Want to get out and make the most of your weekend? Sydney boasts a handful of the best walks on Australia’s east coast – with trails covering Sydney’s coast, inland national park and a number of foreshore tracks along Sydney Harbour.
There are plenty of free things to do in Sydney but heading on a sign-posted track is one of the best ways to take advantage of Sydney’s beautiful backdrops without spending a cent. From short walks to multi-day tracks and everything in between, here are our picks for 10 of the best Sydney walks:
Bondi to Coogee Walk
Undoubtedly one of Sydney’s most famous walks, the Bondi to Coogee walk blends seaside views and trendy sun-kissed locals along a paved path that hugs the coast of Sydney’s eastern suburbs. Passing a handful of lookout points, rockpools, parks, and some of Sydney’s best beaches along the way, you’re spoiled for choice if you’re looking for a spot to roll out a picnic rug and soak up prime coastal views.
Manly to Spit Bridge Walk
This well signposted walk in Manly is more of a series of short tracks which pass through plenty of Sydney Harbour’s bays, beaches and bushland. The 1.2 km track reaches a handful of incredibly scenic lookout points including Dobroyd Head, which rests halfway along the walk. With an almost 270 degree view of the harbour, Arabanoo lookout at Dobryod Head offers among the best views of North and South Head, stretching out to the Pacific Ocean.
Hermitage Foreshore Track
One of Sydney’s best walks if you’re looking for prime harbour views alone, the Hermitage Foreshore track passes Shark Island, Fort Denison and offers plenty of generous views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge along the way. Whether you start at Bayview Hill Road or Nielsen Park, this fantastic walk is a great one to bring visitors to the city on. You’ll spot a number of the city’s icons and enjoy some seriously great vantage points where you can stop and admire Sydney’s sparkling harbour.
Royal National Park Coast Walk (Bundeena to Otford)
Whether you take the walk as an overnighter with a stop at North Era campground along the way, or try and tackle the entire 26 km track in one day, the Coast Walk is certainly one of NSW’s most challenging walks – but is rife with rewarding views. Keep your eyes out for sea eagles along the way, and even humpback whales if you’re doing the walk from mid-May to early-December.
Barrenjoey Lighthouse Track
Starting at Palm Beach, once you reach the long (mostly uphill) climb up to Barrenjoey Lighthouse you’ll be rewarded with sweeping views of Pittwater Beach and the national park. Be sure to bring your camera as the views from the top are absolutely sublime – stretching from Broken Bay across to Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, on towards the Central Coast.
Taronga Zoo to Chowder Bay
Whether you’re visiting the animals or simply exploring Sydney’s north, Taronga Zoo also forms the start point of one of Sydney’s best walks. Starting at Taronga Zoo ferry wharf, the mix of graded gravel and rough limestone steps towards Chowder Bay makes it a relatively flat walk, perfect for beginners after a leisurely weekend stroll.
Bobbin Head to Mt. Ku-ring-gai via Apple Tree Bay
This walk on Sydney’s North Shore weaves through Cowan Waters and Apple Tree Bay, before reaching the entrance to Ku-ring-gai National Park. Bobbin Head is a great spot to grab a coffee halfway or stretch out a picnic rug and enjoy the idyllic views from the reserve. If you’re taking public transport, be aware that no buses run to Bobbin Head, so it’s a good idea to plan a car shuffle and park at both ends.
Seven Bridges Walk
Though it’s run as an annual fundraising walk by the Cancer Council, the Seven Bridges Walk can be done year-round at your own leisure should you want an all-encompassing walk through some of the city’s most attractive scenery. At 27 km, it’s no easy feat to accomplish in one day, and it’s recommended that you complete the walk in two easy half-day sections to fully appreciate the stunning precincts it passes by.
The Federation Cliff Walk
The Federation Cliff Walk is a 5 km trail boasting views that stretch out to Pacific Ocean from Dover Heights to Watsons Bay. Beginning at Raleigh Reserve, the cliff walk wanders through parklands which offer generous views of the stunning coastline. You’ll also pass Macquarie Lighthouse before ending at Robertson Park, where you can enjoy a cup of coffee or a bite to eat in the shade.
Sydney Harbour Bridge Walk
Sure, this one counts too! One of Sydney’s most famous walks is across its most famous landmark. If you’re feeling adventurous, take the BridgeClimb, which takes around 3.5 hours and takes walkers along the outer arch of the Opera House bridge before crossing the spine and heading down along the other side. If you’re afraid of heights (or want to take the free option) the bridge walkway is another great way to see Sydney Harbour.
From sign-posted short tracks to walks spanning multiple days, Sydney offers plenty of opportunities to explore its beautiful surroundings. With a number of national parks, coastline and harbourside trails, whether you’re visiting Sydney or are a seasoned local, there’s no better way to soak up the city’s scenery than by foot.