Best Bush Walks in Sydney
Mums & Bubs
Sydneysiders are incredibly blessed to have an abundance of bush walks to choose from to add a little adventure to our exercise. But not all of them are suitable for toddlers and pre-schoolers, are they?
We've compiled a list of five of our favourite bush walks in Sydney for adventurous families. Each offers an authentic nature experience and there's not a concrete path in sight!
Explore some of the best bush walks in Sydney for toddlers and pre-schoolers.
1. Fairyland Pleasure Gardens, Lane Cove National Park
Bush Walks Sydney Length and Duration: 1-km track, approx. 30 mins
Did you know that within a mere 20 mins of the CBD there lies a beautiful secret garden called “Fairyland”? Also known as the Fairyland Tea Gardens in 1910, 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.
How to find it: If you’re turning off the M2 or Epping Road, drive along Delhi Road and turn off at River Avenue. Follow River Avenue until it becomes Quebec Road. The walking track begins opposite 101 Quebec Road and leads down towards the Lane Cove River.
The Walk: There is a combination of timber boardwalks, cleared pathways, timber and concrete steps throughout the walk. You might be able to do the walk with a 3-wheeled jogging buggy. Otherwise, best to take your toddler in a backpack or carrier if they'll let you!
2. Great West Walk
Bush Walks Sydney Length and Duration: 65km track
Not for the faint-hearted! This 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.
How to find it: If you're getting the train to Parramatta, the Great West Walk starts at the northern railway exit onto Darcy Street.
The Walk: 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.
3. Banks-Solander Trail, Kamay Botany Bay National Park
Bush Walks Sydney Length and Duration: 0.9-km track, approx. 20 mins
This 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.
How to find it: Drive along Captain Cook Drive in Kurnell until you arrive at a Caltex servo. There’s a turn off into Solander Drive that will lead to the Kamay Botany Bay Visitor Centre car park. While there are numerous walks here, follow the “Banks-Solander Track” sign for this easy trail.
The Walk: The walk is a combination of part-track, part-boardwalk, gravel and sandy tracks. It would be suitable for an all-terrain buggy, or 3-wheeled jogger pram.
4. Bulgandry Aboriginal Engravings Walk, Brisbane Waters National Park
Walk Length and Duration: 0.8-km track, approx. 20 mins
For a bushwalk in Sydney with a bit of ancient history, the walk to the Bulgandry Aboriginal art site is a rich experience of the past traditions and appreciation of the environment. While your little one may not fully understand the concept of ancient Aboriginal rock art, you can take advantage of making it 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.
How to find it: From the Central Coast Highway, take the Woy Woy Road exit at Kariong. Travel approximately 3 kilometres south towards Woy Woy until you see a “Bulgandry” sign on your right. Turn off onto the gravel road car park. The walk begins through a timber chicane on the northeast end of the car park.
The Walk: The walk is wheelchair accessible with a combination of dirt track, gravel and boardwalks. It would be suitable for an all-terrain buggy, or 3-wheeled jogger pram.
5. Lady Carrington Drive Walk to Gibraltar Rock, Royal National Park
Walk Length and Duration: 0.9-km track, approx. 20 mins
What’s the best bushwalk list without a trail at 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 bushwalk combined with a picnic, this easy walk is suitable for little adventurers with a short cobblestone path and beautiful sandstone hanging rock to explore.
How to find it: From the Princes Highway, turn off into Farnell Avenue which becomes Audley Road as you drive through the Royal National Park. Continue driving until you see the Royal National Park Visitor Centre on your right. Turn right into Lady Carrington Drive and follow the road until the end. The walk begins at the Willow Tree Picnic area on the east bank of the Hacking River, where the trail entrance sign says “Lady Carrington Drive”.
The Walk: This walk is a common family biking trail for visitors at the Royal National Park. It's suitable for an all-terrain buggy or 3-wheeled jogger pram. While it goes on for about 10 kilometres, we would only recommend the less than 1-km walk to Gibraltar Rock and back to Willow Tree Picnic area for those with little ones.
Before embarking on a bushwalk in Sydney, always make sure that someone knows where you are, bring plenty of water, and wear appropriate walking shoes.
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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
Nov 14 2014
Very useful list - look forward to trying these.