This is the Big Daddy of long distance bushwalks in the Sydney region, comprising of 250km of walking track between from Sydney to Newcastle. Starting from the obelisk at Macquarie Place, Sydney the walk traverses through Hunters Hill and Lane Cover River NP, the Benowie Track to Cowan and Brooklyn, and on to Newcastle. Where possible it passes through natural tracts of bushland and follows pathways used by for centuries by the Aborigines to travel from one region to another.
The Great North Road
The Great North Road was built by convict labour often working in irons, between 1826 and 1836 to connect Sydney with Newcastle and the Upper Hunter Valley. It was an engineering masterpiece as it passed through some rugged mountainous, heavily wooded countryside. Much of this historic road still exists and a number of sections still carry modern day traffic. Many sections of the road can be walked.
Highlights: convict engineering relics (roads, bridges, culverts etc)
Little Digger Track
One of many tracks in the area, The Little Digger Track follows Moores Creek, skirting the Roseville Golf Course, and descends into the sandstone gully until it joins the Two Creeks Track, which takes you to Middle Harbour. Features of the track include waterfalls, rock pools, caves, rainforest vegetation, mighty Sydney Red Gums, She Oaks and many types of fern. The varied habitat is home to a large number of Australian native animals including the threatened Powerful Owl, Eastern Water Dragon, Ringtail Possums and several frog species. Roseville, 2 km return. For more walks, visit the website.
Cooks River Pathway
The Cooks River Pathway, also known as the Bay to Bay Walk, is one of the oldest and most significant shared pedestrian and cycling paths in Sydney, extending from Mason Park at Homebush Bay Drive in Homebush Bay to the Cooks River entrance into Botany Bay. The Pathway is centrally located in the Sydney metropolitan region, and follows the foreshore of the Cooks River, covering the full length of the catchment. The Pathway is designed to be walked or cycled in sections.
Highlights: Homebush Bay, Burwood, Strathfield, Canterbury, Rockdale, Botany Bay
Duration: 14 hours. Distance: 35km. Grade: easy
Lane Cove Valley
The upper section of Lane Cove National Park, bounded by North Epping, Warrawee and Pennant Hills has some pleasant bushwalking tracks that few outside of the locals know about or get the opportunity to enjoy.The Lane Cove Valley Walk and Whale Rock Circuit give access to the valleys of the upper Lane Cove River, Devlins Creek and other lesser tributaries. You can make your walk as long or as short as you like, from an hour around Devlins Creek to a full day s trek taking in Wahroonga, Pymble, Killara, Chatswood West, East Ryde and Gladesville (following the Great North Walk). A walk from the end of Boundary Rd, North Epping to Browns Waterhole and return is some 4 km in length and takes in Whale Rock and Hanging Rock, numerous water races and Aboriginal rockart. Easy to moderate, including fording Devlins Creek.
Old Ford Road, Kentlyn
At the end of Georges River Road are the relics of one of the oldest roads in the area and one of three historical routes crossing the upper reaches of the Georges River. The road, which was constructed in the 1890s as part of an employment programme, brought access to the settlements of Eckersley and Holsworthy from Campbelltown and Minto. The settlements on the eastern side of the Georges River were established in 1884 and were the site of numerous vineyards and orchards until 1913 when the land was resumed for the Holsworthy field firing range. The remnants of the settlement are today within the Holsworthy Military Area. Many of the cuttings, box culverts, sandstone dish drains and buttresses built to support the road as it winds its way through a picturesque wooden valley still exist though the causeway/bridge across the river has long gone.
Harbour to Hawkesbury Walking Track
The Harbour to Hawkesbury walking track links Manly and Berowra, allowing walkers to experience some of Sydney's most scenic bushland, harbours and waterways via 47km of sign-posted walking tracks. The route uses mostly existing tracks within the Sydney Harbour, Ku-ring-gai Chase and Garigal National Parks and outside these parks, uses reserves where possible, else local streets. Regular public transport connects with points along the route, so the walk lends itself to being completed as a series of half day or one day walks. The Harbour to Hawkesbury track links in with the Great North Walk, providing a continuous loop of walking track of about 105km in length, which takes 5-6 days to complete.
Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park Walking Tracks
25 km north of Sydney, Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park is a popular destination, known for its scenic setting on the southern bank of the Hawkesbury River, as well as rock engravings and other art of Aboriginal origin. The park is blessed with a series of relatively easy walking tracks which give visitors access to the Park's many picturesque bays, and to the Aboriginal rock engravings. West Head and Bobbin Head are where most of the walking tracks start and finish.
Parramatta Lake is a popular picnic, swimming and fishing hole with families and nature lovers in the area. The lake offers three well-signed walks, of varying length and difficulty, though none of the walks are very challenging. Dogs are welcome on a leash and there are picnic tables, bbqs and toilets near the main car park, where the three walks start.
Highlights: Parramatta Lake
Duration: 30 mins to 4 hours return. Distance: 1.5 - 4.2km. Grade: easy
Manly-Warringah War Memorial Park, King Street, Manly Vale
The reserve surrounding Manly Reservoir is a valuable natural parkland and recreational area for the people of the Manly area. The dam itself is a mass concrete gravity dam of the late 19th century in both design and construction. It played an essential role in the early water supply of the northern beaches area surrounding Manly, and was wholly independent scheme of the first stage of the renowned Upper Nepean Scheme was completed.
Manly Reservoir: UBD Map 197 Ref E 2.
Kokoda Track Memorial Walkway
The walkway ccovers more than 800 metres from Rhodes Station to Concord Hospital in Sydney s inner-west, and runs along the mangrove-studded shores of Brays Bay on the Parramatta River. At the centrepiece are magnificent granite walls bearing photographic images of the Kokoda military campaign; there are 22 stations or plaques along the walkway, each describing a significant place or engagement; the walkway has been planted with lush tropical vegetation simulating the conditions of The Kokoda Track. Developed by the community in 1994, the track not only offers an engaging educational experience, but also a peaceful hideaway for anyone wanting to take a break from the hustle and bustle of city lifeeadland and was completed in 1881. A customs station was established in 1843 at what was considered to be the back door of Sydney for smugglers.
Canada Bay Walk
With 38 kilometres of foreshore forming a northern boundary, the City of Canada Bay offers a variety of foreshore walks to help you appreciate its water wonders. With over 150 parks, open spaces and reserves linked together by many picturesque trails, it will take more than a day to explore the City of Canada Bay, but one route brings together many of the attractions of parklands, estates and trails allowing you to taste the best of all worlds in only half-a-day.
100 Steps Walk
The walk starts at the end of Derby Street that can be accessed through a locked gate across Duncan Street, Minto Heights. The 100 steps walk follows a set of old steps that meander down the side of the gorge to the Georges River, hence its name. In sections these steps are in good condition (as can be seen on the photo), however in parts they have been eroded or are completely missing. The track makes its path around rocks overhangs, surrounded by grass trees and gymea lilies and shaded by magnificent angophoras which often seem to by growing out of bare rock. There is very little chance of a sighting of the river on the way down, but the large pool at the bottom is worth a visit.
Mitchell's Pass, Lapstone
The first road up the eastern slopes of the Blue Mountains was built by William Cox (1814-15). Being steep aqd subject to serious washways, it was superseded in 1824 by what was known as the Bathurst Road (now Old Bathurst Road). It avoided watercourses, but its grade was very steep and this rendered it hazardous to travellers. When Major Thomas Mitchell was appointed as Surveyor-General in 1828, his first task was to provide a more direct and easily graded route for the Great Western Road. Mitchell surveyed and recommended the construction of a road along this route midway between the other two in preference to the Governor's suggestion of stationing a permanent repair gang on the Old Bathurst Road. Mitchell's Pass is a remnant of Mitchell's road.
Blue Gum Walk
Located near Hornsby in Sydney's north, this track is for those who love to explore! Venture into Old Mans Valley and admire the stately stand of Sydney Blue Gums. Originating on volcanic soil this site of an ancient diatreme has meant the production of a fertile strip 10km long. Surrounded by creeks and largely unaffected by development, this area is one of the easiest places in the Hornsby area to observe its unique botanical heritage.
Iron Cove Bay Run
One of the most popular harbourside tracks in Sydney, the Iron Cove Bay Run is a walk in the inner-west that follows the entire natural course of Iron Cove along paved suburban footpaths. Along the way you ll see mangroves, sandy beaches, historical buildings, at least 10 parks, the Iron Cove Bridge and of course, Sydney s beautiful harbour.
Highlights: Iron Cove Bridge; Callan Park; Birkenhead Point; Dobroyd Point; Rodd Island
Duration: 2 hours. Distance: 7km. Grade: easy
Bushwalkers' Basin, Kentlyn
The Keith Longhurst Reserve situated at the end of the Georges River Road, Kentlyn, comprises almost 80 hectares of bushland leading down to the Georges River, and there is plenty of scope for bushwalks of all grades. The walk down to Bushwalkers Basin has recently been upgraded by Campbelltown City Council and there are now steps leading down to the river. The track has been more clearly defined with marker posts along the way, but care must still be taken to stay on the track.
There are over 35 kilometres of bike trails, walking paths and scenic boardwalks within the Park that can take you to beautiful parklands, rare saltmarshes, remnant woodlands, waterbird refuges and mangrove forest. Such significant habitats make Sydney Olympic Park an urban biodiversity hotspot with hundreds of species of plants, birds, frogs, bats, reptiles and fish. Amongst these protected wetlands and woodlands you can bird watch, spot endangered frogs such as the endangered Green and Golden Bell frog, or just de-stress in the cool green calmness under the trees.
Wolli Creek Valley
This walk, centred around Watsons Bay and South Head, takes in the windswept cliffs, secluded coves, historic lighthouses, coastal fortificationsThe Wolli Creek Valley contains the only bushland of any size and the only large high-quality open space left in the heavily populated and industrialised suburbs of inner southern Sydney. Mangrove and saltmarsh flats were once common in the estuary of the Cooks River, downstream of Tempe. These have now been filled, leaving those along the Wolli Creek and Muddy Creek among the few remaining saltmarsh remnants in the Cooks River system. Today the creek is a lined channel upstream however the lower reaches to the Cooks River is largely in a natural state forming a defined but winding watercourse through the Wolli Valley.
Bardwell Creek Reserve
Bardwell Creek Reserve is a 6ha. remnant of closed forest, which includes Turpentine Forest and Eucalypt woodland and Sydney Red Gum and Sydney Peppermint woodland, is located south-west and north-east of Bexley Road and has been earmarked for preservation. Bardwell Valley is a pleasant area for walkers with pockets of natural bushland surviving amongst the introduced flora and grassed areas which dominate this reserve. A walking path follows the line of Bardwell Creek along its southern bank from Preddy's Road, Bexley North, to Bardwell Road, Bardwell Valley, near where the creek flows into Wolli Creek. Bardwell Creek is named after Thomas Bardwell, an early settler.
Blackbutt Walking Track
The suburbs of the Upper North Shore are encompassed by extensive stands of natural bushland which occupy the valleys of the tributaries of Middle Harbour Creek to the north and Lane Cove River to the south. Fire trails and walking paths extend deep into these valuable and extensive reserves, allowing access to the area s natural beauty. The bushland surrounding Blackbutt, Falls and Links Creeks in suburban Gordon and West Pymble is such a reserve. The Blackbutt Walking Track follows these watercourses throug bushland for much of their length to the Lane Cove River.
Glenbrook Railway Heritage Walk
You don't have to be a railway buff to enjoy this heritage walk at Glenbrook, which is the first town at the eastern end of the Blue Mountains. There are numerous places of railway-related historical interest on the boundary between Glenbrook and Lapstone, and most are covered by this walk through pleasant bushland in the Blue Mountains foothills. It follows the path of an early line through Glenbrook, which operated between 1867 and 1911. The trail leads to the John Whitton Memorial, the Knapsack Viaduct and the cuttings and culverts of the old Glenbrook Zig Zag.
A favourite bushwalking spot on the North Shore, Bidjigal Reserve is an extensive nature reserve which falls within the original Baulkham Hills Common that was set aside for grazing cattle in 1804. Incorporating Eric Mobbs Recreational Reserve, Darling Hills State Forest, Don Moore Reserve and Ted Horwood Reserve, it follows Darling Mills Creek and its tributaries through the suburbs of Castle Hill, Baulkham Hills, Carlingford, North Rocks and Northmead. A number of walking paths give access to the heart of what is the largest remnant of natural bushland in the area. Infamous 1820 s bushranger Jack Donahoe, who carried out many robberies in the area, is reported to have used the gorge as a hideout.
Berowra Valley Walks
This virgin bushland reserve covers more than 3800 ha of bushland within Hornsby Shire and extends 16km long and between 1 - 6km wide between Pennant Hills in the South and Berowra in the North.The Great North Walk, which is a major walking track within the Park, provides trackheads (entry points) at Berowra, Mt Kuring-gai (Glenview Road), Mt Colah, Asquith, Hornsby, Galston Gorge, Pennant Hills (Bellamy Street) and Cherrybrook (Callicoma Walk). Mount Kuring-gai and Berowra railway stations are close to the northern section of the Park. The main public road through the mid-section of the Park is Galston Road.
Main recreational activities in the Park include bushwalking, nature appreciation, jogging, boating, picnicking, fishing, cycling, camping and leashed dog walking in designated areas. Scenic views can be found at Galston Gorge, Barnetts Reserve and at Naa Badu Lookout. Playground facilities are provided at Crosslands Reserve and at Barnetts Reserve.