15 Sydney Walks Every Tourist Must Experience

A great way to explore and really immerse yourself in a city is to take it all in by foot. Sydney is one such city that has some amazing walks that every tourist needs to experience.

Here we’ve listed the top 15 Sydney walks to add to your travel itinerary.

Bradley’s Head to Chowder Bay

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This stunning 5km walk begins at Taronga Zoo and wraps all the way around the coastline until you hit Chowder Bay. While you could probably enjoy the zoo and the walk in the same day, it’s safe to say that you’ll want to take your time with this walk so probably best to leave the animal adventures for another time. It’s a beautiful trail that offers magnificent views of Sydney Harbour, providing unobstructed views of both the Harbour Bridge and Opera House. Ideal for taking some holiday snaps! Once you’ve enjoyed the view, taken some quality photos to send to your family and friends back home, it’s time to enjoy some well earned lunch at one of Chowder Bay’s seafood restaurants.

Anzac Bridge to Pyrmont Bridge

If you’re coming into the city from the inner west, this would have to be the most scenic walk to take. Start off by crossing the Anzac Bridge over to Blackwattle Bay where you can enjoy a delicious bayside lunch at the famous Sydney Fish Market. It’s a seafood lover’s paradise! Once you’ve had your fill, continue through Darling Harbour and across the Pyrmont Bridge, taking in once again some exciting views – this time the vantage point offers the best place to look across Cockle Bay.

Once you’ve completed this 4km bridge hike you can finish off at the Bristol Arms with a nice cold beverage. This venue boasts an excellent rooftop area, which is the perfect place to spend an afternoon with friends.

Bondi to Coogee Walk

No list of walking trails is complete without the quintessential Bondi to Coogee walk. This trail offers magnificent views of Sydney’s coastline, and is a decent 6km from start to finish. With some steep areas it is somewhat of a workout, but can easily be enjoyed at a very leisurely pace if you’re in no rush. Non stop you can take on the trail in around 2 hours, but this walk is best enjoyed with stops along the way to enjoy the expansive ocean views.

Balls Head Reserve

If you’re really not looking for a workout and just want to take a scenic meander, Balls Head Reserve is a must visit during your stay in Sydney. With outstanding views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge from the north, Balls Head Reserve offers tourists an ideal location to take a short, leisurely stroll before sitting back and enjoying a picnic lunch on the rocks overlooking Sydney’s CBD.

Take the bush walking track and it opens up to a private park with barbecues, ideal for a sausage sizzle. Surrounded by so much beauty as well as spectacular views it’s easy to spend a day here.

Middle Head

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Located in the Sydney Harbour National Park, Middle Head is a breath-taking lookout spot. With the North and South Heads on either side, you can see where the Pacific Ocean meets the horizon. These exceptional views extend over towards Sydney’s eastern suburbs, Middle Harbour and Manly.

Middle Head has a strong military past, so there is loads to explore here. Take the Don Goodsir track to the 1801 Forts which were originally built from fear of a French invasion. You can then go and explore the tunnels and sandstone gun pits as well as the Vietnam War-era ‘Tiger Cages’. Once you’ve taken in all of the historical sites, you can relax on Cobblers Beach or enjoy some nude bathing at the nearby Obelisk Beach if you dare.

Centennial Park

For those who want to enjoy a picturesque, leisurely stroll, you can’t beat a walk through Centennial Park. This 4km walk will take you approximately an hour, but longer if you decide to stop and check out each section of the park in a little more detail (which is highly recommended). There’s plenty of barbecues here so it’s the perfect place to enjoy lunch with friends.

What’s great about Centennial Park is that it’s not only beautiful, but it’s so easy to get to as it’s only 10 minutes from the city. Want to enjoy the park on horseback? Why not go for a horse ride or even hire a bike to take in the sights? It’s all happening at Centennial Park.

The Spit to Manly

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This 10km walk is not for the faint-hearted, and should only be attempted on a cooler (but certainly not rainy) day. While it’s a longer walk, there are places you can stop at on the way to have lunch and relax for a bit before finishing. Recognised as easily one of Sydney’s most picturesque walks, it includes a trail which winds its way through a red gum forest, subtropical rainforest and bypasses a few tempting swimming holes along the way. Take a small detour to Grotto Point Lighthouse to check out some incredible Aboriginal rock engravings.

Finishing the walk at Manly is ideal because there are so many wonderful places here to grab a bite to eat or something to drink.

Barrenjoey House to Palm Beach

This walk lets you explore the most northern tip of Sydney, with Pittwater situated to the west and the Pacific Ocean to the east. The Barrenjoey Lighthouse and its surrounding cottages have been around since the 1800’s. If you really want to immerse yourself in the history of this beautiful place, take a guided walk on a Sunday which starts at the very sensible time of 11am.

While the lighthouse track is steep and rocky in parts, once you hit Palm Beach the terrain is completely flat. The walk itself is only 5.25km but allow yourself a whole day for this one as it will take you at least an hour each way to get to and from the city by bus to your destination.

Hermitage Foreshore Track

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This is a truly spectacular walk if you want to enjoy uninterrupted views of the harbour and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. The Hermitage Foreshore track itself passes Fort Denison and Shark Island, and not only offers stunning views of Sydney but it also offers some insight into its heritage as well. You can start the walk at either Nielsen Park or Bayview Hill Road – either way you’ll enjoy this walk for its fantastic vantage points where you can stop, take a few photos in front of some of Sydney’s most iconic structures before perhaps enjoying some snacks and drinks by the harbour.

Bobbin Head to Mt. Ku-ring-gai via Apple Tree Bay

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This walk is located on Sydney’s North Shore and takes you through Cowan Waters and Apple Tree Bay before you hit the entrance to the Ku-ring-gai National Park. While there are no bus services that run specifically to Bobbin Head, it’s worth making the effort to get there to simply enjoy the idyllic views the reserve has to offer. It’s the ultimate picnic spot where you can simply grab a coffee, sit back, and enjoy tranquil surrounds before making the trek through to the Ku-ring-gai National Park.

Once you arrive at the National Park you’ll see that there is lots for you to explore here too, so give yourself a good full day to enjoy this walking adventure.

Circular Quay to Botanic Gardens

This walk takes you from one beauty spot to the next. Start the walk at Circular Quay to marvel at the Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge before heading over to the Royal Botanic Gardens. Once in the grounds, take your time to meander through the various sections of the gardens before finding a spot under a tree by the water to stop and relax.

If you want to inject a little more culture into your walk, add the two biggest art galleries in Sydney to your trek: the MCA in Circular Quay and the AGNSW once you’ve finished up at the Botanic Gardens. It’s not a long walk so adding in the two galleries is really recommended.

North Head

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This 9.5km historical walk is considered to be one of Sydney’s best coastal bush walks. Start your expedition at the North Head Sanctuary, then walk through the old North Head Army Barracks before heading out into the wilderness. Before you hit the coastline there’s a chance you’ll see some of Australia’s most beloved wildlife, including bandicoots and echidnas, which inhabit these parts.

Check out the Third Quarantine Station Cemetery for a wonderful view across to Middle Head and Manly. If you take the Fairfax Walk you’ll experience views which extend out over the Tasman Sea.  Finish your walk at Manly Beach, but make sure you check out Collins and Little Manly Beaches along the way.

Bundeena to Otford Coastal Trek

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If you want a walk that will take you more than a day, the Bundeena to Otford Coastal Trek is the way to go. It’s a 26km track that takes you around the Royal National Park, offering stunning views not only of the bush scenery but also of the Tasman Sea as you walk across the cliff tops and rocks. Spending the night camping at the North Era Campground will mean you can not only take your time and enjoy the walk but it also means that you can wake up for a spectacular sunrise over the ocean. This would have to be one of the best photo opportunities you’ll get.

Sydney Harbour Bridge to Coast Head

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This is a long walk, tracking 30km. If you’re unsure if your feet will be able to take you all the way, it’s easy to break this one up using public transport as you go. This walk is ideal for seeing pretty much the bulk of every Sydney icon in a very long, full day. Starting at the Sydney Harbour Bridge, you then pass Mrs. Macquarie’s Chair before heading to Rushcutters Bay, Rose Bay and Vaucluse, where some of the most stunning views of the harbour and the city can be found. Finishing at South Head, you’ll take in incredible cliff face views of Sydney.

Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb

There’s no way a list of the best Sydney walks could omit the famous Sydney Harbour Bridge walk.  If you really want to experience Sydney from above, taking the BridgeClimb makes for a truly incredible experience. Taking around 3.5 hours depending on which BridgeClimb you choose to go on, the walk will take you to the top of the bridge and down the other side. If you’re a little scared of heights you can always take the free, bridge walkway and experience panoramic views of the harbour from the bridge. The walkway is easy and flat, and really is a must for first time visitors to Sydney.

And there you have it. Sydney’s top 15 walks. Now lace up those sneakers, fill up that water bottle, and get cracking!