The Five Best Sydney Harbour Family Nature Walks

Sydney Family Nature Walks
Hermitage Foreshore Track, photo credit: D Finnegan

Where are you taking the kids for a walk this weekend?

Ever since I’ve had kids, walks in nature been both a pleasure and a sanity saver. Getting out with the stroller used to be a real necessity, and once the kids were old enough, we’ve been enticing them to join us on longer and longer walks.

Tel creek 3

It’s not always easy to get the kids up and going. Generally they will say they don’t want to walk. But a bit of firmness and the promise of a lavish picnic gets them started and then they ALWAYS have a great time.

Why we walk

Walks are free, they’re great for the health of all the family and they come with the added bonus of lashings of fresh air. And some even throw in a free history or ecology lesson.

So don’t just sit there, pack a wee picnic and try out one of these Sydney Harbour National Park family-friendly walks listed below.

You’ll find each suggestion has a link to click for more information.

Heritage walk
Views from South Head Heritage Trail: photo credit D Finnegan

Five Family Nature Walks On Sydney Harbour

This easy track in Vaucluse is one of Sydney’s great coastal walks. The views over Sydney’s harbour, islands and icons, such as Shark Island, the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the grounds of Strickland House are breathtaking.

There’s a family-friendly beach to enjoy at Nielsen Park, as well as lots of grass to spread out a picnic blanket for lunch. We loved this walk when my oldest son was a wee boy in a backpack and must get over to the East to do it again.


This short trail starts at Camp Cove in Watsons Bay and takes walkers past historic gun emplacements, before reaching the distinctive red and white striped Hornby Lighthouse at South Head.

The views are mesmerising with Sydney Harbour to the west, Middle Head and North Head to the north, and the expansive Pacific Ocean to the east.  Afterwards a stop in Watson’s Bay is always a pleasure, not least for the fish and chips.


This gentle bush track weaves around the harbour headlands from Taronga Zoo Wharf around Bradleys Head to Chowder Bay and provides spectacular views.

Walkers will see the Opera House and Harbour Bridge, boats on the harbour, military relics at Bradley’s Head (my kids love running around and playing on these and pretending to be defending Australia from assorted baddies.


This is a short walk that is fabulous f0r families with young children in strollers and for wheelchairs users too. There are several lookouts with glorious sweeping views over the Harbour, the Heads and far out to sea. Then there’s all sorts of historical things to learn about too. And even better, there’s a cafe close by for a refreshing cuppa at the end of the walk, plus the delights of Manly just down the road.


From the Spit to Manly, this gorgeous walk meanders through bushland and around headlands and along some very beautiful beaches. It’s a 9.5km walk one-way and has steep steps and twists and turns, so it’s recommended for older children rather than little ones. This walk can take a half day or whole day if you stop and swim at one or two of the little beaches, and to have a picnic. And why wouldn’t you?

To plan more walks within other National Parks too, visit

Sydney Family Nature Walks_2
Bradleys Head to Chowder Bay Walk, photo credit: D Finnegan

Remember to be prepared when setting out on a family walk by applying sunscreen, wearing a hat and taking drinking water.

Manly Scenic Walkway_2905_0024
Forty Baskets Beach on the Manly Scenic Walkway


Can you share your favourite family walk in Sydney with other readers?

If you have photos that you’d like to share, do email me:  seana at seanasmith dot com


Hope you enjoy some walking, running and playing with the kids this weekend.

And a lovely family walk too.

Take it easy


This post has been brought to you in collaboration with NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS).

Check out more of the NPWS family walks here.


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    1. says: Seana Smith

      Hi Cheryl, thank you. This is such a handy list for those of us who live in Sydney and for anyone coming to visit with kids.

    1. says: Seana Smith

      I was planning to do a bigger adults walk with my cousin who’s staying – but we’re rained off!! The last one I did with the twins was the cute little one at Berry Island, very short but pretty and interesting.

    1. says: Seana Smith

      No worries, I will eventually add more walks and pull together every single one into a list post which would be so handy. I use my blog myself a fair bit for ideas. I’m sure you do the same.

  1. says: Ann-Marie

    Love these suggestions, and always looking for more!

    We recently did a loop walk through Lane Cove /Fairyland (I think you covered it previously too). Great hidden areas of Sydney, and easy to access.

  2. says: Seana Smith

    Hello Ann-Marie, I haven’t covered that walk, but your post about it is terrific. Well done, I plan to share it on my FB page.

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