22 Best Hikes In Sydney Within A 2.5hr drive 2024 Guide

Sometimes we just need to get out into the fresh air and explore some of the best hikes in Sydney. We’ve spent years ticking off the best walks in Sydney so that we could share this guide with you.

Expect to read about some of the best bush walks, waterfalls, canyoning spots and walking tracks to secluded beaches to explore on your next hiking adventure!

Check out our guide for the best waterfalls in Sydney if you’re looking to do some wild swimming on your next hike!

Please Be Aware

Before I start this guide, please make sure you look after yourself when you are hiking in Sydney. We are not invincible so just be careful and don’t carry on if you feel unsafe, and don’t put yourself in any situation that might be dangerous in order to simply get a photo. Fatalities do happen and we want to make sure you take proper care when going on an adventure.

Please wear proper hiking boots when hiking in Sydney. I wear SCARPA hiking boots which have taken me to Everest Base Camp. The trick is to buy half a size up and invest in proper hiking socks!

1. Sea Cliff Bridge Lookout Walk // 30 minutes return hike

A very popular hiking path is the Sea Cliff Bridge Lookout thanks to Instagram.

There’s a lot of confusion about how to find this lookout but I have it all covered in my How To Find The Sea Cliff Bridge Lookout Guide complete with a video. Just make sure you don’t use the track next to the railway lines as you’re looking at, at least a $400 fine.

Just be VERY careful if you are thinking of doing this walk and don’t take kids – there have been fatalities.

2. Mares Forest Creek Canyon & Wombeyan Caves //
3 hr return hike and swim


One of the most amazing things I have ever done in Sydney was a trek and swim through Mares Forest Creek Canyon. Located at the equally amazing Wombeyan Caves, It’s a 30 minute hike to the canyon before you’ll spend a few hours swimming up creek.

Find out more about this adventure in our following guides:

3. Cascade Falls walk // 30 minutes return


The Cascade Falls walk is the perfect walk for families and wild swimmers. Located in Macquarie Pass National Park, this Shoalhaven walk makes the perfect day trip from Sydney. It only took us 12 minutes to walk to the falls which is an easy to follow, mostly flat path through what feels like a mini rainforest.

There are a couple of more waterfalls on this track, but there is a big fence up saying not to climb up above Cascade Falls. It’s up to you if you want to risk it and get fined, but I wouldn’t take kids up there if I were you. Find out more about the walk in our guide Cascade Falls Walk: A Family Friendly Hike in Macquarie Pass.

4. Drawing Room Rocks // 1 hour return


Drawing Room Rocks is one of the best walks in the Southern Highlands. With epic views out to the Shoalhaven Region, you’ll reach the unique rocks after a 30 minute climb which look like table tops and chairs. Our 9 Tips For Drawing Room Rocks Walk in Berry has all the information about completing this hike.

The weathering of the Hawkesbury Sandstone cliffs is the reason for the unusual rocks but the views are what makes this hike really special. I did this walk on my own and found it to be easy to follow and straight forward. It’s a gradual climb to the top so you will get a bit sweaty but it’s easy enough for someone with little exercise to complete.

Check out our 21 Best Things To Do In Berry while you’re there, where I share the best places to eat, things to do and much more!

5. Kanangra-Boyd National Park // 1.30hr return hike

The next jaw dropping Sydney hike I have been on is the Kanangra-Walls Walk in Kanangra-Boyd National Park.It takes about 3 hours to drive to Kanangra-Boyd National Park from Sydney, which takes you past Jenolan Caves, but it’s completely worth it.

Check out our guide How To Visit Kanangra Walls At Kanangra-Boyd National Park Near Sydney for all the information you’ll need about exploring this fantastic hike.

6. Hanging Rock In Blue Mountains // 2.20 hr return hike

Hanging Rock in Blue Mountains is an easy to follow hike which would be impossible to get lost. While the walk to the lookout isn’t the most inspiring, it’s completely worth it when you reach Hanging Rock & Baltzer Lookout. We were in complete awe of this place.

If you have the desire to stand at the very edge of this famous rock, be aware as it’s incredibly dangerous and I strongly recommend you don’t attempt it. Read our Tips For Hanging Rock Walk Guide before doing this one.

7. Maitland Bay Walk In Bouddi National Park // 40 minute hike return


The best hike to a secluded beach in Sydney is without a doubt Maitland Bay. The 20 minute walk down to the beach is easy, but it’s Maitland Bay beach itself which is just stunning. Discover more about this walk and other secluded beaches in our 10 Secret Beaches In Sydney You Need To Know About.

8. Jump Rock At Macquarie Pass // 1 hour return hike


The first ever Sydney waterfall walk I did was to Jump Rock at Macquarie Pass and it’s still one of the best hikes in Sydney in my eyes. You’ll pass a couple of people along the way but that’s cool, because they can help you guide you if you’re unsure how to find the famous swimming hole. Check out our Best Waterfalls In Sydney guide to learn more about the stunning waterfalls and swimming holes in Sydney.

9. Resolute Beach In Ku-ring-gai National Park // 1.30hr return hike

Another one of my favourite beach hikes in Sydney is to Resolute Beach in Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park.It’s mind blowing to think this beautiful beach is located right over the water from Palm Beach but you’ll honestly feel like you’ve found the most beautiful gem in Sydney. Read more about it in our Best Things To Do In Palm Beach Guide.

10. Barrenjoey Lighthouse Walk // 45 minutes return

The Barrenjoey Lighthouse walk is a spectacular walk up to the Barrenjoey Headland. As one of the most popular walks in Sydney, there’s a reason why it’s so busy. The gradual climb up to the top of the headland to the famous lighthouse will present you with spectacular views overlooking Palm Beach. It’s one of those classic walks everyone must do, regardless of your fitness levels.

11. Mermaid Pools In Tahmoor
1.30 hour return hike


A easy 30min-45min hike to Mermaid Pools in Tahmoor is a must. When you arrive at the pools, you’ll be in awe of how this was once a sacred spot for Aboriginal women to bathe in.

If you want to swim in these pools, you’re going to need to jump from quite a high cliff into them. Be warned though – it’s at your own risk as there have been injuries here. If something does happen, you’ll have to wait for an air ambulance to arrive.

12. Walk To The Top Of Gerringong Falls // 3hr return hike or 2hr return bike ride


If you want to discover a pretty much off the beaten hike in Sydney, then I’d recommend hiking to the top of Gerringong Falls. It’s a long hike, but I’d recommend taking your bike for a lovely ride as the path is bike friendly and easy to follow.

Read our guides for Gerringong Falls before you go because this isn’t an easy hike and it’s pretty full on.

13. America Bay In Ku-ring-gai National Park // 40min return hike


If you’re after a really easy quick hike in Sydney, then I’d recommend America Bay in Ku-ring-gai National Park.While most people might visit West Head Lookout in Ku-ring-gai National Park to see the spectacular views out to Palm Beach in Sydney, many might not have heard of some of the walks you’ll pass by on the road.

Just before you reach West Head Lookout, there’s a walking track to America Bay which has epic views you need to see for yourself.

14. Hike To The Bottom Of Wentworth Falls In Blue Mountains
2hr return

One of the best hikes in Sydney I’ve been to is to Wentworth Falls in Blue Mountains. It’s a very busy hike to the first stage of the falls which I think most reckon that’s the bottom, but it’s not! The hike is amazingly designed and the path meanders into the cliffs and under cliffs, and the stairs – there’s lots of them.

After you reach the first stage of the falls, continue on and the crowds disappear. You’ll be faced with some questionable staircases but just don’t look down and you’ll be fine!

15. Hike To The Top Of Mount Tomaree In Port Stephens // 30min return

One of the best hikes in Sydney is Mount Tomaree in Port Stephens.It looks pretty daunting from the bottom but I was surprised it only took me 15 minutes at the most to get to the top and that was walking very slowly in my sandals!

Make a weekend of it in the area and tick off some of these bucket list experiences:

16. Karloo Pool and Olympic Pools Walk In Royal National Park // 2.5hr return


While Karloo Pools in Royal National Park tends to be pretty busy because you can get to them using public transport (Heathcote train station), if you continue on further, you’ll come to the amazing Olympic Pools.

When you get to Karloo Pools, walk over the rocks on the left of the pools and continue on for about another hour and you’ll come to the massive Olympic Pools in Royal National Park. We attempted to find this pool twice because we just couldn’t find the track from Karloo Pools. Just keep to the left hand side of the pools and you’ll find it.

17. Bundeena To Wedding Cake Rock & Big Marley Beach // 2.5hr return


The Bundeena to Wedding Cake Rock walkis really popular for a day trip to Royal National Park in Sydney. You can easily get public transport here by catching the train to Cronulla, then jumping on the ferry to Bundeena. This is a fantastic walk to see a beautiful walk in Royal National Park.

The actual best part of this hike is out to Big Marley beach. Once you leave Wedding Cake Rock, the final 1.3KM becomes much more quieter as you’ll probably get the path to yourself. When it opens out to the image above, it’s absolutely breathtaking. Bring your swimmers and go for a swim when you arrive at Big Marley Beach.

18. White Sands Coastal Walk In Jervis Bay // 2hr return hike


The White Sands Coastal Walk is an absolutely gorgeous coastal walk in Jervis Bay. You’ll pass by so many beautiful beaches, you’ll only have to worry about which one to spend the most time at. We also found the very hidden Granite Falls which is a 40 minute drive out of Jervis Bay which is worth venturing to as well.

I highly recommend jumping on these Jervis Bay tours while you’re there:

There’s so many things to do in Jervis Bay, we recommend staying for the weekend!

19. The Garie Coastal Walk In Royal National Park


The Garie Coastal Hike in Royal National Park is an absolutely stunning walk! Not only is the Garie Beach so beautiful, the coastal walk will take you to more secluded beaches as you walk in the second oldest national park in the world!

There are loads of walks to consider which is why we put together The Best Walks in Royal National Park for you to check out.

20. Diamond Bay In Bondi


If you’re looking for a city walk in Sydney, then we recommend doing the the Bondi beach to Watsons Bay walk. This is a much quieter walk in Sydney than the Bondi to Coogee walk, but the highlight is finding the beautiful Diamond Bay in Bondi. The remains of what looks to be a house makes you feel like you could be in somewhere like Greece. It’s a special place!

If you do walk down to the cliff edge, be incredible careful – there has been a fatality here.

More walks in Sydney CBD to discover:

21. Figure 8 Pools In Royal National Park

The Figure 8 Pools became so popular that it’s been told over a thousand people were believed to do this hike in just one day! When we visited, the crowds had died down but we did visit in Spring and early in the morning.

What most people hadn’t mentioned about this hike in Sydney is that it’s a beautiful walk to get there. You’ll pass by a couple of beaches and just seeing that sun glisten on the ocean is so special, it’s a moment you won’t forget.

Make sure you read our Tips For Visiting Figure 8 Pools because you need to know about tides to actually do this walk. I talk all about what you need to know before making a wasted day trip out there.

22. The Grand Canyon Walk Blue Mountains


We’ve finally ticked off one of the best walks in Sydney, the Grand Canyon Walk Blue Mountains! One of the things I love about this hike is that you’ll pass by so many different terrains, you’ll feel like you’ve done three hikes in one. From the dry bushland, the further you head into the canyon, you’ll enter a tropical paradise. It’s an absolutely exceptional walk.

If I could only do one hike in Sydney, I’d do the Grand Canyon Walk in Blue Mountains. Find out Everything You Need To Know Before Doing The Grand Canyon Walk down to a rainforest believed to be over 100 million years old below!

More Sydney hiking guides


Check out our Sydney Walks Page for all of our walking guides to check out. Here are a couple for you to get started with now.

19 Best Waterfalls in Sydney

15 Best Hiking & Camping Sydney Weekend Itineraries

13 Best Kangaroo Valley Waterfalls & Swimming Holes

15 Best Royal National Park Walks In Sydney

How to Spend A Weekend From Sydney Hiking In Blue Mountains

10 Best Blue Mountains Lookouts You Can Drive Right Up To

30 Best Hikes in Blue Mountains

Best 22 Hikes In Sydney