Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park
View more related buyers guides
Published by TOP4 Team
The sandstone bushland of Ku-ring-gai Chase is cut by deep gorges full of eucalyptus and ferns tumbling to the water’s edge. Many of the gorges are partly inundated by seawater and extend several miles inland. Adjoining Pittwater, the Lower Hawkesbury River, and Cowan Creek, this 37,000-acre (15,000 ha) national park is the second oldest in Australia (established in 1894) and has a rich mixture of Aboriginal and European history.
One of the great delights here is waking up on a boat moored in a small bay with the Australian bush tumbling down steep slopes on all sides. As parrots shriek in the trees and kookaburas give their distinctive laughing cry, remind yourself that you are only an hour from Sydney.
Among the highlights of the park is its Aboriginal rock engravings, many of which are accessible to the public. There are also numerous walking trails and several small towns, marinas, and boat-rental areas, plus plenty of picnic spots in scenic locations.
Accessible by road is West Head. Until 1951, this area was in the hands of the Australian Navy, and some of the fortifications from World War II are still visible. It is a favorite stopping point for visitors because of the spectacular views over Pittwater, Barrenjoey Head, Lion Island, and Broken Bay. From the road running out to West Head, several walking trails lead to secluded beaches and bays on the Pittwater and Cowan Creek sides.
Major visitor facilities can be found at Akuna Bay (marina and boat rental) and Bobbin Head, located between two drowned river gorges, a very sheltered spot well inland. Bobbin Head is home to the park information center, kiosks, picnic areas, boat rental, and ferry cruises. Shorelink bus 577 from Turamurra train station will drop you at the park gates, 3 miles away.
Cottage Point is one of the few waterside villages that can be reached by car as well as boat. Watch the vessels drift by while dining at the chic Cottage Point Inn or the Cottage Point Kiosk, which also rents boats and kayaks.
Camping in the park is permitted at The Basin, a sheltered bay on Pittwater accessible by boat or walking trail only. Reservations are required, especially during school vacations. A ferry service, Fantasea Palm Beach, is available from Palm Beach, as are water taxis.
For well-prepared hikers without a car, several routes enter the park from train stations along the main northern line. From Mount Kuring-gai Station, a 4-mile track leads to Bobbin Head; from Berowra, one leads to Waratah Bay; and from Cowan, another accesses Jerusalem Bay. These trails down to the water are quite steep. You can also walk from Mount Kuring-gai Station to Berowra Station, or from the Hawkesbury River Station in the town of Brooklyn along a section of the Great North Walk to Cowan Station.
Road access to the park is from Ku-ring-gai Chase Road and Bobbin Head Road, both of which access Bobbin Head. Mona Vale Road and McCarrs Creek Road provide access to Church Point, Akuna Bay, and West Head.
Check out more local attractions across the Hawkesbury Region today.