Bush Walks

A selection of some of the best bush walks in and around Sydney and New South Wales, including maps, pictures, highlights and characteristics.

Sydney bush walks

Sydney is very well known because of its beautiful coastline, but Australia’s most beautiful city is in fact also home to some of the best bush walks hikers could wish for. What’s great is that you don’t actually have to go far away from the city to enjoy some native bushland.

Most would assume that you’d need to go west to the Blue Mountains or south to the Royal National Park in order to escape the city and do a bush walk. But actually, some of the best bush walks can be found in and around Sydney Harbour. Balls Head Reserve in Waverton for example, is only a short hop from the city.

Other great Sydney bush walks are Lake Parramatta Reserve, the Manly Dam walk, the Narrabeen Lagoon Trail and the walking trails around Wentworth Falls in the Blue Mountains.

10 Great Bush Walks in and around Sydney

To give you some ideas and inspiration, here are 10 of the best bush walks in and around Sydney:

1. Cowan to Brooklyn

The 14km hike from Cowan station to Brooklyn station is part of the Great North Walk. One of the highlights on this trail is picturesque Jerusalem Bay. Read more…

2. Taronga Zoo to Balmoral Beach

The 6.5km trail between Taronga Zoo and Balmoral Beach swirls its way through bushland past secluded beaches, picturesque bays, impressive lookouts and historical sights. Read more…

3. Resolute Loop Trail

The Resolute Loop Trail takes you through a beautiful part of the Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park with West Head Lookout and Resolute Beach as the highlights. Read more…

4. Royal National Park Coast Track

The famous Coast Track in the Royal National Park is a 26km scenic trail of that follows the coastline between Bundeena and Otford. Read more…

5. Narrabeen Lagoon Trail

The Narrabeen Lagoon trail is a stunning 8km circuit track around Narrabeen Lakes, popular with hikers, joggers and cyclists. Read more…

6. The Forest Path

The Forest Path is a relatively easy but pretty 4.5km bushwalk in the Royal National Park that loops around Forest Island following the Hacking River. Read more…

7. Manly Dam Walk

The Manly Dam walk is a panoramic 7.3km circuit trail around Manly Dam that is still a bit of a hidden gem. Enjoy nature at its best only a few kilometres away from Sydney CBD. Read more…

8. Lake Parramatta Reserve

Hiking in the Lake Parramatta Reserve is a great day out, as you walk through 75ha of bushland around an idyllic lake with a decommissioned dam. Read more…

9. Grand Canyon Walk

Often regarded as the most impressive walking trail in the Blue Mountains, the Grand Canyon Walk will leave you in awe as you hike through lush rainforest with several waterfalls and creek crossings. Read more…

10. Spit Bridge to Manly Walk

The famous 10km Spit to Manly walking trail is not just a fabulous coastal walk, it’s also great for bushwalking fanatics. Read more…

Have you done a beautiful bush walk in Sydney or New South Wales that is not included here? Let us know and we will try and add it to our selection.

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8 Best Walking Tracks in Morton National Park

Not as well-known or popular as the Royal National Park or the Blue Mountains, Morton National Park in the Southern Highlands deserves a lot more attention. Remote wilderness, scenic waterfalls, steep gorges, beautiful walking tracks and panoramic lookout points, Morton National Park has something for everyone.

A popular destination for birdwatchers and photographers, the park is a huge sanctuary for a great variety of wildlife. Bowerbirds, lyrebirds, eagles, falcons and ground parrots are all happy residents of Morton National Park, supported by thick rainforest and large areas of eucalyptus trees.

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Katoomba Falls Round Walk

Often overlooked by tourists, Katoomba Falls is a beautiful segmented waterfall located between Echo Point and Scenic World in the Blue Mountains.

A short but picturesque circuit walk starting at Scenic World guides you through lush rainforest all the way to the waterfall with panoramic views across Jamison Valley.

Katoomba Falls Round Walk
Distance:2 km (circuit)
Time:1-2 hours
Grade:Moderate (some steep parts)
Dogs:Not allowed

Katoomba Falls

Arguably one of the prettiest waterfalls in the Blue Mountains, Katoomba Falls forms part of the Kedumba River which drops almost 150 meters into Jamison Valley.

You can get up close and personal with Katoomba Falls by following the Round Walk trail starting at Scenic World.

The best way to get to the start of the Katoomba Falls Round Walk is by parking your car in the big car park at Scenic World, located on Violet Street off Cliff Dr.

Round Walk Track Notes

The start of the Katoomba Falls Round Walk is located between the car park and the main entrance to Scenic World.

Look out for the green signpost and make your way to the wooden boardwalk. This is also the starting point of the Prince Henry Cliff Walk, a 7km hike between Scenic World and the Gordon Falls lookout in Leura.

Katoomba Falls Walk starting point

At the first intersection at the end of the boardwalk, keep going straight towards the Scenic World Valley Stations via the Federal Pass.

As the track winds its way down, slowly getting closer to the waterfall, you’ll soon arrive at the Vaniman’s lookout with excellent views of the Three Sisters, the Kedumba Valley below and the Scenic Skyway right above you.

Juliets Balcony

After another 150m the track makes a sharp left turn. The next major lookout point, Juliets Balcony, can be easily overlooked as it’s not signposted.

It can be accessed by climbing up a small staircase leading to a rock platform and fenced-off balcony area.

Juliets Balcony overlooking Katoomba Falls

Juliets Balcony is your first real opportunity to witness the sheer beauty of Katoomba Falls, from top to bottom.

Because the panoramic views from the balcony are so impressive, most visitors tend to stick around here for a while to take it all in.

Katoomba Waterfall

As you head back down from Juliets Balcony, turn right and keep following the track. At the next intersection, turn right and head south towards Federal Pass and Scenic World Valley Stations.

Katoomba Waterfall

At the Rainforest Lookout, turn right and follow the track until you get to the intersection with Underfalls Walk. This is the final stretch of the track that takes you all the way to Katoomba Falls.

The views from here of both Katoomba Falls looking up as well of the huge valley on the other side are absolutely amazing.

Witches Leap

Once you’ve finished admiring the views, make your way back up to the same intersection and turn right towards Katoomba Cliff Drive.

Cross the wooden bridge over and follow the track as it winds itself down towards Witches Leap.

Katoomba Falls Witches Leap

Look carefully, as you may be able to recognise the witches profile in the rocks.

Reids Plateau

Continue the track to top of the hill until you arrive at an intersection with three paths. The path to the right is a very short loop trail around Reids Plateau.

If you have a few spare minutes, this trail is definitely worth it as the views from the plateau are really good.

Views of Scenic Skyway and Three Sisters

The path straight ahead is the Prince Henry Cliff Walk that connects with Echo Point. The path to the left connects with the last section of the Katoomba Falls Round Walk, taking you back to Scenic World and the car park.

Map of Katoomba Falls Walk

The round walk has lots of intersections with other walking tracks around Katoomba Falls, Scenic World and Echo Point, so there is a small risk ending up on a different walking track.

The below map should give you a good idea of the round walk and the sidetracks to the waterfall and lookouts. Use this map and the notes above to help you stay on the right track.

You can also print this map and take it with you to help navigate.

Katoomba Falls walk map


Google Map:


Mermaid Pools and Tahmoor Gorge, A True Bushwalking Adventure

Mermaid Pools is a beautiful natural water hole on the Bargo River at the start of Tahmoor Gorge, only 75 minutes south-west of Sydney.

If you love bushwalking, getting back to nature, swimming in rivers and chasing waterfalls, then this hiking adventure is for you.

You may have already read a few stories about Mermaid Pools and how awesome it is, but there is so much more to this part of the world than just that water hole.

While most people go there only to visit Mermaid Pools, it’s highly recommended to venture out a bit further and discover how beautiful Tahmoor Gorge on the Bargo River really is.

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Cowan to Jerusalem Bay Walking Track

The relatively undiscovered Cowan to Jerusalem Bay walking track guides hikers through calm bushland, ending up at a picturesque bay that is perfect for a swim and a quiet picnic.

It’s an easy, but at times very steep, 2.4km trail down to the bay where you can enjoy great views overlooking Cowan Creek.

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Fitzroy Falls in Morton National Park

Fitzroy Falls is a picturesque village in Morton National Park (Southern Highlands), famous for its spectacular waterfall with the same name.

Follow the boardwalk from the Fitzroy Falls Visitor Centre along the creek to a lookout with spectacular views of the waterfall and the enormous Yarrunga Valley below.

Around Fitzroy Falls are a couple of exciting bushwalking tracks through native rainforest inhabited by various bird species.

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Maitland Bay Track in Bouddi National Park

The Maitland Bay track is a short but steep bushwalk in Bouddi National Park that winds its way down from the Information Centre to the stunning beach of Maitland Bay.

Be mesmerised by the beauty of the national park as you hike through the rainforest all the way down to the yellow sand of Maitland Bay. Stroll along the beach to Bouddi Point and discover some of the remains of an old shipwreck.

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The Forest Path in the Royal National Park

The Forest Path is a pretty 4.5km bushwalk along the Hacking River in the Royal National Park that loops around Forest Island.

With start and finish at Sir Bertram Stevens Drive, this relatively easy walking track takes you through beautiful lush rainforest, less than one hour from the city.

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