NSW has an astonishing array of national parks and reserves – a whopping 877 of them, ranging from rainforest to mountains, coastal parks and desert. With so many parks and walking trails within them, there's a huge variety of day hikes to choose from. So exactly which day hike is the best?
The Blue Mountains seems as good a place as any to start the search. The park's not too far from Sydney and it's jam-packed with imposing sandstone cliffs and gorges - as well as gobsmacking views. It's no wonder this place is classified as a World Heritage Site. There's an absolute multitude of walking trails and the park even has an annual festival of walking.
If you prefer coastal walks, there's the aptly named Great Coastal Walk with amazing views of the sea. OK, at 100km, it's hardly a day hike, but as Nick Bendel explains, this is a walk that can easily be broken down into manageable chunks that fit into day trips. For my money, it's hard to beat a walk by the coast, especially with a few sit-downs and some quality wave-watching.
Also worth considering, and pretty much on Sydney's doorstep, is the forested Berowra Valley Regional Park with the Bluegum Walk around Joe's Mountain easily achievable in a day.
And if you have time to venture further afield, there are classic mountain walks in Kosciuszko National Park . This park has alpine and sub-alpine areas containing plants found nowhere else in the world. It's also home to the rare mountain pygmy possum and corroboree frog. And, how about this? Within a day hike, you can climb Australia's highest mountain The mountain? Uh, well, that would be Mt Kosciuszko...
The Spit to Manly Walk is one of my favorites, catch the bus from Wynyard and get off at The Spit. Then its a lovely 9 kms walk following the foreshore to Manly Wharf. Before heading home have a great pub lunch at the Ivanhoe or others nearby. We use the family funday pass on Sundays using public transport. This makes the day very affordable and lots of fun.