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Walk The Trails Of New South Wales
hiking nswThe bush walking trails of New South Wales offer diversity and challenge in every aspect. Not to mention, they are uniquely beautiful and offer some of the most stunning views in the country.

Parks in the remote outback, famous mountains, magnificent coastlines and lush rainforests offers you a range of options for hiking. There are literally hundreds of national parks in New South Wales, with a multitude of bushwalking tracks available for all levels of fitness.

If you are based in Sydney, you will be happy to know that there are beautiful trails in every direction. If you are picking up your vehicle from the city, head to one of these parks to enjoy the magnificent views. The stretch of road from Turrumurra to Berowra, encompasses fourteen kilometres of sweeping bushland and rainforest, and is unbelievably very close to the city centre. Lane Cove National Park is closer still, with a thirteen kilometre walk you can enjoy in stages or complete in close to three hours.

The Blue Mountains are probably the most well known Park in New South Wales and are a must-see while in the area. They are located just an hour from Sydney and are therefore really easy to get to. At least a few days should be set aside for proper exploration of these amazing mountains. There are plenty of camping grounds available, and most trails start with a family friendly picnic ground. There are a number of one kilometre walks which reward you with some spectacular views, and there are also longer walks, such as the forty two kilometre hike to the Jenolan Caves. The Blue Mountains truly have to be seen to be believed.

For those with a keen adventurous spirit, head off the beaten track towards the middle of the park and witness some incredible canyons, cliffs and gorges. These tracks are lesser known, are therefore less crowded, allowing you to enjoy the peace and serenity to its fullest. There are all types of activities available, including mountain biking, abseiling and caving. The Ruined Castle Walk is extremely popular and is definitely worth attempting. Easily accesible even for those who are not so fit, your exertions are rewarded with panoramic views of the mountains from the climax of the walk.

The trek from Kanangra to Katoomba is a long one at three days, but for the committed bushwalker the incredible scenery en route will make this distance seem trivial. Katoomba is perfect if you want to take day trips to the mountains and stay in one of the pleasant caravan parks. It is an ideal base, and with the famous Three Sisters within easy reach, you really can't skip it.

Wollemi National Park is extremely vast and is brimming with thick forest, canyons and cliff faces that stretch on as far as the eye can see. Camp at Dunns Swamp or Wolgan River and hike into the dense groves of forest for the adventure of a lifetime. You can also try your hand at scaling the rock walls. All this is just over an hour north west from Sydney.

Close to the Canberra you will find the Royal National Park, which has the claim to fame of being the second oldest national park in the world. Pleasant walking tracks through the forests will take you to lookouts on the cliffs, picnic areas and beaches for a refreshing swim, making this a perfect outing for a day trip. If you wish to stay longer you can opt for a two day walk taking in the park in all its unique diversity.

The Jervis Bay National Park is another ideal hiking destination, where you will find all types of scenery and attractions, including the lovely Lake Wollumboola. Here walking trails wind through tranquil forests and take you to clean white beaches where you can rest your legs and soak up the sun. You can take the White Sands Walk and then return by taking the Scribbly Gum Track to enjoy the diversity of the park. Be sure to pay a visit to the Hammerhead Point and use its pretty picnic facilities. There are caravan parks in the nearby towns or in Booderee National Park nearby.

You will not be able to see all the national parks and walks in New South Wales in a single holiday, but choose a few areas and base your plans around these to enjoy some of the state's most beautiful places. You will not only have a relaxing holiday, but experience incredible scenery, increase your fitness levels and spend some quality time with your friends and family.

Christine Barton

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