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Relaxing ramblings - Peaceful parks

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Wild About Whales
Kayaking in Byron Bay. Photo: S Cairns / DNSW

As so many of us live such fast paced, hectic lives, spending time in the outdoors is always worth making the effort for. By the end of the week, the need to escape the concrete jungle can be a little overwhelming so in your spare time it's great to stop and smell the roses. It's extra special if your outdoor experience can be a peaceful, relaxing time.

The national parks along the NSW coastline provide some very relaxing and peaceful locations and experiences, especially at this time of year. Scenic walks, a gentle kayak, a spot of yoga or trying your hand at some nature photography could be just what the doctor ordered to restore calm in your world. So - relax, read on and ponder some of these more gentle activities in our national parks.

Yoga in a park

Find peace and relaxation with Yoga in the rainforest, a guided meditative walk through the beauty of Sea Acres National Park near Port Macquarie. Simon from Port Yoga will lead you through pristine subtropical rainforest from the comfort of the 1.3km rainforest walkway. Yoga in the rainforest is available on the first Saturday of the month from August until December 2013.

Cliff top bushwalks

Strolling along the cliff tops high above the ocean below is certainly a peaceful experience. You can take in the surrounds while spotting whales out to sea, and watch for the birdlife that inhabit the coastal flora. There are so many fantastic coastal bushwalks available all along the NSW coastline, way too many to mention them all so we've picked just a few.

For a scenic walk taking in the best that Byron Bay has to offer take Cape Byron walking track through Cape Byron State Conservation Area. You'll need a good two hours for this 3.7km loop that leads you on a hike through rainforest and across cliff tops with stunning views of the ocean and hinterland.

In Port Stephens take the invigorating short walk to the summit of Tomaree Head, 161 metres above the Port Stephens entrance. Whale watching in Port Stephens is great from up here – and you may also see the world's only nesting sites for the endangered Gould's petrel.

And if you're feeling adventurous, take The Coast track through Sydney's Royal National Park. You'll walk along cliffs, beaches and escarpments, taking in magnificent ocean views as you go. This is a long one at 26km running from Bundeena to Otford, or take it at a slower pace and choose shorter sections along the track to relax and rejuvenate.

Nature Photography

The coastal national parks of NSW provide some awesome vantage points for stunning views over heathland, bushland, sandstone cliffs and to the deep blue below. They're a haven for photographers who come to capture the gorgeous scenery and abundant flora and fauna that call these parks home. At this time of year, photographers will delight in capturing the whales' migration and dolphins are more prevalent now too. Gannets, albatross and other seabirds can be seen from coastal vantages, and honey eaters and wrens are commonly seen in the flowering heathlands – all make wonderful photographic fodder.


With no noisy motor to distract you or scare off the surrounding wildlife, kayaking is one of the most peaceful experiences you can have in and around our national parks. Get out and about in a kayak on Sydney Harbour, with a tour providing one of the most beautiful paddles with views of Sydney's landmarks. The fully guided tour by professional kayaking guides also includes a picnic lunch along the way.

Also in Sydney you can also take part in Manly Kayak adventure which explores Sydney's outer North Harbour and around beautiful Manly. Further north, you can get up close to some of the most awe-inspiring marine life as you sea kayak with whales and dolphins in Cape Byron State Conservation Area.

Termeil Lake in Meroo National Park on the south coast of NSW near Batemans Bay provides a peaceful refuge for wildlife and visitors. Great for kayaking, no powerboats are allowed on the lake so there's nothing to disturb the peace while you're paddling and exploring the backwaters and tributaries. To find out more about these and other relaxing experiences in NSW National Parks go to

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