Top 7 Reasons to Walk Sydney in Spring

Walking Sydney in spring is one of the best times to get outside and enjoy the great outdoors. From September to November, the weather starts to warm up, making it the perfect temperature to walk amongst wildflowers, spot whales and simply breathe in the fresh spring air.

Whether you’re seeking a relaxed stroll amongst Sydney’s blooming jacarandas or keen for an adventurous day hike along one of the many coastal tracks, Sydney caters for all types of walkers, young and old.

So, what are you waiting for? Shake off those winter blues, lace up your boots and gather your friends are family to spend the weekend walking throughout the three glorious months of spring.

Need further convincing? Read on for my seven reasons why you should be walking Sydney in spring.

1. The weather is starting to warm up

Arguably one of the best times to go walking, Sydney’s springtime temperatures are pleasant, with the mercury starting to rise. Trade winter jackets for thin jumpers in the mornings and by lunchtime you’ll probably be comfortable in just shorts and t-shirts. If you’re anything like me, you’ll want to do as much walking as possible in spring before the scorching summer heat sets in and the sweat begins to pour. Don’t forget your hat and sunscreen though, along with swimmers to go for a dip in the cool ocean if you’re walking past those secluded sandy beaches.

2. It’s whale-watching season

Eager to see humpback whales or southern right whales? The good news is that whale watching season runs between May and November, giving you plenty of time to spot them. Head to the coast and hike along one of Sydney’s many fantastic coastal walks to spot these majestic mammals with their calves as they make their way back down south. My favourite spots to watch migrating whales include Cape Solander in Kamay Botany Bay National Park, along the Coast Track in the Royal National Park, Barrenjoey Lighthouse in Palm Beach and Fairfax Lookout at North Head, Manly. Don’t forget to bring your binoculars for an even closer view and download the free app ‘Wild About Whales’ for real-time notifications of sightings. If you’re lucky, you may even spot minke whales, orcas, blue whales or even a pod of playful dolphins.

Kurnell Kamay Botany Bay National Park walk

Views from Barrenjoey Lighthouse Palm Beach

3. Wildflowers starting to bloom

Whether you’re a green-fingered gardener or just love flowers, spring is one of the best times to spot Sydney’s wildflowers in full bloom. Brightening up the bushland with their vibrant colours and floral fragrance, Sydney’s National Parks are home to hundreds of species. Some of my favourites to spot include Grevillea (pink, red, orange and yellow), Wattle (Acacia), Coral Heath (Epacris microphylla), Healthy Parrot Pea (Dillwynia retorta) and the Flannel Flower (Actinotus helianthin).

4. The days are getting longer and brighter

With the days slowly getting longer and brighter, this means you have more time to get outside and enjoy longer walks and make the most of the sunshine. In Sydney, Daylight Saving Time begins on the first Sunday in October, so now is the perfect time to enjoy an early morning walk, stop for a pub lunch en route or finish with drinks and dinner at a waterfront restaurant as you watch the golden hues or dusky pinks of the setting sun. Longer walks you might enjoy include the 26km one-way Coast Track in the Royal National Park (best done over two days), hike along part of the 80km Bondi to Manly trail or set off along a section of the Great North Walk through Lane Cove National Park.

Healthy Parrot Pea in spring

Walking Sydney in Spring sunset

5. Bathe in the purple rain of Sydney’s Jacarandas

Late October to November marks Sydney’s jacaranda season, transforming this harbour city into a blissful purple haze. As one of my favourite trees in blossom, I love to surround myself with the pretty purple-blue blossoms, with its colours making the perfect backdrop to any photo. As a sub-tropical tree native to south-central South America, there are many parts of Sydney that you can stroll past these towering purple giants. Sydney’s Eastern suburbs are notorious for their jacaranda trees so be sure to head to Paddington’s backstreets for a suburban insta-worthy photo. Equally, Sydney’s Lower North Shore puts on jacaranda displays just as spectacular, particularly along the leafy streets of Kirribilli like McDougall Street, which at certain times of the season creates a pretty blooming arch, with petals falling above your heads like confetti thrown at a wedding. You can also pass through Sydney City and see the explosion of lilac through the Royal Botanic Gardens, the Rocks and Circular Quay. Just don’t forget to bring your camera to capture the magic!

6. Birdwatching season

Spring means breeding and nesting season for Sydney’s brilliant birdlife and there are plenty of birding hotspots to enjoy during a walk. Sydney Olympic Park is home to more than 200 native bird species which attracts plenty of waterbirds. Look for White-bellied Sea-Eagles, Black-shouldered Kite, Nankeen Kestrel as well as the Mangrove Greygone, Black-winged Stilts and Red-rumped Parrot. Popular spots include The Brickpit, Wentworth Common, Haslams Pier, Badu Mangroves and Lake Belvedere. You can also take a walk through Sydney Harbour National Park from Bradleys Head to Chowder Bay and spot bird species such as the Superb Fairy Wrens, Silvereyes and White-browed Scrubwrens, along with the Brush Turkeys, Pied Currawongs and Rainbow Lorikeets.

Jacaranda Trees Tim Cooper

Image Credit: Tim Cooper

Cormorants Lane Cove National Park spring walk

7. Reptiles begin to emerge

After their long winter sleep, reptiles like lizards, geckos, skinks, water dragons and snakes begin to wake in search of food and bask in the warming rays of sunshine. You will often spot lizards and water dragons sunning themselves on flat rocks, concrete and sand. Look out for the eastern brown snake, red-belly snake, diamond pythons, copperhead and tiger snakes. If you do spot a snake, quietly and slowly back away until you’re out of their sight and walk in the other direction. Personally, I have never seen a snake whilst out walking in Sydney but always try to stamp your feet hard as you walk, especially in an area that might have snakes, so that they can hear you coming and slither away.

Top 3 Sydney springtime walks

Ready to start walking? Here are just three of my favourite Sydney springtime walks to get you started.

1. Bradleys Head to Chowder Bay

4km one-way | Easy

Arguably one of the best walks in Sydney Harbour National Park, Bradleys Head to Chowder Bay has it all – spectacular views of Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House, secluded beaches, historic military relics and diverse flora and fauna. Watch the ferries glide past at Bradleys Head Amphitheatre, admire the ancient Angophoras (also commonly known as Sydney red gum, rusty gum or smooth-barked apple) and spot the energetic New Holland Honeyeater up in the trees.

Begin your walk from Taronga Ferry Wharf and extend your walk to Georges Head for more military relics and breathtaking harbour views.

2. Spit Bridge to Manly (extend to North Head)

10km/20km – Easy-Moderate

The Spit Bridge to Manly coastal walk is one of Sydney’s most loved walks and it’s easy to see why. Glorious harbour views, dazzling displays of native flora, secluded beaches, picturesque bays, Aboriginal engravings, lush temperate rainforest settings, bushland reserves and rock pools.

Start early to beat the crowds, with plenty of time left in the day to extend your walk to Manly North Head to complete the full 20km Manly Scenic Walkway. From North Head, you will be rewarded with spectacular harbour views from the Fairfax Lookout and if you’re lucky, you may even spot migrating whales.

3. Barrenjoey Lighthouse Wak

3km return | Moderate – steep in section with some uneven natural stone steps

Positioned at Sydney’s most northern point – Barrenjoey Head at Palm Beach, Barrenjoey Lighthouse is one of Sydney’s top lighthouses, built in 1881. To reach the lighthouse, you can take one of two tracks, the slightly longer, but gentler Access Trail or the shorter, but steeper Smugglers Track.

If you’re fit and can manage steps, I recommend taking the Smugglers Track route up to the lighthouse and take the Access Trail down. Halfway up the Smugglers Track, you will be greeted by fantastic views overlooking Palm Beach and there are plenty of places to catch your breath. Once at the top, explore Barrenjoey Lighthouse and keepers’ cottages. Don’t forget to bring your binoculars to spot whales and camera for that renowned photo of Broken Bay to the right and Palm Beach to the left.

Looking for more Sydney walking inspiration?

For more great Sydney walk ideas, view my latest Sydney walking blogs.