Winter is the time of year where Sydneysiders take a break from our beaches and huddle around dusty heaters pulled out from the basement. It is almost too easy to pack away your hiking boots as the days are too short and sleeping in seems like a much more tempting option. Don't give in to such temptation. Here's a selection of short walks around Sydney easily done in less than three hours, giving you plenty of time to sleep in and still make your way back home before sunset.
Blue Gum Walk – Hornsby (4 kilometres loop)
The Blue Gum Walk is easily accessible from Rosemead Road Park in Hornsby. Traversing through varying landscapes, this loop walk is for the adventurous at heart and (moderately) prepared as it involves a few river crossings and a wrong step in this chilly weather may mean wet boots for the rest of the way. The climb and descent should give you the workout and a good enough reason to reward yourself afterwards with a warm hot chocolate. Just beware of leeches.
Riverside Walk – Lane Cove National Park, Macquarie Park (5 kilometres one way)
For those looking for a more relaxed walk, the Riverside Walk located within Lane Cove National Park may be more suitable for you. Following the meandering Lane Cove River, the walks starts near Macquarie Shopping Centre and ends at Chatswood Park. This easy to follow trail takes you through various picnic areas as well as a boat shed, where families could hire boats and canoes and enjoy a quiet picnic. End your walk by exploring the old heritage cottages located near the wier.
Enjoy views of the Sydney harbour from south of the city, only blocked intermittently by docked yachts soaking up the evening sun. Start the walk from Bayview Hill Road, making your way through Milk Beach and end at Shark Beach. The houses you see on the way are not so bad to look at either.