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09 Dec 2019 14:20:03
From awe-inspiring mountains to cute native animals, there’s no shortage of natural attractions in Sydney. Discover the best nature places around Sydney, with our list, compiled by local nature-lovers.
Sydney and surrounds are home to lots of wildlife, but often, you only see it from a distance. The whole concept of WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo is getting up close, so you'll be seeing the more detailed side of our cutest critters. This is the home of the Aussie Big 5: koala, kangaroo, crocodile, wombat and platypus. The platypus, in particular, is one animal you're unlikely to see in the wild, so take this opportunity to check out one of nature's strangest and most amazing creatures! Keepers host talks each day, to give you incredible insights into Australia's animals and birds. You can also book in for Breakfast with Koalas. Don't worry – gum leaves aren’t on your menu, just the Koalas! And it's all within an easy walk from the city.
On a clear day, the view from Echo Point goes on forever. Take a walk along at least one of the tracks, because if you haven’t walked in the Blue Mountains, you haven’t really been. More adventurous walks are also available, with multi-day hikes and canyoning adventures. Check-in with the National Parks office or tourist centre first, because it’s surprisingly easy to get lost, even on a short stroll. Go and see the ‘tourist’ highlights, like the Three Sisters, because they’ll take your breath away. Into wild swimming? Enjoy a dip in Jellybean Pool near Glenbrook, or the lake near Wentworth Falls. The Great Western Highway is your main route for getting up and over the range, but the Bells Line of Road also has treats in store, including the stunning Botanic Gardens at Mount Tomah.
Modern City, Ancient Landscape
Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park is rich in indigenous heritage, with handprints and carvings visible in several locations throughout the park. The landscape is a mix of scrubby ridge-tops and deep saltwater river valleys. Bobbin Head is popular for picnics, and features the historic Bobbin Inn, a gorgeous example of art deco architecture. The quiet waters are perfect for paddling; BYO kayak, or hire a boat. Be aware – you might not have mobile phone reception in the valley.
Illawarra Fly Treetop Adventures is situated on the escarpment at the edge of the Southern Highlands region, with views down to the coast. The views get even better when you’re flying like a bird through the trees! Strap in for ziplining at this popular family attraction, and give the kids an experience they won’t forget. For something extra special, book a Treetop Walk sunrise tour. The walkway takes you high above the ground, where you’ll be the first to see the sun peek above the ancient rainforest below. There’s also a new Gruffalo Spotters Trail. Don’t forget to stop in at the Minnamurra Rainforest Centre and see the pretty-as-all-heck Minnamurra Falls.
While you’re out there exploring the natural attractions of Sydney and surrounds, remember the most important rule of the bush: take only photos, leave only footprints.