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Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park

Important information

Alerts for Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park: closed areas


Updated: 07/04/2015 08:00 AM

“There are lots of great walking tracks, but I think my favourite has to be the Berowra track - it winds around the creek and the views are so pretty.”

Australia’s second-oldest national park, Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park is a recreational favourite for locals and visitors alike. This large park, located in Sydney’s north, lets you feel at one with nature without leaving the Sydney metropolitan area. A heritage-listed park, it combines important history with scenic beauty.  

Winding creeks and stretches of ocean meet rainforest and eucalypts, rocky cliffs and mangroves. Camp at The Basin or spend your time exploring walking tracks, mountain biking trails, breathtaking lookouts and significant Aboriginal sites. You’ll still have plenty of time to discover its marinas, cafes, kiosks and well-equipped picnic areas.


Why you should visit

Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park is a special place, here are just some of the reasons why:

Perfectly located
Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park is situated within the Sydney Metropolitan Area, 20km north of the Sydney CBD. The park runs from St Ives to the shores of the Hawkesbury River at Brooklyn. The 14,882ha park also includes the stunning Barrenjoey Head, 1km across Pittwater at Palm Beach. Multiple entry points offer easy access – one of the many reasons this park is so popular with locals.

Wonderful waterways
Protecting a major part of northern Sydney’s waterways, Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park is the ideal place to make a splash. The park includes much of the Hawkesbury River, Pittwater and Cowan Water, plus numerous creeks and coves. You’ll find good facilities at Empire Marina, amazing sea views at Barrenjoey Head and several good spots for a waterfront picnic.

Run, row or ride
With everything from jogging tracks to picnic areas and great places to whalewatch, Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park is excellent for outdoor activity. Hire paddle boats from Bobbin Inn, walk the Gibberagong track, horse ride the Perimeter trail or cycle from Mt Colah to Pymble station.

A rich Aboriginal heritage
The Guringai Aboriginal people originally inhabited the area, and the park showcases their rich cultural heritage. Take the Aboriginal Heritage walk or visit The Basin Aboriginal art site. See Red Hands Cave, rock engravings on Lambert Peninsula or middens near Bobbin Head or join an Aboriginal Discovery tour for a more in-depth experience.

Brilliant for birdwatchers
Over 160 bird species have been recorded in the park so bring those binoculars to see wood ducks, crimson rosellas, wedge-tailed eagles and pelicans. The Basin campground is home to some confident kookaburras, so keep a tight hold on your lunch.

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closed areas

Barrenjoey Access trail closed - Barrenjoey Lighthouse (Ends Friday 31 July)

The Barrenjoey Headland Access trail will be closed from Tuesday 7 April to Friday 31 July 2015 to undertake essential track upgrade works.
  • The lighthouse precinct will still be accessible via the Smugglers Track during this period.
For more information, please contact the Bobbin Head Information Centre on (02) 9472 8949 or visit the NSW National Parks safety page for park safety guidelines.
Waratah trail closed weekdays between 30 March to 20 April for maintenance works - Waratah walking track (Ends Tuesday 21 April)

The Waratah trail will be closed for maintenance works weekdays between 7am and 5pm from 30 March to 20 April 2015. This closure may be extended and any extension will be posted as soon as possible. Some machinery operations will be commencing prior and people are asked to exercise caution. Penalties apply for non-compliance. For more information, please contact the Bobbin Head Information Centre on (02) 9472 8945 or visit the NSW National Parks safety page for park safety guidelines.

Getting there


From Turramurra: Enter the park from Bobbin Head Road, at North Turramurra. This is a good route to Bobbin Head and Appletree Bay.

From Mt Colah/Asquith: Enter the park from Ku-ring-gai Chase Road, off the Pacific Highway. This gives you easy access to the large parking areas and picnic facilities at Bobbin Head and Appletree Bay.

From Terrey Hills or Church Point: Enter the park from McCarrs Creek Road. This leads to to Liberator General San Martin Drive, where you'll find the picnic areas and facilities of Illawong Bay and Akuna Bay. It also gives access to West Head Road, West Head and The Basin.

Get driving directions


 Opening times

Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park is open sunrise to sunset but may have to close at times due to poor weather or fire danger.

  • Gates to Bobbin Head and Appletree Bay are closed from 8pm to 6am during daylight savings periods, and from 5.30pm to 6am at other times of the year.
  • Gates to West Head are closed from 8.30pm to 6am during daylight savings periods, and from 6pm to 6am at other times of the year.


Vehicle entry fees

In this park, vehicle entry fees are $11 per vehicle per day. If you're arriving by bus or taxi you'll need to pay daily entry fees of $4.40 adults, $2.20 children; there is no daily entry fee for teachers/educational supervisors (1 adult per 10 children)

 Close to

Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park is close to:

  • Hornsby (5km)
  • Sydney (25km)
  • Gosford (50km)

 Public transport

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


Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park offers an exceptional visit all year round. You're sure to find a walk, tour, activity or attraction to appeal, regardless of the season.

 Visiting through the seasons

There are lots of things waiting for you in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park. Here are some of the highlights:

Spring (Sept, Oct, Nov)

  • If you're interested in wildflower displays, set aside a day in August or September to stroll through the park's blooming heathlands

Summer (Dec, Jan, Feb)

  • Bring your fishing gear and go camping at The Basin

Winter (Jun, Jul, Aug)

  • Barrenjoey Head (on the other side of Pittwater, but still in the park) is an excellent spot for whale watching. Take the Barrenjoey Lighthouse Walk between May and August or celebrate International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend in August.



  • The average temperature ranges between 17°C and 31°C
  • The area’s highest recorded temperature is 43.1°C (1994)


  • The average temperature ranges between 5°C and 20°C
  • The area’s lowest recorded temperature is -3.5°C (1986)


  • The mean annual rainfall for the area is 1,146.7mm
  • The wettest months on average are February and March
  • The area's highest recorded rainfall is 253mm in one day


Bobbin Head Information Centre

Phone: 02 9472 8949
Street address: Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, Bobbin Head Road, Mount Colah
Opening hours: 10am-4pm daily or 9am-4pm during summer school holidays, closed 12:00pm-12:30pm (closed Christmas Day)

The Basin and Beechwood Cottage (Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park)

Phone: 02 9974 1011

Sydney North (Kalkari Discovery Centre)

Phone: 02 9472 9300 or 02 9472 9301


Street address: Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, Ku-ring-gai Chase Road, Mount Colah

Opening hours: Seven days a week 9am to 5pm; closed Christmas Day

The view from the top of Barrenjoey Lighthouse. Photo:K. McGrath