Eight Of The Best Weekend Walks In New South Wales
By Sophia Hatzis
Summer has now come to an end but there’s still time to take advantage of the warmer weather, the light in the mornings and the later sunsets.
If you’re hungry for a weekend adventure with your girlfriends, there are so many options close to home. From breathtaking coastal trails in Sydney to challenging hikes in the Blue Mountains, there’s so much to explore and do in New South Wales. Adventure is literally at our doorstep. So why not grab a few friends and enjoy a micro-adventure?
Here are eight kick-arse hikes in New South Wales that should be on your to-do list.
The Coast Track is in Sydney’s picturesque Royal National Park. Starting at Bundeena on the outskirts of southern Sydney (about 30km out of the CBD), the hike bashes through bush on the coast and ends at Otford.
The trek is 26km one-way, so will be a decent one-day hike. Keen adventurers can pitch a tent and stay at the North Era campground overnight. There are gorgeous swimming spots to dip your toes into along the way. If you’re planning to go in winter, you may be treated to something extra special. Whales love this route, so you may catch a glimpse of some of the world's most magnificent creatures while you walk.
Mount Kosciukzko is arguably the most famous mountain in Australia and it’s a must do for hard-core trekkers. The Main Range Walk will take you to the tip top of Mount Koscuisko, past the famous Snowy River and through some gorgeous green valleys.
This 22km adventure is a great challenge, and you'll definitelty get your heart rate up because it gets fairly steep. If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, you can stay the night and fall asleep under the stars (which are especially bright and magical outside the city). Restrictions do apply in some areas, so make sure you do your research before pitching your tent!
You’d be hard-pressed to find anyone on the Northern Beaches or the North Shore of Sydney who hasn’t heard of the Spit to Manly walk. It is a well-known hike that starts at the Spit Bridge in Mosman, hugging the coast all the way to Manly Beach (which was recently voted Australia's best beach for the second year running!)
This track is great if you’re new to bushwalking or if you’re with a friend who hasn't done much hiking before. The trail is well signed and there are some beautiful deserted beaches to stop off at along the way for a dip or a picnic. And when you get to Manly, there are plenty of great restaurants and coffee shops to visit.
4) Mount Solitary in the Blue Mountains
If you’re a keen explorer, you’ve probably been to the Blue Mountains for a weekend away. There are so many gorgeous adventures to be had in the magical mountains that are just shy of a two-hour drive from the CBD. The Blue Mountains is bursting with scenic walking tracks. From two-hour hikes to multi-day treks, there’s something for every adventurer in this piece of paradise.
Exploring Mount Solitary, via the Ruined Castle rock formation, is a must for hard-core adventurers. You'll get to see Mother Nature in all her glory and there's no shortage of mist-covered mountains or sunkissed hills.
For this trek, make make sure you’ve planned properly, understand the route and come prepared.
This walk is especially magical because, hello, GLOW WORMS. Nestled in the Wollemi National Park (just outside of Lithgow) this is a walk you need to have on your list. If you're only up for a short adventure, it can be done as a 2km return. But if you're looking for more of a challenge, you can try the 7.5km Wolgan Valley Circuit.
The tunnel, where the glow worms call home, was built in the early 1900s and is part of a historic mining railway line. Although the glow worms are glorious and bright, it can get dark and deliciously mysterious in there, so you'll need to bring a head torch with you!
There are some great campsites around the national park, including one in the small town of Newnes, so why not make a girls weekend out of it? There are so many treks to try in the region and you will literally be mesmerised when the sun hits the towering mountains in the morning.
If you fancy a bit of a trip up north, there are plenty of trails waiting for you. The renowned Great North Walk is definitely one to put on your list, but the full 250km distance is quite the ask for a weekend. There are plenty of shorter walks along the stretch that will tickle your fancy.
Girrakool to Patonga is about 25km one-way, taking you down by creeks and up peaks including Mount Wondabyne and Scopas Peak. You’ll also get some seriously epic views of Barrenjoey Head and there are plenty of great lookouts along the way so you can really take the scenery in.
One of our Wild Women coaches, Maryanne Spiers, recommended this trek and we can see why. This adventure to the top of Mount Budawang is only 4km, but don't let the shorter distance fool you. You'll sweat up a storm on this hike and get those happy hormones flowing. The 360-degree view from the top will be well worth your while, especially if you’re experiencing it with your best girlfriends.
The Budawang National Park is a nature smorgasbord. There’s everything from expansive grasslands to lush forest and the region is bursting with wildlife. Just a two-hour drive out of Canberra, this is a great weekend adventure to try.
If you’re looking for a walk that has spectacular views of Sydney Harbour and is close to some cafes for a tasty brunch afterwards, you’ve found your walk. This hike takes you from Sydney’s iconic Taronga Zoo to the beach and eateries at Chowder Bay.
You'll get to admire some of human's most stunning creations - the Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. But you'll also see the best of Mother Nature's creations too, as you navigate along the coast. Plus, it’s only a 4km hike so you'll have oodles of time to rest, relax and treat yourself to a delicious meal when you finish. If you're testing out our brand new 15km Moonlight Magic Walk for Sydney Coastrek this year, you'll be walking this route under the stars!