If you’re a local looking for something to do on the weekend – or a backpacker on a budget or tourist looking to experience the best of Sydney’s outdoors – we have 5 easy walks for a perfect day in the sun.
Australia has a diverse and beautiful landscape offering everything from pristine beaches to lush rainforest to unique bushland. Deciding where and how to spend your day can be challenging, that is why I have laid out my own top 5 walks around Sydney.
Sydney’s top beach, bushland and rainforest trails
5. Forest Path, Sydney Royal National Park – 4.4 km Bush walk
Forest Path will give you a glimpse into the abundant rainforest that many tourists are unaware even exists in Australia. An easy loop at 4.4 kilometres, this tranquil walk will provide an oasis from the chaos of the city.
Local tip: If you have more energy after your walk we recommend also checking out nearby Wattamolla Beach which has a waterfall that (when flowing) runs into a lagoon
4. America Bay Walk, Kur-ring-gai Chase National Park – 1.8 km Bush walk
An easy walk popular with locals, the America Bay Walk starts with aboriginal engravings (just off to the right as you begin your walk) and ends with a waterfall and a breathtaking view of Cowan Creek. Sometimes there are park fees on entry, depending on whether the toll booth is operating. This walk is 1.8 kilometres return and is said to take 1-2 hours. As you walk this trail you’ll come across creeks, home to tadpoles, frogs and yabbies.
Local tip: Be on guard, you might come across some cheeky Australians warning you of the mythical Australian drop bear that feasts on tourists!
3. Barrenjoey Lighthouse, Palm Beach – 0.37 km Coastal walk
This short, but steep walk will lead you to stunning views. If you struggle with steps or walking on incline this is one should be avoided. However, the payoff is well worth it, as when you reach Barrenjoey Lighthouse you will be rewarded with breathtaking views of Palm Beach and some excellent photo opportunities.
Local tip: If you want a similar view without the trek, check out West Head Lookout at Kur-ring-gai Chase National Park.
2. Bondi to Coogee, Eastern Suburbs – 6 km Coastal walk
Potentially the most popular walk in Sydney, this trail has everything – beaches, shops and views. I would class this walk as easy verging on moderate, due to the length of the walk. However, to make it less strenuous you can take breaks at the many cafes, shops and shores you will come across. You can also choose to just do portions of the walk, for example Bronte to Bondi or Bronte to Coogee.
Local tip: Bondi hosts a popular annual exhibition called Sculptures by the Sea, if it operating it is worth checking out.
1. Spit to Manly, Northern Beaches – 10kms Coastal walk
The longest of all the walks, Spit to Manly lands in-between moderate and easy, depending on your fitness level. If you want a similar walk, but shorter I would recommend Curl Curl or Freshwater to Manly situated further northeast along the coastline. The Spit to Manly walk is less touristy than Bondi to Coogee, leading to quieter and more secluded beaches.
Local tip: I always recommend starting at Spit Bridge and finishing in Manly, then you can replenish yourself at the variety of shops, restaurants and bars that sit in Manly.
Australia’s landscapes are so diverse across our vast country. It is easy to fill every weekend with a new and exciting adventure. So, take advantage of the sunny weather and get outside and go for a walk!
Honourable mentions: If you want to see the best side of our inner city I would recommend walking from Barangaroo to Mrs Macquarie’s Chair or if you want something more challenging and unique I would recommend visiting the Figure 8 Pools at Sydney Royal National Park.