Sydney’s Best Day Hikes For Amazon Jungle Vibes

Car? Check. Mates? Check! Short road trips from Sydney lead to an abundance of nature expeditions but shall we trek into the wild even deeper? Think unpaved trails, fanning out foliage and manoeuvring in-between giant boulders for full immersion in some of the best day hikes NSW offers. We’re talking rewards in the form of secluded, dense bush swims, slithering canyons and cascading waterfalls. Difficulty hiking level: maybe not for the faint hearted. Worth it? Absolutely. These are the glorious Amazon Jungle-esque voyages that are a hop and a skip from Sydney.

Familiarise yourself with the route and always check NSW National Parks for track conditions before you go.

Colo River, Mountain Lagoon

Experience the pristine and untouched of Colo River at Tootie Creek (T3 track). Wonderfully hush, sandy shallows and a 100m long, deep pool by soaring craggy cliffs will have you tearing off your clothes after a hard slog of a descent. There’s stunning views over encompassing green mountains from the upper parts of the ridge. Travel tip: bring trail markers like a bright coloured ribbon to tie around a tree for ease of return.

Hiking in: 120 min, 2.55km
Duration from Sydney:
2 hrs

Shoalhaven River, Caoura

Nestled in a deep valley on the edge of Moreton National Park, the Shoalhaven River is home to the MacCallum Flat with grazing kangaroos and wombats. Feast your eyes first at the impressive Long Point Lookout or nearby Badgery’s Lookout. Parts of the hike are brimming with xanthorrhoea, ancient grassy trees that epitomise the Australian bush. The 250m long sand bank borders shallow river oaks beside craggy rockfaces, where the water slows and drops steeply into an idyllically wild swimming hole.

Hiking in: 150 min, 5.65km
Duration from Sydney:
2 hrs

Erskine Creek, Penrith


Where the Blue Mountains National Park meets the Kanagra-Boyd Wilderness is home to postcard perfect bush swims. After scrambling down a steep descent from the Pisgah Rock lookout, plunge into a giant 80m-long pool embraced by towering sandstone cliffs taking in the orchestra of singing birds and rushing rapids.

Hiking in: 60 min, 1.25km
Duration from Sydney:
1 hr 45 min

Wollangambe River, Wollangambe

With waters of changing hues and sculpturesque canyon walls, the Wollamgambe River has a luring call in the untamed Wollemi Wilderness. The 320m sun-drenched climb is for the fit and adventurous before reaching a thickly forested hilltop of Mt Wilson. Even in the summer the narrow canyon water is chilly so you’ll need to swim in a wetsuit or have a long, lazy float on a lilo.

Hiking in: 90 min, 2.6km
Hiking out: 105 min, 2.9km
Duration from Sydney:
1 hr 45 min

Edenderry Falls, Katoomba

The journey to Edenderry Falls is perhaps the best on this list for a summer hike as most of the trek you’ll be trotting through the small tumbling waterfalls of the Greaves and Govetts Creeks. No doubt you’ll feel a mystical aura reaching your destination, with the fall pulsating down into a deep 30m wide pool adorned by dramatic cliff landscapes in the distance. A slice of Earth rarely sunlit, the water is freezing cold. This walk can be combined with visiting the popular Grand Canyon of the Blue Mountains.

Hiking in: 165 min, 3.75km
Duration from Sydney:
1 hr 55 min

Nayook Canyon, Wollemi

Drive slow through a maze of rough forestry roads into the wild heart of the mountains at Nayook Canyon. Nayook Creek flows through a narrow canyon before reaching the beautiful grasslands of Deep Pass Campground. Awaken your adventurous spirit, grabbing onto ropes to get you up and down, shimmying along floating log bridges then finally dipping into crisp cold pools – one of which has a high, plunging waterfall with jump off sections. An early start is essential.

Hiking in: 60 min, 1.55km
Duration from Sydney:
2 hrs 40 min

Image source: Tiffany Tran – Tales of Ardour, Outbound Collective, Australian Geographic, Oz Ultimate, David Finney, Wild Walks.

5 New Melbourne Bars Worth Your Precious Time

5 Pizza Places In Adelaide Worth Trying