8 of the best, family friendly bushwalks in the Illawarra – staying sane during Covid-19

Please note: Check with NSW National Parks first before visiting these bushwalks, as some of these may still be closed at this time due to Covid-19.

As families continue to navigate these tricky and uncertain times in the era of Coronavirus, self-isolation and homeschooling, more families are embracing the stunning coastal and rainforest tracks our beautiful region has to offer. Nature has provided a wonderful refuge and distraction for our community, as we look for ways in which we can practice calm and self care – especially for our little ones.

With all that in mind, there’s nothing better than getting out and about and exploring our gorgeous area. While the beach is ALWAYS a good idea, sometimes you fancy a change. We are super, duper fortunate here in the Illawarra to be spoilt for choice when it comes to places to explore. Our local area is alive with outdoor spaces ripe for the picking.

We’ve rounded up 8 of the best, family friendly bushwalks the Illawarra has to offer to give you some ideas for your next adventure. Remember: stay safe and please continue to practice social distancing at all times.

Best for littlies
Got a little love underfoot? No problem! These walks are pre-school friendly and could even be tackled by an adventurous older toddler. They are also ideal for baby-wearing mamas and papas.

Cascade Falls walk – An easy, 2km round trip, the Cascade Falls walk, located in Macquarie Pass National Park is perfect for young families. Wander alongside a bubbling creek, through the rainforest all the way to the falls which offer plenty of spots for a good old fashioned splash (we’d recommend taking a change of clothes!). Wildlife abounds (think lyrebirds, lizards and the odd goanna) and the dense tree covering means things stay cool even during summer.  

Check out more info HERE

The Mount Kiera Scout Camp + Chapel walk – A great one for little people, the Mount Kiera Scout Camp and Chapel walk can be found just off Mt Keira road, on the way up to the lookout. You can park at the Scout Camp carpark and let kids explore the area before taking the track that leads to the gorgeous ‘bush chapel’. There’s plenty of space for kids to run around and check out the native flora and fauna as well as room for picnics aplenty. 

Check out more info HERE 

Warris Chair Walking Track – If you like your walks short and sweet, the Warris Chair track has got you covered. An easy 1km return trip, the trail takes you into the Budderoo National Park for amazing views of Kangaroo Valley and Carrington Falls. You can then loop back around for a picnic at Carrington Falls picnic area or Nellies Glen picnic area. 

Check out more info HERE 

Best for school aged kids
Missingham Lookout Track – A bit of a hidden gem, the Missingham Lookout Track is a 3.8km walk in the Budderoo National Park. Winding through the escarpment, the track leads you to Missingham Lookout which has the most amazing views over Kangaroo Valley and Carrington Falls. There’s plenty of birdlife on offer for the keen nature lover and even the choice of two picnic areas (Carrington Falls picnic area or Nellies Glen picnic area) for a bite to eat after all that exercise.

Check out more info HERE 

Minerva Pool Walking Track – If you fancy a dip at the end of your walk, this trail is for you! Found within the Dharawal National Park, the Minerva Walking Track winds for 2.4km through bushland to the Minerva Pool. A perfect spot for a picnic and swim, the pristine waterhole is a sacred site for the Dharawal People. Because of this, the Local Aboriginal Land Council does request that only women and children enter the water. 

Check out more info HERE 

Sublime Point Walk – Local and lovely! The Sublime Point Walk is a super popular trail located in the escarpment. With entry points in both Thirroul and Austinmer, it’s easy to access and the views can’t be beaten. There is also a ladder and ropes section (very popular with younger walkers) and a café at the top for a well-deserved cuppa or ice block. 

Check out more info HERE 

Longer walks/more challenging tracks (for big kids or with backpacks)
The Kiama Coastal Walk – It’s a biggie (22 kms!) but well worth doing if you have older kids who are up for the challenge! Kicking off at Minnamurra, the Kiama Coastal Walk winds its way along the coast to Werri Beach. While you can tackle the entire thing, there are three ‘sections’ which make for slightly easier going. You could tackle the Minnamurra to Blowhole point section (8.4km), the Blowhole point to Loves Bay section (5km) or the Loves Bay to Gerringong section (6km). It’s best to sit down and plan your route before you tackle it as this isn’t a walk to do on a whim, but we highly recommend it! 

Check out more info HERE 

Jingga Walking Track – Another track with swimming benefits, the Jingga trail is a short but steep walk through bushland to a freshwater swimming hole. It’s a 2.4km round trip but well worth the effort. Unlike the Minerva pool, everyone is welcome to swim at the water hole here and after walking uphill, you’ll definitely deserve a dip! 

Find out more info HERE

For more What’s On inspiration – click here!

Image courtesy of NSW National Parks.

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