Garigal National Park
One of Sydney’s small gems, Garigal National Park offers a bush retreat just 12 kilometres from the city’s hectic centre, a precious pocket of natural bushland with steep forested slopes, ﬁne water views and terriﬁc walking tracks. The park is in two sections, one skimming around Middle Harbour then bordering several creeks, and the East Garigal section protecting Deep Creek catchment area. Nearly 100 recorded Aboriginal sites in the park, including rock engravings, are tangible evidence of early Aboriginal occupation. Today the park is hemmed in by the ever-increasing urban development.
Sandstone ridges and escarpments to the west and north of the park slope gently to the Narrabeen Lakes, ensuring superb views across the bushland. Vegetation is varied, ranging from dry heath to moist forest with unusual eucalypt species and grevillea. Nocturnal mammals are the main animals and birdlife includes honeyeaters, noisy butcherbirds and the hawk-like powerful owl.
Middle Harbour is well known for its boating and ﬁshing (boat ramps open day and night). The Davidson Park Picnic Area is a favourite with families (gates here close at 6.30pm; 8pm during daylight saving). Walking tracks wind around the harbour shores and some of the creeks, occasionally past waterholes and small waterfalls, and link with tracks to the area’s leafy suburbs. Swimming and canoeing on the calm waters are other possible activities.
Bushwalkers will especially enjoy the East Garigal section where short and longer trails enable visitors to delve a little deeper into the tranquil bush (contact the NPWS for detailed walking-trail maps). Horse riding is also allowed on some (signposted) tracks in the north-west section of the park.
Location and access
12 km north of the Sydney CDB, via Warringah Rd to Davidson Park Picnic Area or via Morgan Rd to East Garigal section of the park
- NSWNPWS 1300 361 967
- NPWS Forestville (02) 9451 3479
Sydney (02) 9240 8788