Family-Friendly Bush Walks + 2 Local Waterfalls

posted in: Fun at Home, Life, Parks & Playgrounds | 0

There’s no doubt that we would all like to get our kids out in nature more often. What better way to do this than with a family-friendly bushwalk in our local area? Exercise in the fresh air, see new vegetation and maybe a waterfall – sounds perfect doesn’t it? We have put together a list of bushwalks and other walking tracks for you to try with your family.

Hunts Creek Reserve, Carlingford (including Balaka Falls)

  • Distance: varying lengths from 250ms to 2.5kms
  • Pram friendly: partial
  • Grade: easy (age 3+)

This reserve is home to the beautiful Balaka Falls waterfall hidden in the heart of North Rocks and Carlingford. It offers a number of walking trail options, ranging up to 2.5km and as such, has many entry points. Norfolk Place in Carlingford gives the quickest access to the Waterfall (an easy 280m walk – perfect for little ones).

To see the waterfall from the bottom angle, you’ll need to walk down some sandstone stairs and leave your pram at the top.

After a good solid downpour, you might spot a few photography enthusiasts snapping the waterfall in all its glory. Post-rain is definitely the best time to visit the waterfall, otherwise, you might find it’s only a trickle.

Terry’s Creek, Epping (including waterfall)

  • Distance: 1.5km
  • Pram Friendly: no
  • Grade: easy (age 3+)

This walk is an absolute gem and is best visited following a good downpour to ensure the waterfall puts on a great show. The walking track runs between Vimiera Park (Essex St) and Dence Park (Stanley Rd) Epping and there are toilets at Dence Park.

All details on entrance points can be found here and here.

Darvall Park, Denistone

  • Distance: 1.5km
  • Pram friendly: No
  • Grade: easy (age 3+)

Running from Eastwood down to West Ryde, this long, peaceful track is about 1.9kms and perfect for kids 4+ (not pram friendly). Afterwards, the kids might enjoy a play at the modest little playground or a run around on the grass area. It’s a relaxing escape from the middle of suburbia and gives you an idea of what the area might have looked like before colonisation.

Learn more here.

Whale Rock, North Epping

  • Distance: between 2-5 km return
  • Pram friendly: no
  • Grade: easy (age 4+)

Enter at the fire trail on the end of Boundary Rd near Braidwood Ave, North Epping. From there head towards the creek and up to Pennant Hills. After you reach the whale, there is a fork in the path – if you go left you’ll walk alongside the creek and down to the creek crossing. This walk would be easily doable for kids 3+ but it’s not pram friendly, it takes about an hour. Another option is to start from Ron Payne Park for a 1.8km loop walk.

Magdala Park Lane Cove River Walk

  • Distance: as long or short as you like up to 260kms!
  • Pram friendly: no
  • Grade: easy (age 4+)

Start at Magdala Park North Ryde, located behind North Ryde RSL and follow the Lane Cove River towards Buffalo Creek Reserve. If you follow the River the other way another 260km along The Great Northern Walk track, you’ll eventually reach Newcastle! It’s an easy walk with views of the wetlands, the river of course, and beautiful flora and fauna. Kids 4+ would have no trouble doing it.

North Epping Great North Walk

  • Distance:
  • Pram friendly: no
  • Grade: ? (age 3+)

Start at the corner of Boundary & Eastcote Rd North Epping (it’s a steep walk down) and join the Great North Walk to head up to the bottom of South Turramurra. To finish you could head back around to North Epping, popping out near Whale Rock at Boundary Rd. BMX bike lovers – you’ll love this one! It has some great parts for kids with BMX bikes.

Pioneers Track – Beecroft, Carlingford & Epping

  • Distance: 2.8km return, Ray Park circuit 750m
  • Pram friendly: no
  • Grade: easy (age 3+)

Walk through Epping, Beecroft and Carlingford under a canopy of Blackbutt, Angophora, Turpentine, Blue Gum and more. Historians will enjoy tracing the areas early European history via the signposts along the way. This track is along a river so it can be subject to flooding.

The track can be accessed at several points including Ray Park, Little Ray Park, Ridge St. and behind the Scout hall on Plympton Rd, Epping.

Learn more here.

Brush Farm, Eastwood

  • Distance: Approx 2.5km return
  • Pram friendly:  No
  • Grade: Moderate (age 6+)

Make sure to visit the rainforest gully which has been regenerated by local Bushcare volunteers over the last 30 years. This one would better suit older kids, with steps, slopes and some uneven ground.

Fairyland Pleasure Gardens, Lane Cove National Park

  • Distance: 1km track, approx. 30 mins
  • Pram friendly: partial
  • Grade: easy (age 3+)

The walk is part of the Great North Walk along the Lane Cove River and there is a combination of timber boardwalk, cleared pathways and timber and concrete steps throughout the walk. To get there turn onto River Avenue off Dehli road. Continue on until the road becomes Quebec Road. The walking track begins opposite 101 Quebec Road.

Bicentennial Park, Sydney Olympic Park

  • This area is a treasure for us locals and a great day out with the family. Explore the 35 km of bike trails, walking paths and scenic boardwalks within the Park through 430 hectares of wetlands, woodlands and parks.
  • Learn more here.

Field of Mars Walking Tracks

Boardwalk Loop

  • Distance: 0.6km return, 15min
  • Grade: Easy
  • Starting at the bridge this wheelchair-accessible boardwalk follows along Buffalo Creek. Looping back towards the Education centre follow the pathway to return to the bridge. Look out for the long-necked turtle, water dragons, ducks and eels.

Kunzea Track

  • Distance: 5.2km, approx 1hr 10min
  • Grade: Easy
  • Kunzea Walk starts at Ryde Park and continues to the Field of Mars Wildlife Refuge where it links with the Great North Walk (Sydney to Newcastle)

Warada Loop

  • Distance: 1.9km return, 60min
  • Grade: Easy
  • Enjoy a shady walk along the coolness of Strangers Creek surrounded by Sydney Sandstone Gully Forest. Strangers Creek has numerous water holes and rainforest species including magnificent Treeferns, Coachwood and Lillypilly trees. Be sure to listen out for frogs

Sand Track

  • Distance: 1.9km one-way, 45min
  • Grade: Easy
  • Explore the middle of the Reserve. See areas of Turpentine-Ironbark Marginal Forest on shale soil as well as Sydney Sandstone Ridgetop Woodland on sandstone soil. See magnificent Angophora trees and wildflowers most of the year. Walk along Cressy Rd past the cemetery to complete the loop. Yes you’ll need a pick up at the other side or double the time!

Doyle Loop

  • Distance: 1.2km return, 45min
  • Grade: Moderate
  • Walk through the eastern end of the reserve on the Doyle Loop past caves, gullies and interesting rock outcrops. The vegetation along most of the track is Sydney Sandstone Gully Forest with its Banksias, Angophoras and diverse shrub understorey

Learn more about these walks here.


Browns Waterhole Marsfield

  • Distance: 1km track, approx. 30 mins return
  • Pram friendly: yes!
  • Grade: easy (age 3+)

This bushwalk is awesome because it’s pram friendly. It starts in Marsfield, heads through the Lane Cove National Park and ends at Browns Waterhole. We’ve got a full write up here including where to park, where to start and which way to go!