Hiking is such a wonderful way to keep fit, firstly you have the benefits of a healthy mind, healthy body and healthy soul and you are getting fit by just walking in nature. (See my post on seven benefits of hiking)
There is so much beauty in our National parks and so many trails, however to navigate your way around can be difficult, so join a group when you wish to explore the national parks. (HIKEFit PROGRAM)
The good news is, in Sydney there are so many trails available that are safe for you to hike on your own , for example the coastal walks are a fabulous way of getting fit in nature.
Here are my favourites :
Start your journey at Cremorne Point here you can walk all the way to Taronga Zoo, about six kilometres around the foreshore passing some beautiful houses , there is a steep street climb next to the Mosman Ferry site which will lead you down hill to Sirrus Cove and then a magical walk behind Taronga zoo overlooking the city of Sydney. On the way back, there is a short cut through the back streets cutting over several KM, just incase you’re running out of time. Use your GPS to navigate back.
Perhaps the following weekend, try the Taronga Zoo to Balmoral hike (infact park at Sirrus Cove), this close to a 7km one-way semi-flat walk, you’ll enter Balmoral Beach by descending around 230 iron steps, the best thing is you can have a coffee to refuel before heading up the steps to on the 7KM journey back. If you get tired, pop into Athol House and observe some of the best city view there are and ponder you’re next celebration that you will want to have there on the lawns.
Now you Are starting to get the taste for walking in a safe bush and you are ready to push yourself a little further. Its time to challenge yourself on the Spit to Manly walk. This is a 10 km one-way track, which is a perfectly signposted beautiful coastal walk, with some of the most magnificent views that Sydney has to offer. It’s a long walk generally taking 2 hours each way with a couple one big Hillclimb if you are going in the reverse direction (Manly to spit). You will need to take your camera with you on this hike and stop at all the lookout points to take in the view and enjoy a refuelling snack. Catch a bus back to your car or unleash your potential and hike all the way back.
A little further up the coast line towards DeeWhy , we have the DeeWhy Headland hike. Start in Freshwater at the beginning of Curl Curl beach and then walk the headland, there is a magical boardwalk here which again gives wonderful close up sea views…. this is an easy 4 km walk, or drop the beach walk out and make it a 6km return.
On Southside of Sydney we have more beautiful hikes including Maroubra to Coogee, although you need to watch out for the Rifle Range , and check you not hiking on a “range day”
All of these hikes you can do on your own or with a friend. If you’re walking with a friend make sure you keep your pace up, you should try to make this part of your fitness program and not a leisurely stroll.
These are just five walks along Sydney , all involving bush tracks and a beautiful coastline; between 4 – 10km one way, or 2 – 5hour return hike. Consider starting your hiking experience by experimenting on these coastal walks; all are moderately flat and very well signposted. You will meet lots of locals and tourists along the way, so you shouldn’t get lost ; just remember to take plenty of water , some snacks, wet weather clothing , sunblock with you and if you would like to use poles, I encourage this as it will help your knees as you go downhill and help your heart as you go uphill and give you an upper body workout .
Interested in other hiking trails, here is an extract from a radio interview I completed in August “Trekking , Training and Travel – Audio post”