The best walks in Sydney are varied and truly offer a great active experience no matter what your appetite for adventure. From coastal strolls to walks in the bush, historic trails to incredible national parks; the harbour city and surrounds truly have it all.
Bondi to Coogee
No list of Sydney walks could ever be complete without the ultimate Instagram sensation – the magnificent Bondi to Coogee coastal walk. This cliffside stroll is quintessential Sydney; there’s a reason it is always bustling. Activewear is the uniform of the day here as you wind and climb along the oceanfront through Bondi, Tamarama, Clovelly and Coogee. The path also takes you through the heritage listed Waverley Cemetery – a graveyard with exceptional views. Finish the trail with a refreshing beverage and some oysters at the picturesque Coogee Pavilion. There’s a reason this is one of Sydney’s best walks.
The Bay Run
A local favourite, the 7-kilometre Bay Run is the perfect Inner West circuit. Fantastic for a leisurely stroll or a more fast-paced walk, this hidden gem takes in water edge views of Canada Bay and Iron Cove. The Bay Run is pretty flat for the entire circuit, so it’s a nice easy amble, but it does get very busy on the weekend. Parking is pretty plentiful around the Lilyfield based Le Montage restaurant and I love to grab a coffee from the Haberfield Rowers to sip on the stroll with friends. It may be a little less touristy, but it is definitely one of the best walks in Sydney.
Sydney Opera House to the Royal Botanic Gardens
Quintessential Sydney views are on display on this short and easy walk around Sydney’s magnificent harbour. Start your stroll at Circular Quay train station and walk towards the white sails of the Sydney Opera House. Don’t forget to stop and take an obligatory photo across the harbour capturing the world-famous Sydney Harbour Bridge.
The entrance to the Royal Botanic Gardens is located just opposite the Opera House and it’s a beautiful stroll around the water’s edge. The Royal Botanic Gardens is also a gorgeous spot for a picnic if you’ve worked up an appetite after your walk. With views like this, it is no wonder that this walk make the list of the best walks in Sydney.
Brighton-le-sands to Dolls Point
Another local gem, the flat and easy 5-kilometre coastal walk around the shores of Botany Bay is the perfect walking path for those wanting a stress-free stroll. Grab a coffee from one of Brighton-le-sands’ many coffee shops to fuel up for your walk and enjoy the seemingly endless views of clear waters, white sands and the occasional splash of colour from kite surfers along the shore.
This is my local Sydney walk, so you’ll usually find me here on a weekend at home. This might be a very locals only part of Sydney, but this walk is up there with Sydney’s best.
The Rocks Historic Walk
The Rocks is Sydney’s oldest neighbourhood, so no visit to the harbour city is complete without exploring the stories and buildings that formed the foundation for this city. This walk is definitely for those wanting to wander leisurely with the option of stopping in at a few historic pubs to quench your thirst. The walk starts from Circular Quay where you’ll walk right up George Street towards the Harbour Bridge.
This walk takes you past the oldest pub in Sydney, the Fortune of War, the oldest building in Sydney – Cadmans Cottage – and the remains of former houses from the area. The Rocks Market is a favourite haunt on the weekends where stalls line the streets selling unique and artisan items. Because this area has so many stories to tell, you might prefer to take a guided walking tour to really learn about the most historic of the best walks in Sydney.
Red Hands Cave Walk
A little further out of Sydney, the walking tracks and views at Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park are second to none. The Red Hands Cave Track is a short but moderately challenging walk that offers the unique opportunity to see the ochre-coloured handprints and cave paintings left by Indigenous Australians over 2000 years ago. There are plenty of other walking trails in the park, but this one feels quite special. Please note that these are walks on unmade paths through the bush, so they pose more of a challenge than others listed in this article.
Manly to Spit Bridge
This epic 10-kilometre walk rivals the Bondi to Coogee for the title of the best walk in Sydney. From the CBD, catch a ferry across to Manly to start the walk. The views from Dobroyd Head are unparalleled and the walk only continues to impress. This Sydney walk is one that you want to wear your swimming costume on as there are plenty of opportunities to stop for a break and a dip as you continue on. The walk ends around the historic Spit Bridge, where its then possible to jump on a bus to head back into the CBD.
Parramatta River Walk
Situated along the Paramatta River Walking Track is the 100 year old SS Ayrfield, the feature of this leisurely walk. Absolutely one of Sydney’s coolest photo spots, and not very well known at all, this former coal transporter ship is now floating in Homebush Bay. The shipwreck is overgrown with tufts of mangrove-like shrubs and makes for a great Instagram shot. Parking is usually pretty easy to come by and the walk around the water is flat and pretty accessible.
Wattamolla to Eagle Rock Walk
The Wattamolla to Eagle Rock Walk covers some of Sydney’s best coastline in the Royal National Park, the world’s second-oldest designated National Park. This 7.4km return walk winds its way south from Wattamolla towards the lookout and covers both great Australian bush and incredible ocean views. Once you’ve finished your walk, you’ll be back at Wattamolla Lagoon to cool off with a swim.
A little further away…
The Drawing Room Rocks Walk
Just a stone’s throw from Berry in the Shoalhaven region, the amazing Drawing Room Rocks walk takes hikers on an intermediate grade, uphill walk that has remarkable views awaiting at the top to reward those brave enough to attempt it. Named because of the uniquely shaped rocks at the lookout which have been eroded into shapes that resemble tables and chairs, the payoff of luscious views that stretch as far as Jervis Bay is absolutely worth the hike.
The National Pass Circuit
The Blue Mountains region offers many great walks, but it is hard to go past the awe of seeing Wentworth Falls and the Jamison Valley along the National Pass Circuit. This 4.5km loop is steep at times and is not for the faint-hearted as it is at times a narrow path carved into the cliff side – if you have a fear of heights, this might be a walk to avoid. However, if you do make the trek, the sensational views of the falls from multiple angles as you descend the sandy-coloured cliff side stairs is absolutely worth it.
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