The weather is getting warmer, but the full humidity blast of summer has yet to kick in. Which means it's the perfect time to strap on your hiking boots and take in some of the spectacular nature trails that surround Sydney. Here are our favourites.
Bundeena to Otford
Wildflowers, whale-watching and white-cliff coastlines are all part of the package when doing the 26-kilometre coastal track between Bundeena and Otford in the Royal National Park. Although it's possible to tackle in a day, the rugged beauty to be found along the walk is best appreciated spread over two. Bring supplies and camp overnight in the North Era Campground. Alternatively, the track can be done piecemeal in shorter sections.
Tahmoor Gorge Walk
The Tahmoor Gorge Walk—which will take you past the breathtaking Mermaid Pools—is well worth the 75-minute drive from Sydney. Starting from Rockford Road Bridge, there are two options. The first, from the bridge to Mermaid's Pool, will take approximately one-hour one way; alternatively, the Tahmoor Gorge Circuit Track takes 4–6 hours return. While Mermaid Pools is a popular cliff-diving spot, it's highly dangerous and is not recommended.
The Grand Canyon Loop
The awe-inspiring Grand Canyon Loop near Blackheath in the Blue Mountains will take you past towering sandstone walls, abundant native flora and innumerable waterfalls. Setting out from Evan's Lookout, the lush track takes you through green tunnels of native ferns and wattle trees into the heart of a UNESCO World Heritage-listed landscape. 3–4 hours are recommended for the walk.