Akuna Bay

Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park

Overview

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.

Type
Picnic areas
Where
Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park
Accessibility
Easy
Price
Free
Entry fees
Park entry fees apply
Opening times

The picnic tables and barbecue are open seven days a week between 8.30am and 5pm.

Set sail for beautiful Akuna Bay, tucked away at the end of Coal and Candle Creek. The popular destination can also be reached by road via the scenic Liberator General San Martin Drive.

Bring a pair of binoculars to take advantage of the superb birdlife on display, or bring a fishing rod for a lazy afternoon drifting past the banks in solitude. Akuna Bay also features great facilities for a pre-departure picnic, with a public barbecue and ample tables for everyone. There are also some great dining options here. Alternatively, you can enjoy some light refreshments at the d'Albora Marinas Akuna Bay general store. Or indulge in a long and lazy Sunday lunch feast with friends and family at Pilu at Akuna Bay.

At d'Albora Marina, you’ll find wet berths and a dry stack area for small boats. There are also boat hire facilities, shops, a restaurant and function centre and plenty of parking for cars and boat trailers.

For directions, safety and practical information, see visitor info

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 https://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/things-to-do/picnic-areas/akuna-bay/local-alerts

Park info

  • in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park in the Sydney and surrounds region
  • 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.

    • The entrance to Bobbin Head and Appletree Bay is closed from 8pm to 6am during daylight savings periods, and from 5.30pm to 6am the rest of the year.
    • Gates to West Head are closed from 8.30pm to 6am during daylight savings periods, and from 6pm to 6am the rest of the year.
  • Park entry fees:

    $12 per vehicle per day.

    Vehicles over 8 seats: $4.40 per adult, $2.20 per child (per day). Students on educational programs: $1.10 per student. Teachers/educational supervisors: free (1 adult per 10 students).

    Buy a pass (//pass.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/).
See more visitor info

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about Akuna Bay.

Getting there and parking

Akuna Bay is in the Akuna Bay precinct of Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park. To get there:

  • Follow McCarrs Creek Road and turn onto Liberator General San Martin Drive
  • Akuna Bay is part way along scenic Coal and Candle Creek.

Road quality

  • Sealed roads

Vehicle access

  • 2WD vehicles

Weather restrictions

  • All weather

Parking

Parking is available at Akuna Bay.

Best times to visit

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.

Spring

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

Summer

Bring your fishing gear and go camping at The Basin.

Winter

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.

Weather, temperature and rainfall

Summer temperature

Average

17°C and 31°C

Highest recorded

43.1°C (1994)

Winter temperature

Average

5°C and 20°C

Lowest recorded

-3.5°C (1986

Rainfall

Wettest month

February and March

The area’s highest recorded rainfall in one day

253mm

Facilities

Picnic tables

Barbecue facilities

  • Gas/electric barbecues (free)

Boat ramp

Cafe/kiosk

Maps and downloads

Safety messages

Boating safety

If you're out on your boat fishing, waterskiing or just cruising the waterways, the safety of you and your passengers is paramount.

Fishing safety

Fishing from a boat, the beach or by the river is a popular activity for many national park visitors. If you’re planning a day out fishing, check out these fishing safety tips.

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 and you’ll need mobile reception to call Triple Zero (000).

Paddling safety

To make your paddling or kayaking adventure safer and more enjoyable, check out these paddling safety tips.

River and lake safety

The aquatic environment around rivers, lakes and lagoons can be unpredictable. If you're visiting these areas, take note of these river and lake safety tips.

Accessibility

Disability access level - easy

This area is fully wheelchair accessible. Access is available from the carpark to the marina and cafe.

Permitted

Fishing

A current NSW recreational fishing licence is required when fishing in all waters.

Please note that spear guns and hand spears are not permitted in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park. They may not be carried through the park and must not be used within 100m of a beach in the national park.

Prohibited

Gathering firewood

Gathering firewood and the use of heat beads is not permitted.

Pets

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

Smoking

NSW national parks are no smoking areas.

Visitor centre

Nearby towns

Gosford (25 km)

Gosford is a great destination for a family day trip or holiday. It's situated on Brisbane Water National Park and surrounded by state forests, lakes and beaches.

www.visitnsw.com

Northern Beaches (9 km)

Stunning sand, waves and an enviable lifestyle attract visitors to the beaches north of Sydney Harbour. Stop at Avalon for shopping and good cafes, charter a yacht on Pittwater, or hit the surf at Queenscliff, Collaroy, Long Reef or Narrabeen.

www.sydney.com

Sydney City Centre (23 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

Learn more

Akuna Bay is in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:

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.

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.
  • Head to the stars: Barrenjoey Calling all amateur astronomers to Barrenjoey Headland in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park. Discover astrophotography, learn about the solar system and tour Barrenjoey Lighthouse at this fun event.
  • 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 Pittwater.
  • Walk to Aboriginal engraving sites at West Head Join guest Aboriginal tour leader, Laurie Bimson from Guringai Aboriginal Tours, on this fascinating 3hr, 1km walk at West Head. We'll visit 3 Aboriginal engraving sites, driving between some of them.

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.

  • Art in the park: Bobbin Head Come along to this great art exhibition at Bobbin Head Information Centre, Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park. You'll enjoy beautiful artworks by local northern Sydney artists.
  • Head to the stars: Barrenjoey Calling all amateur astronomers to Barrenjoey Headland in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park. Discover astrophotography, learn about the solar system and tour Barrenjoey Lighthouse at this fun event.
  • 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.

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.

  • Art in the park: Bobbin Head Come along to this great art exhibition at Bobbin Head Information Centre, Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park. You'll enjoy beautiful artworks by local northern Sydney artists.
  • Coastal walk stage 3: Mona Vale to Barrenjoey With the end in sight, we'll make the final 12km trek from Mona Vale to Barrenjoey Lighthouse in Ku-ring-gai Chase. This series of 3 walks starts in Manly and finishes at Palm Beach.
  • 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 Pittwater.
  • 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.

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.

  • A red triangle slug on the trunk of a scribbly gum tree in Blue Mountains National Park. Photo: Elinor Sheargold/OEH

    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, Towra Point Nature Reserve. Photo: John Spencer

    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.

Environments in this park

Education resources (1)

View of Coal And Candle Creek from Akuna Bay. Photo: Gavin Jowitt