Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park

Cottage Point Inn, Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, Sydney Seaplanes / Tourism New South Wales
Barbecue Bike riding Campfire Disabled Diving Drinking water Fishing Horse riding Kiosk/Restaurant Shower Swimming Toilets Watersports Wildflowers Wildlife Aboriginal site Camping area Information Ranger Walking


Just north of Sydney, historic Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park constantly surprises with its tree-covered headlands, sheltered coves, wide peaceful estuaries and wonderful blue-water views. It is rich in both Aboriginal and European heritage.

New Suoth Wales' most loved and visited parks, declared in 1894 and thus the state’s second oldest national park, Ku-ring-gai Chase preserves an important stretch of natural bushland as well as the lower reaches of the Hawkesbury River and a number of its tributaries. It is scenically beautiful, provides important breeding and roosting sites for numerous bird species and contains significant Aboriginal sites. It is also an outstanding recreation area, enabling visitors to savour the pleasures of this relatively undisturbed bush so close to Sydney.

Fact file


From Sydney by road: to North Turramurra then via Bobbin Head Rd; off Pacific Hwy at Mt Colah/Asquith then Ku-ring-gai Chase Rd; from Terrey Hills or Church Point then McCarrs Creek Rd; or by bus, ferry or rail

Best season

All year


30 km north of Sydney CBD

Park information

  • NSWNPWS 1300 361 967
  • Bobbin Head Visitor Centre (02) 9472 8949
  • Kalkari Visitor Centre (02) 9472 9300
  • Palm Beach Ferries (02) 9974 2411
  • www.palmbeachferry.com.au


14 977 ha

Visitor information

Sydney (02) 9240 8788


Featured Activities in the National Park

  • Explore Ku-ring-gai’s Aboriginal art sites

    Visit Barrenjoey Lighthouse for breathtaking coastal views

    Take the ferry to the Basin then swim in the lagoon

    Enjoy a picnic at historic Bobbin Head

See Also

Native plants

Ku-ring-gai’s plant life is a mix of low, shrubby heathland, eucalypt forest (typically including Sydney peppermint and red bloodwood trees), small areas of rainforest with dense, glossy-leaved lilly pilly and Australian fan palms, and mangroves emerging from the swampy mudflats. More than 1000 plant species have been recorded in the park.


Most of the park’s wildlife is shy and nocturnal, with many possums, gliders, marsupial mice and other creatures only emerging at night. If you are lucky you may see a swamp wallaby sheltering in an area of thick undergrowth, but again this marsupial mammal generally waits until night-time to feed. Among the park’s rare mammal species are the southern brown bandicoot and the common bentwing-bat, while vulnerable amphibians include the giant burrowing frog and the red-crowned toadlet. Ku-ring-gai’s birds are more visible and audible. Look for the large, messy nests of the wedge-tailed eagle balanced precariously high in a tree or on a rock ledge. Parrots, galahs, sulphur-crested cockatoos and laughing kookaburras can regularly be heard, while on the mudflats you may see spoonbills, egrets, Australian white ibis and eastern curlews delicately searching for food. Snakes and lizards are most likely to be seen – or detected by a rustle as they quickly slither away – during the warmer months. Watch for the common bluetongue, one of the world’s largest skinks. Around 100 butterfly species also inhabit the park.


Limited climbing and abseiling are allowed at Barrenjoey Head. Swimming at the sheltered beaches and in freshwater pools, fishing (flathead, tailor, mullet and snapper are typical catches) and relaxing at the water’s edge are other options.


Walking is by far the best and sometimes the only way to experience many of the park’s sights. There are tracks for all different levels of fitness and expertise. Aboriginal sites, secret beaches, expansive views, birdlife and colourful wildflowers in spring and summer are highlights. Willunga Trig Walk (1.8 km one way, 30 minutes) takes you through heathland and woodland to Willunga Trig, the park’s highest point, and some dazzling 360-degree views. Follow Elvina Track (7 km one way, 2½ hours, medium difficulty) to see waterfalls, water pools, rainforest and Aboriginal rock engravings. Garigal Aboriginal Heritage Walk at West Head (3.5 km one way, 2½–3 hours) is also fascinating. Or make the steep climb to the 1881 sandstone Barrenjoey Lighthouse at Broken Bay for tremendous coastal views. There is also a wheelchair-friendly Discovery Walking Trail from Kalkari Visitor Centre. Pick up detailed maps from Bobbin Head Visitor Centre.


The deeply indented coastline ensures excellent opportunities for sailing and boating, and there always seem to be dinghies afloat and canoes swishing by on the peaceful waters. There are two marinas within the park, at Bobbin Head and Akuna Bay.

Guided tours

Ask at Kalkari Visitor Centre about the Discovery programs, which include guided tours to see Aboriginal art sites, wildlife and more.

Horse riding

There are 15 kilometres of trails in the Terrey Hills and Duffys Forest areas.


Ku-ring-gai has long been a favourite for family picnics. The only barbecues are at busy Bobbin Head, with its 1930s picnic shelters and pavilions (the visitor centre is also here), but there are quieter locations (take a fuel stove as open fires are not permitted). There are also several kiosks in the park.

Scenic driving and cycling

A network of roads allows easy access to various parts of the park for those who enjoy touring by car. Cyclists can ride on many of the park’s trails and roads.


The Basin camping area

Camping for 400 visitors is permitted at this area only, near West Head. Vehicle parking is on West Head Rd; from there, it’s a 2.8 km walk or cycle to the campground. There is also access by water, via private... Find out more