Tomaree National Park
The trek to the top will literally take your breath away – but so will the panorama you’ll ’gram. This spot’s got views of ocean, islands and, if it’s the right time of year, some top-notch whale watching. Tee up a shot of Shoal Bay beach making a perfect curve around Port Stephens, then pan left for a Caribbean-esque view of peaks ‘n beaches.
Pro tip: The short walk means waiting for a sunset photo-op won’t have you trekking back to your car in the dark. (But bring a torch just in case the dreamy views make you lose track of time.)
South Head, Sydney Harbour National Park
Sometimes the best things in life are hidden right in front of you – and Sydney Harbour National Park is proof. The tiny Clark Island in the middle of the harbour – formerly the veggie patch of Lieutenant Ralph Clark back in 1789 – makes a swaggy picnic spot, with lush grass and very ’grammable views of the harbour. Hornby Lighthouse on South Head is another good one: conspicuous, even for a lighthouse, its circusy red and white stripes make a unique background for a photo.
Did you know: lighthouses are painted differently depending on their purpose and surroundings, meaning this one needed to stand out more than most. Make your way here from Camp Cove and stop by Lady Bay Beach on the way for a dip (don’t take photos there, though: it’s a nude beach).
Blue Mountains National Park
The Blue Mountains is a classic destination for Sydneysiders and visitors alike. And though you could take that same photo of the Three Sisters your friends have seen a thousand times, you’d be ignoring some of the unsung heroes of this national park. While you’re in the ’hood, check out Weeping Rock at Wentworth Falls, which is like a weeping willow made of water.
Pro tip: Enjoy the view, take that pic. But, always remember that pic isn’t worth your life. In other words, safety first! Stay behind fencing and stay 5m (min) from the edge.
Bouddi National Park
Bouddi Coastal walk is the hero of Bouddi National Park since this stretch of coast is some of the most impressive in the country. The 8km walk takes around four hours – plus the 20MB of phone storage spent capturing jagged cliffs and rainforest in the distance. This spot is all about the colours, with orange stone set against azure sea, and rocks that glow pink at sunset. It’s hard to believe this landscape is even real, with forms and textured swirls of weathered sandstone – best between Putty Beach and Gerrin Point – with lines of oxidised iron that look like cut tree rings. All we’re saying is charge your phone before you go.
Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park
It’s strange that this place isn’t more popular. America Bay walk in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park is just an hour away from Sydney CBD and is bursting with photo ops, particularly the rock platform that overlooks the entire bay. You’ll also find streams, rainforest, waterfalls and historic Aboriginal engravings carved into a sandstone shelf. Take in the views at the end of the track – kick back and feel the serenity.
Jervis Bay National Park
Crowned whitest sand in the world by The Guinness Book of Records, Hyams Beach really makes you feel #blessed. We reckon it gives Whitehaven a run for its money, plus it’s much easier to get to. As you roll through the Hyams Beach trail – part of Jervis Bay National Park – make sure you stop and snap some adorable rosellas, there are heaps of them here. Once you’re at the beach, get your elegantly nonchalant poses on: nothing complements crystal-clear water better than a great smile.
Did you know: Jervis Bay is at least 4 times the size of Sydney Harbour in area, and 6 times the volume. Hot tip: if Hyams Beach is packed out, check out nearby Greenfield and Chinamans beaches, which have equally white sand and far fewer people.