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Sydney's Best Bushwalks - From Glow Worms to Mermaids

Last Updated: June 24, 2024 Sydney
avatar By Sam Baldwin


Looking for fun things to do in Sydney and surrounds right now?  Why not get out of the house and investigate some of the hidden trails and walking tracks that are just waiting to be explored? What these tracks have in common is that they are either little known and less populated by tourists, or offer some breathtaking scenery and bushland views. The walks we have selected are targeted towards a wide variety walkers with varying experience  and cover a variety of locations such as beaches, mountains, native forest. Most of these walks are totally free as well (or have a very small park entry fee).


  1. A very easy walk with no uneven sections. Suitable for those who need assistance (e.g. older persons).  No experience in bushwalking required.
  2. No experience in bushwalking required and easy terrain: short walks with gentle hills
  3. A walk suitable for most ages and fitness levels with more hills.  Some level of bushwalking experience desirable
  4. Experienced bushwalkers only: may be hills and steep challenging terrain


The walking track that leads to the famous glow worm tunnel is located in the Wollemi National Park near Lithgow. Despite the growing popularity of this location with Sydneysiders, you will find solitude here and respite from the city (ideally plan your visit during spring and autumn which are quieter periods).  The walking track which winds through the Wollemi National Park is pleasant and scenic with the chance to spot a variety of native wildlife on the way. The dark tunnel filled with thousands of glow worms is the highlight of the walk (remember to bring a torch as it is pitch black inside the tunnel).  Also remember to wear footwear suitable for hiking, and appropriate clothing such as hat and raincoat as well as adequate water. By the way the area is well signposted so no worries about getting lost.

Grade 3: suitable for most ages and fitness levels (some experience needed)

Duration: Allow 1- 2 hours to reach glow worm tunnel

Return time: Allow roughly 2 hours,_Australia.jpg

The picturesque entrance to the Glow Worm Tunnel which is the highlight of the walk on the Wollemi National Park trek.


Pierces Pass (which is in the Grose Valley NSW near Bells Line of Road), has a rugged beauty and a steep challenging terrain leading into the wilderness of the Blue Gum Forest. This also makes it well suited to the younger and more active age group. The walking track which leads from Pierces Pass to Blue Gum Forest also offers gorgeous and spectacular views across the northern end of the Grose Valley. Expect to stop several times to catch your breath and to take in the fresh mountain area, beautiful rainforests and the grandiosity of the famous Grose River. This area is also well signposted and it is very easy to find your way around.

Grade 4: Experienced bushwalkers only

Duration: 6-8 hours

Return time: Roughly 16km


Although a relatively new location, the Barrangaroo Foreshore Walk (located on the North-Western Area of the Sydney Central Business district) is becoming increasingly popular with tourists and visitors. However, it is still in a location that is very quiet and peaceful and offers a relaxing and peaceful walk away away from the noise of the CBD. It is great for children and families and those with prams and contains landscaped gardens and fantastic views of Sydney Harbour. One of the main drawcards is also the huge diversity of plants and greenery to be found here, such as trees, ferns and flowering plants, with all of them native to the Sydney region. Remember that walking is totally free…and what better way to beat the winter chill!

Grade 1: Very easy and child friendly

Duration: 2km

Return: Roughly 2km

Barrangaroo offers walks suitable for the whole family


Take a pleasant and energizing walk through the Royal National Park on the wonderful Karloo walking track. There are opportunities for swimming, lovely picnic spots and plunging waterfalls. You will also see the beautiful Karloo Pool and lots of greenery and vegetation to revive your spirits. In addition, check out the diverse range of rock formations to be seen. Very picturesque in winter as well as summer and spring. If you are wondering what to do in Sydney, the Karloo walking track should be on your agenda!

Grade 3: suitable for most ages and fitness levels (some experience needed)

Duration: 3-5 hours

Return time: Roughly 10km,_November_2015.jpg

The crystal-clear waters of the Karloo Pool which are a cool reward at the end of your trek


Although a rather strenuous walk, the Curra Moors loop track has lots of interesting things to see such as sandstone cliffs, scenic waterfalls and animals and birds galore. It runs through the Royal National Park and is an especially pretty sight in springtime when the wildflowers are blooming. Pack a picnic lunch and explore some of the other coastal trails in the region if you wish.  Certainly, one of the best free things to do in Sydney this weekend is to come see this awesome walking track!

Grade 4: Bushwalking experience recommended (tracks can be rough and steep)

Duration: 4 to 5 hours

Return Time: 90 mins-2 hours


When looking for fun things to do in Sydney you must check out gorgeous Milk Beach which is not far from historic Strickland House in Vaucluse. Although very tiny it is quite a charming place that offers superb views of iconic Sydney Harbour. Despite the beautiful views Milk Beach is also a little-known tourist destination (so feel free to explore to your hearts content).  Both Milk Beach and Strickland House can be reached by taking the Hermitage Foreshore Track walk.

Grade 2: No experience required

Duration :700m

Return time: Allow 25 mins

The tiny but gorgeous Milk Beach, which can be reached via the Hermitage Foreshore walk track.


Try the challenging Grand Canyon Track which starts at Evans lookout for a truly unique bushland experience. The track will lead you to botanical delights such as ferns, wildflowers and native shrubs, which are situated close to Greaves Creek. This would be a wonderful spot for picnicking in the warmer weather and all you will need are comfortable walking shoes and a hat and sunscreen.

Grade 3: suitable for most ages and fitness levels (some experience needed)

Duration: 6.3km

Return time: Allow 3-4 hours


The Mermaid Pools which meanders through and Tahmoor Gorge is a walking trail not to be missed. From the breathtaking scenery along the trails to the secret fishing holes, it is little known to the majority of tourists. It is quite a challenging and arduous walking trail with many cliffs and potholes (so recommended for only the fit and very sure footed).

Grade 4: Bushwalking experience recommended (rough and steep track)

Duration: 2km

Return time: Roughly 2 hours

The beautiful and mesmerizing mermaid pools of Tahmoor Gorge

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