Lane Cove National Park

Overview

Lane Cove National Park, not far from Sydney's city centre, is the perfect place for a family day out or school excursion. Explore historic sites along the Heritage walk or enjoy a picnic, canoe or go birdwatching.

Read more about Lane Cove National Park

Lane Cove National Park is a beautiful pocket of bushland that sits on either side of the peaceful Lane Cove River. It’s in easy reach for Sydneysiders, extending from East Ryde to Pennant Hills and West Chatswood.

It’s a great place for a day out with the family; there are lots of picnic areas to choose from, including those that offer picnic tables, barbecues, children’s play equipment, flat grassy areas and easy access to walking tracks and places to ride your bike. Whatever activities you fancy, you’re bound to find a perfect place to picnic for the day.

When you’ve polished off the picnic, you can hit the walking tracks to explore the park’s bushland, hire a boat from the Lane Cove Boatshed to row along the quiet Lane Cove River or cycle along the park’s roads. There’s also a fire trail between Pennant Hills and West Pymble, where you can ride your bike if you’re feeling more adventurous. The park’s historic sites are best explored along the self-guided Heritage walk. Pick up a brochure from the Lane Cove park office. If you’d like to stay overnight in the park, head to Lane Cove River Tourist Park and book a campsite or cabin.

Wherever you choose to spend the day in Lane Cove National Park, you’ll more than likely see or hear some of the park’s residents. Listen out for the kookaburra’s laughing call and look for colourful lorikeets flitting between the trees and the eastern water dragon slinking around by the river.

Current alerts in this area

There are no current alerts in this area.

Local alerts

For the latest updates on fires, closures and other alerts in this area, see http://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/visit-a-park/parks/lane-cove-national-park/local-alerts

Contact

See more visitor info

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about Lane Cove National Park.

Getting there and parking

Get driving directions

Get directions

    From Sydney take the Pacific Highway to Chatswood and turn left into Fullers Road:

    • Turn right into Lady Game Drive just before crossing the bridge
    • Take the first left into Max Allen Drive for the northern side of the river

    OR

    • Cross Fullers Bridge and then turn right into Riverside Drive, this will take you to the southern side of the river

    From Ryde, take Lane Cove Road and turn right into Riverside Drive, just past Eden Gardens.

    From Pennant Hills there are several pedestrian access points to the park, including via Britannia Street and Ferguson Avenue.

    Park entry points

    Parking Show more

    By bike

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

    By public transport

    Lane Cove National Park is accessible from North Ryde station and by bus from Chatswood station. For information about public transport options, visit the NSW transport info website.

    Best times to visit

    There are lots of great things waiting for you in Lane Cove National Park. Here are some of the highlights.

    Autumn

    The crisp sunny days of autumn are perfect for packing up a picnic or barbecue hamper and heading out for a day relaxing in the sun.

    Spring

    The park is alive with new life, including ducklings learning to swim and colourful wildflowers that light up the park's walking tracks.

    Weather, temperature and rainfall

    Summer temperature

    Average

    20°C and 27°C

    Highest recorded

    43.1°C

    Winter temperature

    Average

    5°C and 17°C

    Lowest recorded

    -3.5°C

    Rainfall

    Wettest month

    March

    Driest month

    July

    The area’s highest recorded rainfall in one day

    253mm

    Facilities

    Amenities Show more

    Toilets Show more

    Picnic tables Show more

    Barbecue facilities Show more

    Boat ramp

    Cafe/kiosk Show more

    Drinking water Show more

    Public phone

    Showers

    Wireless internet

    Electric power

    Maps and downloads

    Fees and passes

    Park entry fees:

    $8 per vehicle per day. The park has coin-operated pay and display machines - please bring correct coins. 

    Bus: $4.40 per adult, $2.20 per child (per day). Prior payment may be required, please phone the Chatswood office for more information.

    Group bookings:

    Under the National Parks and Wildlife Regulation 2009, prior written approval is required for organised groups of 30 or more people planning to visit the park. Contact the park office prior to your visit.

    • All Parks Pass - For all parks in NSW (including Kosciuszko NP) $190 (1 year) / $335 (2 years)
    • Multi-Park Pass - For all parks in NSW (except Kosciuszko) $65 (1 year) / $115 (2 years)

    Annual passes and entry fees (http://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/passes-and-fees)

    Safety messages

    However you discover NSW national parks and reserves, we want you to have a safe and enjoyable experience. Our park and reserve systems contrast greatly so you need to be aware of the risks and take responsibility for your own safety and the safety of those in your care.

    Mobile safety

    Dial Triple Zero (000) in an emergency. Download the Emergency + app before you visit; it helps emergency services locate you, using your smartphone's GPS. Please note there is limited mobile phone reception in this park, you’ll need mobile reception to call Triple Zero (000).

    Prohibited

    Pets

    Pets and domestic animals (other than certified assistance animals) are not permitted. Find out which regional parks allow dog walking and see the OEH pets in parks policy for more information.

    Smoking

    NSW national parks are no smoking areas.

    Nearby towns

    Wahroonga (9 km)

    Located on Sydney's upper north shore, Wahroonga is within short driving distance of Lane Cove National Park, Berowra Valley Regional Park, and the heritage-listed Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park. Australia's second-oldest national park, Ku-ring-gai Chase offers a range of recreational activities, as well as cafes and picnic areas.

    www.kmc.nsw.gov.au

    Sydney City Centre (14 km)

    No trip to Sydney is complete without spending some time in the city’s beautiful parks. Whether it’s in central areas like Hyde Park or the Royal Botanic Gardens or further out in Centennial Parklands, there’s plenty of green space to go out and enjoy.

    www.sydney.com

    Parramatta (15 km)

    Parramatta offers a fascinating insight into early colonial life in Australia. Don't miss a visit to Old Government House, now one of 11 Australian Convict Sites on the UNESCO World Heritage list.

    www.sydney.com

    Learn more

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

    Native plants and animals

    Wildflowers at Halfway Point picnic area, Lane Cove National Park. Photo: John Spencer

    The landscape of Lane Cove National Park is remarkable given that it sits within a large urban environment. You'll see eucalypt forests, casuarina woodland and saltwater wetlands, each of which is home to a range of different plants, animals and birds. Echidnas are mainly nocturnal, but sometimes venture out during the day when the weather is mild you'll have to be quick and quiet to catch a glimpse though, the slightest noise will have them curling up into a ball for protection and camouflage. If you're walking along the river and you think you've spied something that looks a little unusual, it could very well be an eastern water dragon - look for its distinctive black stripes and crest of enlarged spiny scales along its body.

    • Great North walk - Lane Cove National Park Passing through Lane Cove National Park, this multi-day hike offers stunning scenery across Sydney, the Hunter Valley and Newcastle. Tackle part of the track for an easy day walk.

    Sydney’s backyard

    Lane Cove River Tourist Park – cabins, Lane Cove National Park. Photo: Michael Van Ewijk

    Lane Cove National Park sits on the doorstep of Australia’s largest city, offering a wealth of opportunities for Sydneysiders and visitors to experience nature and spend time with family and friends. With opportunities for bushwalking and biking, kayaking and boating, picnicking and playing, you're guaranteed to want to visit again and again and it’s so close that you can. Did you know you can even go camping at Lane Cove National Park? For bush camping in an urban environment, head to Lane Cove River Tourist Park on the south western side of the park.

    • Carter Creek picnic area Book Carter Creek picnic area for your next celebration. There are shaded picnic tables and gas barbecues. Plus it's right by the river.
    • Pennant Hills West Pymble fire trail Ride the Pennant Hills to West Pymble fire trail for scenic views of Sydney and bushland. There's plenty of variety with technical parts and steep sections.

    Connection to Country

    Illoura picnic area, Lane Cove National Park. Photo: John Spencer

    Lane Cove National Park is part of the traditional land of the Guringai People whose Country extended from around Newcastle to Sydney Harbour. The Guringai people lived primarily by the water; fishing and hunting in the waters and hinterlands and harvesting food from surrounding bushland. The park protects a number of ancient Aboriginal sites today, some of which you may notice while exploring the park.

    Plants and animals you may see

    Animals

    • Southern boobook. Photo: David Cook

      Southern boobook (Ninox novaeseelandiae)

      The southern boobook, also known as the mopoke, is the smallest and most common native owl in Australia. With a musical 'boo-book' call that echoes through forests and woodlands, the southern boobook is a great one to look out for while bird watching.

    • Tawny frogmouth. Photo: Rosie Nicolai

      Tawny frogmouth (Podargus strigoides)

      Found throughout Australia, the tawny frogmouth is often mistaken for an owl due to its wide, powerful beak, large head and nocturnal hunting habits. The ‘oom oom oom’ call of this native bird can be heard echoing throughout a range of habitats including heath, woodlands and urban areas.

    Plants

    • 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.

    • Smooth-barked apple. Photo: Jaime Plaza

      Smooth-barked apple (Angophora costata)

      Smooth-barked apple gums, also known as Sydney red gum or rusty gum trees, are Australian native plants found along the NSW coast, and in the Sydney basin and parts of Queensland. Growing to heights of 15-30m, the russet-coloured angophoras shed their bark in spring to reveal spectacular new salmon-coloured bark.

    • 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.

    Environments in this park

    Education resources (1)

    School excursions (1)

    What we're doing

    Lane Cove National Park has management strategies in place to protect and conserve the values of this park. Visit the OEH website for detailed park and fire management documents. Here is just some of the work we’re doing to conserve these values:

    Managing weeds, pest animals and other threats

    Pests and weeds have a significant impact on the biodiversity values Lane Cove National Park. Risk assessment for new and emerging weeds, and prioritisation of pest management strategies, take place to ensure the ongoing environmental health and sustainability of this park.

    Conservation program

    Regional pest management strategies

    Weeds and pest animals cause substantial damage to agriculture and our environment, so it’s essential we manage them in NSW national parks and reserves. Our regional pest management strategies aim to minimise the impact of pests on biodiversity in NSW.  We work hard to protect our parks and neighbours from pests and weeds, ensuring measurable results.

    Developing visitor facilities and experiences

    Lane Cove National Park takes the safety of park visitors seriously. Incident management is an ongoing consideration for NPWS, which actively engages with government on relevant policy development. Fire management approaches are also frequently reviewed in this park, along with pest management strategies to make sure we offer the best visitor experience of the area as possible.

    Managing fire

    NSW is one of the most bushfire prone areas in the world as a result of our climate, weather systems, vegetation and the rugged terrain. NPWS is committed to maintaining natural and cultural heritage values and minimising the likelihood and impact of bushfires via a strategic program of fire research, fire planning, hazard reduction, highly trained rapid response firefighting crews and community alerts.

    Conservation program

    Hazard reduction program

    Managing fire-prone NSW national parks requires a three-pronged approach, including fire planning, community education, and fuel management. When it comes to fuel like dead wood, NPWS conducts planned hazard reduction activities like mowing and controlled burning to assist in the protection of life, property and community.

    Red row boats moored at the boatshed, Lane Cove National Park. Photo: Kevin McGrath