10 Hiking Trails Around Sydney
Unwind, challenge yourself and satisfy your inner explorer with some of the most incredible hiking trails around Sydney. If you don't know where to start, here are our top picks for your list.
Three Sisters Walk
Image credit: Tibor Kovacs (Creative Commons)
Length: 1km (return)
Although the Three Sisters Walk is easy, the scenery won't disappoint. See some of the most beautiful views in the Blue Mountains National Park at lookouts along the way. The trail takes you through beautiful eucalypt forests filled with the sounds of iconic Australian birds – you might even be lucky enough to hear a lyrebird.
Image credit: Andrew Harvey, Mount Solitary from Ruined Castle (Creative Commons)
Length: 12km (return)
This beauty is tucked away in the Blue Mountains, about three hours west of Sydney. With rough tracks, Mount Solitary hiking track is suited to experienced hikers. The challenge is well worth it as you explore heath, woodlands, rainforests and spectacular views. Keep an eye out for wildlife along the way, including eagles cruising the valley thermals.
The Grand Canyon Loop
Image credit: Pascal Vuylsteker (Creative Commons)
Length: 6.3km (return)
We're big fans of rainforest escapes, so we had to add this one to the list. The Grand Canyon Loop is a relatively easy hike that takes you past sandstone walls, beautiful forests and impressive views. If you want to make the most of your time in the area, check out the nearby Cliff Top walking track while you're there!
Image credit: David Noble
Length: Varies depending on route
Donkey Mountain is an outdoor adventurer's heaven. You'll find this rocky gem in the Gardens of Stone National Park in Wolgan Valley. Fit for experienced hikers and scramblers, this track takes you past caves, canyons and cliff gardens. You will need some navigational skills for Donkey Mountain as the trail isn't always clear. Adventurer Dave Noble has explored the mountain on multiple occasions – his most recent blog about the track is worth a read if you're interested in giving Donkey a go.
The Coast Track
Image credit: Hey Explorer, The Coast Track in Royal National Park (Creative Commons)
Length: 26km (one-way)
Approximately one hour south of the city you can explore stunning cliff coastlines, classic Australian bushland and spectacular coastal views. This impressive 26km trail lies in Royal National Park and requires experience in bushwalking. It will take 2 full days to complete, so you'll need to be physically and mentally up to the challenge. The National Parks and Wildlife Service website has a 2-day itinerary you can follow. You'll make your way from Bundeena to Otford train station where you can catch a ride back. This well-known hiking track is well worth the effort.
Pierces Pass to Blue Gum Forest
Image credit: Ian Sutton (Creative Commons)
Length: 16km (return)
Take in the views of Grose Valley's northern end and immerse yourself in the rainforest as you navigate this challenging trail. Pierces Pass to Blue Gum Forest is an overnighter, so pack your camping gear and have a night of well-earned rest at Acacia Flats Camping Ground.
Six Foot Track
Image credit: Ian Armstrong (Creative Commons)
Length: 44km (one way)
If you're up for a multi-day hike, Six-Foot walking track is the beast you're looking for. This 44km track takes you through the Blue Mountains, starting near Katoomba and finishing at Jenolan Caves. Along the way, you'll pass waterfalls and winding rivers as you hike through Megalong Valley. This trail is one-way and will take 3 days if you want to complete it in full. Make sure you plan how you'll get back too!
Great North walk: Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park
Image credit: Martin7d2, Jerusalem Bay Rock Face (Creative Commons)
Length: 11km (one-way)
Start at Cowan Train Station before exploring forests and beautiful views over Cowan Water on the Jerusalem Bay hike. This one-way trail is a challenge, with some steep sections on the journey. Jerusalem Bay Track is part of the incredible 250km Great North Walk track that spans from Sydney to Newcastle. It's a great way to get a taste of this impressive trail.
Image credit: Andrew Harvey (Creative Commons)
Length: 22km (one way)
If you're serious about escaping the city, pack your things and head to Kiama Coast Walking Trail (about 2 hours south of Sydney). This southern coastal trail features 22km of unspoiled nature as you make your way from Minnamurra River to the town of Gerringong. You'll pass plenty of beaches, curious rock formations and of course the famous Kiama blowhole. The Kiama Coast Walk has three sections – Minnamurra to Blowhole Point, Blowhole Point to Kiama Heights and Kiama Heights to Gerringong. If you're going to tackle the trail in full, prepare to camp somewhere along the way and be sure to make a checklist and pack all the essentials.
Bouddi Coastal Walk
Image credit: Martin7d2, Maitland Bay (Creative Commons)
Length: 8.5km (one way)
Bouddi Coastal Walk is known for its beautiful coastal views. This rewarding walk starts at Putty Beach and takes you to MacMasters Beach. If you're not up for the entire walk, you can choose a section – Putty Beach to Maitland Bay (3km), Maitland Bay to Little Beach (3.5km) or Little Beach to MacMasters Beach (1.7km).
From the coast to the mountains, there are plenty of spectacular hiking trails to explore around Sydney. Take a break from the urban landscape and immerse yourself in nature this weekend.