Journalism student at Charles Sturt University, follow me on twitter @AlenDelic
Published December 24th 2011
So you've put on a couple of extra kilos after all of that Christmas feasting; that sucks.
Now, you're looking for a way to take it off, but you don't want to dedicate what little time you have off to being stuck in a small, cramped, fluorescent prison surrounded by roided up intimidating bodybuilders.
There is a way to shed that Christmas weight while still enjoying the great outdoor Australian summer by taking advantage of the natural gems hidden around Sydney.
This is your guide to five of the most beautiful bushwalks scattered around the city – family friendly, cheap, can be done in a day and many have an absolutely breathtaking finish just to make it all worthwhile.
1. Heathcote to Karloo Pools This track begins just to the east of the train station in Heathcote, so it is easily accessible. It's one straight track, which will take you through some bushland, but at the end of which you'll pop up at the magnificent Karloo Pools.
The Karloo Pools are a set of lagoons surrounded by a natural amphitheatre of rock. The water is cold, there's shade to protect you from the sun and the hike isn't longer than half an hour each way. It's easy and relatively family friendly.
2. Bundeena Rd to Little Marley Beach The start of this track can be found as you drive towards Bundeena on Bundeena Rd; it's on the left side and it looks like a small carpark. Park your car, and then cross the road to find the start of the track.
At the halfway point is Deer Pool; a small lagoon and rest spot you can have a quick swim in and recover your energies. But a word of warning: don't dally for too long and get distracted by the pool, or else you won't make it to the beautiful Marley.
After another hour of trekking, and a few climbs and descents, you will reach the breathtaking Marley Beach, which is an unpatrolled beach surrounded by magnificent sand dunes and rarely any people.
It is recommended that you bring rations and water, because this track is a bit longer, and you still have to hike back at the end of the day. All in all, it should take the average walker around 2 hours each way and it's a perfect way to spend a summer day with your partner.
3. Cape Solander to Bailey Track
The next track is a bit of a simpler track. It begins at the end of Cape Solander, and it follows the track towards the lighthouse.
With breathtaking ocean views the entire way, the walk crosses a wide array of landscapes, from sand dunes to swamps and a lot of dense heath within the space of an hour.
On a clear day, there are even city views from some of the sand dunes. If you get tired, take a break at the halfway point of the Bailey Lighthouse and enjoy some of the best natural beauty Australia has to offer.
This is a must do walk, as it treks the headland on which Captain Cook first landed.It is not too hard on the body, and can be recommended for most people.