There’s no denying that Sydney is one of Australia’s busiest cities, a buzzing hub of excitement with an endless selection of things to see and do.
But if you ware wanting a quick break from city life, you'll find stunning nature and bountiful wildlife at one of Sydney’s beautiful national parks, which are all easily accessible from Cambridge Hotel! Pack a picnic, put on your running shoes and take in the breathtaking natural scenery of the many national parks in the region.
Read on to learn about eleven of our favourite national parks near Sydney to get a welcome escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
With an amazing concentration of wildlife, scenic walking trails with cascading waterfalls, beautiful beaches, and ancient Aboriginal heritage, the Royal National Park is an absolute must-see!
As the world’s second oldest national park (just after Yellowstone in the United States) the Royal National Park offers a unique coast to bush escape from the hurried city life. Home to ‘Australia’s Humpback Highway’, sightseers can watch a majestic parade of humpback whales migrate north for the winter. The area is also carved with walking and cycling trails, with easy strolls to more advanced paths.
If fishing for a great time in the outdoors, the Abercrombie River National Park offers fun for the whole family. Deep waterholes invite licensed fishers and swimmers alike. Hikers will love to explore the largest remaining acreage of low, open forest in the south-west central tablelands.
Most of the park requires four-wheel drive outside of Bummaroo Ford. Plan to drive at least four hours one way, but most of the journey takes travellers west along the historic Great Western Highway. For those seeking to spend the night, camping facilities are available.
Approximately one hour west of Sydney, also along the Great Western Highway, stands the magnificence of Blue Mountains National Park, a certified World Heritage site.
Enjoy breathtaking views of majestic cliffs, deep ravines with rain forest foliage and gently eroded sandstone canyons. You can also experience an immersion into Aboriginal history as The Blue Mountains region served as the origin point for six Aboriginal language groups.
A scenic 45-minute drive from Cambridge Hotel will take you to the Ku-ring Gai Chase National Park, a haven for outdoor recreational activities and a favourite of locals and tourists alike.
This expansive national park offers a wide range of activities for adventurers of all skill levels and ages. With beautiful rocky cliffs, leafy rainforests, gorgeous secluded beaches to scenic lookout points, Ku-ring Gai Chase National Park is the perfect destination to reconnect with nature.
The region north of Sydney also offers amazing sites for scenery and heritage. At Brisbane Water National Park, 90 minutes north of Sydney on M1, visitors can experience centuries old Aboriginal art at Bulgandry on Woy Woy Road.
Hikers and picnic aficionados will enjoy the numerous forest walks and eating areas. From these sites, they can enjoy incredible views of the Hawkesbury River, Somersby Falls, and other famous park attractions.
Those who enjoy experiencing uncommon flora and fauna will love Capertee National Park, a little over three hours’ drive west from Sydney. Make sure to call ahead and schedule the visit so that park officials can open the locked entry gates.
Capertee is well-known for its wide variety of birds and plant life, as well as its breathtaking bicycle trails.
Visitors looking to enjoy legendary national scenery while learning more about Australia’s colonial history should drive an hour and 45 minutes north along the convict constructed Old Northern Road toward Dharug National Park.
This World Heritage Property, featuring sites important to understanding Australia’s penal colony history, also features great trails for biking and hiking along the Hawkesbury River and Ten Mile Hollow.
Approximately three hours northwest of Sydney lies the Gardens of Stone National Park. Enjoy wondrously unique rock formations, such as “pagoda” rock formations, dwarf casuarinas, and seemingly endless sandstone canyons and landscapes.
Gardens of Stone National Park also forms part of the Blue Mountains World Heritage Area.
Much closer to the Cambridge Hotel, about a 30 to 40-minute drive southeast, is the George’s River National Park. Few areas so close to the Sydney CBD can boast of such a wide variety of native plants and animals! Yeramba Lagoon alone contains over 100 different species of birds.
Most visitors enjoy the numerous and popular riverfront picnic areas. Some perfectly accommodate large groups, while others better suit a few friends or family.
40 minutes southwest of Sydney, using routes M5 and A6, visitors can enjoy the Heathcote National Park. It serves as a true haven for hikers and campers due to its rugged terrain, especially in spring when Gymea lilies light up the various gullies.
Only 20 minutes from Sydney, this park features some of the best authentic bushland scenery in the region. The Lane Cove River winds lazily through, providing beautiful views for the numerous hikers who frequent the site.
The park offers shorter hiking trails for casual walkers, as well as longer and more intense routes for those seeking more of a challenge.