I’ve gone from obsessing over finding the best waterfalls in Sydney, to the best secluded beaches in Sydney and more recently the best hikes in Sydney.

I thought it would only be fair to share some of the best bushwalking in Sydney and walking tracks near me which I’ve personally experienced.

Find our 10 best lookouts in Blue Mountains!

In no particular order, here’s my 18 best hikes in Sydney that include a mixture of some of the best bush walks in Sydney, canyoning, waterfall swimming hikes and hikes to the best beaches in Sydney.

Before I start this post, please, please make sure you look after yourself when you are hiking. 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 just to get a photo. 

Heading Out To Exercise During Self-Isolation?
Loosely use this post as a guide to find new hikes in Sydney.

Try to stay away from crowds and keep at least 1.5m away from others.

Check here for the most up-to-date advice from NSW Government regarding the Corona-Virus.


1. Mares Forest Creek Canyon Hike At Wombeyan Caves
2h/3h hike and swim

Mares-forest-creek-canyon-wombeyan

Although this post is in no particular order, my part hike, swim and sort of canyoning adventure through the Mares Forest Creek Canyon is without a doubt the best thing I have ever done in Sydney, hands down.

It’s a 3 hour drive out to Wombeyan Caves. You can stop off at the information office when you arrive to get some walking directions if you need to. Once you’re directed onto the right path, it’s a pretty easy 30 minute walk to the water.

You’ll then need to strip off to your swimmers or wetsuit if it’s winter or Spring, then time to embrace the cold water.

My friend and I went completely unprepared and I’d advise wearing some sort of aqua shoes for this one as you’ll be walking, swimming and climbing over rocks. The scenery is completely mind blowing and I must admit, it’s easily one of the best hikes near Sydney.

Expect crystal clear, emerald waters and you’ll just want to keep on going as far as you can. It is amazing!

Also, you can sack off Jenolan Caves (even though driving through the cave is a bit of a novelty) because Wombeyan Caves are incredible. We went on a self guided tour to have a massive cave all to ourselves! It was amazing!

There’s a fantastic campsite here that’s worth staying in for the weekend if you didn’t want to drive there and back in one day.

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2. Kanangra-Boyd National Park Hike
1.30hr return

The next jaw dropping Sydney hike I have been on is a hike through the Kanangra-Boyd National Park.

It takes about 3 hours to drive here from Sydney, going past Jenolan Caves, but it’s completely worth it.

We honestly felt like we could have been in somewhere like Borneo. It is honestly incredible!

There’s also a lovely looking campsite nearby if you wanted to stay the weekend.

READ MORE: Everything You Need To Know About Hiking To Kanangra-Boyd National Park >

Watch Our Video Below Of Our Hike To Kanangra-Boyd National Park


Looking For Bondi Or Manly Hikes?

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3. Hanging Rock Hike In Blue Mountains
2.20 hr return

Although Hanging Rock in Blue Mountains is a popular hike, nothing quite prepares you for the views you get when you reach the end.

It’s an easy to follow hike which would be impossible to get lost. 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. There’s a big gap in the rock which you have to jump over which was way too scary in my eyes.

When I went there, there were loads of people and only one person jumped over the rock. It was also really windy as well and very scary. But this place is without a doubt worth visiting, it’s incredibly beautiful there.

READ MORE: Everything You Need To Know About
Hiking To Hanging Rock In Blue Mountains >


4. Maitland Bay Hike In Bouddi National Park
40 minute hike return

Source: icentralcoast

The best hike to a secluded beach in Sydney is without a doubt Maitland Bay.

The 20 minute walk down to the beach was easy, but it was the beach which was incredible.

This secluded beach was so incredibly beautiful, we felt like we could have been in the Mediterranean with the calm waters. This place is total paradise!

READ MORE: 10 Best Secluded Beaches In Sydney >


5. Macquarie Jump Pass Hike
1 hour return

The first ever Sydney waterfall hike I did was to Macquarie Jump Pass and it’s still one of my favourites to date.

You’ll pass a couple of people along the way but that’s cool, because they can help you guide the way if you’re unsure.

What’s waiting for you at the end is the most beautiful, dreamy and magical looking swimming pools.

There’s a rope swing and also a natural slide. What else do you need?

READ MORE: Best Waterfalls In Sydney To Hike >


6. Sea Cliff Bridge Lookout
30 minutes return

A very popular place to visit right now is the Sea Cliff Bridge Lookout thanks to Instagram.

If you’re looking to take that perfect insta worthy shot on your hike, it doesn’t get much better than taking here at Sea Cliff Bridge.

There’s a lot of confusion about how to find this lookout but I have it all covered complete with a video below. Just make sure you don’t use the track next to the railway lines as you’re looking at a good $400 fine.

READ MORE: How To Get To Sea Cliff Bridge Lookout >


7. Resolute Beach Hike In Sydney
1.30hr return hike

Another one of my favourite beach hikes in Sydney is to Resolute Beach in Kur-ring-gai National Park.

It’s mind blowing to think this is located right over the water from Palm Beach but you’ll honestly feel like you’ve found the most beautiful gem to exist near Sydney.

Take the boat from Palm Beach over to Mackerel Beach, then follow the beach all along to your right until you find the track. This will take you right next to the crystal clear waters and over to a pretty much secluded Resolute Beach.

READ MORE: 10 Best Secluded Beaches In Sydney >


8. Mermaid Pools Hike In Sydney
1.30 hour return

A easy 30min-45min hike to Mermaid Pools in NSW 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.

The only thing is, if you want to swim in these pools, you’re going to need to jump from quite a high cliff into them. Be warned; if you do jump, it’s at your own risk as there have been injuries here.

Me on the other hand couldn’t quite face it so I went back up stream to enjoy the water in the most beautiful pools. I really felt like I was immersed in nature here and it was awesome.

READ MORE: 16 Best Waterfalls In Sydney To Swim In >


9. Top of Gerringong Falls Hike
3hr return hike / 2hr return bike ride

If you want to discover a pretty much off the beaten hike, then I’d recommend hiking to the top of Gerringong Falls.

It’s a long hike, but I’d recommend taking your bikes for a lovely ride as the path is bike friendly and easy to follow.

When you reach the end, dump your bikes to the side and follow the stream to the left. You’ll then come to the very top of the falls.

Please note, there is no safety restrictions at the top of the falls so don’t get too close. Also, don’t even bother trying to get to the bottom of Gerringong Falls, it’s way too dangerous (trust me I tried it here!).

Read more about Gerringong Falls below

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10. America Bay Hike In Sydney
40 minute return

If you’re after a really easy quick hike, then I’d recommend America Bay in Kur-ring-gai National Park.

We headed up to the West Head Lookout Point over to Palm Beach which is gorgeous then on our way back, we stopped off at the America bay starting point and started on our hike.

It’s a very easy 20 minute hike to the beautiful lookout of America Bay. It’s a beautiful spot to bring a picnic and enjoy the quietness on your weekend.

READ MORE: How To Hike To America Bay in Sydney >


11. Wentworth Falls Hike In Blue Mountains
2 hours return

One of my favourite hikes I’ve been on is to Wentworth Falls. 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!

It’s all worth it when you get to the bottom as the falls are incredible. There were only two other couples there at the bottom when we went, we couldn’t believe how empty it was after the masses we saw before.

READ MORE: How To Hike To The Bottom Of Wentworth Falls >


12. Mount Tomaree Hike In Port Stephens
30 minutes return

One of our favourite hikes near Sydney is the hike to 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!

The views up at the top are incredible, you’ll be blown away that this actually exists near Sydney!

READ MORE: 13 Things To Do In Port Stephens >


13. Olympic Pools In Sydney
2.5 hour return

If you’ve heard of Karloo Pools, these tend to be pretty busy because it’s easy to get to from using public transport (Heathcote train station), it’s just a half an hour hike.

When you get to Karloo Pools, walk over the rocks on the left and continue on for about another hour and you’ll come to the massive Olympic Pools. 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.

When we got to the pool, it was the first ever wild swimming spot we found with not one other person in sight. To be honest, we didn’t actually swim here because we were unsure whether it was safe, but of course it is!

READ MORE: 16 Best Waterfalls In Sydney To Swim In >


14. Bundeena To Big Marley Beach In Royal National Park
2.5 hour return

The Bundeena to Wedding Cake Rock or to Big Marley Beach is a very busy hike in Sydney and The Royal National because you can get public transport to here (boat from Cronulla).

In saying that, I really loved the final section of the hike from Wedding Cake Rock and onto Big Marley Beach which opens out to an incredible coastal hike in Sydney you need to do1

It’s funny how everyone headed over to the non-exciting Wedding Cake Rock, but once I continued on for the last 1.3KM it was pure bliss.

There wasn’t really anyone else around and once the track opened up onto Big Marley beach, it made me heart sing. What a sight! And Big Marley is also one of my favourite beaches near Sydney!

READ MORE: Everything You Need To Know About Hiking From Bundeena To Wedding Cake Rock and Big Marley Beach In The Royal National Park Sydney >


15. White Sands Coastal Walk In Jervis Bay
2 hour return hike

The White Sands Coastal Walk in Jervis Bay is absolutely spectacular! I found it hidden deep within the internet and somehow knew it was going to be a proper hidden gem. Little did I know, it’s an amazing walk everyone needs to do!

This coastal hike in NSW will introduce you to some of the best beaches in Australia. That’s right, I’ve called it, some of the most beautiful beaches not only near Sydney but in Australia!

The water is green and the sand is white, that you’ll find the whitest sand beach in the world on this hike. Finish the hike with breakfast or lunch at the gorgeous Hyams Beach Cafe.

READ MORE: 13 Things To Do In Jervis Bay >


16. The Garie Coastal Walk In Royal National Park Sydney

One of the best hikes in Sydney is The Garie Beach hike in The Royal National Park. The Garie is actually another one of my favourite beaches in Sydney but it will be hard to find another coastal walk where the path is literally on the beach.

You’ll pass through some incredible homes that are completely cut off from the world. How do they get supplies there if there are no roads? We spoke to a local and they all pay for a helicopter to fly in supplies every so often. It’s mind blowing to think this is just an hour from Sydney.

We were in complete envy of living in a secluded environment like this. Shame about all the hikers passing through, but the views are stunning!

READ MORE: 10 Best Secluded Beaches In Sydney >


17. Figure 8 Pools In Royal National Park

The Figure 8 Pools in The Royal National Park became so popular during 2016 that it’s been told over a thousand people were believed to do this hike in just one day.

What I hadn’t read before is how beautiful this hike actually is. You can get here via the train from Sydney to Otford or via car. Just make sure you plan your hike to low tide and read our post about the 8 things you need to know before you go there so you don’t waste your time.

READ MORE: 8 Things You Need To Know Before You Visit The Figure 8 Pools In Sydney >


18. Diamond Bay In Bondi

Hiking in Sydney wouldn’t be complete without an actual hike in the city itself. Although Bondi is renowned for its famous Bondi-Coogee hike which in itself is an amazing hike, have you ever done the hike from North Bondi – Watsons Bay?

When I did this hike, I couldn’t believe how empty the path was. You’ll get some knockout views but without the crowds plus you’ll get to see the amazing Diamond Bay.


And a new edition…

The Grand Canyon Walk Blue Mountains

GRAND-CANYON-WALK-blue mountains

We’ve finally ticked off one of the best walks in Sydney, the Grand Canyon Walk Blue Mountains! Find out everything you need to know before you tackle this incredible hike down to a rainforest believed to be over 100 million years old!

Read Our Hikes In Blue Mountains Below!


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18 Best Hikes In Sydney

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