We have listed the 19 best hikes in and around Sydney, from comfortable and scenic coastal walks, to exciting and adventurous bushwalks.
Hiking in Sydney is the best way to fully enjoy and appreciate the sheer beauty of this great city. You can walk the beaches, the mountains, the bush, and of course the magnificent Sydney Harbour.
With Sydney’s near perfect climate, you can literally go outside and conquer a scenic walking trail any time of year. And with so many different walks to choose from, there will always be a new walking track to discover.
We have selected the 19 best hikes in and around Sydney, ranging from exciting and adventurous bushwalks, to short and scenic coastal trails.
19 Best Sydney Hikes
Pick your favourite from the following list of 19 hikes in Sydney, some short and easy, others much longer and more challenging!
1. Wattamolla to Eagle Rock Hike
A scenic coastal walk starting at Wattamolla Beach in the Royal National Park brings hikers to Eagle Rock, an iconic landmark that strongly resembles an eagle’s beak.
This hike is part of the 26km long Coast Track between Bundeena in the north and Otford in the south of Sydney’s oldest national park.
Eagle Rock is not the only unique sight you get to enjoy at the end of this walking track. Next to Eagle Rock is Curracurrong Falls, one of the very few waterfalls in the world that flows directly into the ocean.
When the winds are strong the water can often be seen being pushed back up, which makes for a pretty spectacular sight!
|Wattamolla to Eagle Rock Hike|
|Distance:||8 km (return)|
2. Narrabeen Lagoon Trail
The scenic Narrabeen Lagoon Trail is a stunning 8.4km circuit track around Narrabeen Lakes in Sydney’s northern beaches.
Completed in February 2015, this track is now a popular weekend escape for walkers, joggers, cyclists and parents with prams, all enjoying the natural beauty and serenity of this idyllic lake surrounded by thriving bushland.
Narrabeen Lakes is also referred to as Narrabeen Lagoon, because the lake is essentially a coastal lagoon, separated from the sea on the other side of Ocean Street.
The area around the lagoon has been a popular camping and leisure spot since the beginning of the 19th century, when the tram line was extended to Narrabeen, making transport to the area so much easier.
|Narrabeen Lagoon Trail|
|Distance:||8.4 km (return)|
|Grade:||Easy / moderate|
3. Bondi to Coogee Walk
Tourists and local Sydney-siders alike flock to Sydney’s east coast every day to enjoy Australia’s best beaches, stunning ocean views, beautiful parks, and lots of cafe’s and restaurants along the hike between Bondi Beach and Coogee Beach.
The first section of Sydney’s most popular coastal trail is the scenic walk from Bondi to Bronte, past Bondi Icebergs, Mackenzies Bay and Tamarama Beach.
From Bronte Beach, follow the track south that leads to Waverley past Calga Reserve, which marks the start of a popular boardwalk that swings around the famous Waverley Cemetery.
The boardwalk brings hikers to Clovelly, a charming beach-side suburb with a lawn bowls club, a swim-friendly beach and bay, and a large parking area. From there, the trail continues past Gordons Bay on to Coogee Beach.
|Bondi to Coogee Walk|
|Distance:||6 km (one way)|
4. Grand Canyon Hike
Often regarded as the most impressive walking track in the Blue Mountains, the Grand Canyon Hike will leave a long-lasting impression, as you make your way through lush rainforest with several creek crossings and small waterfalls, surrounded by huge sandstone walls.
Officially opened to the public in 1907, the 6km long Grand Canyon walking track was the first of its kind and has since been challenged by thousands of hiking enthusiasts each year.
While it does have some very steep sections, the Grand Canyon walk can be undertaken by anyone with a reasonable level of fitness, as long as you bring enough water with you.
The cooler temperatures in the valley make this trail a pleasant adventure during the warmer summer months too!
|Grand Canyon Hike|
|Distance:||6 km (circuit)|
|Grade:||Moderate / hard|
5. Barrenjoey Lighthouse Walk
The hike up to the Barrenjoey Lighthouse is a popular walking trail in Barrenjoey Headland, the northernmost part of Palm Beach in Sydney’s Northern Beaches region.
There are actually two walking tracks to the Barrenjoey Lighthouse on top of the hill from where you can enjoy stunning ocean views. It’s best to follow one trail to the top, and use the other trail to head back down to the beach.
The heritage listed sandstone lighthouse, standing tall and proud at 113 metres above sea-level, was built in 1881 and has been an iconic Sydney attraction for many years.
The views from the Barrenjoey Lighthouse are superb, and stretch as far as Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park to the west, Broken Bay to the north, and Sydney’s coastline to the east.
|Barrenjoey Lighthouse Walk|
|Distance:||2.2 km (circuit)|
|Grade:||Easy / moderate|
6. Federation Cliff Walk
Not as popular as the Bondi to Coogee walk but perhaps just as spectacular is the 5km trail between Watsons Bay and Dover Heights north of Bondi Beach, also known as the Federation Cliff Walk.
This scenic track follows the coastline on top of high sandstone cliffs, offering panoramic views of the Tasman Sea.
One of the highlights along the Federation Cliff Walk is Diamond Bay Reserve, which has a wooden walkway built right above the ocean cliffs.
The views of the surrounding area from here are absolutely breathtaking. What makes this experience even more enjoyable is that this track north of Bondi never really gets busy.
|Federation Cliff Walk|
|Distance:||5 km (one way)|
7. Katoomba Falls Circuit Hike
A short but picturesque circuit walk starting at Scenic World guides hikers through lush rainforest to this waterfall, with panoramic views of Jamison Valley.
Arguably one of the prettiest waterfalls in the Blue Mountains, Katoomba Falls forms part of the Kedumba River, which drops almost 150 meters into the valley.
The start of the Katoomba Falls circuit hike is located between the car park and the main entrance to Scenic World. The walk includes various lookout points, before reaching the waterfall.
|Katoomba Falls Circuit Hike|
|Distance:||2 km (circuit)|
|Grade:||Easy / moderate|
8. Spit Bridge to Manly Walk
The hike from the Spit Bridge to Manly Beach is a beautiful 10km coastal trail, past secluded inner harbour beaches, through native bushland and around picturesque bays, offering panoramic Sydney Harbour views.
The trail forms part of the famous 20km Manly Scenic Walkway that runs from the Spit Bridge to Manly Beach followed by the Manly North Head circuit walk.
One of the highlights is Clontarf Reserve, a scenic park area with excellent picnic and BBQ facilities, and a swim-friendly beach.
For the best views along the track, head to the Crater Cove and Arabanoo lookout points at Dobroyd Head. Both these lookouts offer incredible views of Sydney Harbour, North Head and South Head.
|Spit Bridge to Manly Walk|
|Distance:||10 km (one way)|
9. Hanging Rock Track
While the hike to Hanging Rock may not be super exciting, seeing this iconic landmark from close by agains the backdrop of the Grose Valley and surrounding escarpments makes for an incredible adventure.
If you had never heard of Hanging Rock before, it’s essentially a large sandstone object hanging out from a cliff, right above the valley. It really is a spectacular sight.
The walking track to the Baltzer Lookout is a 4km management trail through bushland with a few viewing points along the way. At the end of the track is The Baltzer Lookout, which stands at the very edge of Burramoko Head, the walled termination of the Burramoko Ridge above Grose Canyon.
From the Baltzer Lookout, it’s only a short stretch to Hanging Rack. Be mindful that this short section is quite steep with a bit of rock scrambling involved, so please make sure you’re wearing good shoes.
|Hanging Rock Track|
|Distance:||8 km (return)|
10. Resolute Beach Circuit Hike
Resolute Beach in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park is one of those secluded beaches in Sydney that you should visit at least once in your life.
With amazing views of Pittwater and the Barrenjoey Headland, beautiful emerald green water and virtually no tourists around, this is a true hidden gem.
The 6km Resolute circuit hike is an exciting bushwalk that brings visitors to Resolute Beach via the Resolute Picnic Ground.
The trail also includes the West Head Lookout, which offers breathtaking views of Pittwater, Broken Bay, Barrenjoey Headland, Palm Beach and the Central Coast.
|Resolute Beach Circuit Hike|
|Distance:||6 km (circuit)|
11. Rose Bay to Watsons Bay Walk
The trail between Rose Bay and Watsons Bay is one of the most scenic coastal walking tracks in Sydney Harbour National Park.
The walk takes in secluded beaches, beautiful parks and picturesque bays, with amazing panoramic views of the city and the harbour to enjoy along the way.
The beauty of this walk is that you can park your car either at Rose Bay or Watsons Bay, and catch a ferry back to where you started. Ferry services run frequently between Watsons Bay and Rose Bay.
Part of Rose Bay to Watsons Bay walk is the Hermitage Foreshore track, which runs from Bayview Hill Rd (just north of Rose Bay) to Nielsen Park in Vaucluse.
|Rose Bay to Watsons Bay Walk|
|Distance:||8 km (one way)|
12. Prince Henry Cliff Walk
The Prince Henry Cliff Walk is an adventurous 7km walking trail between Scenic World in Katoomba and Gordon Falls Lookout in Leura.
It follows the cliff edge overlooking Jamison Valley with lots of beautiful lookout points along the way where you can enjoy some of the best views in the Blue Mountains.
Named in honour of the third son of King George V and Queen Mary, the Prince Henry Cliff Walk was completed in 1936 after several years of construction.
Some of the highlights of this walking track include Katoomba Falls, Katoomba Cascades, the Three Sisters, Leura Cascades and the Olympian Rock lookout point.
|Prince Henry Cliff Walk|
|Distance:||7 km (one way)|
13. Coast Track from Bundeena to Otford
The famous Coast Track between Bundeena and Otford in the Royal National Park is one of those once in a lifetime hiking experiences. It is perhaps the most iconic coastal trail in New South Wales, but with a 26 km distance, it’s not for the faint hearted.
From scenic lookout points and waterfalls, to swimming holes and isolated beaches, the Coast Track includes all of the good things we’d expect from an iconic coastal walk.
The Coast Track can be commenced from either Bundeena in the north as well as from Otford in the south of Royal National Park. Because of its distance, the best way to get there is by using public transport.
And while some hikers can certainly complete this walk in one day, it’s a good ides to combine this hike with an overnight stay at the North Era campground. Just be mindful that this camping hot spot is booked out quite quickly well in advance.
|Coast Track from Bundeena to Otford|
|Distance:||26 km (one way)|
14. Taronga Zoo to Balmoral Beach Walk
One of the most enjoyable Sydney Harbour walking tracks is the trail from Taronga Zoo to Balmoral Beach. This 6.5km track meanders through a stunning landscape with secluded beaches, picturesque bays, impressive lookouts and historical sights.
An interesting highlight is Bradleys Head, home to the foremast of HMAS Sydney, a light cruiser that was broken up on Cockatoo Island in 1929.
The foremast was erected at Bradleys Head in 1934 and serves as a monument for all Australian ships lost and all Australian sailors killed at war.
The best way to get to Taronga Zoo is by ferry from Circular Quay. The ferry trip crossing Sydney Harbour is a great experience, and on Sundays you can take advantage of the $2.80 cap on all public transport travel.
|Taronga Zoo to Balmoral Beach Walk|
|Distance:||6.5 km (one way)|
15. Cowan to Jerusalem Bay Hike
The hike from Cowan train station to Jerusalem Bay only takes one hour, but the scenery is fantastic and a swim in the bay at the end of the walk so much worth it.
This walking trail is part of the Great North Walk, an historic 250 km long track between Sydney, the Hunter Valley and Newcastle.
The best way to get to the start of this walk is by catching a train to Cowan, with the starting point literally next to the train station.
From Jerusalem Bay, you have the option to continue your bushwalking adventure to Brooklyn, which is an extra 10 km worth of hiking through bushland. It’s definitely an intense hike, but since Brooklyn also has a train station, it’s easy to head back to your starting point in Cowan.
|Cowan to Jerusalem Bay Hike|
|Distance:||2.4 km (circuit)|
|Grade:||Easy / moderate|
16. Lane Cove Riverside Circuit Walk
Located only 20 minutes north-west of the Sydney CBD, Lane Cove National Park is a large pocket of scenic bushland surrounding the banks of the Lane Cove River which flows into Sydney Harbour.
A picturesque 10km circuit walk along both sides of the river makes for an excellent way to explore the natural beauty of this national park.
Popular with walkers, joggers and cyclists, Sydney’s metropolitan Lane Cove National Park extends from Pennant Hills in the north to East Ryde in the south.
This central part is home to the Riverside Walking Track and the Lane Cove Valley Walk (part of the Great North Walk) that together from a moderately challenging yet pleasant 10km circuit trail.
|Lane Cove Riverside Circuit Walk|
|Distance:||10 km (circuit)|
17. National Pass in Wentworth Falls
Built with picks, shovels and dynamite in the early 20th century, the National Pass walking track is one of the most famous bushwalks in the greater Blue Mountains region.
Starting at either the Wentworth Falls picnic area or the Conservation Hut, this circuit trail passes several lookouts that offer panoramic views of the famous Wentworth Falls and the Jamison Valley, with sections of the track built into the side of the cliff.
The National Pass follows an anti-clockwise loop, first heading down into the Valley of the Waters, followed by a long section along the side of the cliff, and eventually climbing up the Grand Stairway to the top of the waterfall.
One of the absolute highlights of the National Pass is the Grand Stairway, a set of hand-carved stone steps that connects the top of the waterfall with the valley below.
|National Pass in Wentworth Falls|
|Distance:||5 km (circuit)|
18. Manly Dam Circuit Hike
The scenic hike around Manly Dam is a 7.3 km circuit bush trail offering panoramic views of the dam and the lake created by it.
Surrounded by 377 hectares of bushland, Manly Dam Reserve is now known as the largest freshwater lake in Sydney. The lake was created as a result of the damming of Curl Curl Creek to create a water supply for the local area.
Manly Dam Reserve is now a popular recreational area with lots of activities to do in and around the lake, such as swimming, hiking, mountain biking, picnicking and water skiing.
The hike itself is rather long but not super difficult, although there are some steeper sections to conquer, plus some sections where the surface has lots of loose rocks.
|Manly Dam Circuit Hike|
|Distance:||7.3 km (circuit)|
19. Watsons Bay Walk
The Watsons Bay circuit walk is a scenic hike around South Head, featuring panoramic views of Sydney Harbour, the city skyline, the ocean, North Head and the historic Hornby Lighthouse.
The Watsons Bay Walk connects with the Federation Cliff Walk at the Gap, and from the southern end of the Federation Cliff Walk, you can continue hiking to Bronte, Clovelly Coogee, and Maroubra.
Parking is hard to find in Watsons Bay during busy weekends when the weather is good, so the best way to travel to this Sydney hot spot is to catch a ferry from Circular Quay.
It’s a very enjoyable ferry trip which allows you to see even more of Sydney Harbour, the sailing ships, and not to mention the prestigious waterfront mansions.
|Watsons Bay Walk|
|Distance:||4.5 km (circuit)|