The Best Bushwalks on the Lower North Shore

Sydney is known to have some of the most beautiful harbour views in the world, but we also are home to some of the most wonderful bushwalks. We’ve listed the ten best bushwalks on the Lower North Shore. Prefer to skip to a particular walking track? Click on any of the below walks and we’ll take you straight there!

  1. Artarmon to Middle Harbour Track
  2. The Round Willoughby Walk (8 Routes)
  3. Flat Rock Gully Walking Track
  4. Walter Burley Griffin Walk
  5. Marion Mahony Griffin Walk
  6. Cremorne Point Reserve Track
  7. Balls Head Reserve Track
  8. Middle Head Walk
  9. Chowder Bay to Athol Bay Walk
  10. The Spit to Balmoral Walk

Artarmon to Middle Harbour Track

Difficulty: easy to medium (there are some steep parts)

Distance: 3.5km one way

Getting there: start at Artarmon Station near the contemporary mural

The Artarmon to Middle Harbour Track walk starts at Artarmon Station and leads to Flat Rock Creek Valley through Artarmon Reserve, Bicentennial Park and Flat Rock Gully Reserve to right through to Middle Harbour. Expect to see plenty of greenery and nature along the way.

The Round Willoughby Walk

The Round Willoughby Walk combines eight different walking tracks. You can choose different sections of the walk, or if you’re feeling ambitious you can do the entire track (but please stop for breaks).

The Round Willoughby Walk Route 1: St Leonard’s Track

Difficulty: easy to medium

Distance: 5.7km (plus 1.2km return loop)

Getting there: start at Artarmon Station

The St Leonard’s Track starts at Artarmon Station and walks you through the Blue Gum High Forest in Artarmon Reserve through to the historic ruins of Fatty Dawson’s Piggery. If you continue on, it will lead you to Route 2 of The Round Willoughby Walk.

The Round Willoughby Walk Route 2: Northbridge Track

Difficulty: easy to medium

Distance: 6.4km (plus 1.4km return loop)

Getting there: start at Calbina Road, Northbridge

This section of the Round Willoughby Walk provides incredible views over Cammeray Bridge, Tunks Park, and Long Bay. Look out for the boats wrecks in Salt Pan Creek and take a cool dip at the beach found below Clive Park. You can continue onto Route 3 of The Round Willoughby Walk which will lead you through Castlecrag.

The Round Willoughby Walk Route 3: Castlecrag Track

Difficulty: easy to medium

Distance: 3.2km (plus 1km return loop)

Getting there: start at The Outpost, Northbridge

Enjoy the views over Northbridge and Sailors Bay on this lovely bushwalk. The track starts through a fern gully with the option to visit a waterfall and the waters of Sailors Bay. This walk continues onto Route 4 at Sugarloaf Crescent.

The Round Willoughby Walk Route 4: Middle Cove Track

Difficulty: easy to medium

Distance: 2.6km (plus 1.2km return loop)

Getting there: start at Eastern Valley Way and Covelee Circuit, Middle Cove

This section of the Round Willoughby Walk takes in spectacular views over the waters of the Crag Cove and Castle Cove following the Harold Reid Foreshore Track. If you’re feeling peckish, there are barbecue facilities in Harold Reid Reserve.

The Round Willoughby Walk Route 5: Castle Cove Track

Difficulty: easy to medium

Distance: 6km (plus 0.26km return loop)

Getting there: start at North Arm Road, Middle Cove

Following the North Arm Walking Track, this route has some incredible views of Sugarloaf Bay, Castle Cove and Middle Harbour. You will find numerous lookouts along the way, but can also take in the views from the walking track if you want to keep up the pace.

The Round Willoughby Walk Route 6: Chatswood West Track

Difficulty: easy to medium

Distance: 2.5km (plus 2.4km return loop)

Getting there: start at Dulwich Road, Chatswood

The Chatswood West Track takes you through the tall trees and ferns alongside Blue Gum Creek. You’ll get the opportunity to enjoy a picnic in Lane Cove National Park before heading back to the start of the route.

The Round Willoughby Walk Route 7: Lane Cove North Track

Difficulty: easy to medium

Distance: 4.5km (plus 2km return loop)

Getting there: start at Fullers Bridge on Fullers Road, Chatswood

Route 7 of the Round Willoughby Walk takes you along Lane Cove River through to Mowbray Park and Ferndale Park.

The Round Willoughby Walk Route 8: Chatswood Track

Difficulty: easy to medium

Distance: 2.7km (plus 2km return loop)

Getting there: start at Moola Parade, Lane Cove North

The last loop of the Round Willoughby Walk takes you through Ferndale Park, linking local parks and also connects with Route 1 of the walk.

Flat Rock Gully Walking Track

Difficulty: medium (unsealed bush tracks with some steep steps)

Distance: 4km return trip

Getting there: start at Small Street, Willoughby

Flat Rock Gully covers approximately 10 hectares and is rich in natural and cultural heritage. There are several ways to get into Flat Rock Gully, but there is a car park near the Small Street entrance for your convenience. You’ll find toilets and barbecue facilities in Hallstrom Park.

Walter Burley Griffin Walk

There are two different Walter Burley Griffin Walks around Castlecrag that you can choose from a 1.85km longer walk and a 875m shorter walk. We recommend the longer one if time permits!

Long Walk

Grade: medium (there are some steep parts)

Distance: 1.85km return

Getting there: start at Warners Park, Northbridge

Short Walk

Grade: easy

Distance: 0.875km

Getting there: start at Edinburgh Road, Castlecrag

Marion Mahony Griffin Walk

Like the Walter Burley Griffin Walk, the Marion Mahony Griffin Walk can be divided into a longer walk and a shorter walk around Castlecrag.

Long Walk

Grade: medium (there are some steep parts)

Distance: 2.4km return

Getting there: start at Edinburgh Road, Castlecrag

Short Walk

Grade: easy (although there are some steep parts)

Distance: 1.7km

Getting there: start at Edinburgh Road, Castlecrag

Cremorne Point Reserve Track

Difficulty: easy

Distance: 3.3km (including the lighthouse)

Getting there: start at Hodgson Avenue, Cremorne Point

There’s plenty to see at Cremorne Point Reserve. From the Old Cremorne Wharf, to the Lex and Ruby Garden, Robertsons Point (and its lighthouse), Maccallum Pool and Shell Cove. This track is popular amongst the locals, and was an easy choice as one of the best bushwalks on the Lower North Shore.


Balls Head Reserve Track

Difficulty: medium

Distance: 2km

Getting there: start at Balls Head Drive, Waverton

Balls Head Reserve is made up of five different walks: Midden Walk (300m), Harbour View Walk (340m), Angophora Walk (285m), Western Walk (125m) and Isabella Brierley Track (210m). If you’re looking for something longer, you can continue up to Carradah Park and over to Blues Point, Lavender Bay or even over to Milsons Point.


Middle Head Walk

Difficulty: moderate

Distance: 3.5km

Getting there: start at Sydney Harbour National Park

Catch a glimpse of the most beautiful views of Sydney Harbour from Sydney Harbour National Park. You’ll venture through the national park via Georges Heights, before finishing off at Bradleys Head Road.


Chowder Bay to Athol Bay Walk

Difficulty: moderate

Distance: 4km

Getting there: start at Chowder Bay Road, Chowder Bay

Chowder Bay to Athol Bay is one of our favourite walking tracks, especially during the spring and summertime. Venture down Chowder Bay, entering Sydney Harbour National Park before finding yourself with bridge views at Athol Bay. Absolute perfection.

The Spit to Balmoral Walk

Difficulty: moderate

Distance: 3.8km

Getting there: start at Spit Bridge

Starting at Spit Bridge, you’ll walk south along the coastline until you reach Balmoral Beach. Make sure you pack your swimmers for this one, because you’re bound to be tempted to jump in the water at some point!

Have we missed any of your favourite bushwalks? Let us know if we need to add any tracks to the our best bushwalks on the Lower North Shore by contacting us.

Resources

  1. Willoughby Council: www.willoughby.nsw.gov.au
  2. North Sydney Council: www.northsydney.nsw.gov.au
  3. Mosman Council: www.mosman.nsw.gov.au

5 Apps That Will Make You Healthier

5 Apps That Will Make You Healthier

Following Friday’s announcement that Greater Sydney’s lockdown has been extended until the end of September, we need to find ways to keep up our healthy habits from home. A daily walk or run is vital for our fitness as well as our mental health, so make sure you are getting out for your daily dose of vitamin D outdoors [1]. I also recommend doing some strength training at least twice per week. You can read my previous blog for home-based strength training exercises. Ivy Training also offers Tailored Nutrition Consultations to support you to come out of this lockdown looking and feeling great for summer. But have you ever thought about downloading some apps that will make you healthier?

While we are all stuck at home, our phones can actually be our biggest source of connection and motivation in more ways than one, and they can also help us stay mentally and physically healthy. We’ve researched five apps that will make you healthier, and can keep us on track every day.


Healthy App #1: Endel

Endel App Logo

Maintaining productivity, managing anxiety, and sleeping well can be challenging at the best of times. During a pandemic, it can seem impossible. Luckily, the Endel app has designed soundscapes (backed by neuroscience) to boost productivity, improve sleep and reduce stress. Pick from a series of scenarios, including “deep work”, “self-care”, and “sleep”. Then, the app will play sounds to create the optimal environment for you. It’s no wonder that Endel was the Apple Watch App of the year for 2020 given how well the app works, and the fact that it’s backed by science. If you’re going to download any of these apps that will make you healthier, let this one be it.


Healthy App #2: Down Dog

Down Dog App Logo

Yoga is a great way to supplement your normal fitness regime; it helps with flexibility, relaxation and muscle health [2]. It can also be practised in as little as 15 minutes. To help find the right yoga sequence for you, the Down Dog app has been designed to generate a yoga class for the length of time you have available. Once you’ve selected your time, the app will produce a video class, with thorough instructions, so you can get the most out of the poses. You can also personalise your sessions by selecting your yogi level (from beginner to advanced), your preferred music style and your choice of narrator. The app also offers meditation, prenatal yoga, and barre classes.


Healthy App #3: UV Lens

UV Lens App Logo

This free app designed in New Zealand to help you stay safe in the sun. UV Lens provides you with forecasts of UV intensity that are updated throughout the day to warn you when UV levels are at their highest. That way, you can avoid exercising outside during those times, or you can make sure you wear extra sunscreen and a hat. The app is also customisable to your personal skin type. This means you can understand how long you can safely be in the sun and avoid getting burnt. Genius.


Healthy App #4: WaterMinder

WaterMinder App Logo

Our bodies are composed of about 60% water [3], so if staying hydrated is an issue for you, this app will motivate you to drink more water throughout the day. It’s simple to use and compatible with your Apple Watch, so logging your water intake is super quick. The app will also send you a gentle reminder if it’s been a while since your last glass. Having good hydration habits can also help control your calorie intake and will assist in keeping your skin looking good [4]. In addition, you can set your own hydration goals and track your progress. It’s an easy way to ensure you’re looking and feeling your best by the time summer comes.


Healthy App #5: Streaks

Steaks App Logo

This Australian-designed app has been created to support making and breaking habits. For example, it’s been used to help quit smoking and reduce drinking. You can track up to 12 tasks you want to complete each day. Meaning you can encourage yourself towards positive habits (such as exercising more), while at the same time tracking the habits you want to see less of (such as Netflix and Doritos). Streaks works on the “don’t break the chain” philosophy. You’re rewarded for your “streaks”, the number of days in a row you complete (or avoid) each habit. Depending on the settings you choose, Streaks can also integrate data from other apps, including Health and Sleep apps, to save you time checking everything off. This is one of our favourite apps that will make you healthier with your habits.

Resources

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1402378/
  2. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/13-benefits-of-yoga
  3. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/what-percentage-of-the-human-body-is-
    water
  4. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/7-health-benefits-of-water