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One of the most breathtaking cities in the world, it’s not hard to find zen in and around Sydney. Mindfulness is enjoying a second wave of popularity in this city right now and there are so many meditative spots to choose from, you’ll feel spoilt for choice. And the sunshine doesn’t hurt either…
Be it choosing a spot by the Opera House to sit and watch the boats come in, or roaming along one of the incredible coastal walks, you’ll wind down and reconnect here quicker than in any other city. Why? It’s just a Sydney thing.
You can walk, run and ride the main loop at Centennial Park. It’s a great, wide 4km paved flat track around beautiful parklands, near the heart of the city. We think the outer dirt track is the real winner (about 6km) as it feels like you’re running through lots of different terrain and are far from city life. There are plenty of water stops and facilities, so it’s an easy place to run. It’s pretty popular but never feels crowded. You can also go horse riding from Moore Park Stables and bike rental is available and quite affordable.
There’s also a little fitness station near the Paddington gates if you want to get some chin-ups in after your run and, as with all Australian parks, there’s ample places for picnics, BBQs and family outings.
Centennial Park hosts events such as the Moonlight Cinema (films screened outdoors) during the summer months and we’ve often felt that it’s one of our favourite places in Sydney, even over the beaches. It’s like having the best of the outdoors right in the heart of the city and it’s even referred to as Sydney’s Hyde Park but with WAY better weather.
This is a gem, unknown to most Sydney-siders but known by anyone who actually grew up in Sydney. It’s probably one of the most southern parts of what is still considered Sydney and is a lovely secret paradise in the national park – and a manageable little day trip getaway. It does require driving into and obtaining a pass from the National Park though to be allowed to drive and park.
Once you’re in the National Park, the drive itself is lovely and there are options to head in other directions to campgrounds and other park sites. Wattamulla itself is like a watering hole that meets a small beach. It is not supervised but the ocean is sheltered so it’s safe to swim in. There are BBQ facilities and a huge (and we mean HUGE) rock jump with makes for a truly frightening jump that only small kids and the very gutsy are brave enough to jump off! It’s not completely quiet and secluded but go on the right weekday and you’ll have it to yourself. It’s busy at weekends but still has a really lovely family vibe.
Make the most of the calm waters of the lagoon for snorkelling and swimming. Unpack a picnic under the shade of the cabbage tree palms and do some serious unwinding, or head to the beach for a spot of fishing. A great getaway.
Coastal Walks / Bushwalking
Sydney city and the surrounding countryside are spectacular with very diverse scenery, from bush land, to tall forests and coastal cliffs. It’s amazing where you can get to in less than two hours. You feel true serenity, at one with nature, yet challenged enough if you indulge in some hiking up and down trails.
Walks we love……
- BONDI TO COOGEE
- SPIT BRIDGE TO MANLY THROUGH SYDNEY HARBOUR NATIONAL PARK
- MIDDLE HEADS TO TARONGA ZOO
- MANLY HEAD
Out of Sydney
Royal National Park
South of Sydney (an hour or so driving) is the Royal National Park. The Bundeena to Oxford walk is particularly spectacular. Often done as an overnight hike, it’s do-able as a day trip if you’re keen (about 30km).
A trip to this part of the world isn’t complete without a trip to the Blue Mountains. The Blue Mountains bush walks are easy to get to and utterly amazing. This can be a day trip, or a full weekend.
There is a great but short walk from Palm Beach to the lighthouse and back. It’s maybe 30 minutes to get up there, so you can finish it off with a swim. Or if you’re keen, the Pittwater side of Palm Beach is a great place to paddle/sail/whatever takes your fancy. Sailing and boating on Pittwater is really popular.
Canyoning & Caving
There are so many interesting rock formations around Sydney. If you’re really into adventure sports, then there is plenty to occupy you! Here are some we really rate:
Jenolan Caves (3 hours west of Sydney)
Blue Mountains (1.5 hours west of Sydney)
Southern Highlands(1.5 hours west of Sydney)
This yoga, meditation and eco retreat is just 45 minutes away from the CBD in Sydney. Their vision was to create a space for people to reconnect to themselves, to others and to the nature around them. They do day retreats which make for perfect mini breaks.
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