5 Kid-Friendly Hikes: NSW, Australia
There is a lot of fun to be had with your pint-sized adventurers.
We put the call out to our community of Aussie women, over 2-thousand strong, to find out their favourite kid-friendly hikes in New South Wales.
MADDENS FALLS, Dharawal National Park
This short and easy walk to a lookout over Madden Falls will have your children ooh’ing and aah’ing.
The walk is a combination of dirt path and boardwalk through heathland and swamp; the variety keeps big and little ones interested!
There is an abundance of flora and fauna to be observed here. Tread softly to increase chances of spotting a tree frog or bring a pair of binoculars, look up and watch out for the local birdlife.
Visit in spring to see the native flowers at the height of their bloom or in April to see the waterfall at its fullest.
Start point: Turn right onto Darkes Forest Road and continue along for 2.5km to Maddens Falls carpark
Time: 45-minute return journey
Attention big kids! Did you know you can make your way to the base of the falls? Read more via We Are Explorers.
CAPE SOLANDER, Kamay Botany Bay National Park
Drive right up to Cape Solander in June and July to catch humpback whales, known to swim as close as 200 metres to the coast, as they migrate to warmer waters. This is one of Sydney’s best whale watching spots.
Keep on exploring this beautiful corner of Sydney by following the Cape Baily Track. This is a longer walk of 7.4 kilometres in total, that winds along the coast with ocean views the entire way.
Start point: you can get onto this walk from Cape Solander
Time: 2.5 hour return journey
There is a much shorter option at the northern end of the National Park as well. The 1.2 kilometre Burrawang walk starts from the Visitor Centre and will be a great learning experience for the children; the walk includes a soundscape telling the story of the first meeting between European and Aboriginal culture as well as several historic sites.
Start point: Kurnell Visitor Centre
Time: ~ 30 minute return journey
FLINT AND STEEL TRACK, Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park
This is the perfect summertime adventure. It’s only a 1-kilometre walk from the carpark to the beach but a little bit of terrain adds some challenge. Spot the cabbage tree or fan palm which is one of the tallest Aussie native plants. Let the kids figure out what animal Lion Island looks like - obviously, don’t tell them the dead-giveaway-name! The reward is a secluded stretch of sand at the end with lots of rock pools and formations to explore and even fishing opportunities.
Start point: along West Head Road, there is a signposted carpark for the Flint and Steel track
Time: ~1 hour return journey…not including play time!
PRINCE HENRY CLIFF WALK, Blue Mountains National Park
This track is possibly your biggest bang for buck in the Blueys, boasting over 20 lookouts with mountain and waterfall views.
If you start at Echo Point, tell your kids the Dreamtime story of the Three Sisters; three girls from the Katoomba tribe who fell in love with three boys from the neighbouring Nepean tribe. A battle ensued when they ran away together to be wedded. A witchdoctor from the girls’ tribe turned them into rock to keep them safe…but he was killed during the fight and so the sisters remain as these beautiful sandstone structures overlooking the Jamison Valley.
Start point: Echo Point, Katoomba or Leura
Time: this walk is 7-kilometre one-way and takes 3-4 hours to complete but you can obviously start + stop at any point! There are short up and downhill sections.
Doing the Eagle Rock
WATTAMOLLA TO EAGLE ROCK, Royal National Park
Wattamolla is no secret but for good reason! The beach here is beautiful and there are additional creeks and lagoons to splash about in. There is a grassy and shaded area, picnic shelters, BBQ facilities and toilets.
But the magic lies in leaving Wattamolla!
Head south along the Coast Track to Eagle Rock and Curracurrong Falls. If the rock formation and the tumbling waterfall aren’t enough for the kids to marvel at, see if they can spot some seals down below (or whales in the right season!). Or look up and scan the skies for sea eagles and ospreys. It’s also possible to clamber around the cliffs here but obviously, take care.
Start point: Wattamolla picnic area
Time: the walk from the picnic area to Eagle Rock and back is a 7.4 kilometre return journey, taking ~3 hours
BONUS: Camp out
LITTLE BEACH, Bouddi National Park
Take it up a notch and introduce the little ones to camping at Little Beach, near Gosford. Only 750 metres from the carpark, this small campground of only six sites is practically on the sand. The trail itself is gravel with some short uphill sections so it will have the children feeling like they’re on a mini-expedition! Once arrived, let them run wild exploring the cove. Bring the fishing rod and the hiking shoes too; Little Beach is along the Bouddi Coastal Walk.
Start point: turn left onto Grahame Drive, off The Scenic Road, and follow to the end until you reach the carpark.