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Things To Do In Sydney That Are Free

With the school holidays on the horizon and families needing to find funds for entertainment and activities, many mums and dads are trying to find ways to entertain kids without dipping into the piggy bank.

Many walking options

Many walking options

Today I discovered a bush walk in Hornsby that is central to most parts of Sydney, is very scenic, is not too challenging and is absolutely free.

Off and racing

Off and racing

Gum trees

Gum trees

Today’s walk was organised by Alfie’s scout group.  From where I live on Sydney’s Lower North Shore, it took us around 35 minutes to drive to Rosemead Park where we began our walk.

Off we go

Off we go

Flowing water

Flowing water


We went on the Blue Gum Walk that is 4.3kms and takes around two hours, depending on how speedy you want to be.

The path is well maintained

The path is well maintained

Crossing the stream

Crossing the stream

But, there are many walks on offer at Rosemead Park so if the Blue Gum Walk isn’t challenging enough for you, you can choose the 220km walk to Newcastle.  We’ll leave that for another day.  Do be warned that at Rosemead Park there are no amenities so you do need good bladder control.

Crossing a stream

Crossing a stream

Hold on to the rail!

Hold on to the rail!

The Blue Gum Walk begins and ends in almost the same position.  It’s named the Blue Gum Walk for the obvious reason that on the walk, you’ll see lots of blue gum trees.  The walk has a lot of variety in terms of scenery and terrain.  It is a little challenging so probably not manageable for anyone under the age of around five years.

The parting of the trees

The parting of the trees

Walking under a rock cliff

Walking under a rock cliff

We crossed over streams, climbed up and down rock walls, squeezed between rows of trees and ran along wide rocky platforms.  We had a lot of children aged between seven and 12 years and all managed extremely well.  We had a couple of rest spots to not only pause for a drink but also take in the views.

Blue gums

Blue gums

Along the trail

Along the trail

About 4kms into the walk I did start to hear a little bit of whinging from a few of the children.  I said, ‘All those who don’t whinge will be given an ice cream on the way home’.  All whinging stopped; happy faces once more.  They even rushed to the finish line.

An impressive rock

An impressive rock

We emerged from the bush near the Ginger Meggs Park.  The park is fully fenced however, once again, there are no amenities.  Kids always seem to have some energy reserves and after appearing fatigued, suddenly were running towards the swings, slides and flying fox.

Ginger Meggs Park

Ginger Meggs Park

They ran around for a while before I had to fulfil that promise of an ice cream.

Ginger Meggs Park

Ginger Meggs Park

If you’re looking for a holiday activity where the only cost is a few sandwiches and a bottle of water in a backpack, consider the Blue Gum Walk.  It’s not only free, it gives children a great day in the great outdoors and some overdue time-out from electronic devices.

Rest stop

Rest stop

Verdict:  Old-fashioned fun.

Streams of water

Rapid-flowing water

Blue Gum Walk:  Rosemead Park, Rosemead Avenue, Hornsby, NSW.

Ducks in the stream

Everybody loves ducks

Comments

  1. Wow, Charlie. What a gorgeous part of the world. Love me a good bush walk, especially when they have a bit of a tropical look and feel to them like this track does. I find the bush tracks in Canberra are much more native looking. Drier or something. Either way, looks like a fab day was had. 🙂

  2. Nice Charlie, I’ll share on my FB page. Love free fun.

  3. What a beautiful spot and walk. This is very much the Australia I love – and as you say, it is free to all. I do wish toilets were more common though. My enjoyment of walks can be tempered by focusing on bladder control!!

  4. Sounds terrific for kids Charlie. It’s so nice to get out in the great outdoors and away from technology. Great fun.

  5. FREE always sounds good when you’re trying to entertain kids! love that you guys got to experience all this nature as well!

  6. I love a bush walk like that. The gum trees smell so good and there are always really bright coloured parrots, galahs or cockatoos making a squawk. That’s a great way to spend some energy away from the computer games or social media.

  7. That’s a nice trail. It would be nice to have something for bladder control. I’ll bookmark it.

  8. Great idea though your activities are a little more ‘active’ than I like these days. I should really look into similar doings locally for my long summer. (I KNOW summer is coming even if we had snow again this Saturday.)

  9. We always took to the outdoors for family outings when the kids were wee ones. Looks like you have some delightful options!!

  10. I always love the Sydney parks – I think this one has been developed since we lived in Sydney, but I know the area and it looks lovely.

  11. That looks very beautiful. Are there any native animals or birds to see on the walk?

  12. What a beautiful way to spend the afternoon – and with so many benefits! Fresh air, gorgeous views, exercise and the added bonus of dog-tired kids at the end of the day and all for free!

  13. A lovely trail and so close to the city.

  14. I love discovering new places with fresh air, with peace and tranquility!
    We have relatives in Hornsby and love the “free air” views Charlie!
    There are lots of things to do in all states of Australia for free if people take the time to look around and enjoy as a family together!

  15. I can’t wait to do things like this with Ollie. My goodness boys are full of energy!

  16. How lovely although now that you say no amenities I need to go tinkle. I have a bladder that knows when there is no loo around and all I want to do it tinkle!
    Have a super day Charlie.
    🙂 Mandy xo

  17. I think this walk hit the point! so well! You are so right! I would happily have joined you all! I love hiking! x

  18. This is definitely my kind of fun. 🙂 It’s been too hot to go hiking, but cooler weather arrived this morning and I’m already planning a hike. 🙂

  19. What gorgeous scenery Charlie, I bet the kids had a wonderful time! The only problem for me… 2 hours walking, no amenities but lots of tinkling creeks…. good bladder control indeed 🙂 xo

  20. What a fantastic adventure! It looks absolutely beautiful. xx

  21. Great adventure walk not only for kids but adults also. I would so enjoy this walk.

  22. Hi Charlie, looks like a gorgeous walk, never saw a blue gum tree before, kind of reminds me of a eucalyptus tree. Take care!

  23. Old-fashioned fun. Something kids don’t get enough of today. Sounds like you had a great day and a perfect solution to the whining.

    I wondered about the identity of those trees. Thanks for telling me what they are.

  24. It looks like a really wonderful trail and park, and the kind of thing that we love doing on weekends. I’m surprised that there would be ice cream, but no restroom facilities where there was a playground. They need to fix that! 😉

  25. This park is very much like the park I do my 8km walks in the mornings in, so tranquil and beautiful. When I go there are very few people in the park which can be soothing and alarming at the same time. But I have phone service throughout the park so I’m not concerned. It’s difficult to find free things in Toronto too and doing something with a family can definitely break the bank (the new Ripley’s Aquarium is $30 per adult and $20 per child! we would love to go but frankly I can’t see spending $60 for it. It’s lovely that you have listed this great free activity for fellow Sidney residents, I’m sure they appreciate it.

  26. The Elliotts love walks! Me, well I’m not so keen on them but you cannot stop them going out regularly for a long bushwalk 🙂

  27. I did a day trip to Sydney – from NZ…… And I did everything you possibly could – FOR FREE… Well, minus eating!! So proud of myself… However I did NOT do this hike! ha!

  28. We love to be outdoors. What a gorgeous are you have!

  29. I think hiking and nature trails are just wonderful for adults and children! What a lovely shared experience. I would love to explore tis beautiful space, and isn’t it wonderful when we realize and remember that the outdoors is most often free of charge!

  30. Perfect for after an Easter egg fuelled weekend It might stop raining by then! Happy Easter to you Charlie. X

  31. Looks gorgeous and such a lovely day for it! Liz xx

  32. So many different kinds of terrain in Australia! Amazing. One of these days we hope to make it your way. It’s on our short list! Hope you are all well Charlie! Cheers!

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