Trip Plan Details
- Centennial ParkGrand Drive, Centennial Park NSW, AustraliaBeloved as the go-to spot for Sydney's runners, walkers, cyclists and equestrians, you don't have to venture far in from the paved oval that runs around the park perimeter to find a bit of natural ... read morebeauty. With palm-lined tracks and placid, reed-fringed lakes, it's a gorgeous spot for a wander -- open space that's the silver lining to Sydney's sometimes relentless sprawl.
- Cockatoo IslandSydney HarborA part of Australia's complex of UNESCO-listed World Heritage convict sites, Cockatoo Island (yes, there are cockatoos, but where in Sydney DOESN'T have them?) makes a cool excursion into Sydney ... read moreHarbour. Rich in natural beauty and several eras of history, it's a place that both nature lovers and students of the past will dig. Arts and music festivals are also a regular feature here, if your visit is timed right.
An absolutely gorgeous and quite untouched stretch of sand fronting a crystal-blue sea, Marley beach in Royal National Park is a gem. It's a 3.6km walk from the car park at Bundeena, ensuring that it ... read moregets a small fraction of the park's more accessible beaches, and so remains wild and unspoiled in a way that's hard to fathom, given its ultra-close proximity to Australia's largest city. An awesome spot for beach camping too, though no open fires.
- Bondi BeachCampbell Parade, Sydney, NSW 2026 AustraliaThis is the image many people have of Sydney: a long crescent of golden sand populated by blonde surfer dudes and dudettes, baking beneath the brilliant antipodean sun. Strangely, though, this image ... read moreis pretty much dead on. With a gentle surf break that's great for beginners, an awesome seaside swimming pool, and plenty of shopping and restaurants (albeit touristy and often with a hefty pricetag), this emblem of the city should be considered a must for any first-time visitor to Sydney.
- Spit to ManlySydney Road, Sydney, NSW 2092 AustraliaA lovely, moderate 10k walk from Manly to the Spit Bridge (or vice-versa), this hike closely following the harbour coastline offers gorgeous views out over the middle harbour and a peek into some of ... read morethe surprisingly unspoiled corners of Australia's largest city. A perfect way to get away from the tourist crowds at Circular Quay and see what really makes Sydney so special.
A thoroughly beautiful 2 - 3 hour bushwalk through through gumtrees and across streams and past waterfalls, this track is a great place to spot cockatoos and get away from the crowds that mob the ... read morewalking paths around the Three Sisters lookout. It's moderately strenuous, so avoid the day's peak heat when walking. Even better is the National Pass Loop trail that covers from of the same territory and takes in the magnificent cascade of Upper Wentworth Falls. Bring a camera.
- Royal National ParkFarnell Avenue, Sydney, NSW 2233 AustraliaOnly an hour from Sydney, and totally accessible by train from the city's Central railway station, this gem of a national park offers stunning and hugely varied coastal scenery, with unspoiled ... read morebeaches, lovely grasslands, dense forest, and tons of wildlife. In particular, the two-day, 26-km Coastal Track is one of the world's best short walks, and offers an attractive alternative to wilderness lovers seeking to avoid the crowds of the Blue Mountains. Extremely highly recommended.
- Clovelly Beach272 Clovelly Road, Clovelly NSW, AustraliaWhile the concrete apron surrounding this sheltered ocean "pool" may be off-putting at first, this spot is also Sydney's best easily accessible snorkeling location. With giant blue gropers, colorful ... read morewrasses and the occasional stingray (plus some neat underwater rockscapes), the breakwall also saves the spot from disruptive swell or currents. The hard part for visitors? Finding a snorkel.
- Bondi to Bronte Walk1 Notts Avenue, Sydney, NSW 2026 AustraliaToo many visitors confine their coastal visits in Sydney to Bondi alone. More's the pity, because the roughly 6km walk south from the city's blockbuster surfing beach to the suburban coast at Coogee ... read moregives an overview of what's best in sun-and-sand, with glimpses of what the locals love apart from all the tourist glitz. The roughly two-hour walk (though you could easily make it a whole day if you want to stop and swim or explore along the way) takes in a gorgeous varied coastline, from Bondi's broad crescent to Bronte's twin bays to the rocky headlands and snorkelling hotspots at Clovelly. This hike highlights the natural best of the city, and should be considered a must for anyone wanting to understand why this is one of the globe's most beautiful urban areas.
- Royal Botanic GardensMrs Macquarie's Road, Sydney, NSW 2000 AustraliaAn outstanding bit of real estate bordering Sydney's inner harbour, and adjacent to Circular Quay, the opera house, and the tall buildings of the financial district, the botanical gardens form a ... read moreperfect frame for the city's greatest natural resource. With endless acres of gorgeous landscaping and historic buildings, it's a place that should occupy at least a morning when combined with a wander through the aforementioned sights, and has special surprises like giant fruit bats and cockatoos to be seen amongst all the blossoms and foliage.
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