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Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park

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Learn more about why this park is special

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

Brilliant for birdwatchers

Wildflowers in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park. Photo: David Finnegan

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.

  • Coast alive: Birds and backyards Join this free activity in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park. You’ll get to discover the different types of birds in your backyard.
  • Explore Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park Come along to our 50th anniversary celebrations at Bobbin Head, Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park. It’s a great way to explore the park and discover how NPWS preserves and protects the natural habitat.
  • Pittwater half-day kayak tour Explore Pittwater’s islands, bays and coves during this half-day guided kayak tour. You'll enjoy morning tea on the bay before going for a short bush walk.
  • Walk Birrawanna tracks to Mangrove boardwalk Come along on a 3-hour, 6km guided walk to discover the beauty of Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park. You’ll be amazed of the sights.
  • Waratah walking track The long, yet gentle, Waratah walking track takes in wildflowers and scenic water views over Akuna and Yeomens Bay in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park.
  • Wilderquest Bush tree detectives Imagine being a bush tree detective on this WilderQuest adventure at Kalkari. Join this fun tour to discover how bush trees keep our air clean and environment healthy.
  • WilderQuest Flowers, friends and foes Have you ever wondered why plants have flowers and why they’re so important? Join in the WilderQuest fun and discover these colourful flowers and their friends and foes at Kalkari Discovery Centre.
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A rich Aboriginal heritage

Aboriginal engravings in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park. Photo: David Finnegan

The Guringai Aboriginal people originally inhabited the area, and the park showcases their rich cultural heritage. More than 350 Aboriginal sites have been recorded in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park. They include rock engravings, burial sites, axe grinding grooves and places that show evidence of Aboriginal occupation. For many visitors, these sites and other relics are the most visible reminders of the area's rich, living Aboriginal culture.

  • Aboriginal Heritage walk Take the fascinating Aboriginal Heritage walk highlighting rock art and engravings of the Guringai people of West Head in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park.
  • Explore Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park Come along to our 50th anniversary celebrations at Bobbin Head, Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park. It’s a great way to explore the park and discover how NPWS preserves and protects the natural habitat.
  • Talks at Kalkari: Paul Irish Come along to the Kalkari Discovery Centre to hear Paul Irish talk about his research on Aboriginal history. His research led to an unknown history of Aboriginal people along Sydney’s coastline.
  • The Basin track and Mackerel track The Basin track and Mackerel track offer stunning ocean views, as well as one of Sydney's best Aboriginal Art sites. You can also enjoy a picnic and swim, or catch a ferry to other scenic spots on Pit...

What we're doing for Aboriginal culture in this park

Wonderful waterways

Views from Barrenjoey headland, Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park. Photo: David Finnegan

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.

  • Pittwater half-day kayak tour Explore Pittwater’s islands, bays and coves during this half-day guided kayak tour. You'll enjoy morning tea on the bay before going for a short bush walk.
  • The Basin track and Mackerel track The Basin track and Mackerel track offer stunning ocean views, as well as one of Sydney's best Aboriginal Art sites. You can also enjoy a picnic and swim, or catch a ferry to other scenic spots on Pit...
  • West Head lookout Enjoy incredible views from West Head lookout, regarded as one of Sydney's best in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park. Photograph Pittwater and Barrenjoey Head, or take a short walk from here.

A great location to run, row or ride

West Head lookout, Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park. Photo: David Finnegan

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. 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.

  • Akuna Bay Boating enthusiasts love Akuna Bay. Use the public barbecue and enjoy a picnic at Akuna Bay Marina. It's the ideal spot to recharge after you've been out sailing.
  • Bobbin Head Visit Bobbin Head picnic area in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park and enjoy a barbecue or a spot of fishing. Go canoeing or hire a paddle boat for a great daytrip from Sydney.

What we're doing for Visitor facilities and experiences in this park

Plants and animals you may see

Animals

  • Long-nosed bandicoot, Sydney Harbour National Park. Photo: Narelle King

    Long-nosed bandicoot (Perameles nasuta)

    A nocturnal marsupial and one of the smaller Australian native animals, the long-nosed bandicoot is found across eastern Australia. Populations in the Sydney region have dwindled since European settlement, leaving only endangered colonies in inner western Sydney and at North Head, near Manly. The long-nosed bandicoot has grey-brown fur and a pointed snout which it uses to forage for worms and insects.

  • White-bellied sea eagle. Photo: John Turbill

    White-bellied sea eagle (Haliaeetus leucogaster)

    White-bellied sea eagles can be easily identified by their white tail and dark grey wings. These raptors are often spotted cruising the coastal breezes throughout Australia, and make for some scenic bird watching. Powerful Australian birds of prey, they are known to mate for life, and return each year to the same nest to breed.

Plants

  • Old man banksia, Moreton National Park. Photo: John Yurasek

    Old man banksia (Banksia serrata)

    Hardy Australian native plants, old man banksias can be found along the coast, and in the dry sclerophyll forests and sandstone mountain ranges of NSW. With roughened bark and gnarled limbs, they produce a distinctive cylindrical yellow-green banksia flower which blossoms from summer to early autumn.

  • Grass trees, Sugarloaf State Conservation Area. Photo: Michael Van Ewijk

    Grass tree (Xanthorrea spp.)

    An iconic part of the Australian landscape, the grass tree is widespread across eastern NSW. These Australian native plants have a thick fire-blackened trunk and long spiked leaves. They are found in heath and open forests across eastern NSW. The grass tree grows 1-5m in height and produces striking white-flowered spikes which grow up to 1m long.

  • Scribbly gum. Photo: Rosie Nicolai

    Scribbly gum (Eucalyptus haemastoma)

    Easily identifiable Australian native plants, scribbly gum trees are found throughout NSW coastal plains and hills in the Sydney region. The most distinctive features of this eucalypt are the ‘scribbles’ made by moth larva as it tunnels between the layers of bark.

  • Grey mangrove. Photo: Shane Rumming

    Grey mangrove (Avicennia marina)

    Grey mangrove is the most common and widespread mangrove found within intertidal zones across Australia, and throughout the world. Growing to a height of 3-10m, they thrive best in estuaries with a mix of fresh and salt water. They excrete excess salt through their long thick leaves, and absorb oxygen through their aerial root system.

Look out for...

Grass tree

Xanthorrea spp.

Grass trees, Sugarloaf State Conservation Area. Photo: Michael Van Ewijk

An iconic part of the Australian landscape, the grass tree is widespread across eastern NSW. These Australian native plants have a thick fire-blackened trunk and long spiked leaves. They are found in heath and open forests across eastern NSW. The grass tree grows 1-5m in height and produces striking white-flowered spikes which grow up to 1m long.

Environments in this park

Education resources (1)

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