Hidden away: Henry Head Circuit in Botany Bay National Park is a record of Australia’s war history. Photo: Tamara DeanWhat sets Sydney apart from other global cities is that scenic bushland is never more than a short drive away. All across Sydney, there are wonderful pockets of Australia’s diverse flora and fauna.
Here are five of the best bushwalks under 10 kilometres.
1. Blue Gum Walk (Joe’s Mountain Circuit), Hornsby
Hidden within the northern suburbs, this 4.2-kilometre track features an array of creeks, cascades, sandstone caves and plant life. Have a rest at Waitara Creek and enjoy the tranquil isolation. There are a few difficult hills and creek crossings. Accessible by car or a one-kilometre walk from Hornsby station.
2. Taronga Zoo to Balmoral Beach
For lovers of history and coastal views, this six-kilometre walk has both. Heritage gun pits, underground tunnels and brick workshops tell the tale of defence fortifications that once watched over the sea. Stop off at Chowder Bay, grab some lunch and go for a snorkel or kayak out in the water.
3. Henry Head Circuit, Botany Bay National Park
Stowed away in the south of Sydney, the 7.4-kilometre Henry Head Circuit is a museum of Australia’s war history. Take a short detour to the coastal cemetery and meet the people who died in the world wars.
4. Grand Canyon Track, Blue Mountains
This heritage listed walk runs for six kilometres in the majestic Blackheath landscape. Enjoy the majestic views from Evans lookout before setting out on a journey past creeks and waterfalls. This well-shaded track is particularly popular in summer.
5. Lake Circuit, Parramatta
Circling Parramatta lake, this 4.2-kilometre track sits on the land of the Burramattagal clan of the Dharug people. Shelter caves, hand-stencils and tree scars tell their story. A place where man and bush come together, this land is home to culturally significant plants and several birds and reptiles.