A selection of National Park walks in New South Wales
Winter days in Australia bring temperatures in the late teens to mid-20s and when it is also a dry day it is perfect weather to go on a hike. With 870 National Parks to choose from in NSW there is no excuse not to.
Chasing Waterfalls: Cascade Trail (Garigal National Park)
The quickest way (on foot) between St. Ives and French’s Forest is to cut through Garigal National Park via the Cascades Trail – 3.6kms of bushland in the heart of North Sydney.
This fire trail allows you to mirror the Middle Harbour Creek as you go in seach of waterfalls and rockpools at the junction with the French’s creek.
We got the T1 Northern Line Train to Pymble and hopped on a connecting bus to St. Ives and Acron Oval to begin our hike in the park.
The word Garigal is a derivation of the word Carigal used to describe the indigenous people who lived in Gurungai Country.
The track was pretty steep going down to the Cascades themselves and closed in but as soon as you made it down to the creek everything opened up and we found a good spot for a picnic at the water’s edge in amongst the ferns and banksia trees.
Once we made the steep climb up to Stone Parade and had vacated the Park we had a couple of kilometres walk to Glen St to catch a bus back to the city.
Taking in the sea breeze : Bouddi National Park
We had popped up to Kilcare on the Central Coast and were staying near a National Park that boasted an amazing coastal walk. So we had to walk it!
Our goal was to walk the 14/15 km route to MacMasters Beach and that began with the Maitland Bay Track.
But first we made a stop at the Marie Byles Lookout. Named after an avid outdoor exponent and NSW’s first practising female solicitor – this lookout gives a fantastic view of Sydney from the North – taking in Palm Beach Lighthouse, Kuring-gai National Park and the CBD in the very far distance.
The track itself begins at the Maitland Bay Information Centre and was a steep climb down steps and a gravel path to reach the Bay. A curved sandy beach awaited us. The bay is named after a shipwreck – the PSS Maitland, an iron paddlesteamer built by McCulloch, Patterson & Co, Port Glasgow, that sunk there in 1898 during a storm.
From there we continued over the headland, past Cave Gully and down to Little Beach and it’s campground. The walk was hard going at time, being a Grade 3 Hike there were plenty of steps. The last couple of kilometers involved walking along a fire trail before finishing up at Macmasters Beach where we got a coffee and a well needed sit down. The beach is named after Allan Macmaster, one of the first landowners in the region in the 1850s who came from Scotland (another Scottish connection!).
We got a lift back to Kilcare and since it was a great evening we enjoyed a sunset picnic at the foreshore park overlooking Hardys Bay.