For a busy city, Sydney has a lot of nature to offer including national parks, Sydney Harbour and stunning beaches. Even in the inner city, possums, parrots and other wildlife can be found. The Sydney Botanical gardens is a nature lover’s paradise with a beautiful foreshore walk incorporating Mrs Macquarie’s Chair and the Sydney Opera House.
With the harbour walks you will experience natural foliage, birds and other creatures and you may even have a chance to spot whales on their annual migration during late May - November.
The best walks to spot a whale are the Hermitage Foreshore Track Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk and the Shelly Headland Upper Lookout in Manly.
SYDNEY NATIONAL PARKS
Sydney’s National Parks offer bushwalking trails with breathtaking views, wildlife and gorgeous waterways for kayaking and fishing (you will need a license to fish). You may even like to take an Aboriginal Cultural Tour in Sydney and learn about the history of this area and its original inhabitants.
Established in 1878, The Royal National Park is Australia’s oldest. Containing secluded beaches, bushwalks and littoral rainforests there's an abundance of nature within this National Park.
Other National Parks in or around Sydney are:
Many of these National Parks offer things to do such as kayaking and camping.
For those who wish to remain in the inner sanctuary of Sydney, Cockatoo Island provides camping and guided tours of this World Heritage convict site.
Bondi to Coogee
The Bondi to Coogee walk is one of the most iconic walking tracks in Sydney. Experience the breathtaking views of the South Pacific Ocean, maybe spot a whale and view the stunning coastal cliffs. The track takes you between some of Sydney’s most beautiful beaches, with plenty of places along the way to take a rest and enjoy the views.
This beautiful walk in the Eastern Suburbs starts at the end of Bayview Hill Road and continues for 1.8km each way. There are a number of steps to navigate so it is not suitable for wheelchairs. On the walk you will discover a few secluded beaches along the way including Tingara Beach and Milk Beach. The track is made of mainly boardwalks that will take your through native bushland. At the end of the walk at Nielson Bay, there's a great restaurant to enjoy a meal as you gaze over the bay.
Manly to Spit Bridge
This 10km walk will take you through lush bushland and scenic harbourside trails between Manly to the Spit Bridge. Take your time with this one and enjoy the views from the tracks passing some of North Sydney's stunning waterways. The walk is well sign-posted and takes around 3 to 4 hours to complete, depending on your fitness level.
Bradley's Head to Chowder Bay
The Bradleys Head walk is a shorter walk around the headland but to add to this walk continue on to Chowder Bay. This easy walk will give your spectacular city views including
the Sydney Opera House, Harbour Bridge and city views from the grassy expanse of Bradleys Head. To get there take a short ferry ride from Circular Quay to experience an old Angophora forest with towering Sydney Red Gum Trees along the harbour foreshore.
With 154 hectares you are bound to find something to do at Centennial Park. Situated near the Equestrian Centre you might even spot a horse or two. Dogs are allowed off leash at Sandstone Ridge and Federation Valley. Centennial Park is a nature paradise with many species of birds, lakes, flora and grassland.
Smoothey Park extends from Newlands Park in Lane Cove, south to the harbour foreshore. Smoothey Park is a mix of European style parkland and natural bushland areas, offering a wide range of wildlife and flora.
Parramatta Park is World Heritage Listed and a great place to visit for both locals and tourists. The park has a great history with both convicts and free colonists successfully growing food to sustain themselves.
Parramatta Park has two playgrounds and children can ride safely on the sealed off-road area. As well as having plenty of ponds, grass, hills and wildlife there is a large formal rose garden which contains a rare collection of heritage roses.
For those who have an interest in history take the curator's tour of the 18th century convict built dairy building.
Parramatta Park holds regular events and festivals.
Featherdale Wildlife Park
Featherdale Wildlife Park is a paid entry Wildlife Park with a large collection of native wildlife including Koalas and Kangaroos that visitors can interact with. The park holds over 1700 animals and a diverse range of birds and reptiles.
More rare close ups of animals include: Bettongs, Little Penguins, Wombats and 30 species of endangered or vulnerable animals including Bilbys.
Situated in Western Sydney in Doonside.
Situated on the Sydney Harbour Taronga Zoo can be reached by car or ferry. The Zoo has paths that wind down through the animal enclosures with views of the Sydney Harbour and city skyline. You can pack a picnic or dine in the restaurants.