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Dalrymple-Hay Nature Reserve

“We stepped off the suburban street into a delightful lush forest. It was such a delight being able to escape the city in the space of just a short drive.”

Escape the hustle of the city for a refreshing dose of nature. A 30-minute drive from the Sydney CBD can take you to a patch of paradise near St Ives.

Dalrymple-Hay Nature Reserve, in North Sydney, boasts one of the last remaining stands of magnificent blue gum forests within the Sydney region. This much-loved reserve is featured as part of the Ku-ring-gai Council nature walks and NPWS discovery program, making it popular for bushwalking and birdwatching.

The towering canopy and lush understorey of ferns support a staggering array of wildlife including black-faced swamp wallabies and echidnas. If visiting Dalrymple-Hay Nature Reserve at night, then keep your eyes peeled for sugar gliders, possums and owls.

Early morning is a superb time for birdwatching as the reserve comes alive with the sound of native Australian birds singing, including pardalotes, king parrots, and lorikeets.


Why you should visit

Dalrymple-Hay Nature Reserve is a special place. Here are just some of the reasons why:

Guringai lands
The reserve lies within the area of Guringai Aboriginal People – their lands stretched from the northern shores of Sydney Harbour to Broken Bay in the north. This fertile bushland would have supported large numbers of grazing animals such as wallabies, making it an important hunting ground.

Best practice bush care
Dalrymple is a showpiece for best practice bush regeneration in blue gum forest. So if you enjoy getting your hands dirty, and want to help preserve this precious tract of bushland, join the regular bush regeneration workings bees. For more information on their regular gatherings, contact the park ranger on 0419 753 804 or the Bushcare coordinator on (02) 9415 3998.

Pristine bushland
Named after Richard Dalrymple-Hay, the first Commissioner for forests, he acquired the tract of largely uncleared land for a demonstration forest. When it was discovered, the land was not large enough to log economically, so it was left untouched. Luckily for us, it’s preserved for future generations to enjoy.

Botanists ahead
This natural bushland has remained largely untouched since colonisation, and it’s not just a haven for animals and birdlife. Due to its largely undisturbed state, nature enthusiasts, botanists and researchers flock to the area to study this special patch of forest.

Local nightlife
This remnant forest is an important breeding ground for a range of animals and birdlife that hunt and feed at night. Here, you’ll find nocturnal species such as possums, sugar gliders as well as both powerful and boobook owls.

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Getting there


From Sydney:

  • Drive north from the CBD along Pacific Highway, turn right onto Mona Vale Road, just past Gordon, and continue for 2km.
  • Turn right onto Rosedale Road , just north of St Ives shopping centre, and drive for 1km.
  • At the sign for the reserve, park at the southern end and walk in.

Get driving directions


 Opening times

Dalrymple-Hay Nature Reserve is open sunrise to sunset but may have to close at times due to poor weather or fire danger.

 Close to

Dalrymple-Hay Nature Reserve is close to:

  • St Ives (0.5km)
  • Pymble (1km)
  • Sydney (18km)

 Public transport

Dalrymple-Hay Nature Reserve is accessible by train from Pymble Station. It’s also accessible by bus along Mona Vale Road. For information about public transport options, visit the NSW transport info website.


Check out the Bicycle information for NSW website for more information.

Weather and climate

 Visiting through the seasons

There are lots of great things waiting for you in Dalrymple-Hay National Park. Here are some of the highlights:

Spring (Sept, Oct, Nov)

  • A great time for a walking through the forest as native flowers, such as the blue flax lily and a range of orchids, burst with colour.

Summer (Dec, Jan, Feb)

  • On a hot Sydney afternoon, retreat to the cool forest with an understorey of lush ferns.

Autumn (Mar, Apr, May)

  • Autumn is a great time of year to view the abundant birdlife such as pardalotes, lorikeets and silver-eyes.

Winter (Jun, Jul, Aug)

  • A brisk early morning walk along the short steep track is a great way to get your heart pumping and ward off the winter chill



  • The average temperature ranges between 17.5°C and 25.9°C
  • The area's highest recorded temperature in summer is 45.8°C

Winter ­

  • The average temperature ranges between 8°C and 17.8°C
  • The area’s lowest recorded temperature in winter is 2.1°C


  • The wettest month on average is June. The driest is September.
  • The area's highest recorded rainfall is 327.6mm in one day



Phone: 02 8448 0400
Street address: Lane Cove National Park, Lady Game Drive, Chatswood NSW 2067

Towering trees, Dalrymple-Hay Nature Reserve. Photo: John Spencer