Sydney is all about the views, from the top of the bridge, from a sailing boat, from the coastline… and most of the activity centres on or around its stunning inner harbour (for obvious reasons) but there are other views your eyes need to see. So skip the gym and get sweating on one of these walks instead.
You’ll need: 1 hour
This walk is a quicky (approx. 1hour return) but don’t be fooled: you work hard in that hour. Located on the southern cusp of Sydney, you begin at the Sublime Point lookout, overlooking Wollongong and beyond. The track descends quite quickly as you jump across rock-steps before hitting the nine steel ladders. Be sure to go down the ladders backwards to avoid serious injury (and you know, falling) and if you have troubles with your knees, you might want to skip this walk given it’s 90% steps. You know you’ve hit the bottom of the track once you hit the road – and then just head back up! Our top tip: Arrive at the lookout just before sunrise. The view is incredible and you’ll really feel like you’ve achieved something before 8am. For more details, check out Sublime Point Walking Track.
Otford to Wattamolla Coastal Walk, Royal National Park
You’ll need: 6 hours
We’re calling it: this is the prettiest walk in Sydney. Sure, it’s hard but when you’re walking across beaches and cliffs on a glorious day, does it get much better?
Starting in Otford, you begin with some (or many…) steps to really get the heart pumping. The track is fully signposted so follow it along. You’ll pass famous surfing beach Burning Palms, pour out all the sweat as you climb the hill at North Garie and you’ll jump your way across flowing rivers. The walk is 15 kilometres in total so pack lunch because you’ll need to recharge and rest your tired legs from all the walking and climbing. Luckily, you wont be short of stunning rest points. Our tip: Logistically, getting there can be a bit tricky as there’s only a train station at Otford and not Wattamolla. Go with at least one other person and take two cars: park one at Wattamolla and begin the walk at Otford. Then, you’ve got cars on both ends. For more details, check out The Coast Track.
Taronga Zoo to Manly
You’ll need: 6 hours
This stunning day walk has got Harbour views for days… or 18.6kms, but who’s counting? Starting at the iconic Taronga Zoo – where you can snap the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge – you follow the coast up to Manly, walking across beaches, through bushland and National Parks. There are plenty of staircases to challenge your fitness but the best part? Halfway along, you’ll hit Balmoral Beach where you can treat yourself to a well-earned juice. Our top tip: You can stop for a dip at the beaches along the way, but as a lot of the track is exposed to the sun, you’ll really feel the heat when you’re away from the water so it’s best to do this one in the cooler months. For more details, check out Manly Scenic Walkway
Cape Solander to Cape Bailey, Kurnell (pictured above)
You’ll need: 1 ½ hours
There’s nothing quite like a sand dune to kick you into shape! But don’t fret, this walk (or climb) isn’t entirely dunes! You begin at the end of Cape Solander Drive in Kurnell on the cliffs – yep, cliffs – which lead you along the path. Follow the sign posts as you encounter a number of hanging swamps, rocks, incredible bushland and of course, the dunes. Stop for a break at the Cape Bailey Lighthouse before continuing along. Our top tip: Keep your eyes peeled for whales are you walk along the cliffs. Cape Solander is a known whale watching spot so you might be lucky enough to spot one (or many!). For more details, check out Cape Solander.
Want more walks? Check out Walks In the Royal National Park.