The Best Bush Walks in Sydney for Adventurous Families

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Sydneysiders are incredibly blessed to have an abundance of bush walks to choose from to add a little adventure to your exercise—because in our book, there are few things better than breathing in a whole lot of fresh air and getting the blood (and endorphins!) pumping.

We've compiled a list of our favourite bush walks in Sydney for adventurous families—with each one offering an authentic nature experience that's sure to engage kids of all ages.

The Best Bush Walks in Sydney for Adventurous Families

1. Fairyland Pleasure Gardens, Lane Cove National Park

Fairyland Pleasure Gardens
Fairyland Pleasure Gardens


Did you know that within a mere 20 mins of the CBD there lies a beautiful secret garden, whimsically named Fairyland? Also known as the Fairyland Tea Gardens, it was once a bustling picnic area that local residents would visit by charter boats. There were swings, slides, picnic shelters and even a dance hall.

Today, it's an unassuming overgrown bush area with mangroves along the river banks and a quiet walking track that is part of the Great North Walk in Lane Cove National Park

The walk involves a combination of timber boardwalks, cleared pathways, and timber and concrete steps throughout the walk. This family-friendly walk is a good one for kids as it's not overly long, and you might be able to do the walk with a 3-wheeled jogging buggy—otherwise, you could take toddlers in a backpack or carrier if they'll let you!

Duration: 1 km track, approx. 30 mins
Location: The walk starts opposite 101 Quebec Road, Chatswood West and leads down towards the Lane Cove River

2. Great West Walk

The best bush walks in Sydney
The Great West Walk stretches from Parramatta to the Blue Mountains.


Ok, this one is not for the faint-hearted! The Great West Walk is western Sydney's longest walk and the 65km track from Parramatta to the Blue Mountains will take you around 5 days if you do it in its entirety. Of course, we recommend starting with one of the shorter trails, like the 1.2km walking track that runs along Toongabbie Creek between Old Windsor Road and Tucks Road, Toongabbie; a great pick for a Sydney bushwalk with kids. 

If you're getting the train to Parramatta, the Great West Walk starts at the northern railway exit onto Darcy Street. This 65-kilometre stretching from Parramatta to the foot of the Blue Mountains crosses a kaleidoscope of varying landscapes, including protected Cumberland Plain woodland, local river systems, public parklands, some of Australia’s oldest architecture and Western Sydney’s iconic urban landscapes.

Duration: 65km all up, lots of shorter trails available—find a route suitable for your family on the Great West Walk website
Location: The Great West Walk starts at the northern railway exit onto Darcy Street

3. Banks-Solander Trail, Kamay Botany Bay National Park

Banks-Solander Track
Follow Banks-Solander Trail in Kamay Botany Bay National Park


The Banks-Solander trail in Kamay Botany Bay National Park is an easy, peaceful, and shady walk amid wild ferns and a eucalyptus forest, which was once explored by the botanists from Captain Cook’s crew, Joseph Banks and Daniel Solander over 240 years ago. Bushwalking with your children here could transport you back to these early explorer days.

While there are numerous walks here, follow the 'Banks-Solander Track' sign for this easy trail that will give the whole family a much-needed break in nature.  The walk is part-track, part-boardwalk, gravel and sandy tracks, so it would be suitable for an all-terrain or 3-wheeled jogger pram. 

Duration: 0.9 km track, approx. 20 mins
Location: a turn-off into Solander Drive will lead to the Kamay Botany Bay Visitor Centre car park in Kamay Botany Bay National Park

4. Pyes Creek Swing Bridge Loop Walk

The best bush walks in Sydney
Pyes Creek Swing Bridge


The Pyes Creek Swing Bridge Loop Walk is another one of our favourite bush walks in Sydney that feels as though you're worlds away.

The pedestrian Swing Bridge over Pyes Creek only opened in 2023 and has created an adventurous treetop walk overlooking the picturesque Pyes Creek below. The roughly 1-kilometre looped walk is a great introductory bush walk for little ones as it's not too strenuous and you'll be passing plenty of gorgeous vegetation, not to mention the awesome views from the bridge and the sounds of trickling water below. The creek carries water runoff from Castle Hill, Dural, and Cherrybrook and flows all the way to the Hawkesbury River 34 kilometres away!

Duration: 1-kilometre looped track, approx. 30 mins
Location: there are entry points at Keighran Place in Cherrybrook and Fallon Drive Reserve in Dural

5. Bulgandry Aboriginal Engravings Walk, Brisbane Waters National Park

Bulgandry Aboriginal Engravings Walk in Brisbane Waters National Park
Bulgandry Aboriginal Engravings Walk in Brisbane Waters National Park is an epic adventure.


For bush walks in Sydney with a bit of ancient history, the walk to the Bulgandry Aboriginal art site is a rich experience of past traditions and appreciation of the environment.

While your little one may not fully understand the concept of ancient Aboriginal rock art, it's still a great opportunity to make this an educational bush walk. In spring, the native plants and wildflowers along the walking trail are a sight to behold.

At the Bulgandry site itself, you’ll see the 200-year-old carvings of wallabies, fish, a dolphin, a canoe, and a bird. As this is an Aboriginal cultural heritage site, please remember to tread carefully and with respect. Adhere to the site care signage and keep to the boardwalk. The walk is wheelchair accessible with a combination of dirt track, gravel and boardwalks—so it is suitable for an all-terrain, or 3-wheeled jogger pram. 

Duration: 0.8 km track, approx. 20 mins
Location: head to Bulgandry, the walk begins through a timber chicane on the northeast end of the car park

6. Lady Carrington Drive Walk to Gibraltar Rock, Royal National Park

Lady Carrington Drive
The Royal National Park's fascinating Lady Carrington Drive Walk to Gibraltar Rock.


You can't talk about the best bush walks in Sydney without mentioning the Royal National Park

We love this area of the ’Nasho because of the Audley Boatshed and its surroundings for family-friendly activities. If you want a bush walk combined with a picnic, this easy walk is suitable for little adventurers with a short cobblestone path and beautiful sandstone hanging rock to explore.

Once you're in the Royal National Park, the walk begins at the Willow Tree Picnic area on the east bank of the Hacking River.

This walk is a common family biking trail for visitors at the Royal National Park. While it goes on for about 10 kilometres, we would only recommend the less than 1 km walk to Gibraltar Rock and back to the Willow Tree Picnic area for those with little ones!

Duration: 0.9 km track, approx. 20 mins
Location: Lady Carrington Drive in the Royal National Park

7. Jellybean Track, Glenbrook

The best bush walks in Sydney
The famous Jellybean Pool.


Looking for a fun and easy bush walk to introduce your kids to the beauty of the Blue Mountains National Park? The Jellybean Track in Glenbrook is the perfect choice.

Keep your eyes peeled for colourful birds like kestrels, rainbow lorikeets, and blue kingfishers as you wander along this picturesque trail. The highlight of the walk is the stunning Jellybean Pool. Follow the track down the hill to reach these blissful waters where you can take a refreshing dip during the summer months. 

There’s a car park nearby, but it fills up quickly on weekends, so make sure to arrive early to snag a spot.

Duration: 1-km loop, approx. 1 hour
Location: Bruce Road, Glenbrook

8. America Bay Track, Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park

America Bay Track
America Bay Walking Track.


This short but punchy bush walk in the heart of Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park is an absolute gem! It may be just 1 km one way, but you'll feel worlds away from the daily grind. 

The adventure begins with beautifully preserved Aboriginal engravings on a spacious, flat, and rocky area. It's a glimpse into the rich cultural history of the land you're exploring, and the absolute highlight of this scenic stroll is the breathtaking lookout that treats you to jaw-dropping views of America Bay at the very end of the track.

Duration: 2-km return, approx 1 hour
Location: Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park

9. Tambourine Bay Park to Warraroon Reserve

Tambourine Park to Warraroon Reserve
Tambourine Bay to Warraroon Reserve is the perfect family-friendly bush walk in Sydney.


Looking for an awesome bush-walking adventure right in the heart of suburban streets? Look no further than the trail from Tambourine Bay to Warraroon Reserve.

This easy 3-km return walking trail winds through a picturesque pocket of scenic bushland, effortlessly connecting the suburbs of Longueville, Riverview, and Lane Cove.

Following the gentle flow of Tambourine Creek, you'll be guided towards the enchanting Tambourine Bay, a delightful northern tributary of the Lane Cove River. The absolute highlight of this trail is the section that leads you through Warraroon Reserve. You'll be completely immersed in nature's wonderland, surrounded by tall trees, mangroves, intriguing rock formations, and an incredible variety of wildlife.

Duration: 3 km return, approx 1.5 hours
Location: start the walk at Tambourine Bay Road, Riverview

10. Bradleys Head to Balmoral Beach

The best bush walks in Sydney
The views from Taronga Zoo to Balmoral Beach. 


The Bradleys Head to Balmoral Track is a little bit on the more strenuous side than our other bush walks for kids, but there's just so much to see and do, we couldn't resist including it on the list!

Get ready to immerse yourself in stunning views of Sydney Harbour as you embark on the 6-kilometre track starting from Taronga Zoo, passing through Chowder Bay, and finishing at Balmoral Beach. Along the way, you'll be treated to iconic sights like the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge. History enthusiasts will appreciate a stop at Bradleys Head to explore military relics, including a historic battery from 1839. If you'd prefer a shorter journey, you can finish the track at Chowder Bay.

When hunger strikes, Chowder Bay offers several cafes and restaurants. Alternatively, you can pack a picnic and enjoy it at the nearby Clifton Gardens - there's a playground for the kiddies!

Since it's a one-way track, we recommend planning your transport back if you're not going to trek another 6 kilometres back! You can catch a bus or ferry for your return journey - what an adventure!

Duration: 6 km one-way, approx 2 hours
Location: Athol Wharf Road, Mosman

Safety First: Preparing for Bush Walking in Sydney

Depending on the walk you choose, you'll need to do your due diligence, especially if you're taking young kids with you! Consider the time of day you're going in order to avoid the harsh midday sun. Be prepared with plenty of snacks, water, hats, sunscreen, insect repellant, and appropriate footwear. Make sure they kids are wearing runners even if your toddler insists that their Frozen slippers are the perfect bush-walking attire (been there, done that!). 

Our biggest tip when bush-walking in Sydney with kids is not to overcommit. A surefire way to turn your kids off the activity of bushwalking is to sign you all up for a bushwalk that is way too ambitious, then have to endure a whole lot of complaining and an aversion to future bushwalks. Start small, make it playful, and your little adventurers will thank you! 

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Reviews


Cherrie harvey

Feb 02 2016

This is great as we want to start bushwalking but was t sure where to take the kids as the ages are5,9,10 . Gives me a great start thanks


Carly

Nov 14 2014

Very useful list - look forward to trying these.