You may not think it, but Sydney is home to some of the most picturesque and serene locations in the country. Australia’s most dense city is known for its fast-paced hustle and bustle lifestyle, so taking time out to enjoy the outdoors is definitely necessary. To help plan your next city escape, we’ve put together our top five destinations around Sydney. Some might surprise you as to just how close they are to home!
Wentworth Falls, Blue Mountains National Park, Katoomba
Just an hour and a half drive from Sydney’s city centre, Wentworth Falls rewards bushwalkers and outdoors adventurers with grand valley views from Fletchers lookout. It’s known as one of the most stunning waterfalls in the mountains and marks the point where the popular Jamison Creek drops down over the escarpment and cascades into a large pool. With hidden cliff edges and sections of steep stairs, this track is not for the faint-hearted. If you’re feeling a little more energetic, combine Wentworth Falls with the short Weeping Rock circuit or the historic Princess Rock lookout track. Stop for lunch at some of the most picturesque spots in the Blue Mountains or create the ultimate city escape and spend a night or two under the stars.
Three Sisters Walk, Blue Mountains National Park, Katoomba
Sydney is lucky to have the Blue Mountains so close to home, and one of the most iconic landmarks in Australia is less than two hours from the CBD. Three Sisters Walk is a family-friendly walk that rewards its visitors with ever-changing views of the grand Three Sisters and soaring eucalypt forest. Make sure to visit the Echo Point, home to one of the best photo opportunities the Blue Mountain has to offer. A visit to the Three Sisters is the perfect day trip for those looking for an outdoor adventure over the weekend.
Figure 8 Pools, Sydney’s Royal National Park
Located in Sydney’s Royal National Park, the Figure Eight Pools are located on a rock ledge of Burning Pals Beach. This natural phenomenon attracts visitors from all over the world and makes for a gorgeous coastal trek along the way. The walk to the pool is a grade four, meaning difficult, and takes over four hours to complete. Although it can be challenging, this natural wonder is one that you need to see for yourself! Make sure to check the tide before you go though as the pools are only accessible when it’s low.
Glow Worm Tunnel Walking Track, Wollemi National Park
Swap stars for glow worms at the famous tunnel walking track found just two and a half hours drive from Sydney. This magically lit tunnel will have you “oohing” and “aahing” the whole way through. This is a favourite with visitors to Wollemi National Park, as glow-worms are only found in Australia and New Zealand. The walk follows the abandoned Wolgan Valley Railway, which curves into complete darkness with damp walls, ideal conditions for glow worms to thrive and show their beauty. Be sure to pack good walking shoes and a torch to help you guide your way through the 2km track of pure magic.
Relax and rewind: Cockatoo Island
Looking for something a little closer to home? Located in the middle of beautiful Sydney Harbour, a simple ferry ride will get you to world-heritage-listed, Cockatoo Island. Described as one of the world’s most spectacularly located campsites, Cockatoo Island allows visitors to relax and enjoy unparalleled views of Sydney’s Harbour, and all without leaving their tent! The once penal establishment is enriched with history and is an absolute must for Sydney first timers or locals looking to find a little serenity.