Sydney is one of the most popular destinations for airport transfers on Jayride.com – and it’s easy to see why. The glittering harbour, icons like the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge, famed beaches, epic coastal views, native bushland, cute animals, beautiful botanic gardens, world-class cuisine… phew, the list goes on! However, one of the best ways to explore Sydney’s treasures is by foot. So unpack those walking shoes and get ready to explore this gem of a city; here’s our pick of the best Sydney walks to kick-start your new year.
If you’re lucky enough to be visiting Sydney and you’ve flown into Sydney’s Kingsford-Smith Airport, hopped into your pre-booked airport transfer to your hotel and have settled in, it’s time to start exploring. Grab your water bottle, sunscreen, walking shoes and camera; these walks let you enjoy the best Sydney has to offer.
Spit to Manly
This moderately challenging 10 kilometre walk is popular with locals and visitors alike, and for good reason. Beginning at the Spit Bridge in the northern suburb of Mosman, this track ambles along pristine beaches, clambers up rocks, winds through forest, strolls through suburban streets… the scenery seems to change every kilometre or so, and trust us when we say you’ll want to take regular photo stops. Sweeping views out across the North Head to the ocean are epic, so even though there’s a few steep climbs, it’s 100 per cent worth the calf burn. Watch out for resident eastern water dragons sunning themselves on the rocks during the warmer months, and if you’re lucky, you may even spot a whale splashing off in the distance as they migrate along the coast between July and November. Once you arrive at Manly, there’s a plethora of eateries and activities at your fingertips. We suggest a well-earned beer and pub meal at 4 Pines Brewery.
Great for: Admiring some of the best of Sydney’s coastal views while you get a great work out.
How to get there: From Wynyard Station catch the 178 bus towards Cromer Hts and alight at the Spit Bridge. From Manly, catch the ferry back to Circular Quay.
Watsons Bay to Rose Bay
This pretty 8 kilometre walk winds its way along the coast between two popular Sydney bays and the well-to-do seaside suburb of Vaucluse. Catch the ferry to Watsons Bay (although the walk can be completed in either direction) and you’ll find yourself stumbling upon some of Sydney’s best-kept secrets. Walk south from Watsons Bay and you’ll soon cross the suspension bridge over Parsley Bay Reserve, which is an idyllic spot for a picnic. From there, walk towards Beach Paddock and wander the picturesque grounds of Vaucluse House – a historic 19th-century mansion that now serves high teas. After that, splash around in secluded beaches and trail into scrubby bushland along the Hermitage Foreshore walk, which offers spectacular views across the harbour. Stretches of this walk wander through suburbia, so enjoy marvelling at the over-the-top seaside manors of Sydney’s elite, before finishing off the walk at one of the eateries in Rose Bay. Then it’s time to catch the ferry back to the CBD.
Great for: A seaside frolic; so don’t forget to pack your swimmers for a beach break.
How to get there: Catch a ferry to Watsons Bay from Circular Quay.
Circular Quay to the Royal Botanic Gardens
You don’t even need to leave the CBD for one of Sydney’s best walks. Starting in the bustling centre of Circular Quay, spend a moment watching the green-and-yellow ferries dart about the harbour in their busy commute with the backdrop of the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge – it doesn’t get much more Sydney than this! From here, stroll up to the 30-hectare adjacent gardens, said to be one of the oldest public gardens this side of the equator. Choose to explore the wonderland of diverse plant life, from native species in the Australian Rainforest Garden and Australian Native Rockery to exotic species from Vietnam, Japan and China in the HSBC Oriental Garden, or opt to join one of the free guided walks. If it’s a sunny day, sprawl out on the pristine lawns with a picnic lunch; even if it’s less-than-ideal weather, many of the garden displays are undercover… as is the Garden’s café.
Great for: Plant-and-nature enthusiasts or those who enjoy an easy stroll. Embrace your inner green fingers and brush up on your plant knowledge with this easy, enjoyable walk.
How to get there: Catch the train to Circular Quay. Or, if you simply can’t wait to explore the city, an airport transfer from Sydney Airport to Circular Quay starts from as little as AUD$17 on Jayride.com.
Balls Head Reserve
Nestled away north of the Harbour Bridge in Waverton, Balls Head Reserve is a little slice of bushland paradise emerging from the surrounding leafy suburbia. Boasting stunning harbour views from the north-side of the city, Ball’s Head offers several easy and short connected walking tracks that weave around 9 hectares of beautiful bushland. With tables and BBQ facilities, it’s also the perfect spot to settle down with a picnic, or if you’d prefer, head over to the nearby Coal Loader café, a council initiative that not only educates visitors on sustainability, but also serves great coffee.
Great for: Easy meanderings in a leafy oasis that feels like you’re secluded in the middle of the bush, but is less than 2 kilometres from the city.
How to get there: Balls Head Reserve is an easy ten-minute walk from Waverton Railway Station. Catch the T1 North Shore Line from the city.
Mount Kuring-Gai to Berowra
Allow a full day for this 10 kilometre jaunt, which takes you through the stunning Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park in Sydney’s north. Starting at Mount Kuring-Gai Railway Station, this moderately challenging walk winds through bushland, where you’ll find plentiful wildflowers during the spring (and maybe even a lyrebird scratching about), before descending down into Berowra Waters, where the walking trail hugs the shoreline and offers superb waterfront views. Be on the lookout for the endangered glossy black cockatoos with their bright red tail feathers, or the impressive white-bellied sea eagle, as well as echidnas, bandicoots, pygmy possums and a plethora of other birds, reptiles, fish and mammals that call Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park home.
Great for: Wildlife lovers who enjoy a walk in the bush.
How to get there: Catch the T1 North Shore Train from Central Station to Mount Kuring-Gai station, then follow the signs to start the bushwalk in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park. The walk ends at Berowra station, so from there it’s simply a matter of catching the train back into the city.
The Blue Mountains to the west of Sydney are renowned for their spectacular walking tracks through World Heritage-listed scenery, and while the Three Sisters lookout is certainly worth a look-in (and is an easy, gentle stroll offering iconic views of these famous mountain peaks), if you really want a great walk that’s equally impressive, then put Wentworth Falls on your itinerary. Starting at the Wentworth Falls picnic ground, the path winds its way through scrub before emerging at the very top of Wentworth Falls, where you can watch the billowing water plunge over the cliff and cascade 100 metres beneath you from Fletcher’s Lookout. Stretch your eyes ahead; you’ll get a stunning view of that famed blue-haze from the eucalyptus leaves that gives the mountains their name. For an extra challenge, you can climb down the steep rocky steps to the bottom of the falls; there are plenty of great photo opportunities to be had, but remember that you’ll have to climb back up again! Sturdy shoes are required for this walk, and exposed cliffs mean children need to be supervised at all times.
Great for: Those who love dramatic scenery and thundering waterfalls.
How to get there: Catch a Blue Mountains train from Central Station to Wentworth Falls Station. From there it’s a short walk to the picnic grounds.
- Bondi to Coogee: Probably the most famous of all Sydney walks, the Bondi to Coogee track stretches along 5 kilometres of stunning coastline that connects these two idyllic seaside suburbs, and is a top Sydney activity for residents and visitors alike.
- Grand Canyon Walk: Also in the Blue Mountains National Park, this challenging walk loops through stunning Heritage-listed scenery; think sandstone rock formations, gushing waterfalls and abundant plant life. Pack sturdy shoes for this one.
- Bradley’s Head to Chowder Bay: This picturesque 5 kilometre walk starts off at Taronga Zoo, then winds through Sydney Harbour National Park and offers up some of the best harbour views you’ll find.
- Cockatoo Island: Want a healthy dose of history on your walk? Catch the ferry to Cockatoo Island where you’ll learn all about Sydney’s history, and the role this island played with settling convicts and as a base for shipbuilding. Fun fact, you can also camp here overnight!
Heading to Sydney? As Australia’s busiest airport, it’s important to organise your airport transportation in advance so you’re not left trying to sort out your ride at the last-minute. Jayride.com works with thousands of local airport transfer businesses, so whether you want a budget-friendly shuttle, a luxury private car, or something in between, you’ll find the perfect airport transfer on Jayride.com. Browse Sydney airport transfers today!