Skip to content

Browns Forest loop trail

"It was amazing to step off the curb into a forest filled with majestic blue gums. It’s incredible to think forest like this once covered the North Sydney region."

If you’ve ever wondered what Sydney looked like before the city took over, then head to Browns Forest loop trail, in the North Sydney suburb of St Ives. Immerse yourself in unspoilt bushland within Dalrymple-Hay Nature Reserve by taking advantage of its short and easy walking track. Only 30 minutes north of the CBD, it’s ideal for birdwatching enthusiasts, nature-lovers and botanists, and is a great walk for kids.

You’ll enter a forest of majestic blue gums and magnificent blackbutts that hark back to pre-colonial times with a lush understorey of ferns. Following the clearly signposted path, the kids will enjoy the self-guided series of interpretation signs.

In the spring, the ground cover of native flowers, such as the blue flax lily and pastel flower, burst into a colourful display. Any time of year, you’ll hear the chatter of birds such as rainbow lorikeets, crimson rosellas and king parrots echoing through the bush.


Getting there

Getting there:

Browns Forest loop trail is in Dalrymple-Hay Nature Reserve. To get 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.
  • Look for the sign to the reserve, park at the southern end and walk in.

Get driving directions


Vehicle access:

Sealed road - 2WD vehicles - All weather


Parking is available along Rosedale Road, and at a small carpark off Mona Vale Road.

Important info


1.3km (loop)

Time suggested:

30 minutes

You should know:

  • It’s a good idea to put sunscreen on before you set out and remember to take a hat
  • Remember to take your binoculars if you want to go birdwatching
  • Drinking water is limited or not available in this area, so it’s a good idea to bring your own.
  • It’s a good idea to wear insect repellent and long-sleeved clothing, as ticks are known to be present in the area.

Wheelchair access:

No disabled access

Share with friends

Brown Forest loop trail, Dalrymple-Hay Nature Reserve. Photo: John Spencer