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Marramarra National Park

“I still can’t believe that this close to Sydney you can find such a secluded and peaceful place to get away from it all. We’re just so lucky.”

Marramarra National Park is one of the Hawkesbury’s best-kept secrets and has to be among the most exciting national parks in the country. Hidden away in the northern outskirts of Sydney at the junction of Hawkesbury River and Berowra Creek, it’s a peaceful pocket of Aussie bush on Sydney’s doorstep, just waiting to be explored.

It’s so close to the city, but you’ll barely see another soul. Go boating, kayaking and canoeing on the beautiful waters of Hawkesbury River and Marramarra Creek. Enjoy bushwalking on the many walking tracks and go cycling on your mountain bike along Canoelands Ridge management trail. Take in spectacular views while discovering more about the area’s Aboriginal heritage, and see historic heritage sites from early European settlement.

From all this exploring, you’ll probably be looking for somewhere to take a break. Get back to basics and spend a night camping at Gentlemans Halt or Marramarra Creek campgrounds on the shores of Hawkesbury River. Or simply drop in for the day and enjoy this beautiful place to picnic, not far from Hornsby.

Highlights
 

Why you should visit

Marramarra National Park is a special place. Here are just some of the reasons why:

Darug country
Marramarra is part of the traditional lands of the Darug Aboriginal people. Their use and respect of the land can be found in isolated corners of the park. Cave art, rock engravings, grinding grooves, middens, scarred trees, and other occupational deposits and stone arrangements are all part of Marramarra.

Exploring the land
In the early days of the new colony, Hawkesbury River was a major communication route and supported an active river-based community. European exploration began as early as 1789 when Governor Arthur Phillip took his second trip up Hawkesbury River and camped at Gentlemans Halt. By 1884, there was a small community at Gentlemans Halt and a provisional school had been established; you can still see the foundations of a road and a wharf from this era. Other reminders of European historic heritage include remains of orange orchards along Marramarra Creek and the foundations of a hut, stone walls and a well at Big Bay.

Plentiful lands
The sandstone ridges and deep gullies of Marramarra support a wide range of environments. Experience salt marsh and mangrove forests on the shores of Hawkesbury River, to tall open forest and ridge-top woodlands. In spring, the bush turns into a brilliant display of colour as the wildflowers burst in action. Discover the unique plant life and help preserve it – why not participate in the bush regeneration and volunteer programs in the park?

Is it a bird?
Marramarra is home to a great diversity of animals and birds, making it a great place for wildlife spotting and birdwatching. You’re likely to spot a white-breasted sea eagle, swamp wallaby, possum or kingfisher in your travels. If you’re lucky, you might come across some of the more uncommon animals found here such as rails, gang-gang and glossy black cockatoos, and red-crowned toadlets.

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Getting there

 Car

From Hornsby:

  • Follow Galston Road through Galston Gorge
  • To access the southern precinct, turn right into Arcadia Road, then after approximately 4km, turn left into Cobah Road and continue along Bloodwood Road to the park.
  • To access the northern precinct, continue through Galston and turn right onto Old Northern Road, then after approximately 18km, turn right into Canoelands Road.

From Wisemans Ferry:

  • Drive south on Old Northern Road towards Dural
  • To access the northern precinct, turn left into Canoelands Road after approximately 18km.
  • To access the southern precinct, after approximately 34km, turn left into Wylds Road, continue, then turn left into Arcadia Road. After approximately 4km, turn left into Cobah Road and continue along Bloodwood Road to the park.

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 Opening times

Marramarra National Park is always open but may have to close at times due to poor weather or fire danger.

 Close to

Marramarra National Park is close to:

  • Arcadia (9km)
  • Wisemans Ferry (25km)
  • Hornsby (25km)
  • Sydney (52km)

 Public transport

For information about public transport options, visit the NSW transport info website

 Bike

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 Marramarra National Park. Here are some of the highlights:

Spring (Sept, Oct, Nov)

  • Wander through the bush and enjoy the colourful display of wildflowers

Summer (Dec, Jan, Feb)

  • Paddle the waterways by kayak or canoe and have a swim in the rivers

Autumn (Mar, Apr, May)

  • Unwind and take in the serenity of camping at Gentlemans Halt or Marramarra Creek campgrounds

Winter (Jun, Jul, Aug)

  • Enjoy longer hikes and day walks such as Canoelands Ridge walking track or Marramarra Ridge to Smugglers Ridge walking track

 Temperature

Summer

  • The average temperature ranges between 15°C and 27°C
  • The area's highest recorded temperature in summer is 42.9°C

Winter ­

  • The average temperature ranges between 6°C and 18°C
  • The area’s lowest recorded temperature in winter is -0.1 °C

 Rainfall

  • The wettest month on average is February, the driest is July.
  • The area's highest recorded rainfall is 620mm in one day

Safety

Chatswood

Phone: 02 8448 0400
Email: Lane.Cove@environment.nsw.gov.au
Street address: Lane Cove National Park, Lady Game Drive, Chatswood NSW 2067

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Marramarra National Park. Photo: John Spencer/NSW Government