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A Student’s Guide to Hiking Around Sydney, Australia

Dec 11, 2022 9:15:00 AM / by Eliza Drohan

Do you enjoy hiking? Then let this guide set the stage for you to enjoy the outdoors around Sydney, Australia! Eliza takes us to 4 hiking spots that are accessible from Sydney. Check this guide out!

One of the many things that sparked my interest in traveling across the globe was the incredible outdoors and land features that Australia has to offer. I am an avid hiker and love to explore new areas and can’t think of a better place to satisfy that passion. While studying abroad in Sydney, CAPA provides all students an Opal card which gets you anywhere within a couple hours of the city. I have taken advantage of the card and it has allowed me to find some unique and breathtaking places.

  1. Blue Mountains

You can’t truly say you visited Sydney without exploring its next-door neighbor: the Blue Mountains. The name is extremely fitting, as the blue haze surrounding the mountains is how the name got coined in 1788. There are many different hikes in the Blue Mountains, but only a few you can easily access from the train. From town hall, take the T1 all the way to the Blue Mountains Heritage Centre stop. It is a bit of a trek to get there, about 2 ½ hours, but if you leave early enough hopefully you can nap for a bit.

Govetts Leap Falls in Australia

Govetts Leap Falls.

From the train station, it is about a mile and a half to the Park’s Office. Once you get there, I always recommend chatting with the Rangers to see how the trails are (especially when you factor in the weather) and let them know what hike you plan on doing. Our group hiked the Cliff Top Track and Grand Canyon tracks which were about a nine-mile hike. It was absolutely incredible—full of breathtaking views, contrasting terrain, waterfalls, and even a swimming hole if you’re brave enough to go in!

Hiking the Grand Canyon Loop Trail

Hiking the Grand Canyon Loop Trail.
  1. Lane Cove National Park

About an hour’s bus ride away from the heart of Sydney, Land Cove National Park is a massive public place with people from all over hiking, kayaking, or having a picnic with their family. I hiked the Land Cove Riverside trail which was a seven-mile loop. It took about three hours so make sure to carve in enough time. If you are lucky like I was, you may be able to see a wild kangaroo!

Australian Water Dragon on the trail

Australian Water Dragon on the trail!
  1. Spit Bridge to Manly Beach Walk

Not only does this walk have amazing views of the coast but the end of the hike spits you out right at Manly Beach! Manly Beach is a popular place to relax, get a bite to eat, and enjoy the Australian culture. All you need is your Opal card and you can take a bus to Spit Bridge; from there, it is a one-way, six-and-a-half-mile hike to the Manly Wharf. After you are finished, you can take the ferry back to Sydney!

The bay at Manly Beach

View of the bay at Manly Beach.
  1. Kamay Botany Bay National Park

About an hour south of Sydney lies a beautiful national park located at La Perouse. It is filled with rich Aboriginal culture, iconic Australian plant species, and one of the spots where Captain James Cook first set foot on Australian soil. I recommend going at sunset, as you can get a beautiful view when the water meets the sun.

Sandstone Hill at Kamay Botany Bay in Australia

Sandstone Hill at Kamay Botany Bay.

Hiking in a new place is a thrilling experience, but it is always important to take the right steps to ensure safety. Before heading out, make sure you either have friends with you or let someone know where you are going. Wear proper clothing and don’t risk going out on risky ledges or dangerous treks. That being said, enjoy the endless opportunities to explore outdoor life in Sydney, I know I am looking forward to more fun! 

Thanks, Eliza!

Eliza Drohan


Eliza Drohan is an official CAPA blogger for fall 2022, sharing
her story in frequent posts on CAPA World. A Finance and Human Resource Management major at University of Pittsburgh, she is studying abroad in Sydney this semester.

Eliza's journey continues all semester so stay tuned.

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Topics: Sydney, Australia, Local Culture, Why Study Abroad