Top 9 Walks In & Near Sydney For Your Bucket List

Whether you’re a nature lover, enjoy a good adventure or you’re simply over the gym, walking is a great form of exercise for all fitness levels, and better yet—it’s easily accessible, and often free. Walks in Sydney are abundant; whether you’re up for tree-top views, mountain scrambling or coastal vibes, there’s plenty to explore.

Here are our top 9 favourites for you to try out. Let us know how you go! Are we missing your favourite walk in or near Sydney? We’d love to hear from you.

Wentworth Falls, Blue Mountains

There are plenty of walks to explore in the Blue Mountains region, each with their own spectacular charm, unique views, and stunning sights. If you have time for only one, you won’t be disappointed with the Wentworth Falls track.

The track tends to be busy, but you won’t even mind when you peer down at the gorgeous waterfall—plunging 100m to the pool below—before your eyes. You’ll be in awe of its size and beauty.

To get on this walk, follow the path that runs past Jamison and Wentworth lookouts before descending about 200 steps to Fletchers lookout.

Key Features:

  • 1.4km return
  • Takes about 45 minutes – 1 hour
  • Grade 3 – not too difficult, though there are some steep parts
  • No wheelchair access
  • Gorgeous waterfalls, including the iconic Wentworth Falls
  • Stunning views of the Blue Mountains
  • Parking available in the Wentworth Falls picnic area
  • Accessible by public transport
  • No camping available. No smoking or pets allowed

Wentworth Falls Walk

Berowra Track, Berowra National Park

This track is less known, which is a good thing! Berowra National Park has a few walks worth venturing to on a weekend. Even though it’s nestled pretty centrally within Sydney, when you get there, you’ll feel like you’re on a getaway. So, if you need a break but don’t feel like packing your overnight bag, this one’s for you.

On this walk, you’ll start at a gorgeous little picnic ground, boasting lake views surrounded by luscious green mountains. The track is pretty well defined, offering amazingly understated views, quiet surrounds and varied vegetation—from paths that wind through lush mangroves and glistening lakes, to thick bushland and then rainforest—this walk really has it all.

Key Features:

  • Well-defined path, mangroves, overpass bridge and wildlife
  • Lush rainforest, lake views
  • Picnic ground with nearby hotel
  • Does not feel like you’re in Sydney—more like a getaway without the overnight bag
  • Car parking available
  • The Berowra Track is part of a 3-day walking track from Hornsby to Brooklyn, so tackle as much or as little as you like

Six Foot Track (Katoomba to Jenolan Caves)

This three day track might not be for everyone, but if you’re up for camping and a reasonably challenging hike, you won’t regret it. The walk starts in Katoomba and you’ll end up at Jenolan Caves where you can explore further. On this track, you’ll pass cascading waterfalls, rainforests, woodlands and a unique swing bridge.

Camping is available, and you’ll need to plan and pack in advance if you wish to tackle the hike from start to finish. If 3 days is pushing it, you can walk part way or tackle smaller sections at a time.

Key Features:

  • 46km one-way, 3 day hike
  • Challenging track
  • Free  
  • Waterfalls and state forests, woodlands, Jenolan Caves
  • Overnight camping available
  • Unique swing bridge  

Barrenjoey Lighthouse Walk

This short walk is well worth the workout for little time investment and an incredible coastal view. You’ll hike up a steep mountain in just 20-30 minutes, and be rewarded with a panoramic view of Ku-ring-ai Chase National Park, Broken Bay and the northern coastline of Sydney.

What’s more? You’ll get up close and personal with the iconic Barrenjoey Head Lighthouse.

Plan about an hour for walking, plus time for taking in the nature and views. Once you’re done, reward yourself with a relaxing day soaking up the sun at Palm Beach.

Note: Barrenjoey Head Lighthouse can be accessed via two routes: The Smugglers Track and the Access Trail. The Smugglers Track is shorter, taking half the time mentioned above. With this comes a steeper and more challenging path, of course.

Figure 8 Pools, Royal National Park

This track is no walk in the park (pun intended) but it’s one of a kind. The unique geological formations, known as the Figure 8 Pools are now a major tourist attraction, with walkers amazed by the perfect figure 8 shaped natural rock pools.

Though busy, don’t be fooled by this track—it requires about 20 minutes of walking over loose rocks, steep ascends/descends and some degree of risk. You should not attempt to visit the pools in high tide—you’ll come across a number of signs along the way warning visitors and urging them to turn back if it’s high tide.  

The main thing is to be prepared, plan your trip in accordance with the tide predictions but don’t be disappointed if you get there and have to turn back. You can always try another day. There are many other beaches and lovely sights on other tracks within the Royal National Park (see next walk), so don’t risk it.

Key Features:

  • Amazing, perfectly shaped Figure 8 Pools—may interest those who like geology
  • Can take a dip at Burning Palms beach on the way, or in the rock pools
  • Part of Royal National Park, which houses nearby beaches and trails
  • Parking available
  • Be cautious, and only visit if the tide permits—it must be low tide
  • Challenging walk; 6 km and 3-4 hours return
  • Pack food and water, as you won’t find anything in the area once you start the walk

Figure 8 Pools Walk

Blue Gum Walk, Hornsby

Located in the Berowra Valley National Park, this 3 hour circuit boasts gorgeous, tall blue gums (of course) and the fish ponds, which are little rock pools forming a larger stream.

The Blue Gum walk is accessible by public transport; you can catch a train to Hornsby Station and make your way. During the walk you’ll notice a couple of sneaky mountain views through the trees—take a moment to stop and admire them; they’re truly gorgeous.

Towards the end of this walk, the track opens up into a nice wide path surrounded by two walls of blue gums. As you peer up at the trees, you’ll be in awe of their height and beauty. The sun peeks through their branches, forming a unique and magical atmosphere. You’ll feel tiny in comparison to the towering blue gums, particularly towards the end—but the farther you go, the more impressed you’ll be.

Key Features:

  • Tall blue gums, ferns and fish ponds
  • Nice wide path at the end, surrounded by walls of blue gums
  • 6.7 km return – pleasant circuit track
  • Plan 3 hours for walking
  • Moderate-hard track; some scrambling required, but manageable
  • Accessible by public transport; start and finish at Hornsby station

Spit Bridge to Manly Coastal Walk

Spit Bridge to Manly is a fairly easy-moderate walk that takes about 3-4 hours. The track consists of boardwalk, paved walkway and maintained bush track. You’ll pass coastal and harbour-side views, a couple of secluded beaches to cool off at, bays and bushland.

At Clontarf Reserve, you’ll find a lovely picnic area, BBQ facilities and a cafe if you fancy a drink or a bite to eat.

Key Features:

  • 10 km walk, 3-4 hours depending on your fitness level
  • Lush bushland, harbourside views
  • Pass by secluded beaches to cool off
  • BBQ facilities and cafe available at Clontarf Reserve
  • Easy-moderate

Royal National Park Coastal Track

The well-known coastal track, nestled within the Royal National Park is a long, 26 km track (one-way), taking approximately 1-2 days to complete in full, depending on your fitness level. If you don’t have ample time available, or would prefer a shorter walk, you can definitely tackle this one in sections.

It’s a fairly difficult track, considered grade 5 due to length, time needed, steepness and obstacles.

You can camp in the North Era campground for the night if you wish to complete the track in full. The walk includes stunning coastal views, the famous Wedding Cake Rock, sandstone escarpments, various beaches and coastal forest.

You can stop off for a swim or picnic at Wattamolla Bay, Little Marley Beach, Garie Beach or Curracurrang Cove. Garie beach boasts a long, golden shoreline, with plenty of sand and water to enjoy. Views of the mountains also make for a picturesque spot.

You’ll enter coastal rainforest as you travel through burning palms and palm jungle, providing new scenery for you to marvel over. There’s no getting bored on this track.

Note: if you’re into whale watching, definitely plan this walk between May-October to make the most of the whale watching season.

Key Features:

  • 26 km one-way, 1-2 days depending on fitness level
  • Lush bushland, rainforest, jungle and coastal views
  • Beaches and bays to cool off at
  • Wedding Cake Rock
  • Camping available (bookings essential)

Bondi to Coogee

Bondi to Coogee is an easy walk with well defined tracks, so you can easily walk and talk with friends. You’ll pass several beaches while taking in sunny seaside views. There’s plenty of opportunity to stop for a dip—or two—along the way. Bondi, Bronte, Tamarama, Gordon’s Bay, Coogee—take your pick! These are just some of the places you can choose to cool off and take in some sun.

Bondi and Coogee, in particular, are both busy locations so you won’t have trouble finding a place to eat or pick up supplies. Clovelly beach also has a kiosk, and there are cafes near Bronte. Plan 2-3 hours to comfortably walk there and back.

Key Features:

  • 6 km; 2-3 hours
  • Accessible by public transport: buses run frequently
  • Street parking available, but often limited during peak times. Some parking may also be paid
  • Plenty of local cafes and kiosks to eat at, and beaches to cool off at
  • Enjoy several coastal views, sandstone cliffs, golden sand and typical Aussie beach culture

Bondi to Coogee Walk

Not in Sydney? Check out our additional posts on top walks in:

Compare life insurance policies & save

Compare now