{5 Best local bushwalks for the holidays}

When holidays finally arrive it’s a wonderful opportunity to get the kids (and adults!) off the screens and take some time to explore nature. Walking in nature allows you to connect with nature, but also with your walking partners. Exploration and seeing new things, combined with fresh air and some exercise allows a complete reset and brings you back to who you really are without the distractions of our modern lives…isn’t it time we reconnected?

Here are some trails to get the whole family interested in nature… if you need more information about bushwalking in general, some tips and tricks are here.

1. Kiama Coastal Trail – dog friendly!

A great coastal adventure for the whole family, including the dog! The walk around the rugged coastline allows everyone to enjoy epic coastal views, geological wonders and the ability to learn some history along the way with informational signage. Top that with close swimming marine life, you may spot whales and seals! A very open trail, so don’t forget your sunscreen and appropriate clothing! The walk can be extended up to about 22km’s so choose the distance that suits you.

Enjoy the chance to combine an ocean swim or snorkel with historic sites and between Kiama and Gerroa best treasures including Cathedral Rocks and the Blowhole. The walk has various entry and exit points and some access to public transport and parking.

Suitable for beginner and younger walkers.

2. Madden’s Falls

Looking for a short adventure? This small trail leads to a beautiful waterfall along a trail bustling with birds and exquisite wildflowers. A great walk for those with lesser mobility or are not confident with bushwalking yet. An easy drive from Wollongong with the convenience of being able to visit Glenbernie Orchard for a crisp apple juice or even a cider!

As part of the Dharawal National Park, this walk starts on Darkes Forest Rd in Darkes Forest. There is a small carpark and information board that marks the trail head. The walk starts on a wide maintenance trail with a slight downhill, until you reach the boardwalk reaching off to the right after about 200 odd metres. 

Full trail guide here.

Suitable for beginner and younger walkers.

3. Nellie’s Glen and Carrington Falls

Take a country road trip to the beautiful Budderoo National Park near Robertson and enjoy waterfalls and magical views across canyons. A great spot for the whole family and options to really expand the walks to a full day of adventure and exploration. The trails are well marked and there are close by adventures in and around Nellie’s Glen including; Blue Pool, Missingham Lookouts and Carrington falls.

Warris Chair is about 500m from the carpark at Nellie’s Glen, so not too far and an easy flat stroll for kids – offering epic views of the valley below.

Full trail guide here.

Suitable for beginners and choices to go on longer walks for people looking for a bit more exercise.

4. Mt Keira Ring Trail

Looking for a solid adventure for all ages?! The Mt Keira ring trail offers rugged trails, wildlife and spectacular views. A myriad of trails twist and turn around Mt Keira providing a great workout and plenty of adventure. A very attractive feature to the ring track is the availability of different trails and terrains that sprout from the main track, in fact, even doing the track in ‘reverse’ allows for a completely different experience.

Lookout for the cheeky birdlife and interesting plant life – maybe some fungi in the cooler months.

Full trail guide here.

5. Wodi Wodi to Mt Mitchell

This longer version of the Wodi Wodi track will put your fitness and stamina to the test as you meander through forest, creek beds and rainforest then joining into the Forest Trail to ponder your eyes across epic views of the Northern Illawarra Coastline. Not for the faint hearted, this trail is rough, little to no signage and nice and steep!

This is a great trail to get the teenagers on to experience some serious wilderness; some challenges and of course the must have Instagram selfie at the peak!

Full trail guide here.

Suitable for confident and fit bushwalkers only.

For more walks around Wollongong and surrounds, get some inspiration from our trail guides here or follow us online at @bushwalkthegong.

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