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Easy Bushwalks in Sydney for the Whole Family.

If you are looking for some easy bushwalks in Sydney to get you out and about after being confined indoors for a little too long, you have come to the right place. Below we share our favourite short walking tracks suitable for beginners, kids or those whose fitness might need a little more work before they hit the harder hiking trails.

Short walking trails in Sydney for beginner bushwalkers.

Narrabeen Lakes

The Narrabeen Lagoon Trail at Narrabeen Lake is a flat pram friendly walk that you can also cycle around. Along the 8km track are four reserves each with BBQs, picnic tables and parking areas. This allows you to start and finish the walk at various spots. If you arrive and find a parking area full just head to another one.

Narrabeen Lake attracts abundant birdlife, and there are always ducks in the lake. This is a great summertime walk with plenty of shade and opportunities for swimming. You can also rent kayaks and paddleboats at Berry Reserve.

Aerial view of Narrabeen Lake and its islands

The Boatshed Cafe, about 500m from Berry Reserve has a lovely outlook over the lagoon and an extensive menu with something to please everyone.

The track is suitable for bikes, prams and wheelchairs. Families will want to include a stop at Bilarong Reserve Playground.

Time: 2-3 hours
Distance: 8.6km if you complete the whole walk.
Things to look out for: Birdlife, parks,
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Manly Dam Nature Walk and Wildflower Walk

I had not visited Manly Dam until it watched a British mini-series, Banished about the first few weeks of settlement in Sydney and discovered it had been filmed at Manly Dam. It seemed hard to believe this gorgeous pristine bushland was so close to the city.

Home to Sydney’s largest freshwater lake, the Nature and Wildflower walks are part of a longer Manly Dam Circuit Walk. These are flat, easy trails suitable for even the most unfit walkers. In summer a swim in the damn or picnic makes a lovely day out.

You will only find wildflowers in spring, flannel flowers are a favourite, but this is still a pleasant walk year round with over 300 plant species in the park.

If you prefer a longer walk, the full Manly Dam Circuit walk is 7.3km and takes about 3 hours.

Time: 55 minutes
Distance: 1.8km
Things to look out for: goannas, wildflowers in spring and scenic views.
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Kalkari Discovery trail

This easy walk in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park is one of the best chances you will have to see kangaroos outside of a zoo in Sydney. At the rear of the visitors centre is an extensive enclosed area where a mob of kangaroos live.

The Kalkari Bush Discovery Track leaves from behind the visitors centre. Along the track, you will see gorgeous red gums, banksias and in spring lots of wildflowers. There is also lots of wildlife to spot.

The highlight of the walk for me is the Kalkari Lookout which gives impressive views of Bobbin Head and Cowan Creek. When you have finished your walk drive down to Bobbin Head where you will find a licenced cafe or more walks to tackle.

Time: 1 hour to walk and explore
Distance: 800m
Things to look out for: Eastern grey kangaroos, emus, lyrebirds, kookaburras, and goannas
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Red Hands Cave to West Head

Another Ku-ring-gai walk, the Red Hand Caves to West Head track ticks so many boxes; ancient Aboriginal art, one of the very best lookouts in Sydney and a secluded beach.

Technically this walk begins at the Resolute Picnic area from here just follow the signs to Red Hands Cave, an easy walk reward with 2000-year-old ochre rock paintings.

Views over Broken Bay from West Head in Ku-ring-gai National Park

From the cave, head along the track to West Head Lookout, in our opinion one of the most impressive lookouts outside of Sydney Harbour.

If you fancy a swim, continue south along the path from the lookout until you come to a turn off for West Head Beach.

Time: 30 minutes without the beach detour
Distance: 2.8km if you include West Head Beach
Things to look out for: 
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Berry Island Reserve

Berry Island is a lovely patch of bushland located on the harbourfront at Wollstonecraft. Once an island the causeway was filled in over 100 years ago but the island name stuck.

The Gadyan Track is an easy walk around the point of the peninsular that contains several signs explaining the way the local Cammeraygal people used this land. The name Gadyan means cockle, and there are old middens that suggest that this a very popular fishing spot for the local tribes.

Gadyan Bush Track signage

Dogs are welcome on a leash. The park offers excellent facilities including a modern playground, toilets and BBQs. You do not need a car to reach this walk, Wollstonecraft train station is only short walk away.

Along the Gadyan Track

Related: Check out our visit to Berry Island’s Gadyan Track

Time: 30 minutes
Distance: 750m
Things to look out for: Aboriginal shell middens, rock carvings and interpretive signage.
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Lake Parramatta Foreshore Walks

Until 1910 this lake, Sydney’s first dam, provided the water supply for the Parramatta region. Today it is a popular area for picnicking, kayaking and soaking up the sunshine.

My favourite thing about this walk is the large variety of gum trees, some of them 400-years old. You will spot blackbutt, blue gums, grey gums and turpentines. The trees are home to plenty of birdlife, especially kookaburras and cockatoos.

The Burramattagal People – the original landholders, were members of the Darug Aboriginal group. Be sure to check out the Arrunga Bardo Bush Food Garden; you can grab a brochure that gives some background on the plants here.

Credit: Parramatta Council – Lake Parramatta

There are three walks to choose from, two shorter options: the She-oak track (1.5km return) and the Banksia Track (2.4km return) or the full 4.2km circuit.

Other than the walking track the lake is popular for swimming and Kayaking. The Eastern Fire Trail is suitable for cycling. There are also BBQs, a playground and picnic tables.

Dogs are permitted here provided they are kept on a leash.

Time: 1hr 45mins
Distance: 4.2km circuit
Things to look out for: Lizard statue
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Hermitage Foreshore Walk

This walk, hidden in plain view, on the eastern foreshore of Sydney Harbour, is a beauty. Few Sydneysiders outside those who live nearby have discovered it, but it has been a local favourite since the 1980s when it was officially added to Sydney Harbour National Park.

Milk Beach – Hermitage Foreshore Walk

With a mix of boardwalk, sand and uneven path, this trail is not pram or wheelchair friendly, but it is suitable for older kids and most abilities. There are five small harbour beaches along the way and several spots that are perfect for a picnic lunch.

Related: Photo guide of the Hermitage Foreshore Walk

Much of the walk is shaded, making this a good summer pick when you need to escape the sun for a while.

Hermitage Foreshore Walking Track Rose Bay Sydney

Time: 45 minutes
Distance: 1.8km one-way
Things to look out for: City views from Milk Beach, Strickland House,
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Jibbon Point Loop Track Bundeena

Bundeena is a small community at the northern boundary of the Royal National Park home to about 2000 residents. A mix of locals, many artists, and holidaymakers make up the population here. It makes a great day trip but is also a lovely spot for a weekend away and only 50km from the centre of the city.

Originally this was Dharawal land, and there is significant evidence of their history here with engravings, shell middens and a re-creation of a campsite with information panels to give plenty of background. The site almost at Jibbon Head is a key feature of this walk.

The walk to Jibbon Head is part of the Royal National Park Coast Walk. We suggest you begin at the ferry wharf. If you want to grab some snacks, you can pop into the small IGA supermarket here as there are no shops or cafes along the way. You need to walk along Loftus Street to reach Jibbon Beach where the walk officially begins.

Jibbon Beach Bundeena

The beach is safe for swimming but with a rapid drop off to deep water so keep a close eye on children. The southern end of the beach is also a popular snorkelling spot. A dip here on the way home makes a nice way to end the walk in summer. If it’s not warm enough to swim, it’s a great spot for collecting shells.

At the end of the beach, make your way up the stairs and follow signage to the Jibbon Head Aboriginal Engravings, one of the best-preserved rock art sites in Sydney and one that attracts relatively few visitors.

Bundeena Rock art site Sydney Bucket list
A walkway and barriers have been erected in recent years to protect this site from damage.

From here you head towards to coast and the headland. There is no fencing on this part of the walk, and the cliff edge is close to the track so careful to watch out for kids, or yourself if you are snapping away at the view!

Rockpools at Shelly Beach on Jibbon Head

This is a great day out, and if you don’t have a car, you can take the train to Cronulla and board this tiny Tom Thumb ferry for the ride across Port Hacking. Car owners might like to leave their vehicle at the wharf too, the trip over is quite fun.

Art Lovers should combine their walk with the Bundeena Art Trail

Get more details on this walk from our friends at Sydney Coast Walks here. We did this walk with them a few years ago and it was excellent. While they no longer run guided walks they do have really detailed information on their site and sell maps too.

Time: 2.5 hours
Distance: 4km (7km if you do the longer Jibbon Track and not the loop)
Things to look out for: excellent aboriginal carving site, middens and cliff views
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Royal National Park Forest Path

The Forest Path is one of the oldest tracks in the Royal National Park. Since 1886 keen bushwalkers have been visiting to stroll through the forest of cabbage tree palms and Gymea lily. This walk is very family-friendly, and while there are no stunning vistas at the end, the track is a great one for getting kids ready for longer walks.

If you want more, there is a turn off to a track leading to Palona Cave and Waterfall. This detour will is 1.6 km return to the main trail. Keep an eye out for a sign saying ‘Limestone Cave’ and turn there.

No car? You can start the walk at Waterfall station, adding an extra five or so km.

Time: 90 minutes
Distance: 4.5km
Things to look out for: In winter the Gymea lilies are spectacular. There are sometimes leeches after rain.
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Bungoona Lookout and Path

This easy, short walk in The Royal National Park is great for families and also pram and wheelchair friendly. The reward for completing the walk is a lovely view of the Port Hacking River. The Banksias attract plenty of birdlife particularly rosellas and cockatoos.

Wheelchair-accessible Bungoona path and lookout offers fantastic scenic views of Hacking River, with picnicking and birdwatching. It’s a great family day trip south of Sydney.

Time: 30 minutes
Distance: almost 1km
Things to look out for: birdlife, water views
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Banks-Solander track & Burrawang Walk

These two walks on the southern shore of Botany Bay in Kamay Botany Bay National Park combine a leisurely stroll in the great outdoors with a glimpse into Sydney’s past. Think history lesson meets bushwalk!

Both walks are suitable for all the family and prams and wheelchair friednly for the most part. The park has a small kiosk and plenty of space for picnics. There is a $7 entry fee for cars.

The Banks-Solander Track is named after the two botanists who collected flora samples on Captain Cooks expedition the highlight of this short bushwalk is the information panels that highlight the most important plants of the region.

Pampas grass was a prominent decorative feature used in share houses in the 1980s

The Burranwang walk will take you past the landing place of Captain Cook’s Endeavour. Along the way, a trail of interpretive signs highlights the stories of the indigenous, Gweagal and Dharawal peoples, and the colonial arrivals. Begins that the “Meeting Place” a sandstone wall with engravings that represent Living, Plenty, Journey and Remembering.

The jetty at Kurnell

Cape Solander is an excellent spot for whale watching between June-Oct.

Time: 60 minutes is generally enough to cover both tracks
Distance: 700m (Banks) 1.2km (Burrawang)
Things to look out for: The Welcome Wall, the Meeting Place, Soundscape installation, native flowers and Captain Cook’s Landing Place.
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4 thoughts on “Easy Bushwalks in Sydney for the Whole Family.”

  1. Sydney is one of my favourite places! I only spent three days there so I didn’t get a chance to see much beyond the main attractions, but definitely want to go back one day! Saving this for when I do, thanks for sharing 🙂

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