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There are many manmade attractions in Sydney, such as the Harbour Bridge and Opera House, but there’s also a surprising amount of natural beauty. I was so surprised when I moved here and discovered native bushland and beaches right on the edge of the harbour! In this post, I’ll run through the best Sydney walks under 10km, so you can get out exploring too.

These top Sydney hikes include craggy coastal walks in the Eastern Suburbs and Northern Beaches, harbourside paths around the Lower North Shore and a few inland bush tracks in the Blue Mountains, Royal National Park and Upper North Shore.

As well as the popular walks you’ll find on guide books, like Bondi to Coogee, there are also quite a few that you may not have heard of. So get your boots on and start walking!


Best Walks in Sydney: Table of Contents

To skip down to a specific walk, just click on the links listed below.

1. Bondi to Coogee (5km one way, Eastern Suburbs, coastal cliffs)

2. Spit to Manly (10km one way, Lower North Shore, harbour & bush)

3. Bondi to Watsons Bay (7km one way, Eastern Suburbs, coastal cliffs)

4. Neilson Park to Rose Bay (3km one way, Eastern Suburbs, harbour & bush)

5. Mosman Bay to Cremorne Point (3km circuit, Lower North Shore, harbour)

6. Balls Head Reserve & Waverton Peninsula (1.6km one way, Lower North Shore, harbour)

7. Taronga Zoo to Balmoral Beach (6km one way, Lower North Shore, harbour)

8. Garigal National Park Cascades (3.2km one way, North Shore, bush)

9. Hornsby to Berowra National Park (6.7km circuit, North Shore, bush)

10. Palm Beach Lighthouse (2.2km return, Northern Beaches, coastal)

11. The Bay Run (7km circuit, Inner West, urban waterway)

12. Prince Henry Cliff Walk (7km one way, Blue Mountains, mountains & waterfalls)

13. Cape Baily (5.4km return, Botany Bay, coastal cliffs)

14. Wattamolla Beach (choice of distances, Royal National Park, bush)

15. Mackerel to West Head Lookout (5km circuit, Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park, beaches & bush)


1. Bondi to Coogee Walk

Distance: 5km one way

Location: Eastern Suburbs

Scenery: Coastal cliffs and beaches

The Bondi to Coogee walk is one of those rare hyped-up tourist attractions that isn’t over-rated. It can get pretty busy, as it’s so well known, but the amazing views of the turquoise ocean and beachside houses from the coastal path make it all worthwhile.

You can also relax with a drink or meal at famous Bondi Icebergs afterwards, overlooking the beach and pool. Read about Coogee to Bondi in more detail in the post below, as well as the annual Sculpture by the Sea exhibition held along the track.

Bondi to Coogee Walk & Sculpture by the Sea

Discover 15 of the best walks in Sydney, including harbour walks, bush hiking trails and beautiful Sydney coastal walks such as Bondi to Coogee.
Tamarama Beach on the Bondi to Coogee walk

2. Spit to Manly Walk

Distance: 10km one way

Location: Lower North Shore

Scenery: Harbour and bush

This beautiful Middle Harbour walk from the Spit Bridge to Manly Beach is another well-known route, but about twice the distance of Bondi to Coogee.

You’ll pass a mixture of scenery along the leafy track, including hidden beaches and sweeping harbour views. Plus you can finish off with a well-earned meal in Manly and get the ferry back to the city for a scenic ride home.

Discover 15 of the best walks in Sydney, including harbour walks, bush hiking trails and beautiful Sydney coastal walks such as Bondi to Coogee.
Tucked-away beaches on the Spit to Manly walk

3. Bondi to Watsons Bay Coastal Walk

Distance: 7km one way

Location: Eastern Suburbs

Scenery: Coastal cliffs

For a quieter Bondi coastal walk head north instead of south, and head up to Watsons Bay. You’ll have to veer away from the coastline at times and make your way past some houses, but the majority of the walk offers stunning birds-eye views of the ocean from the Federation Cliff Walk.

Highlights include the steps and archway at Insta-famous Diamond Bay Reserve, as well sweeping views of the city skyline from The Gap at Watsons Bay. Read more about Watsons Bay in this post:

How to Spend a Day in Watsons Bay

Discover 15 of the best walks in Sydney, including harbour walks, bush hiking trails and beautiful Sydney coastal walks such as Bondi to Coogee.
Getting those Instagram shots at Diamond Bay Reserve!

4. Neilson Park to Rose Bay Coastal Path

Distance: 3km one way

Location: Eastern Suburbs

Scenery: Harbour & bush

Another of Sydney’s harbour walks is the beautiful Hermitage Foreshore Track that runs from Shark Bay at Neilson Park in Vaucluse to Bayview Hill Road. You can then continue on to popular Rose Bay.

The leafy track passes a few small beaches such as Milk Beach, which has great views of the city, as well as lookout points and the historic Strickland House. Catch the sunset at Milk Beach if possible; it’s phenomenal! To discover more beaches in the Eastern Suburbs, both well known and hidden, check out the following post.

23 Eastern Suburbs Beaches in Sydney: Bondi & Beyond

Discover 15 of the best walks in Sydney, including harbour walks, bush hiking trails and beautiful Sydney coastal walks such as Bondi to Coogee.
Hermitage Foreshore Walk from Vaucluse to Rose Bay

5. Mosman Bay to Cremorne Point

Distance: 3km circuit

Location: Lower North Shore

Scenery: Harbour

Here’s a Sydney walk I stumbled upon by accident when I got on the wrong bus once! This easy and mostly flat walk around Cremorne Point starts at Mosman Bay Wharf, and passes a lighthouse, historical mansions, Lex and Ruby’s secret garden and reserves with great city views.

The short ferry ride from Circular Quay is scenic in itself. You can either catch a bus or ferry back from Cremorne Point, or continue up the western side of the point past MacCallum Pool and cut back across to Mosman Bay. Read about the walk in more detail in the post below.

Mosman Bay to Cremorne Point Walk

Discover 15 of the best walks in Sydney, including harbour walks, bush hiking trails and beautiful Sydney coastal walks such as Bondi to Coogee.
Secret steps to Lex and Ruby’s Garden

6. Balls Head Reserve & Waverton Peninsula

Distance: 1.6km one way (southern tip via Larkin St and Waverton Peninsula Reserve)

Location: Lower North Shore

Scenery: Harbour and bush

This is a really interesting and varied walk that’s very close to the city. You’ll pass through natural bushland, see fantastic views of the city and Sydney Harbour Bridge and learn lots about Sydney’s industrial past at the revamped Coal Loader and old BP site.

Balls Head Reserve itself has walking tracks through the beautiful bushland, as well as toilets, free parking and barbecues. You can also walk along Balls Head Drive instead and follow a short path at the end to the great picnic area in the picture below.

Discover 15 of the best walks in Sydney, including harbour walks, bush hiking trails and beautiful Sydney coastal walks such as Bondi to Coogee.
Picnic spot and lookout at the southern end of Balls Head Reserve

7. Taronga Zoo to Balmoral Beach Harbour Walk

Distance: 6km one way

Location: Lower North Shore

Scenery: Harbour and bush

Yet another beautiful Sydney harbour walk is the track from Taronga Zoo to Balmoral Beach. It’s a fine example of the natural bushland that still exists on the Lower North Shore.

You’ll be rewarded with city views from the amphitheatre at Bradleys Head before passing gorgeous spots like Taylors Bay in the picture below. Balmoral Beach is also one of the best beaches in Sydney in my opinion, so allow some time to stop for a rest, coffee or fish and chips at the end!

Discover 15 of the best walks in Sydney, including harbour walks, bush hiking trails and beautiful Sydney coastal walks such as Bondi to Coogee.
Taylors Bay along the Taronga to Balmoral walk

8. Garigal National Park Cascades Walk

Distance: 3.2km one way

Location: North Shore – Forest District

Scenery: Bush

If you fancy losing the tourists and getting out in the bush, the Forest District to the north of the CBD is a great area to explore.

Garigal National Park has quite a few biking and hiking trails, but I followed the Cascades Track from St Ives, which passed through beautiful areas of bushland before opening out onto the flat rocks at the cascades, which was perfect for a picnic.

Discover 15 of the best walks in Sydney, including harbour walks, bush hiking trails and beautiful Sydney coastal walks such as Bondi to Coogee.
The Cascades Track in Garigal National Park

9. Hornsby to Berowra National Park

Distance: 6.7km circuit

Location: North Shore – Hills District

Scenery: Bush

In the north-west region of Sydney lies the Hills District, another fantastic area for bush walks. Drive or get the train up to Hornsby, and you’ll find walking tracks into Berowra Valley Regional Park starting from the picnic area at the end of Rosemead Road.

Here’s a detailed map and route of the Blue Gum walk, but there are other tracks to choose from. Note that the walk from the train station to the picnic area is a very steep descent!

Discover 15 of the best walks in Sydney, including harbour walks, bush hiking trails and beautiful Sydney coastal walks such as Bondi to Coogee.
Berowra National Park bush walks

10. Palm Beach Walk to Barrenjoey Lighthouse

Distance: 2.2km return

Location: Northern Beaches

Scenery: Coastal and bush

This is one of the more well-known walks in Sydney, since Palm Beach, the filming location of soap opera Home and Away, is a popular place for tourists to visit.

The short walk up to Barrenjoey Lighthouse is steep, but well worth it for the stunning view of the peninsula, Pittwater and Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park. For more ideas on what to do in beautiful Palm Beach, have a read of my guide below.

Things to Do in Palm Beach, Sydney: Day Trip to Paradise

Discover 15 of the best walks in Sydney, including harbour walks, bush hiking trails and beautiful Sydney coastal walks such as Bondi to Coogee.
The view of Palm Beach from Barrenjoey Lighthouse

11. The Bay Run, Iron Cove

Distance: 7km circuit (including Iron Cove Bridge)

Location: Inner West

Scenery: Urban waterway

The flat, 7km loop known as The Bay Run is easy to reach from the city: just hop on one of the many buses that run down Victoria Road in the Inner West and get off at Iron Cove Bridge in Rozelle or Drummoyne.

The Inner West isn’t known for its bush tracks like the Lower North Shore, but this open pathway circling Iron Cove is popular with runners, walkers and cyclists and offers scenic views across the water. The sunset view from Leichhardt Park or the bridge itself is amazing too.

Discover 15 of the best walks in Sydney, including harbour walks, bush hiking trails and beautiful Sydney coastal walks such as Bondi to Coogee.
Sunset at Iron Cove on The Bay Run

12. Prince Henry Cliff Walk in the Blue Mountains

Distance: 7km one way

Location: Blue Mountains

Scenery: Mountains and waterfalls

The Blue Mountains region has an enormous number of walking tracks to choose from, but if you want to avoid the crowds that flock to Echo Point and Wentworth Falls, try the eastern section of the Prince Henry Cliff Walk from Gordon Falls to Leura Cascades.

The full walk extends all the way to Katoomba Cascades, but I found the track and lookouts around Leura much quieter and equally beautiful. To find out more things to do in the Blue Mountains, as well as other amazing walks, have a read of the following posts.

9 Short Blue Mountains Walks with Stunning Scenery

Blue Mountains Day Trip Itinerary by Train

Discover 15 of the best walks in Sydney, including harbour walks, bush hiking trails and beautiful Sydney coastal walks such as Bondi to Coogee.
Crowd-free lookouts in Leura

13. Cape Baily Scenic Walk Kurnell

Distance: 5.4km return

Location: Botany Bay

Scenery: Coastal cliffs

One of my favourite walks in Sydney is the Cape Baily Track in Kamay Botany Bay National Park, down in Kurnell. It’s a bit of a mission to get there compared to the harbour walks, but the cliffside scenery is so peaceful and unusual you feel a million miles away from the city.

If you visit during the winter, you might even spot whales migrating north from Cape Solander lookout! Read the blog posts linked below to learn more about the walk or discover other things to do in Kurnell, the place where Captain Cook first landed in Australia!

Cape Solander to Cape Baily Walk

Kurnell Day Trip Guide: Sydney History, Hikes & Beaches

Cliffs along the Cape Baily track in Kurnell.
Cape Baily Track Kurnell

14. Wattamolla Beach Walk

Distance: 650m from the car park, then as long as you want!

Location: Royal National Park

Scenery: Coastal cliffs and bush

A trip to Sydney isn’t complete without a visit to the Royal National Park, which lies on the southern edge of the city. Wattamolla Beach is easy to reach by car, and has picnic facilities as well as a lagoon.

From there you can join onto the Royal Coast Track that stretches all the way from Otford to Bundeena, and walk as much or little as you like. Read more about Wattamolla Beach in the post below, or find out what to do in nearby, picturesqe Bundeena.

Guide to Wattamolla Beach in the Royal National Park

Bundeena Markets, Art Trail & Royal Coast Track

Discover 15 of the best walks in Sydney, including harbour walks, bush hiking trails and beautiful Sydney coastal walks such as Bondi to Coogee.
Walking track by Wattamolla Beach

15. Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park: Mackerel to West Head Lookout

Distance: 5km circuit (including detour inland)

Location: Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park

Scenery: Bush and beaches

This is one of my absolute favourite walks in Sydney; I was blown away when I found it. You’ll need to either catch the ferry to Mackerel from Palm Beach, or drive to West Head Lookout, so it does take a bit of planning.

The views from the walking track in Ku-Ring-Gai National Park are amazing though, and you’ll pass gorgeous beaches like Resolute Beach below. It feels more like the Mediterranean than part of a major city! Learn more in the post below.

Stunning Walk to West Head Lookout

Beautiful Resolute Beach in Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park, Australia.
Resolute Beach viewed from the walking track to West Head

I hope you’re full of inspiration to get out and explore Sydney now! For more ideas of what to do on the weekend, check out the following blog posts. Happy walking!

10 Best Weekend Getaways from Sydney