Best Hikes in Sydney: Palm Beach

After doing some research on hiking in Sydney, I quickly discovered (and lusted after) the Palm Beach hike to Barrenjoey Lighthouse. The Palm Beach hike drew me in so quickly – the view from the top of the mountain is spectacular. I would have hiked hours for that view, but luckily, it’s just a short hike to the top.

Palm Beach is famous in Australia because it is where the daytime soap opera Home and Away is filmed. This series has been on Aussie TV since the 1980’s – it’s a big deal. I wandered around Palm Beach, not recognizing anything, while Michael the Australian was losing it over being there. Palm Beach Hike Sydney Australia Palm Beach Hike Sydney Palm Beach Hike Sydney

There is a restaurant on Palm Beach, called the Boathouse. It’s super cute and very expensive. If you’re on a budget (which I always am, #travellife), I’d recommend bringing a picnic to enjoy at the top of the mountain.

The hike up took about 45 minutes. There are two trails to choose from on the way up – one of them is a challenging, steep stairs; the other is a more gradual ascent. The mountain is a pretty steep one, so whichever way you take will be relatively challenging.

Palm Beach Hike Summer BayPalm Beach Hike Barrenjoey Lighthouse

Once we got to the top, we found a spot for our picnic.

Hiking Sydney: Palm Beach Hiking Sydney: Palm Beach

There may or may not be wine in that cup…

Hiking Sydney: Palm Beach

Okay, we definitely had wine. We sat up at the top of the mountain for about an hour and a half, just talking, eating, drinking, and watching the boats in the bay.

Palm Beach Hike: Sydney Australia

The hike down was a bit easier, but those steep descents can be hard on the knees. We watched the sun go down over the bay and headed home, tired and full.

If you’re planning a trip to Sydney, make sure to check out my favorite hikes in Sydney: the Coogee to Bondi hike, the Figure 8 Pools, and the Blue Mountains.

Palm Beach Hike: Sydney

PS. You can spot these colorful lorikeets outside of the Boathouse at Palm Beach!


How Much I Spent for A Weekend In The Blue Mountains

I recently got asked how much I spent for a weekend in the Blue Mountains. In this post, I’ll break down my entire expenses for a weekend away in the Blue Mountains. To see more on the Blue Mountains, see my itinerary and my photo diary.

How Much I Spent for a weekend in the blue mountains

All in all, I calculated that we each spent about $100 (there were just two of us – me and a friend). This includes all of our food, gas, accommodation, and parking fees. We spent most of the weekend hiking and taking photos, both of which are free, so we were able to make this trip pretty budget friendly. It’s crazy to add up how much I spent for a weekend in the Blue Mountains – it was such an easy budget-friendly trip!

Day 1: grand canyon hike and evans lookout

We had to get off to a good start – aka I NEED CAFFEINE – so our first stop was for coffees.

How Much I Spent for a Weekend Away in The Blue Mountains

Two soy cappuccinos: $10 

Next, we made a quick stop to the Coles (an Aussie grocery store) for some lunch supplies. We picked up pita bread, sweet potato and cashew spread, mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, and a liter of coconut water. We also got some apples and chips.

Total Spent at Coles (for lunch & car snacks): $26 

How Much I Spent on a Weekend in the Blue Mountains

After stop at the petrol station, we were fueled up and ready to go. Note: it cost $45 to fill up the tank, but we only used half the tank for this trip. Michael drives a two-door Barina, which is a small, super gas efficient car.

How Much I Spent for A Weekend in the Blue Mountains

Total Spent on Petrol: $20 

When we got to the Blue Mountains, we went straight to our first destination: the Grand Canyon trek. Parking was free, and we ate lunch in the car before heading out with a full bottle of water and the liter of coconut water (and lots of layers because it was SO COLD).

Blue Mountains Evans Lookout

Four hours of (free) hiking and photo – taking later, we were back at the car and starving. On our way to the airbnb, we scrapped our plan of stopping at the shops to pick up veggie burgers to make at the airbnb, and instead opted for a fancy Thai dinner out (#lazy).

Thai dinner out: $45 

We then headed to the airbnb, which I’d arranged the week prior. The airbnb had a great setup; we had a private room, a massive bed, and even electric blankets! We had our own bathroom to boot. (PS I LOVE AIRBNB SO MUCH and I highly recommend trying it out! Use my link to get $25 off your first trip;) ).

One Night At Airbnb: $45 

Day 2: Three sisters and wentworth falls

How Much I Spent For A Weekend in the Blue Mountains

The next day, we woke up feeling rested and *almost* alive again. To feel fully awake, alive, and aware, I needed that soy capp. We got ready and headed out to find coffee and shops on the way to the Three Sisters.

We found a cute coffee shop right next to an IGA. SCORE. We had our coffee “for here,” as that is my new favorite thing.

Dan's Coffee Hause Blue Mountains

Two Soy Cappuccinos: $10 

After enjoying a quiet coffee, we picked up the pace and rushed into IGA with a plan. We picked up wraps, mixed greens, tomatoes, hummus, and bananas. Michael picked up an extra bottle of water, and I grabbed a juice. We also picked up a couple personal sized sourdough loaves for breakfast.

Breakfast/Lunch Supplies from IGA: $25

We headed to the Three Sisters and parked on the road. There was a minimum parking fee of $4, so we scrounged up some change and headed to the rock formation.

How Much I Spent For A Weekend in the Blue Mountains

Parking Fee: $4 

We spent about 40 minutes here, walking around and taking some photos. It was super cold and windy, so we decided to head to the next destination – Wentworth Falls.

We got to Wentworth Falls, still freezing, and decided it was time for a second coffee. There was a food truck parked outside the falls selling coffee, so we grabbed two soy capps to go.

Two soy capps: $8

We drank those and then spent the next four hours hiking around the falls, eating bananas and filling up the water bottle under the waterfalls.

How Much I Spent for A Weekend in the Blue Mountains

Once we got back to the end of the trail, we ate our lunch and headed home. All in all, the total cost of this trip (for two people) came to $193 AUD. We split everything, so we each paid about $100. Not too shabby for a weekend away, eh?





Blue Mountains: A Photo Diary

The Blue Mountains are just an hour and a half outside of Sydney – and definitely somewhere you need to visit if you’re into nature. I went here for the weekend (drove up Saturday morning and drove back Sunday evening), and it was an amazing little getaway. Check out my full post on the Blue Mountains.


I spent Saturday hiking the Grand Canyon trail to Evans Point. You can park at Evans Point if you’d rather skip the hike. It’s a steep one, but there are beautiful views along the trail. Parking is free – just don’t forget some snacks and lots of water!

Blue Mountains SydneyBlue Mountain Grand Canyon HikeBlue Mountains Evans Lookout

Try to get to Evans Lookout around sunset – the lighting on the canyon is beautiful! If you do this, make sure you are parked at the lot by the lookout (walking back in the dark is not recommended!). I hiked back from the lookout and then drove back to the lookout just in time for sunset. The lookout is right next to the parking lot, and just down the street is street parking (where we parked). Blue Mountains Evans Lookout SunsetBlue Mountains Evans Lookout SunsetBlue Mountains Sydney Grand Canyon Hike PhotoBlue Mountains Grand Canyon Hike

The Three Sisters

We made a quick stop at the Three Sisters on Sunday morning. The Three Sisters has an epic tale behind it – there is an aboriginal legend stating that the three sisters lived in Jamison Valley as part of the Katoomba tribe. They fell in love with three brothers from another tribe, but were forbidden to marry the brothers.Three Sisters Blue Mountains

The brothers approached the Katoomba tribe to capture and marry the sisters, starting a massive war. A witch doctor then turned the sisters to stone to protect them during the war, but then the witch doctor was killed in battle, and never able to return the sisters to their human state. I was entranced by this story – I’m a sucker for a good love story. However, on this cold and windy Sydney day, I decided to snap some pics and move on.

The Blue Mountains Three Sisters

Wentworth Falls

I spent the rest of Sunday at Wentworth Falls. We ended up on an impromptu 3 hour hike, trying to find the waterfall. After hiking down steep steps, over cliffs and through the canyon, we came to the first stop along the falls. Blue Mountains Wentworth Falls Sydney Weekend TripWentworth Falls Blue Mountains SydneyBlue Mountains Wentworth Falls TrailBlue Mountains Wentworth Falls Meditation

Empress Falls

After continuing on the track from Wentworth Falls, determined to find the bottom of the falls, we instead stumbled upon a completely different fall – the Empress Falls. This beautiful, multi-tiered fall did not disappoint. I even filled up my water bottle, had a little meditation, and sufficiently recharged from the long hike. Water has such a calming effect on me.
Blue Mountains Sydney Empress FallsEmpress Falls Blue Mountains SydneyBlue Mountains: The Perfect Weekend Getaway From SydneyBlue Mountains: Weekend Getaway From Sydney

  • Accommodation: I stayed in this airbnb. Use my link to get $25 off your first Airbnb trip!
  • Food: We stopped at IGA to pick up lunch and snack supplies for hiking, but we did get a chance to have dinner out at Thai Kitchen in Springwood, which I can definitely recommend! I had the yellow curry – it was one of the best I’ve ever had.
  • Coffee: We had really good coffees at Dan’s Coffee Haus (which is right on the freeway, and there’s an IGA next door!).

Dan's Coffee Hause Blue Mountains



Weekend Trip From Sydney: The Blue Mountains

The Blue Mountains are just about two hours west of Sydney – it’s the perfect weekend getaway. If you’re tired of the city life and craving some fresh air, chill breezes, and solid hiking trails, read on for the perfect weekend away.

Blue Mountains: The Perfect Weekend Trip From Sydney

blue mountains sydney

I took Friday night to pack, eat some Lord Of The Fries, and plan out my weekend. I’d rented an airbnb (ps use my link to get $25 off your first airbnb trip!) just outside of the Blue Mountains, in Leonay.

We headed up to the Blue Mountains on Saturday morning, leaving Sydney around 9 am. Fueled up on a breakfast of porridge, we just stopped for a coffee and some lunch supplies on the way, and arrived at our first destination at 12:30.

Saturday: Grand Canyon Hike

The trip started off with a long hike in the Grand Canyon of the Blue Mountains National Park. The Grand Canyon loop is about a two to three hour loop. We went there and back the long way, which added up to 4 hours.

Blue Mountains Sydney Grand Canyon Hike PhotoBlue Mountains Grand Canyon Hike Blue Mountains Sydney Grand Canyon Hike

After completely exhausting ourselves, we stopped at the Thai Kitchen in Springwood for some curries (I love a good yellow curry!). Next, we headed to the airbnb, where we took showers, had a glass of wine, and promptly fell asleep with sore legs and tired feet.

Sunday: Three Sisters and Wentworth Falls

On Sunday, we set off at 9 AM for coffee and food supplies. We found a cute little strip mall with a new coffee shop and a Supa IGA. My new favorite thing is having coffee “for here” – it’s such a better experience than takeaway! Dan's Coffee Hause Blue Mountains

Next, we headed toward the Three Sisters, a rock formation with an incredible tale behind it. It was cold and windy, so we didn’t stay for long.

Three Sisters Blue Mountains After getting the best views of the Three Sisters, we headed east to go home, planning a quick stop at Wentworth Falls (ps check out Wentworth on Netflix – it’s a great show! It’s the aussie version of Orange Is The New Black, maybe even better than OITNB).

Our “quick stop” at Wentworth Falls somehow turned in to a 3 hour hike. I was not going home without seeing the waterfall! In the end, I saw three waterfalls. It was worth the three hour hike, but I think I learned a valuable lesson here: be prepared for anything. I ended up filling up my water bottle under a waterfall because we ran out of water. That water was pretty good though!

Wentworth Falls Blue Mountains Sydney Blue Mountains Sydney Empress FallsEmpress Falls Blue Mountains Sydney

After a long weekend of hiking, it felt so good to come home. I got home around 7 on Sunday night, took a long hot shower, and slept sooo well.


Sydney Hikes: Bundeena to Marley Beach

Of all of the Sydney hikes that I’ve done, this one was one of my favorites for a few reasons. It’s outside of the city and feels remote; it is on the shorter side (only about one hour each way); and it has cliffs, beach, and dirt trails. The trail ends at gorgeous Marley beach, which has loads of hilly grasslands for picnics. This is one of the many trails to hike in the Royal National Park, just south of Sydney.

Sydney hikes: Bundeena to Marley Beach

Sydney Hikes Marley Beach CabinZero

Sydney Hikes Marley Beach

I completed this hike on a wintery Saturday, when the sky was full of clouds and the wind current was moderate. I carried along my new 28L CabinZero backpack – it was the perfect size for our picnic, a couple liters of water, and a few layers of warmer clothes.

Sydney Hikes Marley Beach CabinZeroSydney Hikes Marley Beach

My favorite hiking lunch lately is wraps – they are super easy to bring along and so easy to make on the trail. This time, I brought some wholemeal pitas, beetroot spread (it’s kind of like a beetroot hummus), greens, and tomatoes. I like to bring a liter of coconut water as well for extra hydration.

Sydney Hikes Marley Beach Cabinzero picnic

Sydney Hikes Marley Beach Picnic

The trail is relatively flat, with very few ascents and descents. We took the fire trail, which was very rocky, to get to the beach. However, there is a man-made walking trail that starts at Bundeena and would be much easier to walk on.

Sydney Hikes Marley Beach

On the day we went, there were a lot of strong winds. Definitely pack a windbreaker and put your hair up securely, if it’s long. See Exhibit A here:

Sydney Hikes Marley Beach

And Exhibit B:

Sydney Hikes Marley Beach

This hike is located in the Royal National Park, which is about a half hour drive south of Sydney CBD. To get here, you will need a car. Parking in the National Park is $12 per day.

To get the most out of your trip to Royal National Park, also check out the hike to the Figure 8 pools!