The best nature spots near Sydney where you likely won’t see another soul
If you’re looking for an excuse to explore the great outdoors and ensure you’re keeping social distance from others, here are some stunning nature spots in and around Sydney where you likely won’t see another soul.
After visiting these places, we’re sure you’ll want to keep them a secret so you can enjoy them time and time again in peace!
Jerusalem Bay, Cowan
Only an hour north of Sydney, the relatively undiscovered Cowan to Jerusalem Bay walking track guides hikers through calm bushland, leading to a picturesque bay that is perfect for a swim or a quiet picnic.
It’s an easy, but at times very steep, 2.4km trail down to the bay where you can enjoy great views overlooking Cowan Creek. Don’t be discouraged by the steep decent at the beginning of the trail; it’s the only steep part of the walk.
Once over the initial climb, the track winds around a stunning eucalypt forest, mighty trunks of fallen gum trees and small waterfalls.
Burramoko Ridge (Hanging Rock), Blackheath
Located in the Blue Mountains National Park, Burramoko trail leads along a ridge to a dramatic rocky bluff. This medium difficulty trail is a great nature day trip for avid bushwalkers and beginners alike.
The trail winds through heathland and open forest. There’s a bush track that leads to Baltzer lookout, also known as Hanging Rock. Be sure to take a moment to breathe in the pure mountain air as you enjoy the stunning views of Hanging Rock and the Grose Valley.
Don’t forget to take a panoramic shot to capture the expansive vista!
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If sand and sun is more your thing, why not check out Palm Beach? Located on the Northern Beaches, Palm Beach is a narrow peninsular, surrounded by water on 3 sides: Pittwater to the west, the Pacific Ocean to the east, and Broken Bay to the north at the mouth of the Hawkesbury River.
Palm Beach curves 2.3km, from Little Head to Barrenjoey Head, which is Sydney’s northernmost seaside point. Follow the trail to heritage-listed Barrenjoey Lighthouse which boasts panoramic views of the coast, Pittwater and Kur-ring-gai Chase National Park.
This stunning gem is known for its golden sand, incredible surf and for being the setting for Summer Bay, the fictional beach in TV show Home & Away, but don’t let the latter put you off. It’s quiet during the week, making it the perfect mid-week getaway.
Box Head Lookout, Broken Bay
Located 90 minutes out of Sydney in Bouddi National Park, this 3.1 km return is an easy walk that winds through bushland to the Box Head lookout, offering scenic views across the Hawkesbury River, Broken Bay and Lion Island to Sydney.
Take in the breathtaking water views over the Tasman Sea and Hawkesbury River along the park’s southernmost ridge.
Keep an eye out for local wildlife, including an array of birdlife amongst the red gums, as well as a variety of smaller reptiles amongst the dwarfed trees.
There are plenty of vantage points to take in the views, particularly at the end of the track from Box Head lookout where you’ll enjoy panoramic scenery including Tallow Beach, Broken Bay, Lion Island as well as Sydney's northern beaches.
Mermaid Pools, Tahmoor
Mermaid Pools is a hidden gem located 75 minutes South-West of Sydney on the Bargo River.
The pools are a naturally formed oasis amongst the trees and are on crown land, which means you won’t find any of the facilities you’d expect in a National Park, including clear signage. The trail to get to this site is flagged by small blue and yellow markers attached to trees, and it’s relatively easy to get lost, so make sure you bring a friend, and provisions. For some tips on the 6 essentials to pack for your day hike click here (link to blog post)
Some interesting facts: this spot is where the first recorded European sighting of a koala took place, so keep your eyes peeled in the trees for the sleepy marsupials! The site is also a sacred space for the local Aboriginal community, the Tharawal people.
A good thing to keep in mind is that there are two walking tracks that lead to the pools: one high and one low. The walk to get to the pools is roughly 5kms, but the track is not looped.
If you do feel like going for a dip, the only way in is via various cliff jumps at varying heights. We wouldn't recommend swimming, particularly if you’re not a confident swimmer, but we do recommend taking in the views, packing a snack & enjoying the sunshine!