When you plan a vacation in Australia, you will likely want to add bushwalking onto the list of things to do. If your holiday plans have you in Sydney, don’t worry, that doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to go bushwalking and all see the wild things that Australia has to offer. In actuality, there is plenty of nature in Sydney and its immediate surrounds. When you hire a car at Budget Australia, it makes it easy to get around to all the different places you want to visit….and nothing beats a road trip in Oz!
Combine a road trip with some awesome hikes and you have yourself the perfect active holiday in Australia. Here are five great walking trails I think you should add to your Sydney itinerary when are visiting, including beach trails, city trails, and national park tracks. Have fun!
Curra Moors Loop Track in Royal National Park
Curra Moors Loop Track Photo Credit: NationalParks.nsw.gov.au
Royal National Park is very close to Sydney, it is only about a 40 minute drive north of the CBD. The Curra Moors Loop Track in Australia’s oldest national park is a 10 km loop. It is a grade four track and takes about four or five hours to complete. During this walk, you will see where the bush meets the ocean in the eastern section of the park. You will also get to see the woodlands section of the park. During whale watching season, you can stop to see the humpback whales passing by right off the coast; birdwatching is also very popular. Curra Moors Loop Track is one of many trails in Royal National Park, so if you enjoy this loop, you can plan more; there are more than 100 km of walking track in the park.
America Bay Walking Track in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park
America Bay Walking Track. Photo Credit: NationalParks.nsw.gov.au
Ku-ring gai Chase is another National Park near Sydney. Like Royal National park, there are many different walking trails in the park (over 40 different ones). The America Bay Walking Track is the one we are featuring because it has so much to offer including panoramic views of the bushland and historic aboriginal engravings. The America Bay Walking Track is 1.8 km long with the return and is a moderately difficult walk that is a grade three course. Recommended time to complete it is one to two hours. You should plan a picnic in the park after your walk and make the most of the nature that Sydney’s surrounds has to offer.
Sphinx Memorial to Bobbin Head Loop in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park
Sphinx Memorial to Bobbin Head Loop in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park Photo Credit: NationalParks.nsw.gov.au
Since there are more than 40 different walks in in Ku-ring gai Chase National Park, it is no surprise that two of the tracks made our list. The second walk we are featuring in the park is the walk from the Sphinx Memorial to Bobbin Head Loop. The Sphinx Memorial is a great place to visit because it plays an important part in Australian military history. The grade four walk takes between 3 ½ and 4 ½ hours to finish. This challenging walk is a 10 km loop through the open forests and the historic Sphinx Memorial and pyramids built by a soldier.
North Head Sanctuary in Manly
North Head Sanctuary Walking Loop Photo Credit: HarbourTrust.gov.au
The North Head Sanctuary is located in Manly just 11 km from Sydney. It is far enough away from the city to enjoy some bush walking along the North Head Sanctuary Walking Loop but close enough to see some amazing views of the city skyline and the magnificent Sydney Harbour. The walking trail is an easy walk that should take you about two hours to complete. The trail takes you through Manly’s North Head Sanctuary which is home to the old School of Artillery and other military relics plus the Catholic Church and Archbishop’s residence and seminary. Old ruins isn’t all there is to see though, the flora along the trail is very diverse and includes banksia scrub and hanging swamps; the landscapes include the headland and the beaches. Guided tours are available and you can enjoy refreshments at the Bella Vista Cafe.
Benowie Walking Track in Berowra Valley
Benowie Walking Track in Berowra Valley National Park Photo Credit: NationalParks.nsw.gov.au
Our last featured walk is our longest walk on the list. The Benowie Walking Track is an overnight walk which means camping out for the night and a bushland adventure. The Benowie Walking Track is part of the larger Great North Walk from Sydney to Newcastle which takes a few days to do. This walk keeps you in the Sydney area and just gives you a taste of overnight camping in the bush, but still stay close to the city. The walk is 25 km and follows the Berowra Creek.
Summary and Tips for Bushwalking in Australia
Even if you pick a city walking trail, you should do your research and be prepared for any walk in the bush, beach, or city. Learn about the requirements and ratings of the walk and make sure you have the right shoes, attire, and protection from the sun. Understanding the requirements and ratings of the trails you choose means that you will meet the fitness level for the walk and have enough drinking water and supplies for the length of the walk. When you plan a walk or hike in a remote area, let someone know where you will be and when you are expected back. These steps will ensure that you enjoy your walk in Sydney and are prepared for anything. Also remember as you are enjoying the great outdoors and nature that Sydney has to offer, bring a bag with you to collect your rubbish; leave nothing but footprints and take nothing but pictures.