There are some epic lookouts near Sydney that aren’t too hard to get to. They’re worth a visit if you’re nearby or heading to the area. Take some photos, watch a sunrise, or just enjoy the incredible views that they offer.


We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the Countries on which these adventures take place who have occupied and cared for these lands, waters, and their inhabitants for thousands of years. We pay our respects to them and recognise that sovereignty was never ceded.

Who Should I Go With?

The great thing about these lookouts is that you don’t have to work too hard to get there. You can carry that extra chair (or cheese!) to really make the most of your time. This list of the most spectacular lookouts near Sydney gives you great locations for everything from romantic dates to a casual family outing.

The best part is that these Sydney lookouts don’t attract the crowds, so not only will you get incredible lookouts, but you’ll often have them to yourself! It may be a bit controversial but it’s helped guide our choices here to include some underrated spots.

Call your mates cause you’re heading out to one of these lookouts near Sydney, and we guarantee you’re about to replace all your old favourites!

Really love lookouts? Check out this ode to lookouts and keep the lookout-love rolling.

The Best Lookouts in Sydney

All of these lookouts are located within Sydney itself, meaning short travel times and speccy views of the vistas that the city is famous for.

1. North Head Lookout

Location: Manly
Distance from Sydney CBD: 18.6km/50 minutes by car

For breathtaking views of the Sydney skyline, look no further than the newly opened lookouts at North Head. Nestled within Sydney Harbour National Park, you’ll want to head for the Fairfax walk – a gentle 1km loop track.

Take a left along the track for the Yiningma/Northern Lookout. From here, you can see the cliffs of Manly and the ocean below. For equally stunning panoramic views, take a right along the track for the Burragula/Southern Lookout, which has a stunning view of the city skyline in the distance.

Both offer sweeping horizon views and make the perfect place for a spot of whale watching.

Read more: 9 Epic Whale Watching Spots Near Sydney


Yiningma lookout North Head, Blue fish point, photo by tim Ashelford, cliffs, sydney, nsw, lookout, ocean

Yiningma Lookout | @tim_ashelford

2. Dr Mary Booth Lookout

Location – Kirribilli
Distance from Sydney CBD: 5km/22 minutes by car

One of Sydney’s best secluded lookouts, Dr Mary Booth lookout boasts incredible views of the Harbour Bridge minus the crowds. Easily accessible from Milsons Point train station, head to the left of Jeffrey Street Wharf and set up on the grassy reserve above for the perfect picnic spot.

This lookout has multiple viewpoints in one. Walk down the short flight of stairs on the far left of the reserve to reach an even more secluded spot. This point gives you the perfect picturesque shot of Sydney Harbour. The stone platform at the water’s edge offers a glimpse of the Opera House to the left, and unobstructed views of the famous Sydney Harbour Bridge to the right. From the north side of the harbour, this is as close as you can get to the bridge on land!

For other iconic landmarks nearby, check out Luna Park and Lavender Bay around the corner.


3. Parsley Bay Rocks

Location – Vaucluse
Distance from Sydney CBD: 11km/25 minutes by car

To find this aerial view of Parsley Bay, head towards the beach from the Watsons Bay side. Nestled in between the iconic suspension bridge up ahead and the steps leading down to the foreshore on the right is a rocky outcrop with stunning views. Hidden amongst the bushland, the Parsley Back Rocks Lookout is easily missed if you’re not searching for it.

Set yourself up on these rocks for epic views of the water below. There are also picnic tables and benches further back from the rocks. While you can’t reach the water easily without giving up your vantage point, the prime people-watching position and water views more than make up for it.


4. America Bay Track Waterfall Viewpoint

Location – Ku Ring Gai Chase National Park
Distance from Sydney CBD: 38km/55 minutes by car

Ku Ring Gai Chase National Park is filled with hidden gems and stunning views as far as the eye can see. For one of the best lookouts within the national park, you’ll want to take the America Bay track. This easy 1.8km walking track goes through the bushland, across a creek, and finishes at a rocky platform that overlooks the sparkly turquoise water.

Not only does this lookout have spectacular views of America Bay and the bushland below, you can also swim in the mini waterfall here, or cool down in the water catchment just before the cliff’s edge.

Read more: Staying Safe Around Swimming Holes and Waterfalls


5. Lady Bay Beach Rocks

Location – Watsons Bay
Distance from Sydney CBD: 13km/30 minutes by car

Very few people know about this secret lookout with sweeping ocean views. To find the rocks at Lady Bay Beach, head to the Eastern suburbs and start walking along the Watsons Bay to Hornby Lighthouse Track. As you reach the sign for Lady Bay beach, instead of taking the stairs down to the nude-friendly beach; head to the left where the rock platform juts out from the path.

Take a seat and soak in those beautiful views of Watsons Bay, Sydney Harbour and Lady Bay Beach below. This one’s best visited on a sunny day!

Read more: How To Get Nude For Mother Nature (Hint: She’s Seen it Before)


6. Balls Head Reserve Viewpoint

Location – Waverton
Distance from Sydney CBD: 6km/14 minutes by car

This iconic lookout within Balls Head Reserve is a bit of a hidden gem. While the entire reserve has spectacular lookouts of Sydney Harbour (and the Harbour Bridge!), you’ll want to head to this secret spot for truly unforgettable views of the city skyline.

As you walk through the reserve, you’ll see a set of stairs leading down to the water after the first picnic area. Head down those stairs and you’re at the first secret lookout — which is also a popular spot for fishing. You’re right next to the water, allowing for completely uninterrupted views of Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Continue further along the main trail next to the shoreline for about ten minutes until you start to see the water peeping out from between the bushes. Head towards the rocky outcrops and you’ll find a private view of the harbour.

Larkin Street Lookout, one of the best lookouts in Sydney, is also further along the same trail.


The Best Lookouts Near Sydney

Sure, Sydney’s great, but you’re doing yourself a disservice if you don’t head outside the city limits! All of these lookouts near Sydney are absolute crackers and well worth working into future road trip plans.

7. Catch Sunrise At Kanangra Walls

Location – Kanangra-Boyd National Park
Distance from Sydney CBD: 206km/3 hours by car

With a super early start (or by camping overnight) you can watch the iconic cliffs of Kanangra-Boyd National Park catch their morning rays. It’s seriously so photogenic.

Follow the 1.6km return Kanangra Walls Trail uphill from the car park to position yourself on top of the ‘walls’ for the best view of the sunrise. Once you’ve gotten your fill of the light filling the valley revealing a patchwork of mountains, you can wander along to the nearby plateau for an entirely different view.

Technically this one is less of a Sydney lookout and more of a New South Wales lookout, but hey, you can get there from Sydney, so it counts.

Read more: Walking the Walls in Kanangra-Boyd National Park


8. Photograph Bombo Quarry And Cathedral Rocks

Location – Minnamurra, Kiama
Distance from Sydney CBD: 127km/1 hour and 45 minutes by car

The striking rock formations of Cathedral Rocks, and their man-made counterparts at Bombo Quarry are incredible photographic subjects. Throw in a swim and a trip to the Kiama Blowhole (or the Little Blowhole and you’re set for a bloody great day out). Oh and you can bring your dog!

Make sure to time your visit to Cathedral Rocks for low tide as it’s the only time you’ll be able to access them.

Read more: Kiama Coastal Walk


9. Find The Sea Cliff Bridge Viewpoint

Location – Scarborough
Distance from Sydney CBD: 70km/1 hour and 10 minutes

Head south of Sydney on a coastal road trip taking in the Royal National Park and the Sea Cliff Bridge. The options are almost endless but checking out the bridge from above and seeking out the hidden falls in the national park is a must!

Suggesting a bridge other than the Sydney Harbour Bridge is a bit risque of us, but the Sea Cliff Bridge really is worth it. Add it to your list.


10. White Gum Lookout

Location – Warrumbungles National Park
Distance from Sydney CBD: 509km/6 hours by car

Ok so we’re definitely pushing the limits with this one but we’re asking for forgiveness instead of permission. Next time you’re heading further west of Sydney, you’ll definitely want to swing by White Gum Lookout for an incredible sunset over Warrumbungles National Park.

Have some dinner and then head back to the lookout at night for an out of this world stargazing session. Warrumbungles National Park was Australia’s first international Dark Sky Park and it’s an epic place for night sky photography.

Read more: Warrumbungle National Park


11. Stand On Baltzer Lookout And Hanging Rock

Location – Blackheath, Blue Mountains
Distance from Sydney CBD: 135km/2 hours and 30 minutes by car

The rock formations near Blackheath never cease to amaze visitors. Hanging Rock is an almost comically perfect prow of rock that sticks out over the valley. Add in a visit to the epic Baltzer Lookout, and this is one of the Blue Mountains’ must-do day trips.



That’s all folks. Do you have a favourite lookout that we’ve missed? Let us know in the comments!

FAQs Sydney Lookouts

What other lookouts are near Sydney that I can see?

The list above included Frances’ favourite lookouts near Sydney but there are plenty more. You can consider checking out the Ben Buckler Lookout, Arabanoo Lookout, Crater Cove Lookout, West Head Lookout, and of course the lookout points over Jamison Valley, Scotland Island, Middle Harbour,

What’s the best lookout point to see the Sydney Opera House?

There’s plenty of popular, well-known places to get breathtaking views of the Sydney Opera House, like Mrs Macquarie’s Chair. Our recommendation is to check out the Dr Mary Booth Lookout for a unique perspective.

What’s the best lookout near the Sydney Harbour Bridge?

While there are plenty of awesome places to view the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge, we are fond of Balls Head Reserve and the Dr Mary Booth Lookout because there are far fewer people.

What’s the best lookout in Royal National Park?

A great lookout in Royal National Park is the Bungoona Lookout. It’s a photographers dream!

Are these views better than the Sydney Harbour Bridge Walk?

Views are subjective, which means that everyone will have a different opinion on which view is better than another, and which lookout is their favourite lookout. The views from the Harbour Bridge Walk are different, not necessarily better.

What’s the best lookout in the Blue Mountains?

Oh now we’re getting contentious! There so many lookout to love in the Blue Mountains National Park but we can’t go past the Baltzer Lookout and Gordon Falls Lookout.

How do I get to West Head Lookout?

To get to the West Head Lookout in Ku ring gai Chase National Park, start from the car park by the Resolute Picnic Area and follow the 1.9km West Head Walking Track until you reach the epic views.

We’ve shared these recommendations because we genuinely rate them and want you to enjoy them too. Our writers use a mix of personal experience and research to compile these lists, and they’re also encouraged to be honest when things aren’t up to scratch. For more information on our approach, check out our Editorial Standards.