As New South Wales slowly begins to reopen this Friday and we all move to reclaim the lives we once lived pre-covid, people are now wondering what to do with their new found freedom. After being cooped up in doors for well over a month now, there is one thing that we are all itching to do; getting reacquainted with nature.
While us humans have been forced in to lockdown, the world has had time to heal, and to blossom. So now that we are allowed back out into the world, it is important that we protect what has started to grow. So what’s the best way to get re-intouch with the wilderness without simultaneously causing harm to the ecosystems you’re visiting? For a start, stay on the tracks and clean up your rubbish. Drive slowly on country roads and keep your eyes pealed for wildlife. Basically, employ your common sense and you should be fine.
So with that in mind, here’s a list of all the best outdoor adventures around Sydney.
Upper Gledhill Falls
On McCarrs Creek in the Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park, nr Sydney, NSW, Australia
Nestled in between the bustling hub of the Northern Beaches and north Sydney, Upper Gledhill Falls is the ideal location if you’re not feeling a long bushwalk. Hidden just a couple hundred metres from the car park, this spot is an easy minutes walk. If you’re a thrill seeker, there is a platform above the rock pool that you can jump off. Of course, always check how deep the water is first, and make sure there is nothing submerged below the surface.
If you’re not interested in jumping, you can simply wade into the rock pools from the edge. It might be a bit nippy this time of year, but if you can build up the courage for a swim it is definitely worth it. Upper Gledhill falls are beautiful spot and there is ample space for a picnic. Afterwards you can wander downstream and explore all that the rock pools have to offer.
The falls are a part of Ku-ring-gai National park, which is home to 690 fauna species, including a number of endangered species.
Headland Track or Resolute Track
Also nestled in the Ku-ring-gai National park, getting to resolute beach is as much about the journey as it is about the destination (and clearly the destination is pretty spectacular). There are a few different routes you can take to the beach, depending on how confident you feel bushwalking.
The resolute track should take about an hour and a half, round trip. On the way you will visit two major aboriginal sights and of course, Resolute beach. Conversely, the headland track is a little bit longer at an estimated hour and 45 minutes, but you are able to experience three of the national parks beaches instead of one.
The importance of visiting two indigenous sites must be respected by visitors. Bushwalkers are fortunate enough to experience aboriginal rock art, which is approximately 2000 years old, as well as engravings made by the Guringai peoples.
Lane Cove National Park
Riverside Dr, North Ryde NSW 2113
Just north of the CBD the Lane Cove National Park is the quiet, tranquil getaway that you need right now. If you are a sydney-sider who hasn’t visited the here, you’re missing out. This bush walk offers a bit of a change of pace as its much more about the wilderness around you, rather that an activity like swimming. You can start the walking track from either Lane Cove Road or Delhi Road. It is a substantial 5km walk one way, but there are plenty of cute picnic areas along the way to stop and relax. The track is clearly marked out from start to finish and the terrain is fairly gentle.
There is an abundance of wildlife here and they are pretty comfortable around humans. The Lane Cove River shapes the walking track and is absolutely breathtaking, especially when the sun hits it. You could easily spend the whole day here, and still be disappointed when the sun begins to set.
Pro tip: if you bring food, watch out for the kookaburras. They’re ferocious.
Hornsby Heights, Sydney, NSW
Located on the upper reaches of the Hawksbury river inlet, the reserve is an ideal location for picnics, camping and other outdoor activities. The Crosslands Reserve is the perfect spot if you’re just looking to wind down in the heart of nature. So bring a picnic blanket, a good book and enjoy.
Jelly Bean Pools
Glenbrook area in Blue Mountains National Park
Described as the perfect day trip getaway from Sydney, Jellybean pools are located just outside of Glenbrook in the Blue Mountains National Park. The Jellybean pools are so picturesque that they have even featured in Australia’s The Bachelor as a date location.
The pools are a short walk along Jellybean Track, just leave your car at the information centre and start walking. The track is as beautiful as the pools themselves, taking you into the Glenbrook gorge, passing mountain spotted gums and grass trees. There is a bevy of different bird species out here, from rainbow lorikeets to kestrels, so keep your eyes pealed.
Wattamolla Rd, Royal National Park NSW 2233
There are just so many different spots you can check out in The Royal National Park, and they are all breathtaking. Of course, there are the famous Figure Eight Pools, as well as a birage of fabulous beaches that hug the coastline. But for me, Wattamolla will always be my go to. It is fairly easy to get to, and the combination of the waterfall and the beach is the best of both world.
About an hours drive out of Sydney’s CBD, you couldn’t feel further away from the hustle and bustle of city life then you do in this remote picturesque spot. Whether your thing is jumping off the top of a waterfall, relaxing on a lilo or body surfing, Wattamolla has something for everyone.
Glow Worm Tunnel walking track
Wollemi National Park
Originally constructed as part of a railway line, this 400 meter tunnel is now full of glow worms! The Glow Worm Tunnel Track is the fastest way and easiest way to experience the wonder of this historical tunnel. A two and a half hour drive out of Sydney, the walk is an easy 1km stroll to the entrance of the tunnel. The glow worms are stunning, but the Wollemi National Park also boasts impressively tall trees, narrow gorges and stunning pagoda rock formations.
Second Ponds Creek Walk
Rouse Hill Regional Park
This walk is great because you can bring your furry friend along or ride your bike. It’s is a fairly gentle stroll where you can simply enjoy the nature around you. The walk starts at the Rouse Hill picnic area and playground, so pack lunch for before or after the journey. Just make sure you take your picnic with you when you leave.
So what are you waiting for- jump in the car and get exploring! There’s a whole world out there, just waiting for us to rejoin it.
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