17 Best Bush Walks in Sydney

Last updated: December 7, 2023

Our guide with 17 of the best bush walks in Sydney, from easy family-friendly trails to challenging and adventurous bushwalking tracks.

Sydney is well known for its beautiful coastline, but Australia’s biggest city is also home to some of the best bushwalking tracks. What’s great is that you don’t have to go far away from the city to enjoy scenic bushland.

While the Blue Mountains out west and the Royal National Park south of the city have some fantastic bushwalks, there is also lots of bushland to explore in and around the city and the Harbour.

Read on, as we reveal our top 17 bushwalks in Sydney, where you can enjoy beautiful natural scenery while also getting a good workout in.

Top 17 Sydney Bush Walks:

Bush Walk Distance
1 America Bay Track 2 km (return)
2 Bullimah Spur Track 2.4 km (return)
3 Tambourine Bay Park to Warraroon Reserve 3 km (return)
4 Harold Reid Reserve Track 4 km (circuit)
5 Overcliff Undercliff Track 4 km (circuit)
6 Blue Gum Walk 4 km (circuit)
7 Lake Parramatta Walk 4.2 km (circuit)
8 Forest Path 4.5 km (circuit)
9 Seaforth Oval to Bluff Lookout 5.5 km (return)
10 Resolute Beach Loop Track 6 km (circuit)
11 Grand Canyon Walk 6 km (circuit)
12 Manly Dam Walk 7.3 km (circuit)
13 Narrabeen Lagoon Trail 8.4 km (circuit)
14 Palm Jungle Loop Track 8.5 km (circuit)
15 Lane Cove Riverside Circuit Walk 10 km (circuit)
16 Sphinx Memorial to Bobbin Head Loop 10 km (circuit)
17 Cowan to Brooklyn via Jerusalem Bay 13 km (one way)

Top 17 Sydney Bush Walks

Ordered by distance from short to long, pick your favourite hike from the following list of the 17 best Sydney bushwalks.

1. America Bay Track

America Bay Track
America Bay Track

The America Bay Track is a short but highly enjoyable bushwalk in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park. It’s only 1 km one way, but it sure packs a punch.

The walk starts with a short detour to a site with well-preserved Aboriginal engravings on a large and flat rocky area.

But the highlight of this scenic walk is the lookout facing America Bay at the end of the track. The views from this lookout are some of the best in the national park.

If you’re looking for a quick and easy bushwalking escape in beautiful natural surroundings, the America Bay Track will not disappoint.

More information: America Bay Track.

Walk stats:
Distance: 2 km (return)
Duration: 1 hour
Grade: easy

2. Bullimah Spur Track

Views from the Bullimah Outlook
Views from the Bullimah Outlook

The Bullimah Spur Track is a relatively easy bushwalking trail in Bouddi National Park, leading to a beautiful lookout.

This enjoyable walking track starts from the Maitland Bay Information Centre, with various other walks and lookouts nearby to explore, including the Maitland Bay Track.

The path through the bush is easy to follow, but it does include sections with uneven surfaces, and there is also a bit of rock scrambling involved.

The lookout at the end of the walk, Bullimah Outlook, offers fantastic views of Putty Beach, Box Head, Broken Bay, and the Palm Beach peninsula.

More information: Bullimah Spur Track.

Walk stats:
Distance: 2.4 km (return)
Duration: 1 hour
Grade: Easy / moderate

3. Tambourine Bay Park to Warraroon Reserve

Warraroon Reserve
Warraroon Reserve

If you’re looking for an easy but adventurous bushwalk close to suburban streets, the trail from Tambourine Bay to Warraroon Reserve will be a pleasant surprise.

This easy 3 km return walking trail passes through a pocket of scenic bushland, linking the suburbs of Longueville, Riverview, and Lane Cove.

The walk follows Tambourine Creek, which flows into Tambourine Bay, a northern tributary of the Lane Cove River.

The best part of the walking trail is the section through Warraroon Reserve, surrounded by tall trees, mangroves, rock formations, and a variety of wildlife.

More information: Tambourine Bay Park to Warraroon Reserve.

Walk stats:
Distance: 3 km (return)
Duration: 1 hour
Grade: Easy

4. Harold Reid Reserve Track

Foreshore of Harold Reid Reserve
Foreshore of Harold Reid Reserve

The Harold Reid Reserve foreshore track is a family-friendly bushwalking trail in the small suburb of Middle Cove, with lovely Middle Harbour views to enjoy.

The walk explores the Harold Reid Reserve, a pocket of natural waterfront bushland on a Hawkesbury sandstone landform facing the calm waters of Fig Tree Cove. This not-so-well-known track is easy to navigate, but it’s a real bushwalk with an unsealed path and sections with uneven surfaces.

Once you’ve completed the walking track, it’s worth driving to the picnic and BBQ area higher up in the reserve, where you will also find a scenic lookout.

This walk can be extended by including (part of) the North Arm Track, a 6.5 km return bushwalk exploring the North Arm Reserve. This walk connects with the Harold Reid Reserve Track on North Arm Road.

More information: Harold Reid Reserve Track.

Walk stats:
Distance: 4 km (circuit)
Duration: 1.5 hours
Grade: Easy

5. Overcliff Undercliff Track

Undercliff Track
Undercliff Track

One of the most popular walks in the Wentworth Falls area in the Blue Mountains is the Overcliff Undercliff walking track. It’s a beautiful 4 km circuit walk through a variety of landscapes.

This walk can be started from the old Conservation Hut or from the Wentworth Falls Picnic Area on Sir H Burrell Drive.

While the Overcliff Undercliff Track doesn’t get very close to the Wentworth Falls waterfall, nor does it go deep into the valley, the beautiful scenery and fantastic valley views make this a fantastic bushwalk.

More information: Overcliff Undercliff Track.

Walk stats:
Distance: 4 km (circuit)
Duration: 2 hours
Grade: Easy / moderate

6. Blue Gum Walk

Blue Gum Walk
Blue Gum Walk

The 4 km long Blue Gum Walk in Hornsby is a bushwalk that explores different landscapes and environments, characterised by high gum trees and beautiful green ferns.

This moderately challenging but family-friendly walking track is a true bushwalker’s delight, taking in creek crossings, gum forests, valley views, and much more.

One of the highlights along this walk is the Fishponds, a series of scenic waterholes on Berowra Creek.

Since the Blue Gum Walk is a loop walk, there are multiple entry and exit points. However, the most logical starting point of this walking track is at the Rosemead Road picnic area in Hornsby.

More information: Blue Gum Walk.

Walk stats:
Distance: 4 km (circuit)
Duration: 1.5 – 2 hours
Grade: Easy / moderate

7. Lake Parramatta Walk

Lake Parramatta
Lake Parramatta

Hiking in Lake Parramatta Reserve makes for a great day out, as you make your way through 75ha of bushland surrounding a lake created by a historic decommissioned dam.

Lake Parramatta was created as a result of the damming of Hunts Creek in 1856. The lake is now a recreational area with four marked bush walking trails that combined form the 4.2 km Lake Parramatta Walk.

This circuit trail around the lake is moderately challenging but can be completed by anyone with a reasonable fitness level. It’s a fantastic Sydney bush walk with beautiful scenery to enjoy.

More information: Lake Parramatta Walk.

Walk stats:
Distance: 4.2 km (circuit)
Duration: 2 hours
Grade: Easy / moderate

8. Forest Path

Forest Path
Forest Path

The Forest Path is a scenic and unpretentious bushwalking trail along the Hacking River in Royal National Park.

It’s a relatively easy 4.5 km trail with start and finish on Sir Bertram Stevens Drive in the southern section of the national park.

This walk opened in 1887 to allow easy access to the forest trees to accommodate logging in the area. Public pressure ultimately led to the ban on logging in the 1920s, and the Forest Path has since been used for recreational purposes only.

If you have extra time to spare, go and do the Palona Cave Walk, another great bushwalk that starts from the same spot on Sir Bertram Stevens Drive.

More information: Forest Path.

Walk stats:
Distance: 4.5 km (circuit)
Duration: 1.5 – 2 hours
Grade: Easy / moderate

9. Seaforth Oval to Bluff Lookout

The Bluff Lookout
The Bluff Lookout

The 5.5 km return walk to the Bluff Lookout from Seaforth Oval in Garigal National Park is a challenging bushwalking adventure with panoramic views of Bantry Bay.

The first part of the trail is an easy descent towards the bay, followed by a scenic walk along the shoreline.

The track then makes a steep ascent towards the Bluff Lookout, where you can enjoy fantastic views of the bay, Middle Harbour, and Sydney’s skyline.

Even though this walking track is relatively short, it is pretty challenging because of the climbs and sections with a rough surface, but overall, it’s a highly enjoyable bush walk.

More information: Seaforth Oval to Bluff Lookout.

Walk stats:
Distance: 5.5 km (return)
Duration: 3 hours
Grade: Moderate / hard

10. Resolute Beach Loop Track

Resolute Beach
Resolute Beach

Resolute Beach in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park is one of those secluded beaches in Sydney that you should visit at least once every year.

This is a true hidden gem with amazing views of Pittwater and the Barrenjoey Headland, beautiful emerald green water, and usually very few tourists.

The 6 km Resolute Loop Track is an exciting bush walking track that leads to Resolute Beach via the Resolute Picnic Ground.

The trail also includes the West Head Lookout, which offers breathtaking views of Pittwater, Broken Bay, Barrenjoey Headland, and Palm Beach.

More information: Resolute Beach Loop Track.

Walk stats:
Distance: 6 km (circuit)
Duration: 3 hours
Grade: Moderate

11. Grand Canyon Walk

Grand Canyon Walk
Grand Canyon Walk

The Blue Mountains is home to many fantastic walking tracks, but perhaps the most impressive one is the historic Grand Canyon Walk.

Officially opened in 1907, the 6 km long Grand Canyon walking track was the first of its kind and has since been challenged by thousands of bushwalkers each year. The trail meanders through lush rainforest, with several creek crossings and small waterfalls to take in.

While the track has some very steep sections, the Grand Canyon Walk can be undertaken by anyone with a reasonable fitness level, but bring a bottle of water with you.

The cooler temperatures in the valley make this trail a pleasant adventure all year round, including the warmer summer months.

More information: Grand Canyon Walk.

Walk stats:
Distance: 6 km (circuit)
Duration: 3 hours
Grade: Moderate / hard

12. Manly Dam Walk

Manly Dam Walk
Manly Dam Walk

Surrounded by 377 hectares of bushland, Manly Dam Reserve is the largest freshwater lake in Sydney. The lake was created due to the damming of Curl Curl Creek to create a water supply for the local area.

The pleasant bushwalking trail around Manly Dam is a 7.3 km circuit track with panoramic views of the dam and the large lake.

Manly Dam Reserve is now a popular recreational area, with many activities in and around the lake, such as hiking, mountain biking, swimming, picnicking, and water skiing.

Although the circuit walk is rather long, it isn’t a difficult hike. However, there are some steeper sections and some areas where the surface is rough with lots of loose rocks.

More information: Manly Dam Walk.

Walk stats:
Distance: 7.3 km (circuit)
Duration: 3 hours
Grade: Moderate

13. Narrabeen Lagoon Trail

Bushwalking in Narrabeen
Bushwalking in Narrabeen

The scenic Narrabeen Lagoon circuit trail is a stunning 8.4 km walking track around Narrabeen Lakes in Sydney’s northern beaches.

Completed in February 2015, this track is now a popular weekend escape for walkers, joggers, and cyclists, enjoying the natural beauty and serenity of this idyllic lake surrounded by thriving bushland.

Narrabeen Lakes is also called Narrabeen Lagoon because the lake is essentially a coastal lagoon, separated from the sea on the other side of Ocean Street.

Overall, it’s a relatively easy walk that is mostly flat and well-marked from start to finish. There are several cafes along the way, so you can combine this walk with a nice lunch.

More information: Narrabeen Lagoon Trail.

Walk stats:
Distance: 8.4 km (circuit)
Duration: 2.5 hours
Grade: Easy / moderate

14. Palm Jungle Loop Track

Palm Jungle in Royal National Park
Palm Jungle in Royal National Park

The second bushwalk in the Royal National Park on this list is the moderately challenging, 8.5 km long Palm Jungle Loop Track.

This bushwalking track is particularly exciting because it passes through various types of landscapes and sceneries.

The trail takes in thriving rainforests, beautiful coastal views, and scenic cliff tops, with a quick visit to Burning Palms Beach as a bonus on a warm day.

The path is well-maintained and easy to follow from start to finish, with sections with metal boardwalks and a few steep sections with steps.

More information: Palm Jungle Loop Track.

Walk stats:
Distance: 8.5 km (circuit)
Duration: 3 hours
Grade: Moderate

15. Lane Cove Riverside Circuit Walk

Lane Cove Riverside Circuit Walk
Lane Cove Riverside Circuit Walk

Located only 20 minutes north-west of the Sydney CBD, Lane Cove National Park is a large pocket of scenic bushland surrounding the banks of the Lane Cove River.

Popular with walkers, joggers, and cyclists, Sydney’s metropolitan Lane Cove National Park extends from Pennant Hills in the north to East Ryde in the south.

The central section of the national park is home to the Riverside Walking Track and the Lane Cove Valley Walk, and these two bushwalks combined from the 10 km Lane Cove Riverside Circuit Walk.

It’s a moderately challenging 10 km loop walk along both sides of the Lane Cove River and is the perfect way to explore the natural beauty of this national park.

More information: Lane Cove Riverside Circuit Walk.

Walk stats:
Distance: 10 km (circuit)
Duration: 3 hours
Grade: Moderate

16. Sphinx Memorial to Bobbin Head Loop

Sphinx Memorial
Sphinx Memorial

The 10 km Sphinx Memorial to Bobbin Head loop via Warrimoo Track is an exciting bushwalk through various landscapes in Ku-ring-gai Chase NP.

One half of the loop (Warrimoo Track) follows the beautiful shoreline of Cowan Creek, while the other half (Bobbin Head trail) is mostly a fire trail through a forest of gum trees.

While this loop track can be started in Bobbin Head, a more logical place to start this hike is the Sphinx Memorial in North Turramurra. This unique sandstone monument was built in the 1920s to commemorate those who died in service during World War I.

The best section of this loop track is the Warrimoo Track; beautiful forests, rock formations, mangroves, and panoramic water views make this a highly enjoyable bushwalk.

More information: Sphinx Memorial to Bobbin Head Loop.

Walk stats:
Distance: 10 km (circuit)
Duration: 4 hours
Grade: Moderate

17. Cowan to Brooklyn via Jerusalem Bay

Cowan to Brooklyn via Jerusalem Bay
Cowan to Brooklyn via Jerusalem Bay

The challenging bushwalk from Cowan train station to Brooklyn via Jerusalem Bay through stunningly beautiful scenery is a real bushwalking challenge.

From Cowan train station, you can hike all the way to Brooklyn, which is 13 km long, or only do the short return hike to Jerusalem Bay, which is much easier.

The bushwalk between Cowan and Brooklyn is part of the Great North Walk, an iconic 250 km track between Sydney, Hunter Valley, and Newcastle. This 13 km section is very challenging but well worth the effort.

The best way to get to Cowan is to use public transport, as the start of the walking track is opposite the train station. Follow the signs for Brooklyn and the Great North Walk to find the start of the track. Once in Brooklyn, you can catch the train back to Cowan.

More information: Cowan to Jerusalem Bay.

Walk stats:
Distance: 13 km (one way)
Duration: 4 – 5 hours
Grade: Hard
 
 

17 Best Sydney bush walks

 
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