Best Secret Nature Spots in Sydney
With our sights set on a summer outdoors, we're already shaking off the shackles and making the most of the sunshine by getting out and enjoying nature. The problem is everyone's got the same idea, and many of the most popular NSW national parks are getting super busy. Not ideal for a COVID-safe day out - or for getting that secluded wilderness feeling.
To help, NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service have put together a list of some secret spots in Sydney - the lesser-known and less-visited national parks where families can visit for a nature hit without the crowds - and they are every bit as stunning.
Here are their top picks of the top 5 secret nature spots around Sydney - minus the crowds:
1. For Bushwalking Without The Crowds
Marramarra National Park
Jump on public transport for a hike with no traffic or parking hassles. The 10km Mount Ku-ring-gai track to Berowra Station begins at Mount Ku-ring-gai station and is a rugged track through dense woodland, passing a beautiful creek and Aboriginal sites. Finish the day with a steep climb up to Berowra station before resting the legs on the train trip home.
One for experienced bushwalkers, Marramarra National Park is a pocket of dense bushland with spectacular views in the Hawkesbury area. Marramarra Ridge to Smugglers Ridge walking track is a 13km loop trail leading down to a creek for a lunch and swim pit stop. Try the 21km return Canoelands Ridge walking track which can be done in a day, or take a tent and make it a two-day adventure with a night at Gentlemans Halt campground.
2. For A Secluded Swimming Hole
Kingfisher Pool, Heathcote National Park
Avoid packed Royal National Park and instead head to its neighbour, Heathcote National Park to tackle the 5.5.km one-way Bullarwarring walking track. It takes in lush bushland, craggy ridges and Kingfisher Pool - a glistening freshwater swimming hole, along the way. Get there easily by train too as this track starts just a 10 minute walk from Waterfall station.
3. For Private Front Row Seats To The Harbour
Rotunda, Rodd Island
Sydney Harbour National Park islands Clark (near Double Bay) Shark (off Rose Bay) and Rodd (near Birkenhead Point) are the perfect solution for a quiet haven in the middle of the city. Pack a picnic basket; sort out your transport by either private boat, water taxi, ferry service or kayak; pay the $7 landing fee and enjoy a private picnic with million-dollar harbour views at some of the most beautiful hidden places in Sydney.
4. For Snapping Up A Leafy Picnic Spot
Pavillion, Rouse Hill Regional Park
In the Hills District of north-west Sydney, Rouse Hill Regional Park has everything for a great family day out. The park has flat, pram-friendly walking tracks, cycle paths, a playground and even allows dogs. There are BBQs, picnic areas and two larger pavilions you can book online for a gathering, birthday or celebration.
5. For The Sydney Attraction You’ve Never Heard Of
Longneck Lagoon Walking Track, Scheyville National Park
For one of the more unusual things to do in Sydney, Scheyville National Park near Windsor in the north-west is an undiscovered gem with a surprising cultural history. The area has the remnants of a post-WW2 migrant camp, a cooperative farm and restored historic buildings to explore. After delving into the past, take a stroll on Longneck Lagoon walking track, a 4km loop boardwalk over a freshwater wetland with excellent vantage points for birdwatching.
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