Couple enjoying the coastal view at Tamarama Beach on the Bondi to Coogee coastal walk

Credit: Guy Williment for Destination NSW

A city famous for its natural beauty, much of Sydney’s magic can be explored by foot – whether you have 30 mins or 7 days, lots of hiking experience or none.

One of Australia’s most photogenic cities, Sydney is networked with walks that wind along ocean clifftops, its iconic harbour, CBD streets and native bushland. This comprehensive guide to Sydney’s best walks covers a variety of its top 20 trails, with handy info on what to pack, route highlights and the walk’s difficulty. 

So, if your ultimate walk includes sweeping panoramas, secluded bays, historic sites, or local culture (and more!) we’ve got you covered. Our suggestion? Try fit as many as you can into your Sydney itinerary

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Sydney’s best walks

1. Spit Bridge to Manly Walk, Northern Beaches

Start address: Spit Bridge, Sydney, NSW -  Google Maps route

Credit: magspace from stock.adobe.com.

Hugging the harbour-side coastline of the North Shore, the moderate Spit Bridge to Manly Walk is one of Sydney’s most loved, with a rich 10kms of scenic walkways. You can do this walk in either direction, although it’s popular to start at the boat-lined Spit Bridge and head north towards the Northern Beaches’ iconic Manly Beach. This will wind you through sandy bays with crystal-clear water, ancient Aboriginal sites, Middle Harbour tidal pools, unmatched views of Sydney Harbour and its ocean heads, and blissful sections of native bushland — before arriving in the buzz of Manly’s restaurants, cafe and well-surfed ocean breaks.  
 
How far is the Spit to Manly Walk? 10km one way 
How long will it take? Between 3.5 and 4.5 hours  
How difficult is it? Moderate to difficult, with sections of stairs, sand, bush track, and boardwalk. 
What do I need to bring? Hat, sunscreen, good walking shoes, water, snacks and optional swimwear. 
Anything else? Toilets and water fountains are available at various locations.
Route highlights: Clontarf Reserve, Grotto Point Aboriginal engraving site, Crater Cove Lookout, Forty Baskets Reserve and Manly suburb, of course. 

 

2. Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk, Eastern Suburbs

Start address: Bondi Beach, Sydney, NSW -  Google Maps route

Panoramic view of coogee to bondi costal walk, Sydney

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One of Sydney’s most iconic coastal walks and amongst the top things to do in Sydney, the Bondi to Coogee walk starts at the famous Bondi Beach in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs. This 6km oceanfront track won’t disappoint — and not just because you’ll be accompanied by picturesque coastal views for most of the way.

The ‘Bondi to Coogee’, as locals call it, is ideal if you’re looking for breathtaking cliff-top views without an intense hike to get there. The walk takes in five swimmable beaches and an array of rock-and-ocean pools. After Bondi Beach, you’ll walk through Tamarama Beach, Bronte Beach, Clovelly Beach and, finally, Coogee Beach. Pause at any of the adjoining beach parks or ample viewpoints with seating areas. A bonus of this must-do walk is having some of Sydney’s best cafes scattered throughout. Well marked, loved by Sydney-siders and peppered with photo opportunities, this Sydney coastal walk isn’t one to miss. 
 
How far is the Bondi to Coogee Walk? 6km one way 
How long will it take?  Between 1.5 and 3 hours 
How difficult is it? Moderate, with short sections of stairs and steeper inclines. 
What do I need to bring? Walking shoes, comfortable clothing, hat and optional swimwear during summertime. 
Anything else? Bondi Beach and Coogee Beach are regularly serviced by buses. Most beaches offer toilets. This walk is popular so expect a little human traffic.
Route highlights: The much-photographed view of Bondi Beach from the Bondi Icebergs Pool. Aboriginal rock carvings at Mark’s Point. Seasonal whale-spotting near Calga Reserve. Rock-and-ocean pools at Bronte Beach and Coogee Beach. Colourful sunrises from almost anywhere. 

 

3. Bradleys Head to Chowder Bay Walk, Lower North Shore

Start address: Bradleys Head, Mosman, NSW - Google Maps route

Bradleys Head to Chowder Bay Walk, Mosman

Credit: Dallas Kilponen for Destination NSW

For the unmissable pairing of gentle bush-track and unmatched views of Sydney Harbour, look no further than the Bradleys Head to Chowder Bay Walk. This easy 4km walk in Sydney’s Lower North Shore weaves through the headlands of Sydney Harbour National Park, from Sydney’s Taronga Zoo Wharf to the beach at Chowder Bay – Gooree. Take a pause at one of Sydney’s best lookouts, Bradleys Head, to snap an iconic harbour pic. The lookout delivers sweeping views of the Sydney Opera House, Fort Denison and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. As a lucky bonus, spot a wedding at the heritage-listed Athol Hall!  
 
How far is the Bradleys Head to Chowder Bay Walk? 4km one way 
How long will it take? 1.5 hours 
How difficult is it? Moderate, with a clearly-defined track, footpath or elevated boardwalk. 
What do I need to bring? Hat, sunscreen, walking shoes, drinking water.
Anything else? Vehicle entry fees apply at Bradleys Head and Chowder Bay car parks but a ferry to Taronga Zoo Wharf will be a highlight of your commute if you choose public transport. Toilets are situated at various points. 
Route highlights: Bradleys Head, Booraghee Amphitheatre (Bradleys Head Amphitheatre), the Military Relics, Athol Hall, the distinctive groves of Angophora trees.

 

4. Barangaroo Foreshore Walk, CBD

Start address: Woolloomooloo, Sydney, NSW - Google Maps route

Nawi Cove in Barangaroo district of Sydney, Australia

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Having undergone massive redevelopment, Sydney’s Barangaroo Foreshore Walk in the city’s CBD is a natural and engineering marvel, designed to delight walkers of all fitness levels. Whether you’re keen to soak in the city’s shiny business towers (and workers taking a lunchtime jog!) or the boat-peppered Sydney harbour, this foreshore walk won’t make you choose. 
 
The complete 11km walk stretches from Finger Wharf in Woolloomooloo to the Anzac Bridge, taking in many of Sydney’s top attractions like Mrs Macquarie’s Chair and the Sydney Opera House. For those with less time, the walk is best known for its 2km stretch through the landscaped Barangaroo Reserve, which curls along ancient Aboriginal walkways with the urban cityscapes of Sydney’s CBD as your backdrop. A highlight of either the complete or shorter Foreshore walk is the six hectares of public Barangaroo Reserve, which boasts 75,000 native plants, sandstone steps and rolling green lawns.

How far is the Barangaroo Foreshore Walk? 2km – 11km, depending if you take the short or long route.   
How long will it take? 30 minutes to 1 hour for the short track, 2 –3.5 hours for the longer walk. 
How difficult is it? Easy, with options to do shorter segments.
What do I need to bring? Hat, sunscreen, water, comfortable shoes, and optional swimwear. 
Anything else? What few stairs there are can be detoured, so this is the ideal walk for families with prams and wheelchairs. If a picnic makes your ultimate walk, then throw down a blanket in Barangaroo Reserve.
Route highlights: Barangaroo Reserve, the elevated lookout from Stargazer Lawn, Marinawi Cove, Barangaroo district, Barangaroo accessible via the Wulugul Walk.  

 

5. Bundeena to Wedding Cake Rock, Royal National Park

Start address: Beachcomber Avenue in Bundeena, NSW - Google Maps route

View of wedding cake rock

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For a short but challenging walk through Sydney’s Royal National Park, the Bundeena to Wedding Cake Rock coastal track competes for the most photographed lookout in Sydney. The midway point on the loop is Wedding Cake Rock. The natural rock is a stark white formation that stands out from the rusty sandstone cliffs. Its geometric edges and deep crevices give it the silhouette of a slice of cake — amazingly elevated above rough ocean. It’s an unbeatable midway reward!
 
This is a rough, often steep and rocky track. Large sections have recently been replaced with boardwalk. Wear decent walking shoes to enjoy the loop, which is about 1 hour each way from Bundeena. It’s wise to carry enough drinking water (and snacks) for the loop, before returning to the charming cafes of Bundeena for refreshments alongside its quaint beach. The route is exposed for most of the way so don’t forget a generous dose of sunscreen, no matter the season. For a bonus, spot a swamp wallaby in its natural heathland environment of Sydney’s south coast. 
 
How far is the walk from Bundeena to Wedding Cake Rock? Between 2-3 km one way, depending on how closely you stick to the track. 
How long will it take? 2 hours return 
How difficult is it? Moderate to difficult. 
What do I need to bring? Good walking shoes, comfortable clothing, a hat, sunscreen, water and snacks. Pack swimwear if you fancy a dip at Bundeena Beach.
Anything else? Wedding Cake Rock is a fragile rock formation so stay safely within the surrounding fence. Phone reception is limited. Park entry fees apply at the Royal National Park. Toilets are only at the start of the track.  
Route highlights: Seasonal whale watching and native flora, Wedding Cake Rock viewpoint, views of Sydney city to the north. 

 

6. Barrenjoey Lighthouse Walk, Northern Beaches 

Start address: 1199D Barrenjoey Rd, Palm Beach NSW - Google Maps route 

Barrenjoey Lighthouse Walk, Palm Beach

Credit: Isaac Brown for Destination NSW

For a shorter bush walk packed with rewarding views and a heritage landmark, look no further than the Barrenjoey Lighthouse Walk. This is a 1-hour, looped track from Palm Beach to Barrenjoey Head, in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park. Apart from being delightfully scenic, this walk is good reason to visit the Northern Beaches and spend a day exploring the famed Palm Beach. The Barrenjoey Lighthouse was built in 1881, found at the Barrenjoey Head which is the midpoint of the walk. It competes for your attention with sweeping, 360-degree views of its surrounds. 
 
How far is the Barrenjoey Lighthouse Walk? 3km loop 
How long will it take? 1 hour return 
How difficult is it? Easy. While it’s a shorter walk, there are steeper sections, and uneven steps along the unmarked track. 
What do I need to bring? Hat, sunscreen, water bottle, comfortable shoes.
Anything else? You’ll find toilets and drinking water at the start. Spend time at the Barrenjoey Head to take in the Pacific Ocean to your east, Pittwater to your west, and the expansive Hawkesbury River to your north. And spot a whale, in season! 
Route highlights: Barrenjoey Head viewpoint, heritage-listed Barrenjoey Lighthouse and the lighthouse keepers’ cottages, nearby Palm Beach. 

 

7. Hermitage Foreshore Walk, Eastern Suburbs 

Start address: Nielsen Park, Vaucluse, NSW - Google Maps route

Hermitage Foreshore Track, Vaucluse

Credit: James Horan for Destination NSW

The easy Hermitage Foreshore Walk is a scenic walking track in Sydney Harbour National Park in Vaucluse. Loved by locals, families and walkers, it follows the coastline between Nielsen Park and the Hermitage Foreshore Reserve. The 4km there-and-back walk is a combination of boardwalks and well-maintained bush trails and is welcoming to nature lovers of all fitness levels. 
 
The 2-hour walk weaves through coastal vegetation, past secluded beaches, through lush parks, and along a string of enticingly secluded bays. Start at the family-loved Nielsen Park, lined by old trees and the waves of Shark Beach. Along the walk, take in the views of Shark Island, snap a pic of Sydney Harbour and the Sydney Harbour Bridge, and spot the grounds of 18th-century Strickland House. If you have time for one walk in Sydney, the Hermitage Foreshore Walk is a top contender! 
 
How far is the Hermitage Foreshore Walk? 4.4km return 
How long will it take? 2 hours there and back 
How difficult is it? Easy. Expect rockier descents into the optional, secluded bays. 
What do I need to bring? Comfortable shoes, hat, water, sunscreen and optional swimwear.
Anything else? You’ll find toilets at Nielsen Park, and free parking in the surrounding Vaucluse suburb.  
Route highlights: Nielsen Park, Strickland House, iconic views of Sydney Harbour. 

 

8. Cape Baily Walking Track, Kamay Botany National Park  

Start address: Cape Solander Lookout, Cape Solander Dr, Kurnell NSW -   Google Maps route

Kamay Botany Bay National Park, Kurnell

Credit: Tom Park for Destination NSW

The Cape Baily Track in Kamay Botany Bay National Park is a breathtaking, out-and-back coastal walk between Cape Solander Lookout and the heritage-listed Cape Baily Lighthouse. The 8km loop weaves along the impressive sandstone cliffs of the National Park, placing ocean panoramas at your footsteps. The peaceful and less-trafficked route takes in a variety of distinctive heathland typical of the Botany National Park, along with native vegetation of the freshwater wetlands. For those seeking a heart-pumping run, this is the perfect track.

How far is the Cape Baily Walking Track? 8km loop
How long will it take? Between 2.5 and 3 hours return
How difficult is it? Easy, if you’re comfortable with distance. The walk is mostly flat, alternating between cliff top rock and boardwalk. 
What do I need to bring? Lots of drinking water, hat, sunscreen, good shoes.
Anything else? There are no water fountains or shaded areas along the track. The nearest toilet is at Commemoration flat. This circuit isn’t wheel or pup friendly. With expansive ocean-views, the ‘Cape Baily’ is a favourite for seasonal whale-and-bird watching (May to October for the humpback migration).  
Route highlights: Cape Baily Lighthouse, Cape Solander Lookout

 

9. South Head Heritage Trail, Eastern Suburbs 

Start address: Camp Cove Beach, 23 Victoria Street, Watsons Bay, NSW -   
Google Maps route

South Head heritage trail in Sydney, Australia

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The easy South Head Heritage Trail, as its name suggests, explores the tip of Sydney Harbour’s South Head. Starting at Camp Cove in Watsons Bay, this walk runs along an 1870s cobblestone road past Lady Bay Beach, before reaching Hornby Lighthouse – which you won’t miss with its dramatic red and white stripes. 
 
The 1.7km circuit is situated within Sydney Harbour National Park, with scenic views of Sydney Harbour to the west, Middle Head and North Head to the north, and the expansive Pacific Ocean to the east. While your feet may not cover miles of ground on this walk, horizons of harbour and ocean will unfold for miles around you. Other highlights include passing historic gun emplacements and, depending on the season, spotting a whale or three. 
 

How far is the South Head Heritage Trail? 1.7km loop
How long will it take? 30 mins to 1 hour
How difficult is it? Easy, and ideal on a whim. 
What do I need to bring? Hat, sunscreen, water bottle.
Anything else? This Watsons Bay walk is popular for active locals, so you'll likely encounter other people while exploring. No pups allowed.
Route highlights: Camp Cove, Lady Bay Beach, Hornby Lighthouse. 

 

10. America Bay Walking Track, Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park 

Start address: America Bay Track, Ku-ring-gai Chase, NSW - Google Maps route  

Ku-ring-gai Chase America Bay

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America Bay Walking Track is in the West Head and Basin precincts of Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park. It’s a moderate and well-signposted walk through national parklands, and makes for an ideal day trip from Sydney, with waterfalls, picnicking and Aboriginal engravings.

Near the mouth of the Hawkesbury River, the trail descends through dense bushland of scribbly gums and bloodwoods to a quaint creek, following the sandstone ridgeline from West Head Road down to America Bay. There you’ll find a rock platform overlooking the scenic America Bay with views across Cowan Water. A highlight of the walk for most is the natural waterfall found at this rock formation – an ideal point to throw down a picnic blanket and enjoy the escarpment waterfall drop. 

How far is the America Bay Walking Track? 1.8km loop 
How long will it take? 1-2 hours 
How difficult is it? Moderate. This walk includes short, steep hills. 
What do I need to bring? Good walking shoes, a hat, sunscreen, water and optional picnicking goods.
Anything else? Parking is available at West Head Road, and this bushland Sydney walk is an exceptional visit all year round. No dogs allowed. 
Route highlights: Distinctive bushland, waterfall, and America Bay lookout.

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11. Western Escarpment Walking Track, Eastern Suburbs 

Start address: Malabar, NSW - Google Maps route

The view from the start of the Malabar Headland National Park Coastal Walk near Maroubra, New South Wales.

Credit: Nick from stock.adobe.com.

The brief and easy Western Escarpment Walking Track runs along Sydney's Malabar Headland National Park, near Maroubra. Delivering 360-degree views over Malabar Headland, Maroubra Beach, and Botany Bay from a natural sandstone platform, the route has been purpose-built by Randwick City Council and NSW National Parks.  Starting at either Arthur Byrne Reserve or Pioneers Park, you'll gently ascend the exposed sandstone escarpment. With seating peppered throughout, this short walk connects South Maroubra Beach with Malabar. A highlight of this walk for many is the surrounding endangered eastern suburbs banksia scrub and its native birdlife. 
 
How far is the Western Escarpment Walking Track? 1km one way 
How long will it take? 45 minutes  
How difficult is it? Easy 
What do I need to bring? Hat and sunscreen. 
Anything else? If you’re in the mood for a longer stroll, connect with the 5km Boora Point Walking Track, or continue along the Eastern Beaches coastal walkway. 
Route highlights: 360-degree views, Malabar Headland, whale spotting lookouts.

 

12. Sydney Harbour Bridge to South Head Walk, CBD to Eastern Suburbs

Start address: Sydney Harbour Bridge, Sydney NSW - Google Maps route

The Royal Botanic Garden Sydney

Credit: Ken Leanfore for Destination NSW

Sydney Harbour is one of the world’s most impressive – and the challenging Sydney Harbour Bridge to South Head Walk is an unbeatable way to take it all in. For the more experienced walkers, this 18km track unveils an array of Sydney’s top attractions, as you walk away a full day. 
 
The walk hugs the Harbour foreshore from the Sydney Harbour Bridge through to the  Royal Botanic Gardens and the swish ‘burbs of  Double Bay  and  Vaucluse in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs. You’ll weave through some of Sydney Harbour National Park, drawing into the final stretch in Watsons Bay, and view of the South Head (which marks Sydney harbours’ entrance). The walk is somewhat of an odyssey and promises secret beaches, harbour pools, iconic city streets, dramatic headlands and unmissable views of Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs.  
 
How far is the Sydney Harbour Bridge to South Head Walk? 18km one way 
How long will it take? 8 hours 
How difficult is it? Challenging, mostly due to its length. Expect some gentle hills and a few spots of stairs. 
What do I need to bring? Walking shoes, sunscreen, hat, comfortable clothing, and a water bottle. Although it’s a good idea to carry snacks, you’ll not run out of delightful eating options when it comes to lunchtime.  
Anything else? No wheelchairs, prams or pups for this walk. Ideal all-year round. 
Route highlights: Sydney Harbour, Royal Botanic Garden, Mrs Macquarie’s Chair, Nielsen Park, Vaucluse House, Hornby Lighthouse. 
 

13. Bondi to Manly Walk, Eastern Suburbs to Northern Beaches 

Start address: Bondi Beach, NSW - Google Maps route

Parsley Bay Bridge, Vaucluse

Credit: Eugene Tan for Destination NSW

Stretch your legs from Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs to its Northern Beaches on the epic Bondi to Manly Walk. The complete 80km route unites two of Australia’s most famous surfing beaches, along with a cool 45 others! It is one of only a handful of urban coastal treks in the world. The Bondi to Manly trek is comprised of several smaller sections. Depending on your fitness and appetite for exploration, the hike can be achieved in four-to-seven days. Each section can be anywhere from 9km and 20km, per day. For those planning to walk the entire trail over a few days without returning to the same hotel in the CBD each day, you’ll need to stay overnight at different hotels. 
 
The full route will take you through coastal track, urban cityscapes, iconic landmarks (like walking over Sydney Harbour Bridge), European-esque pools and breathtaking harbourside. As if those highlights aren’t enough, the Bondi to Manly walk winds through art galleries, museums, cafes, a plethora of restaurants and several unmissable Aboriginal carvings sites. It’s the walk with the best of everything. 
 
How far is the Bondi to Manly Walk? 80kms 
How long will it take? Between 4 and 7 days 
How difficult is it? Moderate. The majority of the terrain itself is easy, through a variety of well-made and well-maintained walkways. 
What do I need to bring? It’s wise to wear good hiking gear for this trek. Pack snacks, refillable water bottles, sunscreen, insect repellent, and a first aid kit. 
Anything else? The complete walk requires comprehensive planning, so take time beforehand to plan your trek and read-up on other hikers’ route notes. 
Route highlights:  Bondi Beach, Manly Beach, Mrs Macquarie’s Chair, Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House. The white bridge over Parsley Bay. Aboriginal carvings at Watsons Bay and at Grotto Point, as well as shell middens at Cremorne Point. 
 

14. Aboriginal Heritage Walk, Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park

Start address: Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, NSW - Google Maps route

Bush walking in the Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park down to Flint and Steel Beach, north of Sydney, bush walk leading to beach

Credit: Em Neems Photography from stock.adobe.com

Combining the Resolute and West Head walking tracks, the Aboriginal Heritage Walk in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park is hard to beat for its historic rock engravings of the traditional owners of this land. The circuit track incorporates the largest known concentrations of recorded Aboriginal sites in Australia. These delicate Gadigal-clan artworks are of great cultural and historical significance, defining this bushland walk.

The Aboriginal Heritage Walk is a moderate-to-challenging 4.4.km loop, with some sections of uneven track. As soon as 10-minutes into the trail, you’ll discover the best-known site in the park, Red Hands Cave. Continue on to see impressive rock engravings, and down the slope to find a historic occupation shelter. Following the loop, you’ll reach sweeping views from West Head lookout (the ultimate photo spot!) before heading back to Resolute picnic area for lunch. Given Resolute Beach is one of the most beautful hidden gems in New South Wales, this is a stop not to be missed!
 
How far is the Aboriginal Heritage Walk? 4.4km 
How long will it take? 2.5 to 3.5 hours 
How difficult is it? Moderate to difficult. Walking experience is ideal. 
What do I need to bring? Hat, sunscreen, hiking shoes, water, snacks, insect repellent. 
Anything else? Park entry fees apply. 
Route highlights: The Red Hands cave, historic occupation shelter, West Head lookout, Resolute picnic area, native bushland. 
 

15. The Rocks Walking Tour, CBD

Start address: The Rocks NSW - Google Maps route

Cafes, galleries and bars lining the pedestrian walkway on Argyle Street, The Rocks.

Credit: Andre & Dominique for Destination NSW

The Rocks Walking Tour is one of Sydney’s best urban walks to get under-the-city-skin of its living history – and the heritage of Australia’s first British settlement. While the route has no ‘defined track’, many walkers enjoy meandering through Sydney’s oldest streets, leisurely uncovering hidden alleyways, weaving through historic nooks and charming courtyards. The Rocks is an essential visitor destination for first-timers to Sydney, in prime location.  
 
There are many organised, private walking tours on offer if you’d like a deeper historical understanding of the birthplace of European Australia – for example, you can book an Aboriginal Heritage Sydney Walking Tour for a 90-minute walk with an Aboriginal guide. Thanks to The Rocks’ central location, a booked walking tour or a stroll that you make-up will enjoy Sydney Harbour scapes, Cadman’s Cottage and Campbell’s Cove. Though, if you're looking to save some money, a self-guide tour of The Rocks is one of the best things to do in Sydney for free
 
How far is The Rocks Walking Tour? Between 1 and 3km. 
How long will it take? 1.5 hours, depending on your choice of route. 
How difficult is it? Easy, although many lanes are cobbled and uneven. 
What do I need to bring? Comfortable shoes, hat, sunscreen, water bottle.
Anything else? This city walk is easily accessible by all modes of public transport. 
Route highlights: Sydney’s oldest streets, Sydney Harbour with the Opera House and Harbour Bridge, Cadman’s Cottage, Campbell’s Cove. 

 

16. Cremorne Point Circuit, Lower North Shore

Start address: Cremorne Point Wharf - Google Maps route

Cremorne Point with views of Sydney Harbour. 

Credit: Hamilton Lund for Destination NSW

Cremorne Point Circuit is a short and easy walk that circumnavigates Cremorne Point (one of Sydney’s most desirable postcodes!) along the Lower North Shore. The gentle circuit will unveil grand colonial estates, sections of native bushland, hidden coves, and secret gardens. Cremorne Point Circuit delivers wide-reaching harbour views and local attractions like the much-loved Maccallum Pool. An achievable loop loved by locals and visitors alike, this walk is do-able for all ages and fitness levels, with countless rest points. 
 
How far is the Cremorne Point Circuit? 2.7km 
How long will it take? 1 to 2 hours 
How difficult is it? Easy, almost entirely flat with wide walkways. 
What do I need to bring? Hat, sunscreen, comfortable shoes, optional swimwear. 
Anything else? For the time-poor, this walk begins at Cremorne Point Ferry Wharf, which is a quick and delightful journey across the harbour from the CBD. 
Route highlights: Sydney Harbour, Maccallum Pool, nearby Robertsons Point Lookout.

 

17. Blue Gum Walk, Upper North Shore

Start address: Benowie Walking Track, Hornsby NSW - Google Maps route 

Naa Badu Lookout in Berowra Valley National Park gives a beautiful panoramic view on Berowra Creek, New South Wales, Australia

Credit: magspace from stock.adobe.com.

Hornsby Blue Gum Walk is a moderate-to-challenging hike located in the Berowra Valley National Park, in Sydney’s Upper North Shore. Divided into two sections, the walk begins in Chatswood West and stops at Lane Cove National Park on the other side of Lady Game Drive. The first section can require a bit of scrambling and adventurous hiking. The return trip includes walking along Kooba Avenue in Chatswood West. Unique about this bushland walk are sections of the remaining ‘Blue Gum High Forest’, found in the Blue Gum Reserve. This fertile, tall forest hugs Blue Gum Creek as it flows down to the Lane Cove River, protecting a magical corridor for hikers to explore.

How far is the Blue Gum Walk? 4 - 6.7km, depending on the route you choose.  
How long will it take? 2 - 3.5 hours, depending on trail conditions. 
How difficult is it? Moderate to difficult. Hiking experience is recommended. 
What do I need to bring? Hiking shoes, insect repellent, hat, sunscreen, water and snacks. Optional trekking poles and a basic first aid kit. 
Anything else? Creek crossings can be impassable after heavy rains, so check route warnings beforehand. Dogs are allowed.
Route highlights: Blue Gum High Forest in Blue Gum Reserve, Fishponds, and the crossing at Waitara Creek with ‘washtub’ pools sculpted from the smooth Hawkesbury Sandstone.

 

18. Old Great North Road - World Heritage Walk

Start address: Dharug National Park, New South Wales - Google Maps route

The Convict Trail Great North Road Historical Site at Wisemans Ferry New South Wales, Australia. The remains of a convict built road linking Sydney to Newcastle

Credit: Diane from stock.adobe.com.

The Old Great North Road – World Heritage Walk in Dharug National Park 
highlights an 1830s convict-built road with scenic views of the Hawkesbury River. The full ‘Great North Road Convict Trail’ is a bushwalk with unmatched historical richness. Information panels along the track offer historical facts and intimate stories about the convicts who built Finchs Lane. The walk starts at Devines Hill loop and returns along Finchs Line. The moderately steep track will take you to the original quarry with carvings made by the working convicts. The walk continues to towering stone buttresses, culverts and past a curved wall – all the hard work of convicts. For 2.5km of the complete return loop, you’ll be walking on the main road. 
 
How far is the Old Great North Road Walk? 9km loop 
How long will it take? 4 - 5.5 hours, depending on pace and fitness 
How difficult is it? Moderate, although lengthy.  
What do I need to bring? Food, water, hiking shoes, hat, sunscreen, insect repellent. Appropriate clothing for more extreme weather conditions of the area. 
Anything else? Before heading off, download the Convict Road app for an audio guide of the convict history, available with two route options. 
Route highlights: Finchs Lane, Scenic views, World Heritage Old Great North Road

 

19. Wattamolla to Eagle Rock, Royal National Park  

Start address: Wattamolla, Royal National Park, NSW - Google Maps route

Eagle Rock and Curracurrong Falls at sunrise

Credit: Grant from stock.adobe.com.

The bush hike from Wattamolla to Eagle Rock Lookout is a moderate-to-challenging walk through Sydney’s Royal National Park, following the Coast Track. Ideal all-year round, this circuit track begins at Wattamolla picnic area. The walk’s undoubted highlight is Eagle Rock – a striking and elevated rock formation that presents an excellent viewing point for the Royal coastline and is one of the most beautiful hidden spots to visit in New South Wales. The day-hike will weave you away from the sea cliffs for a section through lush coastal heath, returning you back to the breathtaking coastline. This trail isn’t accessible by public transport, so you’ll need to plan your transport by car. A bonus, if you do the walk after some heavy rain, you’ll discover three pristine waterfalls cascading into the ocean at Eagle Rock Lookout.  
 
How far is the walk from Wattamolla to Eagle Rock? 7.4km return 
How long will it take? 3 hours 
How difficult is it? Moderate to difficult 
What do I need to bring? Hat, sunscreen, drinking water, snacks, insect repellent. 
Anything else? The trailhead is not well marked so acquaint yourself with maps beforehand. No dogs allowed on this one.  

Route highlights: Eagle Rock Lookout, Wattamolla picnic area, native bushland. 
 
 

20. Fairfax Walk, Northern Beaches

Start address: Fairfax Walk, North Head Scenic Dr, Manly, NSW - Google Maps route

Couple enjoying the North Fort, Manly section of the Bondi to Manly Walk. 

Credit: Paul McMillan for Destination NSW

The paved Fairfax Walk is a gentle walk that starts at the end of North Head Scenic Drive and loops around the top of North Head, in Sydney Harbour National Park. Recently upgraded, the short circuit connects two prized lookouts, Burragula and Yiningma. They compete for the postcard view of Sydney, and both offer resting points with seating. The Fairfax walk is well-signposted, has a wide walkway. It’s the ideal choice for those with little-to-no hiking experience, and families with young kids. 


How far is the Fairfax Walk? 1km loop 
How long will it take? 30 minutes 
How difficult is it? Easy 
What do I need to bring? Comfortable shoes and clothing, a hat and sunscreen. 
Anything else? There is a sandstone staircase up to Burragula lookout, but you can also reach the lookout platform via a flat concrete pathway. No dogs allowed. The walk has no toilet facilities. Prams could venture most of the way. 
Route highlights: Burragula and Yiningma lookouts with panoramic Sydney views.

 

What are the best coastal walks in Sydney?

Aerial view of people walking along the Bondi to Coogee Coastal walk

Credit: Daniel Tran for Destination NSW

World-famous as a breathtaking harbour-and-oceanside city, Sydney’s 80km network of varied coastal walks offer something for everyone – be it a shorter clifftop stroll or a more robust trek through crystal bays. Some of Sydney’s best coastal walks include:

  1. Bondi to Coogee to see the iconic beaches of Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs
  2. Cremorne Point Circuit for harbour views from Sydney’s Lower North Shore
  3. Hermitage Foreshore walk for secluded bays and harbourside beaches
  4. Spit Bridge to Manly walk for a juicy 10km walk in the Northern Beaches area
  5. The Bondi to Manly Walk for the herculean 80km trek that has it all

 

What are the best walks in Sydney CBD?

Family enjoying a walk through Barangaroo Reserve, Barangaroo.

Credit: Anna Kucera Destination NSW

Sydney’s CBD is rich with history, public parks and bustling cafes. An urban walk through the city is ideal to experience life as the locals live it. Some of the best walks in Sydney CBD include:

  1. The Rocks Walking Tour for a leisurely stroll through Sydney’s oldest streets
  2. Barangaroo Foreshore Walk to take in the new Barangaroo Reserve
  3. Sydney Harbour Bridge to South Head Walk, for its first section through Sydney CBD landmarks 

 

What are the best bushwalks in and near Sydney?

Bushwalking in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park.

Credit: Jeremy Shaw for Destination NSW

With native bushland surrounding much of Sydney, and accessible within an hour’s drive (and sometimes less), Sydney’s best bush walks include:

  1. Bundeena to Wedding Cake Rock for the instagrammable rock formation
  2. Old Great North Road - World Heritage Walk for a peek into convict history
  3. Cape Baily Walking Track to loop around the heritage-listed lighthouse 
  4. Blue Gum Walk to dissolve into the remaining Blue Gum High Forest
  5. Aboriginal Heritage Walk, to marvel at the largest collection of Aboriginal sites  

 

Flights to Sydney

It's time to explore what Sydney has to offer! Virgin Australia offers direct flights to Sydney from major Australian cities, including:

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