We are truly blessed in Sydney with some amazing places to explore, and let’s be honest, kids are the best explorers of them all. But it can hard to determine which bushwalking tracks are suited for kids, and which ones will end with you giving them a piggyback! To help you out, we have put together a round-up of the best child-friendly bushwalks on the North Shore. Happy trekking!
Use these quicklinks to skip to a bushwalk near you! Have fun searching through our list of the best child-friendly bushwalks on the North Shore:
- Cremorne Point Foreshore Walk
- Sailors Bay Walking Track, Northbridge
- Berry Island Reserve, Wollstonecraft
- Fairylands Track, Lane Cove National Park
- Little Bluegum Creek Track, Lindfield
- Little Digger Track, East Lindfield
- Sheldon Forest Walking Track, Pymble
- Wildflower Gardens, St Ives
- Lisgar Gardens, Hornsby
- Crosslands Reserve, Hornsby
- Mambara Track, Pennant Hills
- Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park
- Manly Dam Nature Walk
- Allenby Park, Brookvale
- Irrawong Waterfall, North Narrabeen
1. Cremorne Point Foreshore
This is one of the longer walks, but it does come with spectacular views and is pram friendly to make it easier on those smaller legs. It will take about 1 hour and 15 minutes all up, winding through gardens and native bushland. The great part is, you can stop along the way at lookouts or swim spots to keep kids engaged. In the warmer months they can enjoy a swim in Maccallum Pool and there are plenty of parks along the way as well.
Where: The Palisade, Northbridge
Trail length: 2.7 km return
2. Sailors Bay Walking Track, Northbridge
The Sailors Bay Walking Track is tucked away in Northbridge and is a great one for the older kids. It is relatively easy, but there are stairs involved, which means no prams for this one. The track reveals a hidden waterfall and beautiful sandstone rock formations. It’s about a 40 minute walk and takes you in a loop.
Where: The Palisade, Northbridge
Trail length: 1.5km return
3. Berry Island Reserve, Wollstonecraft
This 800 metre walk is right in the thick of the bush and is just perfect for little legs. Known as the Gadyan Track, it loops its way around Berry Island with lots of signs along the way, so there is no risk of getting lost. It will only take you about 30 minutes all up, and there is plenty to spot and see along the way.
Where: Shirley Road, Wollstonecraft
Trail length: 800 metres return
4. Fairylands Track, Lane Cove
This is one of the best child-friendly bushwalks on the North Shore. it’s is a nice short walk in the heart of Lane Cove that makes for the perfect picnic day out. It follows a section of the Great North Walk along the Lane Cove River to an old picnic ground known as Fairylands Pleasure Ground. The walk is just 980 metres return, with some amazing river views as you go.
Where: River Avenue, Lane Cove
Trail length: 980 metres return
5. Little Bluegum Creek Track, Lindfield
Little Blue Gum Creek Track is a very short 200 metre trail through a rainforest in Lindfield. It is the perfect track for all ages and abilities, and you can even take a pram. There is a boardwalk for pram and wheelchair access, so you can enjoy a snippet of the rainforest with kids of all ages.
Where: Lindfield, NSW
Trail length: 200m one way
6. Little Digger Track, East Lindfield
This is a slight more difficult walk for the younger kids and is 2.2km just one way. it takes you through several reserves and past a number of small waterfalls along Moore Creek. Kids can enjoy rock pools, big Red Gums, ferns, and have fun spotting some of the animals, including the owl, Water Drago, possums and frogs.
Where: Carnarvon Road, East Lindfield
Trail length: 2.2km one way
7. Sheldon Forest Walking Track, Pymble
This track takes you deep into the bushland of Sheldon Forest, taken you down slopes and down to the creek. It’s a longer walk and takes about 50 minutes just one way, so may be better for older legs. The forest is one of the few remaining pieces of the Blue Gum high forest in the Sydney Basin, and is supported by community bushcare programs.
Where: Warragal Road, Turramurra
Trail length: 1.7km one way
8. Lisgar Gardens, Hornsby
This is a beautiful garden in Hornsby, with a number of gorgeous flowers to be enjoyed. This spot is extremely popular for weddings, but there is plenty to explore as well. It has three waterfalls, picnic tables and a great rainforest walk. It’s a very simple walking trail that is so hidden away, you won’t believe you are still in the middle of Hornsby. Pack a picnic and take your time, checking out the ponds on the way.
Where: Lisgar Road
9. Wildflower Gardens, St Ives
There are so many walking tracks to discover in Wildflower Gardens, you might have to plan a couple of visits to check them all out. From paths that have no steps, to mini adventure tracks and bigger wilderness paths, you can pick the trail best suited to your kids and get exploring. The shortest trails, Caley Track and Banks Track, starts at just 200m and is only 5 minutes long. You can work your way up with The Senses Track, Smith Track and Bentham Track, which are about 400m and take 10 to 15 minutes. Then for the keen bush walkers, you can take on the Solander Trail, which is 2km and takes about 40 minutes, or the Mueller Track, which is 4km and takes about 1.5 to 2 hours.
Where: 420 Mona Vale Rd, St. Ives NSW 2075
Trail length: From 200m to 2km
10. Crosslands Reserve, Hornsby
There is some stunning bushland waiting to be explored at Crosslands Reserve. The easy-to-access trail has some gorgeous views along the Berowra Creek foreshore. You can make a day of it with picnic facilities, play equipment and bike tracks. You can choose from a short 1km trail to the viewing platform and back, or head all the way to Calna Creek in a 4km round trip.
Where: Somerville Road, Hornsby Heights
Trail length: 1km or 4km
11. Mambara Track, Pennant Hills
If you have young kids with you, this track is just perfect. The Mambara Track is a short 20-minute walk at just 717 metres and is accessible to everyone. Whether you are looking to introduce kids to the bush, or after something nice and easy, there is a concrete path you can follow, with lots of information about the bush you are walking in. The best part? Even prams can come on this one!
Where: Pennant Hills Park
Trail length: 717 metres
12. Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park
This park is HUGE! And as you can imagine, there is quite a few different tracks to make your way around. There’s coastline, bushland and rainforest to explore, and a number of the tracks are very kid-friendly. One of our North Shore Mums took her kids (aged 8 and 9) to check them out. For a full run down on the different trails and what they are like for kids, read our article here.
Where: Bobbin Head Road, NSW
Trail length: a few different trails to try, starting at just 1km.
13. Manly Dam Nature Walk
Of all the child-friendly bushwalks on the North Shore, this one is a gorgeous walk, with flat, easy trails that are perfect for kids. In Summer, you can pack those swimmers at stop at the dam to cool off, and turn your adventure into a day trip with the kids. There are more than 300 plant species in the park, so take your time and you can quite literally stop and smell the flowers. If you do the full Manly Dam Circuit walk, it is 7.3km and will take you about three hours. For something a bit easier, this nature walk is 3.2km return and will take you about an hour and a half. If you break it up with a picnic, it could be quite doable with kids.
Where: 112 King St, Manly Vale NSW 2093
Trail length: 3.2km
14. Allenby Park, Brookvale
This is one of those best kept secrets just waiting to be discovered. The walk itself is a bit trickier than some of the others, so expect some big steps and rougher terrain, but you will also be able to enjoy gorgeous waterfalls, mossy boulders and panoramic views of the coast. The walk itself takes from 30 minutes to an hour.
Where: 15 Clearview Place, Brookvale
Trail length: 30 minutes to an hour
15. Irrawong Waterfall, North Narrabeen
This is a great track for little legs that only takes about 20 minutes – it’s one of the best child-friendly bushwalks north shore. There are steps in sections, but they aren’t too steep – just leave the pram behind. The path is cleared with wooden boardwalks along the way. You will be able to walk through lots of rainforest, and can even spot a few birds along the way. At the waterfall you can stop for picnic and enjoy a little break before heading back!
Where: Irrawong Road
Trail length: Less than 1km