Keen to get outdoors on an adventure, but overwhelmed where to even start the research of finding where to go? And throw in the complication of finding what hikes are accessible via public transport near Sydney and all of a sudden the fun adventure doesn't seem to fun anymore. If you're keen to get out hiking but don't have a car, or perhaps are just looking to reduce your environmental impact by reducing you car usage here's our round up of the best hikes near Sydney that you can get to using public transport.
Spit Bridge to Manly
Following the northern shore of Sydney Harbour for 10km, this hike takes 3 hours and shows off the city’s beaches and bay views. You’ll need to catch a bus to the Spit Bridge in Mosman to begin and then get a ferry home from Manly Wharf.
Bouddi Coastal Walk
This hike takes you along the coastline of Bouddi National Park and won’t leave you short of breathtaking beaches. It’s 8.5km and takes roughly 3.5 - 4.5 hours to complete. First train to Woy Woy Station (Central Coast & Newcastle line) and then catch a bus to Nukura Avenue at Beach Drive. You’ll then need to walk about 1km to reach Putty Beach and the entrance.
Kiama Coast Walk
Along this 22km hiking track you can expect to see blowholes, lagoons, rivers and some ripper waves. It’s broken into three sections - north, mid, south - and takes around 6 - 7 hours to complete. To get there, train to Minnamurra (South Coast Line) and walk 1.5km to the start of the track (along Charles Avenue until it crosses with Federal street). To get home, train from Gerringong Station (South Coast Line) back to the city.
Blue Mountains National Park
Located in Blue Mountains National Park near Wentworth falls, this 3.5km loop hike takes between 1-2 hours. Combining waterfalls, scenic views, birdlife and lush rainforest, this one’s sure to impress. Simply catch the train to Wentworth Falls (Blue Mountains Line) and be sure to bring a book or headphones as it's a two hour ride from Central Station.
Grand Canyon Track
If you’re looking for a slightly longer hike that’s still in the beautiful Blue Mountains, check out this 5.5km loop which takes approx 2 - 3 hours. First train to Blackheath Station (Blue Mountains Line), then catch the 698 bus towards "Evans Lookout Rd at James Rd" and the hike begins at Evan's Lookout.
A lot of the hikes in the Blue Mountains are near each other so you could do multiple walks in a day or stay overnight to be able to tackle a few different areas.
Royal National Park
Winifred Falls Trail
With one of the best waterfalls in Royal National Park, this hike is a must. A 4.4km trail, it takes approx 1.5 hours (depending on how long you swim for!) Train to Engadine Station (Eastern Suburbs & Illawarra Line) and then catch the 989 bus until Maianbar Rd & Bundeena Dr.
Karloo Pool Walk
Head to the amazing natural water hole that is Karloo Pools by walking 2.5km from Heathcote. The walk should take around an hour, with the best way to get there being training to Heathcote Station.
Otford to Bundeena
Full of endless beautiful scenery, this 30km hike takes around 8-9 hours. Start in the south by training to Otford Station (Illawarra line) and once finishing up north you can get a ferry back to Cronulla, connecting you to the Sydney rail network. This is part of the Royal National Park’s South to North hike so if you’re feeling adventurous you could camp overnight and tackle the whole thing.
As always, make sure you check NSW Parks to check the park/hike is open and doesn't have any temporary closures or restrictions. Some extreme weather events like rain, floods, storms and fires create park closures and can take a while to open, and it’s important to never go on a trail that is closed. Of course, remember to take water, sunscreen, and a waterproof jacket!