Harbour View Hiking
One of the things I love most about Sydney is the ease with which you can jump on a ferry in almost any direction and in 15 minutes be knee deep in the Sydney Harbour National Park, surrounded by wildlife. Sydney Harbour National Park is one of my favorites to hike through because just about all their walks are by the water. (Also because once you're finished you're never too far from a waterfront pub).
I will write more about other hiking tracks they offer in articles to come, but for today I'll tell you about one of the shorter, but just as beautiful walks. The Bradleys Head to Chowder Bay walk is accessed by ferry from Circular Quay to Taronga Zoo. Of course, you can also do the walk in reverse.
It's worth noting there is no parking at Taronga Zoo Wharf, however there is parking at Clifton Gardens about halfway through the hike, and also at Chowder Bay. Parking at Bradleys Head within the National Park is $8 per day, however the Park gates will close at sunset.
From Taronga Zoo the hike is about 4kms and follows an easy walking track right next to the Harbour almost the entire way.
As well as hosting gorgeous Harbour Bridge and Opera House views, you will find more than a few secret swimming spots along the way, this one below is at Taylors Bay. Unfortunately I was not adequately prepared for such finds but I certainly recommenced you be.
Although I lucked out on the swimming, I did manage to time my walk in the afternoon perfectly to catch a stunning sunset. Even though I'd say the walk itself is only about an hour and a half, if you're like me and stop to photograph and explore every little offtrack, give yourself a few hours. The walk finishes up at Chowder Bay where I got to just in time for this stunning view. There is a beautiful restaurant here called Ripples which is a stunning spot to enjoy a bubbly sunset beverage. (Exercise rewards right?)
From here you can grab the 244 bus from Chowder Bay Road back to the city, but beware, the last bus on a weekend is at 6.30pm, which I did not take note of and the 25 minute walk to Military Road was not what I'd hoped to add to the days agenda.
The Taronga Zoo ferry departs Circular Quay every 20 minutes daily
Parking at Clifton Gardens and Chowder Bay is paid parking at $4 per hour
Dogs are not permitted in the National Park