Venus Tor via Mt Hay, Blue Mountains NP, NSW

A little known walk over Mt Hay and down to the rocky outcrop known as Venus Tor. Excellent cliff and valley views for much of the way.

I learned of this excellent walk in the Upper Blue Mountains from a couple I met on the summit of Mt Hay. It’s possible to continue on over Mt Hay to a rocky outcrop called Venus Tor, and there are excellent views over the Grose Valley for most of the way. Plus you’re unlikely to meet many/any other hikers after Mt Hay. The drop down from Mt Hay is very steep, and then passes through mostly heath and scrub to the tor. Easy enough walking.  Continue reading “Venus Tor via Mt Hay, Blue Mountains NP, NSW”

Oatley Park Circuit, Oatley, Sydney

Oatley Park is a lovely section of bushland in suburban Sydney, specifically the suburb of Oatley on the Georges River. A roughly hour long circuit takes in wetlands, mangroves, bushland and water views.

Oatley Park is a suburban bushland  haven situated on the Georges River, about 20km south of the Sydney CBD. An hour long circuit takes in wetlands, mangroves, and views of the saltwater Georges River and a couple of its side arms. There are plenty of shorter options however, and you can just wander through the park if you like; it’s not big enough to get seriously lost in. Continue reading “Oatley Park Circuit, Oatley, Sydney”

Lockleys Pylon/Du Faur Head Track, Blue Mountains NSW

The Lockleys Pylon Track offers really excellent views of the Grose Valley from the opposite side of the valley to the Blackheath walks, and the mostly heath vegetation means there are wide open views for much of the walk. Continue on a short while from Lockleys Pylon to Du Faur Head for more views.

We’ve done the Lockleys Pylon / Du Faur Head walk many a time. Walking through attractive heath vegetation allows for open views for the most part from start to finish, taking in the shear sided cliffs of the impressive Grose Valley from the opposite side of the valley to walks near Blackheath (such as walking to Pulpit Rock). Definitely a good scenery to effort ratio.  Continue reading “Lockleys Pylon/Du Faur Head Track, Blue Mountains NSW”

Cowan to Brooklyn, Ku-ring-gai Chase NP, North of Sydney

This walk in Ku-ring-gai Chase NP takes in a section of the Great North Walk. The views of Jerusalem Bay are very pretty, and later on in the walk there are really great views over the Hawkesbury River.

This walk starts at Cowan Station north of Sydney, and at first follows a track to the very pretty Jerusalem Bay, passing mostly through typical Hawkesbury Sandstone country. The track then climbs quite steeply, and after a bit more up and down it joins a fire trail for the second half of the walk. This might be a bit of a let down, only there are really excellent views across the Hawkesbury River at a point when the fire trail turns 90 degrees right and starts the long descent to Brooklyn. You need to walk about 20m to the left across rocks. Brooklyn is a nice village in a great spot on the water (but no photos because I was pushed for time).  Continue reading “Cowan to Brooklyn, Ku-ring-gai Chase NP, North of Sydney”

Gibberagong-Sphinx-Warrimoo Circuit, Bobbin Head, Ku-rin-gai Chase NP, Sydney

A very picturesque circuit walk starting at Bobbin Head in Sydney’s north. Much of the walk is along two salt water creeks with high forested banks, which makes for a calming experience. There are two cafes at Bobbin Head for afterwards.

My wife Sophia did the first section of this walk, the Gibberagong Track, at the start of a 50km charity walk. She thought it was really pretty and so when her legs recovered she suggested we go back to do it as a circuit combined with two tracks we’ve done in the past, the Sphinx and Warrimoo Tracks. It’s a very picturesque walk predominantly along two salt water creeks with steep sided banks. We’ve done it twice to date: in spring there were many wildflowers out, and in late autumn conditions were so calm that Cowan Creek at the end of the walk was like a mirror, making for some nice photos. There’s a couple of cafes at Bobbin Head so you can have food and tea/coffee at the end of the walk in pleasant surrounds. Continue reading “Gibberagong-Sphinx-Warrimoo Circuit, Bobbin Head, Ku-rin-gai Chase NP, Sydney”

West Rim Track, Fitzroy Falls, Morton NP, NSW

Spectacular valley and waterfall views on this easy walk at Fitzroy Falls in Morton National Park, a longish day trip from Sydney.

The West Rim Track is a mostly flat 4km return walk passing multiple lookouts with views down a side arm of the Kangaroo Valley, and of a few waterfalls, particularly Fitzroy Falls situated at the start of the walk. Continue reading “West Rim Track, Fitzroy Falls, Morton NP, NSW”

Kiama Coast Walk, Illawarra, NSW

The southern section of the Kiama Coast Walk, starting at Loves Bay, is an undulating track through ex-farmland, with open and breezy vistas of cliffs, rock platforms and boulder-strewn beaches for its whole length.

The pleasant coastal town of Kiama, at the southern end of the Illawarra region south of Sydney, is best known for its blow hole. Swell direction dictates whether or not the blowhole does its thang, but you are guaranteed an excellent coastal experience on the underrated Kiama Coast Walk. This undulating track hugs the coastline on the edge of farmland, and the relative lack of vegetation makes for an open windswept feeling, with views of cliffs and boulder strewn beaches along the whole route. You can access rock platforms in a few places for closer views of the cliffs. The tracks ends at Werri Beach in the also very pleasant village of Gerringong. Continue reading “Kiama Coast Walk, Illawarra, NSW”

Burning Palms Circuit, Royal National Park, Sydney

One of my favourite Sydney walks that I’ve done multiple times, the Burning Palms Circuit from Otford takes in excellent coastal scenery in the Royal National Park, and passes through a unique and atmospheric palm jungle. Definitely one of my recommended walks in the area.

I’ve done the Burning Palms Circuit multiple times, and it remains one of my favourite walks around Sydney. It starts at Otford on the edge of the Royal National Park, and you soon pass by steep coastal cliffs, descend into a palm jungle, pass through grassy plains, then arrive at the very picturesque Burning Palms Beach, backed by the beginnings of the Illawarra Escarpment. There were very choppy seas on the day I took these pictures (…and I’ve now put a few extra pics at the end from a different day just a month later). Continue reading “Burning Palms Circuit, Royal National Park, Sydney”

Porters Pass, Blackheath, Blue Mountains NSW

The network of trails on the western side of Blackheath, centreing on Porter’s Pass, offer an alternative to those on the more famous eastern side. They are a bit less spectacular, but you nevertheless get a typical Upper Blue Mountains experience with a variety of scenery, for not too much effort.

When you’ve done the spectacular routes on the eastern side of Blackheath at the top of the Blue Mountains, try the network of tracks on the western side for an alternative mix of Upper Mountains scenery. The views are a bit less extensive, but you get up close and personal with sheer cliffs frequented by rock climbers, pass through rainforest, dry forest and heath vegetation, and can visit a small but atmospheric canyon along the way. Continue reading “Porters Pass, Blackheath, Blue Mountains NSW”

Mt Solitary & Ruined Castle Track, Blue Mountains NP NSW

This is one of Sydney’s best walks, taking in views of much of the Jamison Valley and surrounding cliffs, from vantage points on the rock formation known as the Ruined Castle, and from the summit of the isolated Mt Solitary.

When Sophia and I first started regular bushwalking we did the first half of this walk as far as the Ruined Castle. This is already a classic Sydney walk, but continuing on to the summit plateau of the stately looking Mt Solitary provides more great views, and the added satisfaction of a big day’s walking in fairly isolated country. Overnight walkers can continue further to traverse the mountain.
Continue reading “Mt Solitary & Ruined Castle Track, Blue Mountains NP NSW”