A walk in the bush allows you to breathe in the fresh air and get away from it all. It doesn’t matter whether you go for an hour or for a day. We know it will make you feel recharged.
The NSW South Coast is one of the easiest places to hike with kids. The bush walks are close to the beaches, and it’s an easy getaway from Sydney or Canberra.
These are the best NSW South Coast best hikes for families:
Scones in the Forest (Macquarie Pass National Park)
Scones in the Forest promise sweet tours of the South Coast’s pristine forests. The experienced guides will show you rare plants and animals unique to the Shellharbour region. Kids will love “old blotchy”. The 400-year-old spotted gum, which has grown to 58 metres tall, is a relic of the old growth forests of Australia before European intervention. Keep an eye out for rare wildlife in this tour. You can see red-necked wallabies, swamp wallabies, wedge-tailed eagles and eastern grey kangaroos. If you’re really lucky you may even post a barking owl or a sugar glider.
The tours finish off at Pebbly Beach with scones and jam.
Where: Tours depart from Shellharbour, Ulladulla, Batemans Bay and Moruya. Choose from any one of ten national parks to explore.
Walk length: Up to six hours dependant on location
Minnamurra Rainforest National Park
Families will love Minnamurra Rainforest. It has wonderful walking trails, gorgeous waterfalls and the chance to spot bowerbirds, water dragons and wallabies.
From Minnamurra Rainforest centre take the Rainforest loop – an easy hour-long walk through the unspoilt rainforest. The 1.6km trail has elevated boardwalks and suspension bridges to keep the kids engaged. Close to Minamurra Falls, you will find a viewing platform that offers stunning vistas over the rainforest canopy.
If one hour isn’t enough, try the Izzards lookout track, the Budderoo Track or the Warris Chair Lookout Track.
For a spectacular waterfall view, grab a picnic and head to Carrington Falls where the Kangaroo River plunges into the Kangaroo Valley.
Where: Minnamurra Rainforest is close to Jamberoo and Kiama on the NSW South Coast.
Difficulty: Easy 1 hour walk
Bingi Dreaming Track
The Bingi Dreaming track, south of Moruya follows a traditional songline of the Brinja-Yuin people. Dreaming tracks or Songline tracks are paths used by Indigenous Australians to connect campsites, ceremonial sites, trade sights, fresh water and food sources.
The 14km walk passes through heathlands, forests, and coastal stretches. Expect to see plenty of kangaroos lazing in the sun. Make sure you stop at a headland along the way in whale season. This stretch of coast is known as the humpback highway – you’re chances of spotting a whale are high.
Families with younger kids may need to break the walk up into shorter stretches. Bring your swimmers and towels – this track has plenty of places to stop for a dip along the way.
Where: Tuross Boulevard Tuross Head
Ben Boyd National Park Sapphire Coast
The coastal walk from Haycock Point to Barmouth Beach in the Ben Boyd National Park is one of the best walks for families. At a distance of 4.8 kilometres return it should only take between on and two hours with kids.
Expect stunning elevated views of Merimbula Bay, Pambula River Mouth and Lennards Island. The path takes you from the windswept coastal headland, through melaleuca and banksia forests to the white sands of Pambula River Mouth. A vibrant landscape, it’s also a great place to see wallabies, kangaroos and goannas, who may share the path with you or meet you on the beach. If you’re lucky, you may even spot whales off the coast.
Where: Haycock Point Picnic Area
Difficulty: Easy 1-2 hours.
The Light to Light Walk
This is one walk that will challenge and stretch teenagers. It’s a big one – 31 kilometres. And it usually takes two to three days to complete. You can do the Light to Light Coastal Hike yourself and camp along the way. Or you can grab a group of friends and join a guided camping and walking tour with Light to Light Camps. They will set the tents up for you, provide delicious dinners and knowledgeable guides to explain what you are seeing along the way.
Difficulty: Difficult (2-3 days)
Bermagui to Wallaga Lake
This 8km walk covers easy, mostly flat terrain. The Bermagui to Wallaga Lake walk starts from the famous Bermagui Blue Pool and winds past beaches, over bridges and towards Wallaga Lake.
If you are walking with little ones, you can stop to grab snacks as the shops near the Bermagui Bridge and at the kiosk at Wallaga Lake Park opposite the Goldfields Lookout. This walk makes for a great family outing and provides a wonderful opportunity to see the beauty of Bermagui and its surrounding areas.
Pigeon House Mountain
Pigeon House Mountain has a name that is hilarious for kids. It also has challenging walking tracks. The Pigeon House Mountain Didthul walking track is one of the best walks in Morton National Park. On the way expect to hike through the forest, heathland and age-old sandstone.
To get to the summit, you will have to climb a series of ladders. It can be steep – but the views from the top are spectacular. On clear days you can see all the way to Jervis Bay. This walk will give kids a natural high and a great sense of achievement.
Where: Pigeon House Road Yadboro
This easy 9.5km track follows the Brooks Plateau and Moolatoo Trig Fire trails. It winds through open woodland and heath before opening up to views over Lake Yurrunga, Tallow Dam, The Shoalhaven River and spectacular gorges. This track is flat – so it is achievable with little ones. Although you will need to bring snacks and water and have plenty of rest stops on the way.
Where: Tallowa Dam Road, Moollattoo