Bondi Beach is possibly, no definitely, the most famous beach town in Sydney. It’s known around the globe for its beauty and of course the hit show ‘Bondi Surf Rescue’. It seems like everyone who visits Sydney wants to snag a cheeky pic or 2 with those hunky lifeguards! Bondi Beach was one of our first ports of call in Sydney And after a few weeks of checking out the local suburbs, we actually decided to live in Bondi!
In a bid to be nearer the beach so we could live out a beach town life for a while we fully embraced ourselves in the Bondi lifestyle. I say lifestyle because living in Bondi is a lifestylechoice. You’re living in your own little Bondi bubble and often forget that your anywhere near the city! So after living in Bondi I thought I’d put together this post giving you 19 things to do in Bondi because there is so much more to this place than just the beach!
19 Things to Do in Bondi Beach!
1. Go to the Beach
Okay so yes there are a lot more things to do in Bondi than just hanging out on the beach BUT it is the go-to activity in Bondi. Bondi is full of surfing buffs, sun lovers, families playing on the sand, friends watching the sunset, the beach is a huge part of the lifestyle in Bondi so make sure you enjoy it during your visit too!
When we first came to Bondi I was actually surprised at how small the beach was – it looks a lot bigger on TV! I recommend heading to Bondi during the week when it’s less busy and catch some of those rays!
2. Take a Surf Lesson with Let’s Go Surfing
Surfing is the ultimate Aussie sport! If you haven’t imagined yourself at least trying to ride those waves then maybe you can never be a real Aussie, sorry! Just kidding but surfing is a way of life down at Bondi Beach and everywhere else in Australia so you might as well give it try! We took our first lesson on Bondi Beach in December 2018 for Dave’s birthday and it was epic! Neither of us had surfed before and we couldn’t have had more fun – we even both managed to stand up on our first lesson!!! True Aussies at heart?
Let’s Go Surfing is the only company teaching in Bondi and they also have a school up in Byron Bay. The guys at Let’s Go Surfing learnt to surf before they could walk and are the best people to teach you. The lessons start at around $98 per person so they aren’t cheap but they are so worth it! That gets you a 3-hour group surfing lesson with 2 instructors and all the gear hire like a board, wetsuit and suncream!
These classes are perfect if you’ve never touched a surfboard before. I personally don’t really like deep water and my co-ordination? Well, let’s just leave that one to the imagination. So let’s just say I was terrified and even though this was one of the top things I wanted to do on Bondi Beach, I was shitting my pants. Luckily, the guys at Let’s Go Surfing were so good at what they do I instantly went from being scared to having the time of my life!
The surfing classes aren’t about who’s the better surfer and there not even about making it to standing. You get taught the basic surfing technique and then head into the water to test out the theory. There’s a lot of laughing and falling straight in the water in fact, be prepared to spend more time on your arse in the water than on the surfboard! For more information on surf lessons on Bondi Beach then take a look at here.
3. Walk from Bondi-Coogee
Walking from Bondi to Coogee is another really famous thing to do in Bondi. It’s probably the most popular coastal walk in Sydney and honestly, it’s so worthy of that tittle. I’m not really a huge fan of tourist traps but here’s the thing about tourist traps and one of the reasons I always visit them. They became tourist traps for a reason, usually because these places are freaking insane! So, if you’re looking for a leisurely stroll along the Sydney coastline with no tourists taking photographs and being all giddy then this walk isn’t for you. But please don’t let that deter you from at least walking part of it.
The Bondi to Coogee walk starts at the Bondi Icebergs and follows the coastline for 6 km eventually finishing at Coogee beach and pavilion. The walk weaves through the stunning eastern suburbs, Tamarama, Bronte, Clovelly and Coogee. If we didn’t live in Bondi then we’d have lived in Bronte which is my second favourite eastern suburb.
The walk includes getting sandy on all the beaches and weaving in and out of sea cliffs with picture-perfect views of the ocean and beaches behind. One of my favourite points of the walk is just after Bronte when you reach the top of the hill to the right of the beach. Here you can choose to climb to onto of the ledge that runs across the sea cliff (don’t worry this bit is safe) and you’re greeted with an epic view of Bondi in the distance, it’s simply beautiful.
The views just keep coming as you keep walking along with some beautiful houses that you and I could probably only ever dream of living in! I recommend taking as long as possible to tackle this coastal walk. If you have a full day then pack your swimmers and swim in every ocean pool you pass on the way! Clovelly has some great snorkelling so pack a snorkel too!
If you don’t have long in Bondi then the full walk will take about 3 hours or you can just walk part of it like Bondi to Bronte. It might be a tourist and local trap (yep, the locals love this walk too) but it’s one of the best things to do in Bondi and should be on your list! Sydney has hundreds of coastal walks that are worth checking out, I wrote about some more of my favourites in this post!
4. Swim in the Free Bondi Ocean Pool
We’ve all seen the gorgeous photographs of the Bondi Icebergs, haven’t we? They are special indeed but even though I do recommend getting in those they are a little pricey which I’ve talked about right below! What a lot of people don’t realise is that there is a free ocean pool at the opposite end of Bondi Beach.
One of the things that I loved about Australia is that every single beach has it’s own ocean baths. Basically a swimming pool that’s filled with ocean water but has all the safety aspects of a swimming pool. No current, no getting whisked out to sea but still enjoying being outside and on the beach! They are perfect for those who are a little daunted by the deep blue water but still want to enjoy a swim on the beach!
People often miss this pool out because the attention is on the icebergs but if you’re on a budget and want a safe free swim then head to the other side of the beach for the free Bondi ocean baths. They’re only small and often full of families but still worth checking out.
5. Swim at the Bondi Icebergs
Bondi Beach wouldn’t be complete without these aqua blue swimming pools making up so much of the landscape. The Bondi Icebergs are ocean water swimming pools that overlook both the beach and the ocean. There are three swimming pools in total, a shallow pool, children’s pool and lane swimming pool. To swim it’s $7 per adult for a swim and sauna. There’s also a bar and restaurant inside. Again, this is another Bondi tourist trap so expect lots of people taking photographs both from above and in the pools!
Always check the website before you go for a swim because Sydney swimming clubs often train at the Icebergs.
6. Watch the Sunrise
Bondi does sunrises like no other place in Sydney. The sun does rise early in the summertime but it’s so worth it. Set that early alarm, get a breakfast picnic ready and head to the beach! Watch the sunrise behind the ocean creating a twinkling blue sheet below. On a good day the sunrise at Bondi Beach is perfect and so is the sunset!
7. And Watch the Sunset too!
The sun sets in Bondi to the right near Bronte and Tamarama so it fills the sky in Bondi with a pink hue that’s just incredible. Watching the sunset in Bondi is a perfect way to end the day. Sit up high on the grassy hill that overlooks the beach or get round to the sea cliffs near Bronte and watch from there. There’s always a tonne of surfers in the water at sunset too which are great to watch!
Okay, so that’s enough for beach and swimming themed things to do in Bondi! Here are some more of the must-dos around Bondi that don’t involve getting sandy feet or wet!
8. Hit the Shops!
Bondi is shopping heaven. If you enjoy getting lost amongst cute indy boutique shops then you’re in for a real treat. Bondi is the queen of boutique gift shops and you can find some wonderful souvenirs. Head to Gould Street and check out all the shops. There are also rows of shops lining the beachfront – These tend to be a little more mainstream for gifts but still great to browse!
One of my favourite activewear shops EVER is found in Bondi too! If you’re a yoga lover or gym-bunny then make sure you check out Bondi Active. Dave and I bought our fair share of leggings, hoodies and shorts during our time in Australia and they are amazing. The material they use is so soft and durable – Definitely worth investing in! They remind me of a ‘Bondi Branded’ Lululemon type shop.
9. Gertrude and Alice
Gertrude and Alice is 100% one of the must-enjoy spots in Bondi! This place is a bookstore come cafe, a gorgeous little slice of heaven in other words! If you love reading and drinking coffee then this is your spot. My Saturdays were spent regulating trying to find my next read whilst blogging and enjoying a coffee from the tables afterwards. They sell second-hand books and is a favourite among the locals. If you plan on hitting the beach in Bondi then you’re going to need a great book right?!
Gertrude and Alice are located on Hall Street and open 7 days a week 7:30 am – 8:30 pm.
10. Things to Do in Bondi Sydney – Enjoy the Street Art!
The beach is actually lined with incredible street art murals. Walk from one end of the beach to the other and take in the amazing artwork. The artwork changes from time to time so it’s fun to head down again and again if you have an extended stay in Australia. Don’t worry there’s a concrete walkway that lines the beach so you don’t have to get sandy enjoying the artwork! The artists often leave their social media handles on the paintings too so be sure to go them a little love if you enjoyed a particular piece!
11. Take a Yoga Lesson on the Beach
I think I completely failed when it came to keeping this section away from the beach didn’t I?! The truth is that Bondi revolves around the beach so you just have to embrace it! Yoga is also a way of life down on Bondi Beach. There’s a yoga studio on every corner but the best way to practice is on that stunning beach with the sound of the ocean in the background – there’s honestly nothing more relaxing in my opinion!
There are a few ways to enjoy Yoga on the beach in Bondi. You can book an experience through Air BnB or check out the company Yoga By the Sea. They run yoga classes outside all year round at reasonable prices. Take a look at the schedule on their website here, they also practice at Bronte and Tamarama too!
12. Or Take a Yoga Class Inside
If you prefer the comfort and safety of a studio then don’t worry Bondi is full of them! All you need to do is Google yoga in Bondi and you’ll be overwhelmed by options. My favourite studios are BodyMindLife and Power Living. Australia also has an app called Class Pass where you can find heaps of fitness classes around the country and you can do a free trial for 2 weeks.
13. Eat at all the Cafes!
Bondi is full of gorgeous cafes. Honestly, I don’t even think I could pick a favourite because they are so good! The only thing I noticed about the cafes in Bondi is that they are all pretty similar. If you want eggs Benedict or smash ago on toast then you won’t have to go far in Bondi trust me. Explore the cafes along the main street on Gould Street. Breakfast and brunch is a social activity on Bondi. Everyone is up early and enjoying the sunshine with a morning coffee in hand.
14. Weekend Markets
Every Sunday Bondi is home to the farmer’s markets where you can grab your local produce at a cheaper price. Food in Australia is expensive there’s no getting around it. Shopping at the markets if the cheapest place and it’s also the most organic so its a win-win for everybody! If you’re into health foods then make sure you find the Yellow Deli stall! You can find out more about the Yellow Deli here but they produce the best healthy green bars I’ve ever tasted! You can find them at the Bondi and Bondi Junction Markets!
15. Go Golfing (even just visit the Golf Course for the views)
There’s a huge golf course in Bondi for those golf lovers amongst us. I must admit I’m not a golfer but Dave is. What I will say about the Bondi golf course is that the views are amazing. Head towards the course even if just to daydream at the awe-inspiring views of the beach.
16. Explore the Parks
As well as the beach Bondi also has some wonderful parks which are a great spot for a BBQ. It’s worth noting that there are no BBQ pits on the grassland or beach in Bondi. There are BBQ areas on Tamarama beach which is just around the corner from Bondi but Marks Park and Hunter Park are both great spots to enjoy a BBQ and gathering with friends.
17. Bondi Events and Festivals
Before you go to Bondi make sure you check the dates you’re going for any events and festivals down at Bondi. The main events that run at Bondi throughout the year are:
Sculpture by the Sea – October to November.
Carols by the Sea – December.
Bowl-A-Rama – Skateboarding Competition usually February.
Festival of the Winds – Usually September time.
18. Get Fit in the North Bondi Outdoor Exercise Area
Not having time or being able to afford a gym membership is a thing of the past these days. Bondi has an outdoor exercise area which is free to use for everyone. There’s your usual gym crowd that hang out there but if you need a workout then do not let them stop you! I admit I never went but if you need a workout to feel a little more human after eating out on vacation so much – we all do it, then head on down! The views overlooking the beach are pretty great!
19. Go Shopping at Westfield in Bondi Junction
Just a short bus ride away from Bond is Bondi junction which is at the shopping hub of the eastern suburbs. You’ll find a huge Westfield with everything you could possibly need for your shopping needs! It’s also air-conditioned and. Perfect on a. Sweltering day! If you do visit make sure you go to the ground floor and find the pet shop – baby puppies everywhere! We would go just to look at the puppies every week!
So, there you have it! 19 great things to do in Bondi, you could spend weeks in Bondi just laying on the beach and enjoying the cafes. Living here was one of our greatest life experiences and Bondi will always have a special spot in my heart. I know it’s a place we’ll visit time and time again as the years go on. I hope you enjoyed this post and I hope you love Bondi as much as we did! If you did enjoy this post I would be so thankful if you could share it with your friends!
Agnes Water and the town of 1770 are located in Central Queensland not far from the Southern Great Barrier Reef. These two sleepy coastal towns brought us calm and beauty during our east coast road trip. I’d read awesome things about Agnes Water so made sure I included it in our road trip itinerary and I’m so glad. Road trips in Australia are epic but also exhausting. Drives are long with not much to look at in-between destinations. We’d driven for 8 hours to reach Agnes Water from Airlie Beach, which FYI I do not recommend doing, and we were welcomed by a charming town with a heavy sense of relaxation in the atmosphere. We spent two perfect days in these towns so I’m sharing the best things to do in Agnes Water in this post.
Where is Agnes Water?
Agnes Water is found in Central Queensland on the coast about 80 kilometres from the Bruce Highway. If you’re driving the east coast of Australia then you’ll get to know the Bruce Highway very well. Basically, two-way traffic for miles and miles and miles and miles, get the picture? The easiest way to get to Agnes Water is to drive. In fact, the best way to see the east coast is to self drive the whole thing. We rented a campervan for 6 weeks to drive from Cairns and Sydney the experience was epic, it was our first experience of van life and not one I’ll ever forget. The nearest cities from Agnes Water are Bundaberg a little further south and Gladstone/Rockhampton slightly north.
If you don’t drive then the Grey Hound coach does stop in Agnes Water. The Grey Hound coach is a popular way that travellers backpack around Australia. It’s popular with those looking to save some $ on accommodation as they have a lot of services running through the night. For more information on the Grey Hound experience take a look at this post. Unfortunately, I can’t comment as I’ve never been on board!
Why Visit Agnes Water and 1770?
These two coastal gems are a beautiful getaway from the busy tourist areas of the Australian east coast. Don’t get me wrong, these places can be busy and are still popular with tourists however, a lot of travellers tend to skip past these beauties. Don’t be one of them because there are plenty of fun things to do in Agnes Water. If you enjoy relaxing, wildlife spotting, markets, beach days, surfing, cute cafes, then Agnes Water and 1770 will be worth popping your Australian bucket list.
I also found it a great spot to regather myself during our road trip too. Since arriving in Cairns our road trip was epic and we did amazing activity after amazing activity. Swam the Great Barrier Reef, Explored the Daintree Rainforest, Sailed The Whitsundays and drove over 1000 kilometres. Though we were having the time of our lives it was a weekend of a slower pace which was essential. It’s a great stopping point after the Whitsundays and before the likes of Fraser Island and Noosa.
Things to Know Before Visiting Agnes Water
Okay, this is just one thing to note but I think it’s pretty important there is ZERO mobile. phone reception. It’ll depend on what network you are within Australia but we were with Vodafone, a popular network and we got nothing. Nada, zilch. Which was wonderful and meant we could totally switch off and have a present weekend! But I just thought I’d mention so that of you planning on working or need a mobile phone reception, you can do some research before visiting Agnes Water.
19 Things to Do in Agnes Water
So what is there to do in Agnes Water? Well, from relaxing on the beach, bushwalking and sailing to fishing and explore boutique shops, there is something for everyone to enjoy! It’s also a great little spot for families wanting to enjoy a weekend on the coast. Agnes Water is a popular holiday spot for local Aussies as well as tourists.
1. Relax on the Beach!
Agnes Water has a great main beach which is perfect to spend an afternoon in the sun on. The sand is golden brown and actually reminded of the UK beaches for a little moment. Most of the beaches in Queensland we’d seen so far were bright white giving them that tropical feel. Australia has some of the best beaches in the world and the beach at Agnes Water is definitely a lovely way to spend the afternoon.
2. Hire a Surfboard
Hire a board and go into the waves. Agnes Water is the most northerly surf in Australia where the water is considered ‘safe’ for surfers. Make sure you check the weather report before deciding to hire a surfboard if you’re surfing on your own out there. But for those experienced surfers, Agnes Water has some epic breaks to enjoy. It’s also great fun to watch the surfers on the waves. Imagine a row of campers with surfers walking around surfboard under the arm and wispy hair flowing – honestly, I’m not being stereotypical there were so many blond Aussie surfers around!
You can hire surfboards from various spots in Agnes Water and 1770:
If you’re not a pro surfer then why not. Join in any way and take a surfing lesson! The shops I mentioned above all run surf lessons too! We didn’t learn to surf in Agnes Water but we did on Bondi Beach and it was a great experience! I’m a little scared of deep water and I HATE saltwater in my eyes but surfing has completed wiped those fears! It’s so much fun and I can’t explain how awesome I felt about myself once I stood up on that board!
Learning to surf is one of the best things to do in Agnes Water especially if you’re travelling on a budget. Surfing isn’t a cheap experience and on Bondi Beach, we definitely paid for it at just under $100 each for a couple of hours! At Agnes Water, you can learn to surf for just $25 for three hours with Reef 2 Surf – big sigh from me as I type that! Expect whichever lessons you take to start from $25 and be as expensive at $100 depending on what kind of surf lessons you opt for.
4. Visit 1770
1770 is a small town just minutes along the coast from Agnes Water. It will literally take 15 minutes by car. The walk is about 1.5 hours so doable if you do want to visit 1770. 1770 is actually written as Seventeen Seventy in the town not in number form so I guess I’m writing it all completely wrong on here but it’s a lot easier in my opinion! I always see it written like ‘1770’ online too – perhaps it’s the lazy internet age taking over?
5. Grab a Morning Coffee and Cookie at the Marina Cafe
The Marina Cafe in 1770 is the perfect spot for a morning coffee. We sat outside and it just felt so local and authentic. We had a giant cookie which was delightful but honestly, the breakfasts looked so good too! We had to fight it not to order – budget travels and all that!
6. Take a trip on the LARC!
LARC tours are a unique thing to do whilst in Agnes Water and 1770! Imagine gliding through the waves on a big pink boat and you’re halfway there! The crew at LARC run various around the southern reef. Choose from a full day tour or. Just an afternoon cruise with lunch included. The tours aren’t cheap starting at around $140 per person. But still one of the most fun things to do in Agnes Water!
7. Visit Horizons Kangaroo Sanctuary
This was my favourite part of Agnes Water. Horizons Kangaroo Sanctuary is run by Agnes Water locals at their beautiful home on the top of a pretty impressive hill. Kangaroos are everywhere around these coastal towns. If you’re driving at night or even walk I can guarantee you’ll see some bopping around. Horizons Kangaroo Sanctuary takes in orphaned and injured joeys and nurse them back to health before realising them back out into the wild. It’s so beautiful.
We actually stayed at the campsite at the sanctuary which they run in their back garden to help fund the work they do for the joeys. It really is heartwarming and waking up with joeys was just incredible. I can’t recommend this place more if you’re camping or in a camper van!
8. Enjoy the Boutique Shops
Agnes Water has plenty of cute boutique shops to enjoy during your visit. the fancy clothes shops are of which are way out of my travelling price range, is one of my fave things to do in a new town! The shops in Australia are all super gorgeous especially the boohoo chic style you find in the coastal towns. Bondi Beach in Sydney is HEAVEN for any fashion/accessories shopaholic out there!
9. Take a Trip to Lady Musgrave Island
Lady Musgrave Island is just a short boat ride away from Ages Water. Lady Musgrave Island is one of the only islands in the Great Barrier Reef where you can snorkel and then sleep overnight onboard vessel in the same spot!
10. Dive on Lady Musgrave Island
Always wanted to dive on an Australian drop-off? Well, Lady Musgrave Island might be just your place then! Personally, I’m too much of a chicken too dive but if I wasn’t and one day when I decide to conquer my fear of being in deep deep water with only an oxygen tank to save me, I’d go all out and visit the Musgrave Drop-off! The drop-off on Lady Musgrave Island sounds incredible. The reef drops from 10 metres to 25 forming a beautiful wall of coral life.
A bonus about visiting this spot as opposed to the Great Barrier Reef for diving? Well, do I really need to go into it? The Great Barrier Reef is amazing. The marine life, the coral and the tours are fantastic but it gets so much traffic, and by traffic I mean other tourists who want in on the action, myself included! We spent a full day on the Great Barrier Reef departing from Cairns and we loved it, I was amazed at the sight of the coral and I thought it was sparkling despite what people may say.
It wasn’t until we sailed the Whitsundays and snorkelled a little further down the coast that I realised just how much traffic the reef nearer to Cairns gets. My previous definition of a ‘sparkling’ reef has been outshone massively by. What I got to experience in the Whitsundays! What I’m trying to say is here, sorry about all the ramble, is that less visited reefs are the better to enjoy! For memories, experience and of course the impact that we humans have on the coral life. I honestly think parts of the reef need shutting down to tourists for a while.
12. Butterly Walk in 1770
The Butterfly Walk in 1770 is perfect for the nature lovers amongst us. Starting at the Captain Cook Monument this walk follows the. Headland around to spectacular views of the ocean and coastal bays. The walk is fairly easy at just 1.2 km in distance but the main attraction is the blue tiger butterflies who visit seventeen seventy during their migration.
13. Paperbark Trail Agnes Water
This trail is also a fairly easy walk and one of the most interesting! It’s only 400 metres but you’ll enjoy stepping stones and broad walks. Along the way! Again, keep your eyes peeled above and on the ground for Aussie natives hanging around!
14. Red Rock Walking Trail
If the hiker in you is literally bursting at the seams then tackle the Red Rock walking trail! You’ll need an afternoon to complete the track and maybe even longer in the summer heat. It’s only 2.5 kilometres but does cover some difficult terrain. That compared with hot Aussie days and this trail might just take. A little longer than your average 2.5-kilometre stroll.
15. Kayak the Ocean
Kayaking is also very popular in 1770 and Agnes water and you can even take a kayak tour if you wish. There are multiple companies that hire and run kayak tours including a sunset tour! I actually wished we’d had enough time to do t his on our trip to Agnes Water! The tours aren’t too expensive either starting at $30 per person depending on which tour you select. For more information on hiring a kayak or taking a tour then check out this website and tour company.
If you do plan on taking a kayak tour make sure you check the weather before hitting Agnes Water because sometimes they. Won’t run if the weather isn’t up to scratch!
16. Visit the Agnes Water Museum
I wouldn’t get too excited about this one but if you’re a history buff or maritime fanatic then you might want to check out the Agnes Water Museum. The museum pays tribute to the rich aboriginal past at Agnes Water and the Discovery Coast. Agnes Water museum has been collecting maritime pieces since 1952 and even includes a copy of Captain Cooks log book. It costs just $3 per adult and children go free!
17. Take a Scooteroo Motorcycle Tour
During our weekend in Agnes Water on both days, we watched what felt like hundreds of motorcycles whizz around on the roads. At first, I presumed it was a bike club enjoying the open coastal road after all the views of the Queensland coast are awe-inspiring. Turns out you can actually take a motorcycle tour around Agnes Water and 1770! Starting at $85 a day I can’t think of a much better way to enjoy the views than with a bit of adrenaline pumping through your veins too!
18. Cycle Hire
If you don’t have a car then hiring a bicycle in Agnes Water could be perfect to go between the main beach and seventeen seventy. Hiring a bike starts at $20 for 4 hours and just $30 for all-day which I don’t think is too bad for Aussie prices!
19. Eurimbula National Park
Just a short 14 kilometre drives from the main towns is Eurimbula National Park. Find more sublime beaches and bushwalks in the national park. If you’re flash and have your own boat then you can take it out from the national park if you fish. Canoeing, kayaking and fishing are also allowed inside the park. But make sure you proceed with care because there are crocodiles in the water and marine stingers so make sure you do your research first and check this website for any wildlife alerts!
Where to Stay in Agnes Water
There are plenty of accommodation options to choose from in both 1770 and Agnes Water. When choosing accommodation to think about the things to do in Agnes Water and how close to the beach you want to be. We stayed at Horizons Kangaroo Sanctuary which was about a 15-minute drive from the beach which was perfect for us. But if it’s likely you’ll want an ice-cold beer after a long day in the Queensland sunshine then perhaps somewhere a little more central might be better!
Agnes Water Hostels $
There are plenty of hostels to choose from even for such a small coastal town! You’ll find your usual YHA is very popular with travellers as is, Cool Bananas and Backpackers at 1770. The prices for different rooms vary as always. For a bunk in a dorm, you’re looking at $23 upwards per night.
Camp Sites $
There are a few campsites around for those enjoying the Australian east coast by campervan too! The only one I can recommend if Horizons Kangaroo Sanctuary because it’s the only campsite we stayed it. It costs just $20 which was one of the cheapest sites we stayed on in Australia. Staying there also helps the owns keep their joey rehabilitation programme going which is so important!
Hotels and Air BnB $$
If you’ve got a little bit more cash to play around with then there are plenty of hotels, bed and breakfasts and Air BnB options available here too! I find you always get a more local authentic experience with Air BnB hosts especially if they have useful tips on the area! But if I don’t book with Air BnB then I always book with Booking.com to get the best deal and they often have a handy cancellation free of charge up to 24 hours before. Having travelled for the past 15 months I know how quickly and unexpectedly travel plans can change!
Sharing is Caring
I hope you enjoyed this guide on fun things to do in Agnes Water! I really hope you don’t skip out on these two gorgeous coastal towns – you won’t regret spending some time here I promise! If you’re just starting to plan your Australian adventure then check out some more of my posts on Australia here and for my full itinerary driving from Cairns to Sydney go here! If you did enjoy this post I would be so grateful if you could share it with your friends!
Cairns Australia is one beautiful place and you can take some amazing day trips from Cairns! I had no idea what to expect when we touched down at the teeny tiny airport ready to commence our Australian east coast road trip! I’d heard that Cairns gets the big thumbs up from a lot of backpackers because of its insane nightlife. Now call me a granny but my clubbing days are well and truly behind me so I was sceptical to whether we would really enjoy Cairns, given we wouldn’t be participating in staying out until 3 am.
Luckily, Cairns exceeded all of our expectations set the bar high for our road trip! As well as spending two days in the city of Cairns, one day on the Great Barrier Reef we also took two-day trips from cairns. In this post, I’ll be giving you low down on the best day trips from Cairns! If you love chasing waterfalls and jumping in lakes then these day trips will be right up your alley!
The Gateway to the Ocean and Rainforest
Cairns is the city where the rainforest meets the reef. You’ve got. The Daintree rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef both easily accessible from Cairns, which is what makes this city so popular! Both the Daintree and Great Barrier Reef are incredible places and I urge you to visit both! Snorkelling the Great Barrier Reef is one of the most fabulous experiences I’ve ever had. In fact, I think it was easily as epic as sailing the Whitsundays and our weekend on Fraser Island! The reef may not be as colourful as it once was but it still blew my mind! The views as you’re sailing out into the middle of the ocean when the reef comes into view is like nothing I’ve seen before. If you’re planning to visit Australia then the Great Barrier Reef has to be on your Australian Bucket List!
Even though the reef maybe what made Cairns so popular it’s not the only amazing sight to see! The day trips we took from Cairns were so much fun! We spent a full day exploring waterfalls and another one jumping into lakes in the Atherton Tablelands.
The Best Day Trip from Cairns – Places to Go
Curtain Fig Tree National Park
Millaa Millaa Falls
Diner Falls and Crater
These are some of the best destinations to visit near Cairns. I’ve gone into details about each of these places below and it’s safe to say I recommend them all!
Driving into the Backcountry
Before I get into some of the best day trips from Cairns in Australia a few things about the drives! The places mentioned in this post are located in the Atherton Tablelands. To get there the main highway is called the. Gillies Range and it is very windy with steep drop-offs! We managed to avoid on the way there but braved it on the way back. I must admit, although it was fine, it was a little scary! Just be sure to go very slowly around the bends especially in a campervan, those drops are big as! There are other routes so just take a look on your navigation device before you set off.
The backcountry is also very rural and there’s only a few gas station so just make sure you fill up before you go and at anywhere you pass. Don’t try to be savvy and wait until you pass a cheaper station and you just might not find one before having to push and nobody wants that on vacation do they?!
Day Trips from Cairns – Lake Eacham and Lake Tinaroo
Nestled into the Atherton Tablelands are three beautiful lakes which are 100% worth a visit. I actually didn’t know much about these lakes but they turned out to be awesome! The Atherton Tablelands is gorgeous the countryside is stunning. The hills roll for miles. It’s so refreshing to be back into the countryside and leave the coast behind for a day. Hopping between lakes in the Atherton Tablelands is a great day trip from Cairns, pack your swimmers and bring the kayak if you’ve got one!
The best lake in the Atherton Tablelands in undoubtedly Lake Eacham it was my favourite part about this day trip from Cairns. This crystal clear lake is situated in the Crater Lakes National Park. The lake is surrounded by lush green rainforest and if you could see if from above it literally looks like a crater in the middle of the rainforest which is pretty cool! The lake was created by a volcanic explosion many years ago, over the years the crater filled with water creating Lake Eacham.
Swimming in Lake Eacham
Swimming is allowed in Lake Eacham, there were even people diving in the lake during our visit. The lake is deep but there’s also a ramp down to the water so you can even have a little paddle if you’re not a confident swimmer. If you do swim in the lake then make sure you bring some goggles! We didn’t have any and I was so gutted as there are so many fish in this lake. There are also turtles and we saw 3 baby turtles swimming around which was magical!
Crocodiles in Lake Eacham
Before visiting Lake Eacham it’s handy to be aware of the crocodile that lives in the lake! Yes, you can swim in the lake with Lake Eacham’s very own freshwater crocodile! It wasn’t until we got out that we heard some other travellers talking about it! It turns out that this crocodile has lived in the lake for years. This particular croc is known to be timid and never attacked any swimmers. As a rule, freshwater water crocodiles are very tame compared to the saltwater croc – you don’t want to meet one of those guys whilst swimming!
Be aware that there are plenty of saltwater crocodiles in the lakes of Far North Queensland so just be careful and only swim where swimming is permitted!
Other Things to Do at Lake Eacham
If you don’t fancy swimming on this day trip from Cairns then there are plenty of walks to enjoy at Lake Eacham. The Lake Circuit Track is a great walk to enjoy that’s accessible for all. This 3 km walk follows around the lake and is a great spot for spotting wildlife and enjoying views of the lake. Make sure you do stick to the track though because there are some prohibited areas which are clearly signposted! For more information on the walk take a look at this website.
Day Trips from Cairns – Lake Tinaroo
Even though we spent just one day visit all three of the lakes you could easily spend a whole day at Lake Tinaroo. Lake Tinaroo is huge stretching over 3000 hectares! As well as being a beautiful landscape to enjoy the lake also supplied water to some of the neighbouring rural towns. Lake Tinaroo is a popular place enjoyed by locals and travellers. You can swim, kayak and enjoy various walking tracks around the lake. We actually stayed overnight at Lake Tinaroo and only had a few hours left of the day to enjoy the lake. I recommend having at least a whole afternoon to enjoy the beauty! The Lake Tinaroo Holiday Park is located upon the lake where you can rent boats and kayaks, they also sell gas if you end up running low!
Day Trips from Cairns – Yungaburra, Lake Barrine and Curtain Fig Tree
Yungaburra is a tiny village nestled in the heart of the Atherton Tablelands! The village may be small but it’s quaint and runs a market every weekend which has the locals from Cairns flocking in! Stroll around the streets enjoying the old feel of the village. You can also explore the Avenue of Honour a memorial honouring those who fought for Australia and New Zealand in the War.
Lake Barrine is another gorgeous lake! If someone told me how much I would love walking around and having lunch beside a lake when I was younger I’d have a lot more attention to the places my mum used to take me 😉 anyone else? Anyway, Lake Barrine is stunning. They have a cafe with a veranda that looks out onto the water and their cheese toasties are one of the best I’ve ever had (and I’m a toastie snob)! You can also take out a glass-bottom boat on the lake which you can find more information about here.
Curtain Fig Tree National Park
The Curtain Fig tree is worth seeing on one of these day trips from Cairns! It’s only a short distance away from Lake Barrine. It’s one of those natural wonders you could just stare at for hours. This Curtain Fig Tree is huge! The fig tree has been around for over 500 years and started out as a single tree! Several branches then grow out of the tree’s branches and back into the ground and new trees then grew into it! You can see it’s quite impressive!
Day Trips from Cairns – Waterfalls in the Atherton Tablelands
We spent one of our day trips exploring three of the best waterfalls around Cairns. This actually wasn’t something we had planned which made our day trip even better! We actually saw heaps of leaflets advertising waterfall trails from Cairns. Most of them were included in tours but we decided to take a look at the waterfalls online and drive ourselves if they looked fun! As soon we started researching we were literally on our way into the backcountry of Cairns hunting down waterfalls. The three waterfalls we visited were:
Millaa Millaa Falls
There are plenty more hidden waterfalls near Cairns but we knew that you could swim in these so thought if we stick to just a few we’ll have plenty of time. Travelling slowly is what Dave and I love! I’m so over rushing around places just to fit everything in. If we see less but enjoy the places we do see more then it’s totally worth it! So if you are thinking of taking a day trip from Cairns to chase waterfalls and want to fit more in then take a look at this post about the best waterfalls near Cairns!
But if you decide just to visit these waterfalls then you certainly aren’t missing out. It actually took us all day to get around each of these falls. And no, it isn’t because I’m a slow driver. I recommend starting at Josephine Falls and ending at Diner Falls. You can swim in both Josephine and Millaa Millaa but not the Crater or Diner falls so it makes sense to visiting this last when it starts cooler and you start losing some light.
But it’s honestly one of the best things to do near Cairns. Josephine Falls has an epic natural slide where you can throw yourself down and land in another section of the waterfall. Don’t be fooled as you watch kids throw themselves down, it’s actually scary as hell, you can tell by my terrified face on the footage below!
Millaa Millaa is a little more mellow but the water if gorgeous to swim into. Millaa Millaa was actually used for the Herbal Essence advert broadcast all over the world so expect to see people trying to get the perfect Instagram shot of them whipping their hair back! It’s pretty funny when the boys attempt it though!
Sharing is Caring
Cairns is surrounded by an epic landscape so it’s worth taking one of these day trips to experience all that the region has to offer. We loved every moment of these trips as you can see by the photographs and hilarious videos! It’s also great to escape the coast. Being from the countryside myself I love being amongst country fields and the land. So many travellers come to Australia and explore only the coast but Australia is just as beautiful inland too! I hope you enjoyed this post on day trips from Cairns! If you did enjoy it I would love it if you could share it with your friends!
For more of my posts about Australia then take a look here! Also make sure you subscribe to my monthly newsletter where I send out life updates, a round-up of blog posts and general travel tips/information! AND if you’re a fellow nurse like me then you might like these posts about travel nursing!
The great big Australian bucket list, everyone has one right? I sure did when we left the UK for a year in the sun. There was so much I wanted to see in Australia and there still is. One thing I found out is that one year is not enough time to see it all! What I also discovered a year later was that both Dave and I had managed to make our Aussie dreams come true and seen so much of this beautiful country!
In this post, I’m sharing the parts of Australia we loved and the parts we are still yet to see! I hope you enjoy it!
New South Wales – Australian Bucket List
Sydney Opera House
No visit to Australia is complete without a visit to the Sydney Opera House. You can go right up to the Opera House for free or take a tour inside for a cost. Grab some food and drinks at Opera Bar for the best views in the city.
2. The Sydney Harbour Bridge
You can see the Harbour Bridge from anywhere in Circular Quay but the best way to experience it fully is to walk or climb over it!
3. Bondi Beach
Sunbathe and swim in the sea on Bondi Beach just watch out for the sharks!
4. Walk from Bondi – Coogee
The most famous coastal walk in Sydney and for good reason it pretty spectacular. But if you don’t want to follow the crowds then there are plenty more gorgeous walks in Sydney which you can check out here!
5. Drink in the Pubs at The Rocks
Find Sydney’s oldest pub in The Rocks and feel like you’ve been transported to the UK as you sup a pint.
6. Spend an Afternoon on Milk Beach
For calm waters which make it swimming spot and gorgeous views of the city in the distance!
7. Explore Manly
Manly is my favourite part of the Northern Beaches in Sydney. The Northern side of Sydney is beautiful and Manly is one of the most popular spots in the city. Manly will be busy but the beaches are worth it! Walk from Manly Beach round to Shelley Bay which is a great swimming spot in the summer
A cute bay with plenty of beaches, coastal walks, fish and chips and nude sunbathing if that’s what you’re into!
10. Learn to Surf on Bondi Beach
Another experience you’ve got to have whilst in Australia. It’s mesmerising watching the professionals in the water but so much more fun trying to stand up yourself! We took our lessons with Let’s Go Surfing and I couldn’t recommend then more!
11. Hike in the Blue Mountains
Go hiking or photographing in the Blue Mountains one of the biggest UNESCO Heritage Sites in Australia spreading itself over 1 million hectares.
If sunbathing on the beach in Byron is all you want to do then that’s great but make sure you at least do this hike too! It’s beautiful and you’re 99.9% likely to see dolphins on route!
14. Take a Day Trip to Nimbin
Nimbin is hard to explain. If you thought that Byron Bay was the hippy capital of the East Coast then you’re wrong it’s certainly Nimbin. You may get asked to buy ‘cookies’ on every corner so be prepared!
15. Cafe Hop in Byron Bay
As well as the beaches, hikes and great day trips Byron Bay is also full of all these amazing cafes! There’s every cuisine you can imagine in Byron Bay so dig right in!
16. Day Trip to Lake Macquarie
This Lake is beautiful and so scenic! Wildlife watch and just enjoy a day full of nature! In summertime its great time to try your hand at paddleboarding.
17. Go to Newcastle for the Day
A smaller city just a couple of hours north of Sydney. Swim in the natural pool and enjoy a quieter New South Wales city.
18. Wine Tasting in the Hunter Valley
We took the iHop tour which was amazing value for money! We definitely left the tour with full stomachs and a little tipsy!
19. Experience Sydney on New Year’s Eve
What an experience! New Year’s Eve in Sydney is one of a kind! Even though we sat in torrential rain for those fireworks it was 100% worth the time and money – I’d do it all again in a heartbeat!
20. Enjoy the View from Sealy Lookout in Coffs Harbour
Coffs Harbour is a great place to stop off on the way to Sydney. But if you do anything in Coffs Harbour drive up to Sealy Lookout and enjoy the view!
21. Visit Jervis Bay
Jervis bay is a popular weekend travel spot for those looking the escape the big city for a few days!
22. Visit the Queen Victoria Building
Australia is all about the beaches, we all know that! But there are a few good looking buildings around. The QVB in Sydney is beautiful inside and out!
23. Visit the Northern Beaches in Sydney
Sydney’s Northern Beaches are incredible! The best ones I recommend visiting are, Narrabeen, Manly, Dee Why and Palm Beach! Sydney has so much to offer other than the obvious Opera House and Harbour Bridge – make sure you add some time in the Northern Beaches to your Australian Bucket List.
Whilst it’s still got its colour and plenty of marine life to watch.
26. Explore Fraser Island
A trip to Fraser Island, the worlds biggest sand island, is another once in a lifetime experience I urge everyone to enjoy at least once! Take a tour so you don’t have to drive on the crazy sand tracks and enjoy some Australian history, perfect beaches and pristine lakes.
27. Lake Hop in the Tablelands, Cairns
The Tablelands in Cairns has some beautiful lakes to go swimming in! Visit Lake Eacham and swim with a crocodile (nope I’m not joking), kayak and paddleboard on Lake Tinaroo and enjoy lunch on the water at Lake Barrine.
Cairns is called the city where the rainforest meets the reef. So it would be rude not to visit one without the other!
30. Find the Curtain Fig Tree
It’s one huge tree that’s worth stopping at to be amazed at!
31. Sky Dive onto Mission Beach
Mission Beach is the only beach in the world where you can land on the actual beach! We didn’t actually skydive but we did enjoy being the only people on the beach! Mission Beach is one of the most relaxing places on the East Coast! We enjoyed sunbathing and hanging off the trees a little like the monkey you see in the photograph below! Be careful when going in the ocean on Mission Beach. Marine stingers are found in the water and their sting can kill you – best not to risk it!
32. Visit Australia Zoo
Ran by the legend Steve Irwin’s family find some giant crocodiles and have the chance to cuddle a koala.
33. Camp with Kangaroos in Agnes Water
Our favourite campsite in Queensland was Horizons Kangaroo Sanctuary. The owners rehabilitate orphaned and injured joeys before releasing them. They have created a small camping area with powered and non-powered sites to help fund the sanctuary.
34. Visit Noosa
Enjoy the coastal town of Noosa. Perfect for sunbathing, surfing, swimming in the Fairy Pools and shopping!
The Noosa Everglades are beautiful so why not rent a kayak and enjoy them from the water!
36. Visit the Quiet Town of 1770
The second landing point of James Cook when he discovered Australia. There isn’t a lot in 1770 but it’s certainly a nice town for a walk. It’s just down the road from Agnes Water so you can do both in one day or over two days.
37. Sand Board on Rainbow Beach
Take a sandboarding lesson on Rainbow Beach or just take in the gorgeous views! Rainbow Beach is located about 30 km off the main highway down the East Coast but it’s certainly worth putting into your Australian bucket list!
38. Visit Brisbane
One of Australias most underrated cities. We lived for over 6 months, take a look at all my other Brisbane posts here!
Eat Street Markets is my favourite place to eat in Brisbane! Make sure that you plan your trip to the city on a weekend so you don’t miss out, the market is open Friday-Sunday every week.
41. Climb Mount Coot Tha in Brisbane
One of Brisbane’s best hikes with amazing views of the city when you reach the summit! If you’re not up to hiking then don’t worry there’s a bus that will take you to the very top!
42. Take a Day Trip to Shorncliffe
Shorncliffe is a charming fishing town about an hour from Brisbane. The sunset from the edge of the jetty is beautiful! Wander the beachfront enjoying the views and maybe treat yourselves to some fish and chips! Shorncliffe is beautiful peaceful getaway from the busier Queensland cities.
43. Go Whale Watching from Brisbane
From June to November the humpback whales make their migration through Australian waters. We were so lucky to see a number of whales during our whale watching tour in Brisbane.
This is the company we chose to go on our Whale Watching tour with and I would recommend them to anyone! We saw so many whales, they use a unique vessel to keep the whales safe and the food was great!
44. Visit the Gold Coast
The Gold Coast is home to some beautiful beaches. If you only have a short period of time to visit the Gold Coast then skip surfers paradise – there are far nicer beaches on the Goldie to enjoy! Some of the places to go on the Gold Coast are Greenmount,Nobby Beach and Burleigh Heads!
45. Go Up the Sky Point Observation Deck in Surfers Paradise
If you do visit Surfers Paradise then make sure you go up the Sky Point at sunset and watch the sun go down over the strip. Sunset is the perfect time to visit because you get to see the aerial view of Surfers Paradise in the daylight, at sunset and all lit up on an evening!
Ever wanted to ride around an island looking out for Koalas in a barbie car? Well, now you can! If you have no idea what I’m talking about here then take a look at this website!
Victoria Bucket List!
47. Drive The Great Ocean Road
Did you know that the Great Ocean Road drive is actually a memorial to those who fought in the wars? It’s the biggest memorial in Australia and lined with incredible views. The sea cliff formations that mother nature has calved over the years is mind-blowing.
48. Lunch in Port Campbell
Port Campbell is one of the most picturesque spots on the Great Ocean Road. The beach is divine and although a popular spot with tourists the town is actually pretty quiet. Simply enjoy – if you’re in a campervan full right round to the beach and park directly across from the sand.
49. Find Melbourne’s Street Art
Melbourne is famous for incredible street art and you don’t have to go far to find it. ACDC and Hosier Lane are two of the most popular spots.
Every night at sunset Little Penguins come home to nest on the pier in St Kilda. We saw hundreds coming back from their fishing trip and it was such an honour to watch. This experience is free but please read all of the rules on this website before visiting!
53. Visit Phillip Island
Phillip Island showcases a different side of Australia. It actually reminded me a lot of Scotland and parts of the UK. Maybe its the lush greenery and choppy waters but Phillip Island was one of my favourite destinations we explored down under!
Ready for another Aussie wildlife encounter? Every day at 12 pm in San Remo the fishermen feed the Pelicans, it’s so mesmerising to watch and I’m telling you these Pelicans are feisty little buggers!
55. Watch The Penguin Parade on Phillip Island
Unlike watching the Penguins in St Kilda it is expensive to watch the Penguin Parade. That said it’s certainly a more ethical way to watch the Penguins coming home to their nests. We saw over 200 little guys make their way up the beach!
Lorne is a surfing town at the end or beginning of The Great Ocean Road. It’s a sleepy town but if you want to live there then get ready to pay millions of dollars!
58. Visit Wilsons Promontory National Park
Wilsons Prom is a great place to stop off to explore on a road trip from Melbourne to Sydney. The scenery is beautiful and you can find both Kangaroos and Koalas in the park!
59. Find the Brighton Beach Boxes
Brighton has some of the cutest beach boxes in Australia and probably the southern hemisphere! Though they are super fun to enjoy it has become a little bit of a tourist trap!
Australian Capital Territory Bucket List
We both ‘ummed and ahhed’ about visiting the ACT during our time in Australia. Canberra was somewhere we hadn’t really thought about visiting. Not because I didn’t want to see the Australian capital but because I wasn’t sure what there was to do there! Anyway, we made the decision to go and I’m so glad we did! It was actually a family we stayed with in Sydney who persuaded us to go and we were not disappointed!
60. Visit the Australian Parliament in Canberra
t would be rude to visit Australia and not pay a trip to the countries capital! Did you know Canberra was made the capital because the country couldn’t decide whether to choose Melbourne or Sydney as the capital!
61. Hike Up Mount Ainslie Lookout for Sunset
Mount Ainslie towers over Canberra and it’s honestly one of the best sunsets we saw in Australia! You’ll also get to spot some kangaroos too!
62. Visit the National War Memorial in Canberra
Pay your respects to those fallen at the National War Memorial and the building is pretty epic too!
All of the things on this Australian bucket list os far we have done! I can’t believe we’ve managed to enjoy all of these experiences. Creating this blog post has made me feel so damn lucky! But I must admit we are far from done with Australia yet. We only scraped the surface during our first year in the country.
So, below are the experiences that remain on our Australian bucket list! I can’t wait to return one day to see more of the land of down under but I don’t think it would matter how long you spent in Australia you could never see it all!
The Rest of Our Australian Bucket List
63. Visit Uluru
Known as ‘Ayres Rock’ or the ‘Red Rock’ situated in Australias Northern Territory. This was always pretty high on our Australian Bucket List but time just ran away with us and we didn’t make it!
64. Visit Perth
We visited 3/4 of Australia’s main cities with just Perth left and I’ve heard amazing things! I’d also like to visit Darwin too!
65. Perth to Broome Road Trip
Photographs and blog posts that I’ve read about this road trip look amazing! In fact, the whole of Western Australia looks out of the world!
66. Visit Alice Springs
I would love to visit this remote town in the middle of the outback! It seems so far away from anywhere that I’d call ‘normal’ I think it would be so interesting to see how the locals live!
67. Wine Tasting in Adelaide
The Adelaide Hills are famous for the wine and I would love to get a tour around the best wineries!
68. Visit Adelaide
The City of Adelaide looks gorgeous too it reminds me of small cities in the UK from the photographs I’ve seen!
69. Tasmania Hikes
Basically visit Tasmania and hike everything in sight!
So at 71, I decided to wrap this post up. Australia is high up on most travellers bucket list and then all the experiences you can enjoy in Australia need a separate bucket list themselves! All of these adventures we had in Australia were some of the best I’ve ever experienced. I’ve conquered the fear of snorkelling (I was not a fan of deep water until Australia), I learnt that you can enjoy the many hikes and national parks without getting eaten by a shark, I learnt of flipping surf – the proudest moment of my life was when I stood up on that board!
Australia catapulted me out of my comfort zone on more occasions than one which is why I LOVE IT. Travel is about discovering new places, meeting new people, having new experiences and maybe even learning a little bit more about yourself along the way!
A trip to New South Wales wouldn’t be complete without visiting one of its most unique UNESCO National Parks. Spreading over 1 million hectares, the Blue Mountains is an incredible place for lovers of the great outdoors. Though not my favourite National Park in Australia a Blue Mountains day trip is certainly worth doing! Whether you love hiking, photography or just want to drive around hunting for those incredible views, there is something for everyone to enjoy in The Blue Mountains Sydney.
We spent one night and two days in the Blue Mountains but for a lot of travellers, a day trip from Sydney is all they have time to squeeze in. Luckily you can see a lot in the Blue Mountains with just one day but to do so you will need to hire a car or go on a group tour of the Blue Mountains. But more of that as you read on!
I’ve decided to split this post into three sections:
One Day Itinerary in the Blue Mountains – my recommendations of exactly what to see and how to plan your day!
Best Photography Spots in the Blue Mountains – If you love photography but only have one day in the Blue Mountains then you might want to hunt down the best spots to get that perfect shot.
Unique Places to Visit in the Blue Mountains – If you like to wander off the beaten track then you might want to visit these unique places in the Blue Mountains.
But before we get into these travel guides for a Blue Mountains day trip let’s get the logistics out of the way first! But before we start a quick disclosure;
Some of the photographs you’ll find in this post will be stock images and all photographers will be credited in the caption. We spent a lot of time during our two days in the Blue Mountains taking epic photographs. Then my very old very sad laptop completely died and took all my photographs beyond the grave with it! It was honestly a tragic moment and I have since invested in a lot of back-ups for my photos!
Where are The Blue Mountains?
The Blue Mountains National Park is located 1 hour North West of Sydney. Even though it might mean getting up early it’s easy to drive up to the Blue Mountains for a day trip. If you’re on a road trip of the East Australian coast then I recommend stopping at the Blue Mountains either on your way in or out of Sydney depending on where you started the road trip. When we travelled the East coast for a month in 2018 we actually left visiting the Blue Mountains out. We knew we’d be staying in Sydney for 6 months so we had plenty of time to visit. In the end, it would’ve been so much better to have visited when we had our campervan – just some food for thought!
Getting to The Blue Mountains for a Day Trip
For a Blue Mountains day trip the easiest way to get there is by car. We hired a car from the company Car Next Door in Sydney for a good price. The drive is only a couple of hours and it’s pretty straight forward. The Blue Mountains are very spread out and especially for those photographers out there if you want to find all the great spots in just one day then driving around is the best way.
Car Next Door – a little more info
Car Next Door is a really easy app to use. Basically, everyday people put their cars up on the website to rent when they don’t need it. You pay a total for the car and then like 19 cent per km for afterwards, it’s pretty cheap and you can have a membership for just $19 a month. There’s no talking to anyone required as the keys are placed in a lockbox by the owner which fits onto the car window. The instructions on where to pick the car up and drop back off are really simple! I highly recommend this app for renting cars in Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane. A quick word of warning you do pay a deposit for your first hire but get this back 7 days later.
If hiring a car for your Blue Mountains day trip isn’t possible then don’t worry you can take public transport. There are a couple of ways to reach the Blue Mountains via public trains. There are a few different routes possible so make sure you check on Google Maps or Sydney Transport Website before you go which route will be best for your situation. The only thing you’ll be sacrificing on the trains is time. It’ll take just over 2 hours to reach the Blue Mountains by train but once you arrive it is quite easy to explore the different areas of the Blue Mountains by train.
Day Tours to the Blue Mountains from Sydney
Planning a day trip to the Blue Mountains can be tricky. There is so much to see and when you’ve only got limited time to see it, it can be hard deciding which places are worth. This is one of the reasons why I decided to write this post! But if you really don’t want to mess around planning the day yourself or catching a train then why not take a day tour?
There are so many tour companies in Australia and a few tours running day trips to the Blue Mountains from Sydney. Obviously these tours come at a price but are a great way to this unique national park. There aren’t many places in the world where a blue haze fills the horizon! I’ve linked some of the most popular guides according to Trip Advisor right below! If you do decide to a day tour to the Blue Mountains from Sydney then I would recommend planning in advance especially in summer!
One Day Itinerary to the Blue Mountains Sydney
In this section of the post, I’m going to give you all the spots I recommend seeing during a day trip in the Blue Mountains. This itinerary is going from sunrise to sunset to make the most the only day you may ever spend in this gorgeous hinterland.
One Day Itinerary to the Blue Mountains – The Highlights:
Honey Moon Bridge
The Yellow Deli
Set off from Sydney early in the morning. Get the car packed up the night before and rise before the sun comes up. That could be 5 am in Australian summertime but it’s worth the early rise to get to the Blue Mountains just after or as the sun is rising. We arrived at Echo Point our first stop in the Blue Mountains for about 8:30 and it was perfect. There were hardly any other people around and honestly an hour later the lookout at Echo Point was packed full of people!
First Stop – Echo Point
Echo Point is probably one of the most popular lookouts in the Blue Mountains so I recommend getting there early. It’s located in the Katoomba area of the national park and offers panoramic views of the famous Three Sisters. The Three Sisters is a famous sandstone formation in the Blue Mountains and an important part of Aboriginal Culture in Australia.
Legend tells the story of the three sisters as three women who were sisters that lived in the Katoomba Tribe. The sisters fell in love with three men from another tribe nearby but marriage between these tribes was forbidden. Them and the men refused to abide by this rule so the men captured the sisters. The sisters were then turned into stone. Of course, you’ll read many different variations of this tale but it’s certainly interesting.
Echo Point is also the gateway to Honeymoon Bridge and some great walks including the Prince Henry Cliff walk and Giant Staircase. We managed to get about halfway down the Giant Staircase during our visit but we figured what goes down must then come up so we decided against the rest of the walk as we didn’t have loads of time! I do recommend enjoying The Three Sisters Walk to Honeymoon Bridge though, the views are fantastic and the walk will take around 20 minutes!
After spending some time at Echo Point take a quick drive around to Katoomba Falls. You can park for free next to the playground and then follow the short track to the lookout point. Katoomba Falls is a wonderful waterfall that cascades 150 metres down the cliffs of the Blue Mountains into the Jamison Valley. You can also watch the cable car that runs from Scenic World across the top of the national park. We didn’t do it but I can imagine that it’s a lot of fo fun with some incredible views! There are various other walks you can enjoy at Katoomba Falls but the Katoomba Falls Round Walk is perfect when spending just one day in the Blue Mountains.
Katoomba Falls Round Walk
The walk will take about two hours so will bring you up to lunchtime. The walk is a 4 km circuit so it depends how good at walking you are, you may be able to conquer it a little quicker. I think the walk took us about an hour and a half but we were taking photographs for a while at the smaller waterfall you can enjoy on the walk! If its summer you can also take a paddle.
Lunch at the Yellow Deli
The Yellow Deli is one of the most unique places we found in the Blue Mountains. It was actually a friend of mine who recommended this spot to us and I’m so glad we went! The food is great and the atmosphere of the cafe is incredible. The Yellow Deli is actually a chain ran any a family who started out in America. Their mission is to provide love and a network of people through the art and spirit of great food. You can read a little more about the history behind the Yellow Deli here! They also do AMAZING green bars too which you just have to try honestly you’ll be craving this healthy snack – if you do like it you can find the green bars at a few of these markets around Sydney: (yes, I became obsessed)!
Bondi Junction Markets (weekends)
Frenches Forest Farmers Market (Sundays)
Next stop is Wentworth Falls. Fletcher’s lookout provides an amazing view of these epic waterfalls (my favourite in the Blue Mountains). The Wentworth Falls track is another easy track I recommend enjoying during your Blue Mountains Day Trip. The walk is just 1.4 km so will probably take an hour depending on how fast you walk. The walk shows off incredible views and leads to the top of the great Wentworth Falls!
Evans lookout was quite a surprise during our time in the Blue Mountains. Located in Blackheath this lookout was so vast and the scenery below so incredible! As we arrived at Evans lookout the sun has disappeared behind the clouds and the clouds were low. The thing about this was that the blue haze that fills the horizon was even more evident from Evans lookout! The national park isn’t called ‘The Blue Mountains’ for the fun of it after all.
After spending some time at Evans lookout it’ll be getting close to sunset. The sunset in the Blue Mountains is wonderful and I highly recommend it if you don’t have to rush back to the city. Of course the weather in the Blue Mountains is highly unpredictable but hopefully, you get a beautiful day with an incredible sunset! Some of the best points for sunset are:
Lincolns Rock – Wentworth Falls
Choose a spot or just take a look at the #bluemountains tag on Instagram – I LOVE doing this to find great lookouts in places I’ll be visiting!
Getting Back to Sydney
Of course, if you’re driving it doesn’t matter too much about what time you set off back to the city. Just watch out for those kangaroos once it’s dark! If you take the train then you might not be able to stay for the sunset!
The Best Photography Spots in the Blue Mountains
The Blue Mountains is every photographer’s dream especially if you enjoy photography landscapes. The sunrises and sunsets on a clear day are spectacular and even in the middle of the day the Blue Mountains a great spot to photograph. A Blue Mountains day trip dedicated solely to photography would be amazing. In this section of the post, I’ve compiled some of the best photography spots in the Blue Mountains.
Three Sisters – it may be one of the most popular spots but there is no denying the beauty of the Three Sisters. The way these rock formations tower over the valley is so impressive!
Grovetts Leap – Watch the sunset over the valley and create beautiful images using the suns rays as they dip low.
Lincoln’s Rock – Any time of the day would be amazing to photograph this spot but especially at sunset!
Mt Portal Lookout – Not only is Mt Portal a great place for photography especially the lookout but it’s also great for those who love climbing or abseiling!
Scenic Skyway – Scenic world offers the cable car 270 metres above the landscape that is the blue mountains. Though most photographers won’t want to photograph through glass you could definitely capture some awesome shots from up there if you wanted to!
5 of the Most Unique Places to Visit on a Blue Mountains Day Trip
If visiting the busy Three Sisters and famous waterfalls don’t take your fancy then step off the beaten track. The Blue Mountains National Park is huge. There are so many small villages, bushwalking tracks, places to try adventure sports and other things that are a little more unique to explore. When we travel I like to do a little bit of both.
I love seeing the landmarks that gave that destination their place in the world. I would never visit New York and not go and see the Statue of Liberty! But I also like to spend some time exploring different places too. It’s a great way to give back to the locals and just enjoy somewhere a little different and hopefully quieter!
Visit Jenolan Caves – The Jenolan Caves are millions of years old and most travellers visiting the Blue Mountains don’t even know they exist! There are tours running in the caves which you can attend all year round. These caves not only some of the oldest in Australia but in the world! Take a look at the website here to look at booking a tour of the Jenolan Caves!
Explore Mount Portal – If you’re an adventure junkie then why not try rock climbing or abseiling in Mount Portal rather than hiking or taking photos all day?
Katoomba Street Art – Explore the town of Katoomba and you’ll find plenty of very artistic street art!
Visit the Yellow Deli – As the only ‘Yellow Deli’ in Australia this place may be popular but it’s certainly unique to Katoomba!
Take a Horse Riding tour across the Blue Mountains – There are so many farms out in the Mountains and many of them offer Horse Riding tours around the Blue Mountains which I think is pretty cool!
Best Time of Year to Visit the Blue Mountains?
I’d say anytime during the Australian spring is perfect! Spring in Australia is anytime from early September to November. Don’t get me wrong, the views in the Blue Mountains will be epic in summer with those clear skies. The photographs I’ve seen of summer are perfect, especially at sunrise and sunset. But summertime in Sydney is extremely hot and my idea of hiking in Australia isn’t in summer. Honestly, you spend more time sweating than enjoying yourself. Summer is also the busiest time for tourism in Australia!
In spring the temperature is perfect for hiking and there are fewer crowds. If you really want to avoid the crowds then visit the Blue Mountains in winter but it will be cold and they do get snow up there so just do your research and be prepared!
Check out the Australian Tourism website for information about the best times to visit Sydney in terms of weather!
Sharing is Caring!
The Blue Mountains day trip is one of the best you can do from Sydney. After living in the big city for 6 months it’s so nice to have these beautiful places so close by. Sydney is busy and tourist-heavy it can be so overwhelming sometimes! But with the likes of the Blue Mountains not too far away, it’s easy and so refreshing to get out of the city even for just a day.
I hope you enjoyed this post about taking a Blue Mountains day trip! If you did enjoy it then I would so grateful if you could share this post with your friends.
Heading to Australia? Well, you might like some of my other posts on Australia which you can find here! Its the most beautiful country I’ve visited so far and will always hold a very special place in my heart! Make sure you sign up to my monthly newsletter (sidebar) to keep updated on where I’m heading next, life updates and the occasional travel freebie!
Australia is a great country for taking long walks and hikes into the countryside or along the many beaches. The best hikes in Australia are some of the best in the world! I personally have a love-hate relationship with hiking in Australia. Told like a true Brit sometimes the thought of hiking in Australia makes me sweat just thinking about it. Hikes in the heat of summer down aren’t that much fun! As much as we love exploring nature and hiking we found ourselves doing a lot more hiking in the wintertime. Of course, we did enjoy some walks in the summer but we kept to easier tracks and all the coastal walks so we could run into the ocean to cool down!
Despite the not so co-operative heat at times Australia has some great walking routes. Whether it’s multi-day hiking or just an afternoon there’s something for all abilities. In this post, I’ve put together a guide to some of the best hikes in Australia across 3 states, Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria. This list is my no means exhaustive but are these some of my favourite hikes in Australia.
The Best Hikes in Australia – Queensland
If you’ve followed my blog for a while now then you’ll know I kind of have a soft spot for Queensland. Home to the beautiful east coast of Australia and the state I called home for 7 months out of 12. Some of the best hikes in Australia are found in Queensland. We completed all of these hikes in winter, not summer. I do not advocate hiking in Queensland in the summer months. Unless you’re used to it of course. But coming from a much cooler, and wetter, British climate I am definitely not used to doing anything with a humidity of 90%! Even in winter, Queensland is hot. The average temperature in Queensland in winter is 24 degrees celsius in the day time.
Whichever of these hikes you decide to give a go make sure you go prepared. This goes for all the hikes in this post. Plenty of food, water, suncream and a hat is essential whilst hiking in Australia. I’d also take a first aid kit wherever you hike. Some tracks are quite rural and even though we never saw one, snakes do live in Australia. Make sure you’re prepared for all possibilities after all the Australian countryside can be unpredictable. I’d also recommend telling someone where you’re going, you know just in case!
This hike comes in at one of my favourites during our time in Australia. All of these hikes are brilliant but this one is extra special. Mount Ngungun is found deep in the hinterland of the Sunshine Coast. As you reach the summit the views of the Sunshine Coast are incredible. The countryside stretches for miles and in the distance, on a clear day, you can see the coast too.
This is a great hike for beginners in Australia. Though the walk to the summit is steep it’s fairly short with lots of rest areas along the way – you’ll want to stop to enjoy the view anyway. It’s also a great option if you’re solo hiking in Australia too as it doesn’t take long so no overnight planning or anything is required. Time-wise keep 2 hours minimum available for the hike up Mount Ngungun. In reality, it probably won’t take you that long especially if you’re an experienced hiker. Take a picnic and enjoy the panoramic views as you eat. I’m also told that this is a brilliant sunset hike too so if you’ve got a vehicle that’s also a great option. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to do this because of the train times back to the city which I’ll go over below.
Getting to the Glass House Mountains
The 70 km drive from Brisbane is straight forward around under one hour. It’s the same from the coast but the time depends on where about on the coast you are. The Glass House Mountains are 87 km from Noosa so it’s not much of a difference. There’s free parking at the base of the Mountains and it’s signposted once you reach the town.
Trains run from both the sunshine coast and Brisbane. The train runs hourly from Brisbane and is direct so no need to change. Take the green line from the city straight out to the Glass House Mountains. It does take 1.5 hours via the train but the hike and views along the way are totally worth it.
North Stradbroke Island is the perfect day trip from Brisbane. This island is popular with Aussie locals but often missed by travellers. That’s not a bad thing of course because this island is a beautiful quiet escape from the mainland. North Straddie is a haven for wildlife and marine life spotting which is one of the reasons I love the Gorge Walk. Again, we completed this walk in winter but it could easily be done in summer. This is definitely one of the easier walks on the list.
Short in distance with paved tracks all the way around dit’s accessible for everyone. There are a couple of steps and small inclines but you can definitely take a stroller if you carry it up a few of the steps. Though this walk would be easy in summer I still recommend it in winter. During June-November the humpback whales are making their migration from Antartica to Australia for the warmer waters and you undoubtedly be able to spot some from the Gorge Walk.
Pack a pair of binoculars and I’m sure you’ll see whales dancing in the distance. We were lucky enough to spot whales, dolphins and turtles during this walk. It truly is magical and shouldn’t be missed. There’s also plenty of kangaroos to be spotted on North Stradbroke Island too!
The Fraser Island Great Walk – Voted One of the Best Hikes in Australia
Fraser Island also known as K’Gari is an island that can only be described as paradise just off the Australian East Coast. It’ll most likely be quite high up on your Australian bucket-list and with good reason. Stunning beaches sweep the coastline, crystal clear lakes occupy so much of the land and the whole island is made up of 98% sand and 2% rock. Fraser Island is actually the biggest sand islands in the world and one of Australias UNESCO world heritage parks.
Distance: 90 km
Time: 5-7 days
Difficulty: Hard (long distance)
Advisories: Long distance, inclines, animals, take caution with planning and packing.
Tackling the Fraser Island Great Walk or Great Sandy Walk will be tough. At 90 km in total its hike only for those who enjoy hiking and taking their time doing so. But what a brilliant way to see the island. Take a week to just explore Fraser Island on your two feet and experience all that it has to offer. Planning is crucial when deciding to embark on this adventure as Fraser Island is full of all the dangerous creatures everyone fears down under, Dingos, poisonous snakes, spiders you name it they live on Fraser! Take a look at these guides/downloads available from the QLD government to plan your great walk on Fraser Island. I really recommend not doing this walk in the summertime as Fraser Island can get some serious heat and humidity but in winter it would be a fantastic experience.
Nestled in the wet tropics of Far North Queensland sits Mount Bartle Frere otherwise known as Australias highest mountain. For panoramic views across the rainforest and wet tropics then this hike will provide the goods but again a lot of planning is required. This hike is for the more experienced hiker who has embarked on similar excursions and is used to scrambling. There are different tracks to hike this towering beauty but the most direct by starting Josephine Falls. The distance from the falls is 15 km in total taking approximately 12 hours so it’s an early start kind of hiking day. As soon as that Queensland sun rises you want to have made tracks.
There is the option to camp overnight during this hike! You can find more information about the campsites and facilities on this website! This one is definitely one of the best hikes in Australia but also one of the hardest, plan well and enjoy hiking the highest mountain down under! The summit is usually only exposed 5-10% of the year so if you want those views to plan carefully, the rest of the time it’s hidden underneath the clouds.
Mount Coot Tha Brisbane
Time: 1-2 hours one way
Advisories: Steep incline to the summit
Mount Coot Tha is one of the best lookouts in Brisbane. The hike up to the summit is well worth enjoying. There is a bus which reaches the summit but where’s the fun in that. This is one of the most reward hikes in Brisbane when you reach the summit the views of the city are beautiful. On a clear day, you can also see North Stradbroke Island and Moreton Island in the distance, it really is beautiful. Mount Coot Tha is hands-down one of the best walks in Brisbane. If you’re an early riser then hike to the summit just before sunrise and watch the city wake up beneath you.
Some of the Best Hikes in New South Wales
Cape Byron Lighthouse Walk
The Undercliff Track – The Blue Mountains
Katoomba Falls – The Blue Mountains
National Pass – The Blue Mountains
Bondi-Coogee – Sydney
Rosey Bay to Watsons Bay – Sydney
Cape Byron Lighthouse Walk
Byron Bay is one of my favourite towns on the Australian east coast. It has something for every kind of traveller. Sunbathing, shopping, eating, walking, hiking, swimming, it has it all! This town has breathtaking views around every corner you turn. It’s also the home to the most easterly point on mainland Australia which can be found on the Cape Byron lighthouse walk. Cape Byron lighthouse overlooks the ocean and rest of the bay. It’s my favourite spot in the whole of Australia to watch dolphins playing in their home. During our time in Australia, we visited Byron a number of times during summer, winter and spring. Each visit we saw hundreds of dolphins from the lighthouse, it really is such a special place.
If you’ve been following my blog or mainly my Instagram stories for a while you’ll know that I love being outdoors and more specifically walking/hiking in search for wonderful places and spectacular views. Byron Bay is no different. Sure you can have a great time on the beaches and enjoying the endless amounts of cafes, bars and yoga studios. But there are plenty of walks too. The lighthouse is probably the most popular but it’s also probably the best!
Distance: 3.7 km
Time: 3 hours return (including photography time)
Advisories: Steep inclines and steps
If you cannot walk for whatever reason then you can drive up to the lighthouse to see the amazing views!
This walk winds in and out of the bushland, over cliff tops and past gorgeous secluded beaches. Keep looking up every now and again as Byron Bay is home to plenty of Koala’s high in the tree-tops! As you reach the summit look back on the bay in the distance whilst keeping your eyes on the ocean for those playful dolphins. The most easterly point in Australis is quite near the top so keep on climbing – you won’t miss it because everyone will be there waiting to get their photograph snapped in this iconic spot. The cafe at the top does a very nice ice cream which is a great treat after all that walking!
Wentworth – The Blue Mountains
The Blue Mountains National Park, a rugged landscape just a few hours west of Sydney. It’s a far cry from the madness that lies within the city. The Blue Mountains are a welcome getaway for those looking to reconnect with nature. We spent three days in the Blue Mountains during our time in Sydney and spend each day hiking our way in and out of the hills.
The next three walks listed in this post are all in the Blue Mountains but each one is so different. The Blue Mountains stretch for miles and miles so no two walks are the same. As well the unique landscape the Blue Mountains gets its name because of the haze that sits above the land. Especially on a foggy day, the air that covers the hills looks blue. It’s quite majestic and really hard to explain if you haven’t been and seen it for yourself.
The only downside to the Blue Mountains is that it’s quite built up. There are villages and towns right up to the edges of the park. Whilst it would be a stunning place to wake up each morning I often think it takes some of the authenticity of just being in the mountains away – but what do I know!
One of the main towns in the Blue Mountains is Wentworth with a population of 6,000. Wentworth Falls are worth a visit as it’s one of the most impressive waterfalls in the national park. The way they cascade down the mountains is mesmerising.
Undercliff Walk – Wentworth Falls
The Undercliff walk is a great walk to see the falls from a variety of different angles. I was so happy strolling in and out of the mountains as well as over and under the cliff tops. My camera was stuck firmly in my palm the whole day. Unlucky for them and me those photos will never get to see the light of day because just as I exported them onto my old laptop I got the blue screen of death. Every photo from the Blue Mountains was wiped! My heart was truly broken for a good few hours! You’ll just have to take my word that this track is beautiful with views across the range that you can only dream of.
Distance: 3.5 km return (with the option to merge onto another track)
Time: 1-2 hours (2-4 hours if you continue on)
Advisories: Steep inclines, exposed cliff edges.
Make sure you take plenty of food and water on this walk because you’ll probably continue onto the next track (can’t remember what that one is called/cannot find it online but we definitely continued on for at least another hour and this track looped back around the main carpark).
National Pass – Wentworth Falls
The national pass hikes cascades in and out of the mountains, up and down past Wentworth Falls and past an array of panoramic viewpoints. This walk is a little harder than the Undercliff Walk but it starts in the same place. Park at the main carpark for the Wentworth Falls lookout and follow the signs. Both walking tracks are clearly marked. In fact, all of the walks in the Blue Mountains are really well marked out so it’s easy to get around. Be mindful if you plan on hiking the National Pass as some sections are often closed for maintenance and closed in bad weather so always check beforehand. There’s minimal mobile reception throughout the Blue Mountains national park so a map is always handy to have.
Distance: 4.5 km return
Time: 2-4 hours
Advisories: Steep inclines, exposed cliffs, slippery walking surfaces due to spray from the waterfall
Katoomba Falls Round Walk – The Blue Mountains
Katoomba is another town in the Blue Mountains nestled in between Echo Point and Scenic World. Scenic World is where you can ride a cable car across the blue mountains. It looks like fun but not something that we pay for on our travels. For more information about Scenic World go here. Katoomba Falls is one of the great waterfalls in the Blue Mountains and though I personally didn’t find it as impressive it’s definitely very pretty. The waterfall surges down into the Jamison Valley for over 150 metres. The Katoomba Falls round walk is an easy 2 km walk that shows off Katoomba Falls from different vantage points. Sometimes I enjoy the easy visually pleasing walks just as much as I love the more exhilarating hikes.
Distance: 2 km
Time: 1 – 1.5 hours
Advisories: some slippery area but other than it’s a flat paved track throughout.
Bondi to Coogee – Sydney
Distance: 6 km
Time: 3 – 5 hours
Advisories: Inclines, cliff edges and a lot of stairs!
This post wouldn’t be complete without adding one of the most popular walks in the country, the Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk in Sydney. I’m often dubious when places are known to be touristy. I’m quite good at preparing my mind for what I might be presented with. A lot of people and cameras everywhere. The Bondi – Coogee walk was certainly no exception to the rule. Even in winter, this coastal walk is full of people, locals, tourists you name it they are there. But I have to be honest this doesn’t take away from the beauty of this walk one bit.
The coastline between these two popular Sydney suburbs is simply awe-inspiring. Views of the oceans, beaches at every turn, gorgeous views of the mainland honestly this will quickly become of the best hikes in Australia you do. I know it’s still one of my highlights from living in Sydney. I loved waking up on a weekend and enjoying this walk.
Beating the Crowds..
It is possible to beat the crowds by waking up very early and getting a head start of everyone else. The sun rises to the left of Bondi Beach and really is special first thing in a morning. There often aren’t many people around but you won’t be alone. Surfers start heading for the beach to catch the morning waves and the swim club has often beaten most of them to it. There’s yoga classes and fitness classes on Bondi Beach every morning. This famous walk begins at the Bondi Iceberg pool which you’ll not be able to miss and weaves in and out of the coastline passing, Tamarama, Bronte, Clovelly and Coogee. Each has their own beach unique from the rest.
My best advice for this walk is to plan to have a whole day if not at least 5 hours to enjoy the coast. Pack some swimmers and take a deep in the ocean at each suburb or just take a moment to sit on the beach and take it all in. It’s beautiful with so many scenic points you won’t feel like your moving anywhere half of the time! On arrival to Coogee enjoy a cold beverage from the Pavilion – the food there is pretty good too!
Rosey Bay to Watsons Bay
The second Sydney coastal walk I’m including in this post rounding up some of the best hikes in Australia comes on par with the Bondi to Coogee walk. It’s just as beautiful but at the other side of the city. The views along the way look onto the harbour rather than out into the abyss. What makes this walk special is the views of the Opera House and Harbour Bridge that are constantly in view.
Distance: 8 km one way
Time: 4-5 hours
Advisories: Long distance with some medium gradient hills.
At 8 km (one way) it’s not the shortest city walk but by far the best way to see both bays. I’d take a full day out for this walk to enjoy the beaches, cafes and lighthouses on the way. Starting in Rose Bay take the Hermitage Foreshore Track along the coastline. The best thing about this section of the walk is the secluded bays that line the shore. As you walk along the water with the iconic Sydney landmarks way in the distance strip off and take a dip in each of the bays. My favourite beach along the way is Milk Beach, the water is calm and the beach is so much quieter than the likes of Bondi or Manly. It’s perfect for a mid-walk swim.
Once you reach Watson’s bay there’s an array of restaurants, bars, ice-cream carts, beaches and ocean views. If your legs can carry you a little further then head to camp-cove beach for gorgeous water and yet more insane views of Sydney. Pass the beach and follow the track round to Watsons Bay Lighthouse where you can see all the way to Manly. There’s also a nude beach on the way round called Lady Bay Beach if you fancy.
The Grampians is my favourite national park in Australia. Get ready to immerse yourself in nature, adventure and the outdoors at The Grampians. Unlike the Blue Mountains, the Grampians isn’t half as built up and you can walk/drive miles without seeing another soul. It’s also nowhere near as touristy which makes it feel even more like an authentic bush experience! Though they may not be as many people you’ll be guaranteed to see some other native Australians. We walked amongst kangaroos, joeys, emus and koalas it was a surreal experience.
The Pinnacle hike is certainly one of the more exhilarating walks in the national park but it can also be completed in stages. The hikes starts in Halls Gap, also a great area to stay which I go into detail about here. And weaves in and out of the national park. Climb peaks tackle stairs and rock formations. Pass water-walls and wander of lots of bridges. It’s a unique hike with stunning views across Halls Gap and the rest of the park at the summit. Though I couldn’t recommend this hike more it certainly requires a certain level of fitness. The hike to the summit is long and steep with narrow passes and a lot of stairs. As I said you can do it in stages which you can find out more about here.
The Pinnacle Hike Facts
Distance: 9 km
Time: 6-7 hours return including breaks
Advisories: Up-hill the majority of the way, stairs and uneven surfaces throughout.
Mackenzie Falls Base Walk
As well as breath-taking views, inspiring hikes there are also some magnificent waterfalls and Mackenzie Falls is the one you want to see! It’s one mighty waterfall crashing against the land but somehow still manages to remain elegant. The hike to get to the waterfall is a breeze. Simply follow the steps and enjoy the leisurely stroll but don’t forget what goes down must come up! It’s a 2 km round trip but the walk to the base won’t take very long it’s the walk back up them that will take a little time with frequent stops if you’re anything like us!
Confession time! We actually haven’t walked The Great Ocean Road we, like most sensible people out there (or boring depending on how you look at it), drove it instead but you can walk if you wish. It isn’t for the fainthearted but it is rated as one of Australias best multi-day hikes. I can vouch that it would be a beautiful place to enjoy on two feet. The Great Ocean Road is beautiful despite being on foot or in a car you can’t escape the beauty. For those wanting to tackle the multiway hike, some experience of long-distance hiking will be necessary for the total distance is just over 100 km.
This hike takes 7 days to complete and booking for the hiker’s accommodation is required. This website has some really great information on this epic 7-day hike. You can, of course, tackle shorter parts of the walk which may be beneficial to those with little hiking experience. Though it will be tough what and adventure and immense achievement to conquer this hike. The Great Ocean is a beautiful spot enchanted by sea cliff formations, stunning bays and views out into the ocean. Check out my highlights here!
The Best Hikes in Australia Extra: Street Art Walk Melbourne City Centre
As much as I love hiking through awe-inspiring landscapes and along Australia’s beautiful coastline I also love a good urban walk. You simply cannot visit Melbourne without walking around the city centre enjoying the street art that the city has to offer. You can probably just walk aimlessly all day and you’d come across so many awesome murals.
There are various walking tours in Melbourne some of which are free so these can be cool to go on especially if you get a good guide who knows lots about the history! From Hosier Lane to ACDC there is some street art for everyone in Melbourne. We used this website to plan our walk and it was so helpful and lead us to some really interesting art that we otherwise wouldn’t have found. The great thing about a self-guided city walks Is that you can make them as long or as short as you like!
Sharing is Caring – A Guide to the Best Hikes in Australia
I hope you enjoyed this post about some of the best hikes in Australia. Walking is great way to explore a new country and it’s usually free which is also amazing. If you’re an avid hiker then make sure you check out my New Zealand posts as there will be lots of walking adventures in there! If you did enjoy this post I would be so grateful if you could share with your friends!