

Estimated time: 3.5-hours 

Tips:

  • The hike is ideal in summer months when there are cooler temperatures in the canyon.
  • A set of hiking sticks is highly recommended for this trek.

Take a tour of Blue Mountains and opt for the Grand Canyon Loop hike. 

Katoomba Falls Walk

The Katoomba Falls in the Blue Mountains.
The Katoomba Falls

A perfect hike that will take you to a stunning waterfall and offers picturesque views of the Blue Mountains is the Katoomba Falls Walk. The moderate 2km loop trail will have you viewing the Three Sisters, the Kedumba and Jamison Valleys and finally the tumbling waters of Katoomba Falls. As you follow the track you will arrive at Vaniman’s Lookout which offers big views of the iconic Three Sisters rock formations. Your first vantage point to view the 150 m descending waters of Katoomba Falls happens at Juliets Balcony. When you reach the Rainforest Lookout you will marvel at the glory of the Katoomba Falls.

Estimated time: 2-hours

Tip:

  • There are several intersecting routes on this trail. Follow the signage carefully and take a good map of the area.

This tour in Sydney allows you to explore the Blue Mountains and Katoomba Falls along with a tour of the city. 

Bondi to Coogee Walk

Hiking in Sydney is a great way to get around the city.
Bondi to Coogee walk includes some spectacular ocean scenery. 

A walk around Sydney that offers you everything from pristine beaches to spectacular ocean views with plenty of places to relax along the way is the Bondi to Coogee Walk. The first leg of the easy 6 km walk through from Bondi to Bronte showcases the five best beaches of Sydney such as Tamarama Beach where you can marvel at the surfers. The second leg from Bronte to Coogee includes an interesting boardwalk and the Waverley Cemetery. You will be pleased with the views along the way which could include whales during the summer months.

Estimated time: 3.5-hours

Tips:

  • The most challenging point on the walk is from Clovelly to Gordons Bay.
  • Once at Gordons Bay you can go snorkelling at the Gordons Bay Underwater Nature Trail.

Watsons Bay Walk

An interesting walk around South Head that is ideal for everyone is the Watsons Bay Walk. As you hike the easy 4.5 km out and back trail you will pass by the Historic Hornby Lighthouse, take in gorgeous views of the ocean and the Sydney skyline. Accessing this hike is quite easy by car, ferry or public bus. Once you are in Watsons Bay, you will walk along the coastline passing Robertson Park, Camp Cove Beach and Lady Bay Beach where you might find some people sunbathing in the nude. When you reach the 500m South Head Heritage Trail loop there will be great sightseeing like the Hornby Lighthouse and Lightkeeper’s Cottage.

Estimated time: 2-hours 

Tip:

  • There are numerous places to stop and rest along this walk as well as restrooms for your comfort.

Aboriginal Heritage Walk

One of the more interesting walks around Sydney for travellers wanting to witness stellar Guringai rock engravings and artwork is the Aboriginal Heritage Walk located in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park. Within minutes on this steep 4.4 km difficult loop trail you will be in awe when you view the aboriginal artwork in Red Hands Cave before stepping into a historic occupation shelter further down the trail. You will gaze at ancient rock engravings along the way and catch big vistas with a stop at West Head Lookout. The Resolute Picnic Area is the perfect to recharge afterwards.

Estimated time: 3.5-hours

Tips:

  • Take binoculars for unique bird viewing opportunities.
  • Be respectful of the delicate nature of these engravings and please don’t touch.

Spit Bridge to Manly Walk

An ideal hike for trekkers looking for adventure, secluded beaches and fantastic vistas of the ocean is the Spit Bridge to Manly Walk. During your 10 km moderate walk, you will pass incredible beaches such as Washaway; be rewarded with stunning views of Fisher Bay as well as panoramic views of the Sydney Harbour from Arabanoo Lookout at Dobroyd Head. This walk also provides chances to spot kangaroos and whales during the summer months from December to February.

Estimated time: 4-hours

Tip:

  • Take your swim wear and picnic at Clontarf or North Head Reserve for an ideal whole day adventure.

Bouddi Coastal Walk

Bouddi is a great place to hike in Sydney
The Bouddi hike includes a walk through the national park among wildflowers and stunning ocean views.

Another one of the best walks in Sydney that will reward you with boardwalks, secluded beaches and lookouts with superb vistas of the ocean is the Bouddi Coastal Walk in Bouddi National Park. The natural beauty of area is showcased on this 8 km walk between Putty Beach and MacMasters Beach. Along the way you will be delighted with wildflowers, lapping waves at Bullimah Beach, and fantastic ocean views from Gerrin Point Lookout. You can also marvel at the whales in Maitland Bay. If you want to break this hike into smaller pieces try Putty Beach to Maitland Bay, Maitland Bay to Little Beach or Little Beach to MacMasters Beach.

Estimated time: 4-hours

Tip:

  • This walk can be changed into an overnight stay. There are campgrounds available at Little Beach and Putty Beach.

The Forest Path

A delightful hike in a gorgeous section of rainforest is the Forest Path located in Royal National Park. The easy to moderate 4.5 km circuit trek practically follows the Hacking River where one can witness lush rainforest and plenty of wildlife. Families will love the idea of identifying hundreds of ferns, eucalyptus as well as cabbage palm trees.

Estimated time: 2-hours

Tip:

  • The trail is not good to hike after periods of heavy rains.

The Ruined Castle Walking Track

This perfect hike in Sydney combines a bit of everythnig.
Catch the beautiful sunset over Jamison valley.

A perfect hike that combines a little bit of everything from unique landmarks to natural rock formations to incredible rainforest is the Ruined Castle Walking Track located in Blue Mountain National Park. On this difficult 7.5 km out and back trek you will be pleased to view the Three Sisters, climb the Golden Stairs, see Mount Solitary and pass by several historic mining cottages. As you follow this historic mining route you will be delighted with the lush rainforest of the Jamison Valley and take in additional views of Castle Head before circling around the Ruined Castle rock formation.

Estimated time: 5-hours.

Tip:

  • Hiking downhill is easy but the return uphill will require additional time and water.

The Plateau Walk

One of the more pleasant hikes near Sydney that offers you perfect vistas of stunning cliffs and lush rainforest then you should try the Plateau Walk in Kanangra Boyd National Park. The easy 4 km out and back trek offers you splendid panoramic views of the surrounding area that includes orange coloured sandstone formations which are dotted with lush greenery. The hike is ideal for anyone who is looking for fantastic lookouts and photograph opportunities.

Estimated time: 5-hours.

Tips:

  • You can find several unique lookouts to enjoy in a secluded environment on this walk.
  • This hike is perfect hike for families.

As you can see from the list above there is a wide variety of excellent places to go hiking in Sydney. While hiking in Sydney you can experience scintillating coastal hikes with pristine beaches or go for a stroll through a dense section of lush rainforest and marvel at the sandstone cliffs. There are historical sites along the way on most of the hikes and there will be lots of wildlife to spot. Don’t forget your camera on these hikes because you just might find that perfect ocean vista or set of sandstone cliffs that you will remember for a lifetime.

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