Day Trips : 3 Regional Parks to explore just 2 hours from Sydney

With the weather getting warmer, one of our favourite things to do on the weekend is to get out of the city and explore Sydney’s Regional Parks for inspiration, adventure and relaxation. The good news is that you only need a day to do that. We have featured the 3 best regional parks located just 2 hours from the City, make sure to take some notes and enjoy your trip!

1. Royal National Park

Established in 1879, it is considered one of the oldest national parks in the world. The natural scenery combines beaches with good waves, bushwalking trails, an ancient aboriginal heritage and rock pools.

Location

Between Bundeena in southern Sydney and Stanwell Park in northern Wollongong.

How to get there

  • By car: 1 h 4 min (35.9 km) drive via M1 and Princes Highway/A1. The park’s main entry points are along the Princes Highway.
  • By ferry: 30 min scenic ride from Cronulla to Bundeena for $6.60 AUD.
  • By tram: a vintage ride from the Sydney Tramway Museum (located in Loftus suburb) goes every Wednesday and Sunday for $6 AUD.

Things to do

  • Surfing, swimming and kayaking
    Visit the beautiful Garie Beach to surf or just relax, as this beach is patrolled by surf lifesavers in summer. The panorama from Garie North Head is breathtaking, so be sure to take your camera.
    The beach at Bundeena’s Bonnie Vale is a great swimming spot, as are Jibbon, Wattamolla and Little Marley beaches. Bundeena’s beach also offers kayaking tours into the park.
    If a freshwater swim is more your thing, try Karloo Pool, Deer Pool or Curracurrang.
  • Enjoy the rock pools
    One of the most popular sights of the park is the Figure 8 Pools. They are naturally formed eight-shaped rock pools where you can dive in during low tide times. However, make sure to be careful and be aware of strong and unexpected waves coming, always better to not go alone and check the swell before going.
  • Bushwalking and ancient rock engravings
    The Coastal Walk is one of the finest trails in the area, with a challenging total of 12km return. Forest path (4.4km return) and Karloo track (10km return) are shorter trails while enjoying breathtaking sceneries and waterfalls.
    Aboriginal rock engravings can be found at the Bonnie Vale campground and Jibbon Head walks.
  • Whale watching
    Between May and November at Governor Game lookout, near North Era campground, you can spot migrating humpback whales.

Facilities

  • Public toilets and showers
  • Picnic areas
  • Barbecue facilities
  • Cafes and kiosks
  • Drinking water available for the public

What to bring

Surfing equipment, snorkel, swimwear, camping gear, comfortable shoes, sunscreen, hat, insect repellent, camera, food and water.

Park entry fees

$12 per vehicle per day.

2. Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park

This large park is an excellent option for bushwalking, camping and fishing. It also is a heritage-listed park, with Aboriginal sites, eucalypts and gorgeous lookouts.

Location

North of Sydney, at Bobbin Head Rd, New South Wales.

How to get there

  • By car: 48 min (26.0 km) drive via M1 and Bobbin Head Rd.
    From Terrey Hills or Church Point: Enter the park from McCarrs Creek Road. This leads to Liberator General San Martin Drive, where you’ll find the picnic areas and facilities of Illawong Bay and Akuna Bay. It also gives access to West Head Road, West Head and The Basin.
    From Mt Colah/Asquith: Enter the park from Ku-ring-gai Chase Road, off the Pacific Highway. This gives you easy access to the large parking areas and picnic facilities at Bobbin Head and Appletree Bay.
    From Turramurra: Enter the park from Bobbin Head Road, at North Turramurra. This is a good route to Bobbin Head and Appletree Bay.
  • By public transport: visit NSW transport website here.
  • By ferry: from Palm Beach Wharf to the Basin campground for $8.20 AUD.

Things to do

  • Camping, fishing and swimming
    Bring your fishing gear and go camping at the Basin campground, with a large grassy area and inland lagoon. You might spot local swamp wallabies or kookaburras.
    Protecting a major part of northern Sydney’s waterways, Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park is the ideal place to make a splash. The park includes much of the Hawkesbury River, Pittwater and Cowan Water, plus numerous creeks and coves.
    The Empire Marina Bobbin Head offers small boats hire and fishing spots.
  • Bushwalking and Aboriginal heritage visiting
    Combining Resolute and West Head walking tracks, you’ll encounter historic rock engravings and art of the Guringai people. Within a 10 minute walk along the track, you will find the memorable Red Hands Cave.
    Another option is the Sphinx Memorial to Bobbin Head loop track, an Australian military historical (near North Turramurra).
  • Sea views
    The Barrenjoey Lighthouse stands at Barrenjoey Head at Palm Beach. It is an iconic Sydney attraction positioned 91 m above sea level, make sure to take your camera.
    Don’t miss the West Head lookout, regarded as one of Sydney’s best lookouts.

Facilities

  • Public toilets and showers
  • Picnic tables
  • Barbecue facilities
  • Cafes and kiosks
  • Drinking water available for the public

What to bring

Swimwear, fishing and camping gear, comfortable shoes, sunscreen, hat, insect repellent, camera, food and water.

Park entry fees

$12 per vehicle per day.

3. Bouddi National Park

Ideal for great walks, offers diverse landscapes, beaches and steep cliffs through to rainforest and heathland. Includes one of Australia’s first marine protected areas, significant wildlife and wildflowers.

Location

Near Gosford on the New South Wales Central Coast.

How to get there

  • By car: 1 h 43 min (101.7 km) drive via M1. When driving from Sydney:
    • Follow the F3 and take the Gosford exit
    • Follow the signs to Woy Woy, then Kincumber
    • Take Maitland Bay Drive, then Empire Bay Drive
    • Look for The Scenic Road at Killcare Heights and take Putty Beach Road
  • By public transport: visit NSW transport website here.

Things to do

  • Surfing, swimming, snorkelling and fishing
    First order of business is a surf in the ocean of Tallow Beach, Box Head or Little Beach, best spots for surfers and nature lovers. Taking a swim in the Tasman sea at Putty Beach is another great choice. Tallow beach, Putty beach and Little beach provide camping areas and several lovely walks. Lobster beach is a sheltered and calm beach, perfect to enjoy a refreshing swim and throw in a fishing line. Don’t forget to pack your snorkelling gear at both Lobster beach and Maitland Bay.
  • Coastal walks and whale watching
    The 8 km Bouddi coastal walk is known for its beaches, boardwalk and birdlife, considered one of the most beautiful Central Coasts walks. You can also break the long walk into shorter sections, such as Putty Beach to Maitland Bay (3 km), Maitland Bay to Little Beach (3.5 km) and Little Beach to MacMasters Beach (1.7 km).
    You might see migrating whales from Gerrin Point lookout.

Facilities

  • Public toilets and showers
  • Picnic tables
  • Barbecue facilities
  • Drinking water available for the public

What to bring

Surfing equipment, swimwear, snorkelling and camping gear, comfortable shoes, sunscreen, hat, insect repellent, camera, food and water.

Park entry fees

$8 per vehicle per day in the Putty Beach precinct.

Having a getaway into nature is one of the best ways to unwind the mind and connect with yourself. It is also an opportunity to explore, get to know new places and the history of special spots. Puravida can take you to some secret spots throughout the year, stay tuned in our social media channels and visit our website www.puravidastudy.com.au.

Avatar

Georgia Carajeleascov

Need to organise your student visa?

Contact Puravida Study for advice

enquire now