Living in Sydney, we’re spoiled for choice when it comes to walking tracks. Whether you want to enjoy the rugged coastline, the harbour foreshore, or even bushland, there are plenty of places to go for a wander. The best way to explore and exercise is to walk, so lace up those sports shoes and join us on one of the best walking tracks in Sydney. And bring your phone, because you can bet there’s going to be a beautiful backdrop to snap!
*It goes without saying, in light of the current COVID-19 situation we find ourselves in, you should pick a location close to home, practice good social distancing while out and about, and organise your outdoor exercise during off-peak times.
The Best Walking Tracks in Sydney
Hugging the coastline of Middle Harbour and North Harbour, the Manly to Spit Bridge Walk is one of Sydney’s most spectacular hikes. This four-hour walk leads you past the calm waters of Clontarf Reserve and Reef Bay and through the rugged bushland of Sydney National Park which has non-descript paths that take you off the beaten path to more secluded areas. The views are incredible at every turn and whether you finish in Manly or along the Spit Bridge, world-class dining awaits.
It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve done it: the Bondi to Coogee coastal walk never gets old. It’s iconic, passing Bondi Icebergs and a bunch of beaches, lookouts, rockpools and parks before finishing up at Coogee Beach. The views are spectacular, and while the path is mostly paved, there are a few sets of stairs, so expect to get a little sweaty. While the full Bondi to Coogee track is 6km, the shorter version covering Bondi to Bronte (2.5km) is just as good.
Bushwalkers, you’ll love this loop! It starts at North Head Sanctuary, and takes in bushland, wildlife and a bit of Aussie history. You’ll wander through the former North Head Army Barracks, then follow the trail into the bush, where you’ll see native plants, birds and maybe even an echidna. At a few points, the 9.5km walk also boasts coastal views.
Beginning at Rose Bay ferry wharf and traversing the Hermitage Foreshore Track, this eight-kilometre trail offers spectacular harbour views and several pitstops at memorable Sydney icons, including Strickland House, Nielsen Park and Hornby Lighthouse. The walk takes about four hours, but if you’ve got extra time, stop off at one of the several hidden beaches along the way for a dip.
For a bushwalking experience that’s close to the city, head off on the Bradley’s Head to Chowder Bay Walk. The track begins at the Taronga Zoo ferry wharf and extends to the bay, taking in picturesque views of the Harbour Bridge, Opera House and skyline along the way. The leafy trail also covers a bunch of heritage-listed and historic buildings, such as Athol Hall. It’s about 5km return and relatively flat, making it the perfect Sunday afternoon stroll.
In the eastern suburbs, the Federation Cliff Walk is another scenic option. Stretching from Watsons Bay to Dover Heights, the 5km coastal track features ocean views and dramatic sandstone cliffs. It also takes walkers through parklands and past the Macquarie Lighthouse before ending at Robertson Park.
Looking for more of the best walking tracks in Sydney to challenge yourself, check out our articles on: Sydney’s Top 5 Walking Tracks North Side of the Bridge, Sydney’s Best Walking Tracks South Side of the Bridge and 7 of the Best Blue Mountains Day Hikes.