If you’re looking for North Sydney walks – to feel like you can get away from the city – we’ve got some great spots to explore.
After living in the Lower North Shore, we’ve found some fantastic hidden gems on our walks around Sydney to share with you.
Here’s some of our favourite walks in Sydney which range from as north as Hornsby and down to Kirribilli.
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1. Lisgar Gardens Walk
Lisgar Gardens in Hornsby is a beautiful hideaway from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. When you reach the end of the residential street of Lisgar Road, you’ll wonder if you’ve gone the right way.
What’s waiting for you at the end of the street is one of the best gardens in Sydney. Lisgar Gardens is absolutely beautiful. There’s plenty of seating areas dotted around and you’ll even find a lovely little waterfall in there too!
Bring a picnic and chill out for the day. It’s such a gorgeous place to come and relax in!
2. Swain Gardens Walk
Another gorgeous hidden garden in Sydney is Swain Gardens near Chatswood in Killara. As we drove down yet another residential street, we came to the end of the road and parked up. As we crossed over the street, we walked into a proper hidden gem of a gardens.
A local resident built this garden over 70 years ago which is now maintained by the council for all to enjoy.
There’s loads of bamboo everywhere and when you enter into the gardens, it’s like it completely opens up into a magical space.
There’s lawns to have a picnic, picnic benches, a gazebo and toilets here. Honestly, you’ll want to spend the entire day just walking around and appreciating the quietness of this spectacular garden.
3. Lane Cove National Park Walks
Lane Cove National Park is often overlooked for Sydney hikes but there’s actually quite a lot to discover. I used to go running in Lane Cove National Park when I worked in Macquarie Park a few years ago and it always baffled me how a place like this existed in a corporate part of Sydney.
One of the most popular Lane Cove National Park walks is the Riverside Walking track. It’s 5km one way and takes between 2-3 hours but you don’t have to do all of it, so you could turn back at any point.
It’s a popular track for families looking to get out into nature without having to leave Sydney. Expect to find loads of wildlife, picnic areas and beautiful river views.
4. Flat Rock Gully Walking Track Cammeray
When we lived in Cammeray, we used to walk along the Flat Rock Gully Walking Track quite often. Park up at the beautiful Tunk Park Boat Ramp and walk through the sports field and under the bridge.
You’ll then find the path on the left hand side. When we’ve done this walk, we didn’t see anyone else around so it’s a great path to have all to yourself. You can bring dogs too 🙂
5. Taronga Zoo To Balmoral Beach
Distance: Approx 5KM Time: 1h15min without stopping one way
There are some fantastic Sydney Harbour Walks on the north side you need to consider. We suggest starting off at Taronga Zoo and heading all the way along the coastal path to Balmoral Beach.
Along the way, you’ll pass by Clifton Gardens in Chowder Bay. This is a brilliant family beach complete with a playground, shark net and flat water.
Sitting above Clifton Gardens is Ripples Chowder Bay Restaurant. This is one of my favourite restaurants in Sydney! Pricing is above average but it’s worth it purely for the view and they offer BYO! Come here for Christmas in July – it’s awesome!
Then you can detour over to Obelisk Beach if a nudist beach is your thing because this one is beautiful! There’s also another nudist beach almost on the opposite side called Cobblers Beach. I went here once and was pretty surprised how packed it was full of nudists. I hid and ran back up the hill as my reserved British nature couldn’t handle it!!
Balmoral Beach is one of the best family beaches in Sydney and it does get very busy for that reason. The water is completely flat and it’s an all round beautiful beach. If you’re hungry, head over to The Boathouse in Balmoral Beach.
When we drive to Balmoral Beach, we always stop off at FreshBlend in Mosman for an acai bowl to take down to the beach with us. They do the best acai in Sydney!
6. Sirius Cove To Bradleys Head Lighthouse Walk
Distance: 2KM each way Time: 30 minutes each way
There’s loads of little secluded beaches in the Lower North Shore in Sydney and Sirius Cove is one of them.
Park up on Curlew Camp Road, then walk on down to Sirius Cove. From here, you’ll be able to walk all the way along the water and around the edge of Taronga Zoo. From here, continue on down to Bradleys Head.
You’ll pass by a few tiny beaches such as Whiting Beach and Athol Beach, so bring your swimmers with you!
7. Cremorne Point Walk
Cremorne Point Walk Info Distance: Approx 5KM Time: 1hr without stopping one way Public Transport: Ferry from Circular Quay to either Cremorne Point Wharf or Mosman Bay Wharf.
When we used to live in Kurraba Point, my daily run was around to Mosman Bay Wharf, a fantastic Sydney Harbour walk.
The great thing about the Cremorne Point walk is you can get the ferry to either Mosman Bay Wharf and walk over to Cremorne Point Wharf to go back to Circular Quay.
There’s a few things you should see on one of the best North Sydney walks in our opinion…
If you’re starting at Mosman Bay Wharf, head over to Mosman Rowers for brunch or lunch. As one of Sydney’s oldest sports clubs, in 2019 it reopened as a gorgeous place to eat on Sydney Harbour. When we lived in the area a few years back, we always said what an amazing restaurant it would make as the setting really doesn’t get much better.
Continue on with your walk around the harbour. Before you reach Cremorne Reserve, you’ll pass by Lex & Ruby’s Garden which we’ll talk more about below.
Make sure you check out Robertson’s Point Lighthouse which was built in 1909. The views from here and along Cremorne Reserve of Sydney Harbour are fantastic. It’s no wonder this is a popular spot to watch New Years Eve Sydney fireworks as well as Sydney to Hobart and Australia Day celebrations.
If you continue walking on for a couple of minutes from Cremorne Point Wharf, you’ll come to Maccallum Seawater Pool. To be honest, this is one of the best harbour pools in Sydney. Firstly, I can never get over the fact that it’s free to use.
The views over to Sydney Opera House honestly make you pinch yourself that you’re actually living in Sydney. I used to spend the whole day here on the weekends because it’s just so brilliant. Be prepared for the afternoons on the weekends as I found it to be quite busy with kids.
If you want to continue on with your walk, head over to Kurraba Point Wharf or Neutral Bay Wharf. The cafe on Neutral Bay Wharf called Thelma & Louise is brilliant and used to be our go to for breakfast. Try and get the table out the back outside for water views. You can catch the ferry back to Circular Quay from Neutral Bay Wharf (It takes like 10 minutes at the most).
8. Lex & Ruby Graham Gardens Walk
It’s funny to think how I used to run along Cremorne Reserve and have no idea Lex & Ruby Graham Gardens existed. When I was researching to find hidden gardens in Sydney, I stumbled across this one hidden deep in the internet.
The beauty about this North Sydney walk is that once you find the entrance (there’s a small plaque outside it), you’ll enter into a beautiful hillside garden. It’s actually pretty special as it’s been built on the side of the path and around a rock. It’s also a lot bigger than you’d imagine too.
9. Sydney Harbour Walk In Kirribilli
Distance: 2.5KM each way Time: 30 minutes each way (you’ll need at least 1 hour) Public Transport: Get the train to Milson’s Point or ferry to Kirribilli Wharf
I loved living in Kirribilli because it really feels like living in a village but with million dollar views. There’s a fantastic walk in Kirribilli from Mary Booth Lookout Reserve to Blues Point Reserve. This is easily one of the best North Sydney walks you need to know about!
Firstly I must tell you Mary Booth Lookout Reserve is a proper hidden gem in Sydney. This park has THE best views of Sydney Harbour and it’s always empty. There’s also a gazebo here too so you could plan something really special here like a picnic or even a proposal! Speaking of, I’ve seen so many proposals on this particular walk, it’s no surprise because there’s plenty of incredible views to do it from.
When you walk down the steps from Mary Booth Reserve, there’s a boardwalk which will take you right over to Kirribilli. It’s never busy here and I’m not sure if many people are aware of it because it’s location.
If you’ve planned the weekend right, you can also take a look around Kirribilli Markets which is my personal favourite markets in Sydney. On a side note, if you want to sell any of your clothes in Sydney, check out my post on how I made an easy $1000 at Kirribilli Markets, just by doing a few simple things.
Back to the walk…
Walk underneath the Sydney Harbour Bridge which is a moment in itself. Then go for a swim at North Sydney Pool, the world’s most beautiful outdoor pool.
Then continue on to Lavender Bay. Here you’ll see some steps going up under a bridge on the right hand side. Walk up here and you’ll come to Wendy’s Secret Garden. This is a beautiful place you could spend the entire day at. It’s also a fantastic garden for kids to run around in as there’s loads of paths here.
Once you’ve finished at Wendy’s Secret Garden, continue on walking around Lavender Bay. You’ll need to climb a staircase up onto the main road. Just walk on down the road and you’ll come to McMahon’s Point.
Walk around McMahon’s Point and over to Blues Point Reserve. Here you can take some excellent photos of Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House from a different perspective. You can continue walking around to Blues Point Tower and onto Sawmillers Reserve where you’ll find a shipwreck to check out.