Cattai picnic area
Cattai National Park
Ideal for a picnic or barbecue, Cattai picnic area is located close to historic sites on the Hawkesbury River banks. Visit for birdwatching and paddling.
- Picnic areas
- Entry fees
- Park entry fees apply
- What to
- Drinking water
- Please note
- Picnic shelters can be booked in advance for a fee. Booking reservations must be made 4 or more day(s) in advance.
- Visitors are welcome to use the picnic shelters if they haven't been booked
- Please note the park's opening hours as gates are locked at closing time
You’ll find plenty to keep you occupied at picturesque Cattai picnic area, located near Cattai campground.
There’s plenty of grass to lay out your picnic rug, or you can set up in one of the large picnic shelters if they are free. You can book one of the seven picnic shelters ahead of time – they make a great place for birthday parties, family celebrations and reunions.
When you’ve polished off your barbecue or picnic feast, there’s plenty to explore in this part of the park. It’s an easy walk to the historic homestead where you can take a peek into Australian history, and there’s great canoeing and fishing to be had along the Hawkesbury River – so remember to bring your canoe, kayak or rod. Plus, there is a tonne of room for children to run and ride around the picnic area. What more could you ask for on a family day out?
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/cattai-picnic-area/local-alerts
- National Parks Contact Centre
- 7am to 7pm daily
- 1300 072 757 (13000 PARKS) for the cost of a local call within Australia excluding mobiles
- in Cattai National Park in the Sydney and surrounds region
Cattai National Park is open 8am to 6pm from May to August and 8am to 8pm from September to April. The park may have to close at times due to poor weather or fire danger.
Park entry fees:
$8 per vehicle per day (including motorbikes). Day passes are available from on-park pay machines that accept coins and credit cards, and you can also pay for your visit via the Park’nPay app.Buy annual pass.
All the practical information you need to know about the Cattai picnic area.
Getting there and parking
To get to Cattai picnic area, take the park turn off from Cattai Road or Wisemans Ferry Road. You'll find the picnic area about 2km along the road.
- Unsealed roads
- 2WD vehicles
- All weather
Parking is available on the main road of the park.
Best times to visit
Cattai National Park is a great place to visit all year round. Head to the park for a winter picnic in the sun or a family camping holiday during spring. Walking and bike riding are popular autumn activities in the park and summer is perfect for paddling along the river.
Weather, temperature and rainfall
16°C and 30°C
3°C and 18°C
The area’s highest recorded rainfall in one day
The water available at Cattai picnic area needs to be treated or boiled before drinking. It’s a good idea to bring your own supply for cooking and drinking.
- Flush toilets
- Gas/electric barbecues (free)
Maps and downloads
Disability access level - medium
Assistance may be required to access this area.
A current NSW recreational fishing licence is required when fishing in all waters.
Cattai picnic area is in Cattai National Park. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:
A birder's bounty
The park's riverside location, close to Longneck Lagoon, makes it popular with birdwatchers. Spot vulnerable black bitterns, powerful owls or rufous night herons. Visit the park's major wetland areas to observe several bird species otherwise scarce within Sydney.
- Mitchell Park walking tracks Mitchell Park walking tracks offer several linked walks through remnant rainforest, diverse woodland and wetlands, in Cattai National Park, near Windsor.
Cattai National Park is the traditional Country of the Darug people. The park's landscape, including the river provided a rich source of food, medicine, shelter and tools for the Aboriginal people who travelled through the area. The park protects a number of ancient Aboriginal sites that are evidence of the Darug people's ancient connection to the land, you may find axe grinding grooves on rocks as well as rock engravings and art.
An important landscape
Cattai National Park lies within the Cumberland Plain, an important land system near Sydney that has been impacted by agricultural processes and urban development. Mitchell Park is significant because it contains much of its original vegetation, including paper bark, red gum, stringy bark, grey gum and cabbage gums. The best way to see the changing vegetation is along the Mitchell Park track, you'll notice that each part of the walk is named to describe the type of vegetation along that part of the walk.
Cattai National Park is significant because it includes a parcel of land granted to First Fleet assistant surgeon Thomas Arndell. Cattai Farm and the surrounding area was home to seven generations of Arndell's, with the land remaining with descendents of Thomas Arndell for about 180 years. Today, several historic sites invite observation and journeying into the past; Arndell's 1821 homestead, convict-built walls and roads, grain silos and ruins of a windmill believed to be Australia's oldest industrial building.
- Cattai Homestead and historic farm buildings Cattai Homestead and historic farm buildings near Windsor, just north of Sydney, are an important part of Australian history and a must-see for history buffs.
Plants and animals protected in this park
Common ringtail possum (Pseudocheirus peregrinus)
Commonly found in forests, woodlands and leafy gardens across eastern NSW, the Australian ringtail possum is a tree-dwelling marsupial. With a powerful tail perfectly adapted to grasp objects, it forages in trees for eucalypt leaves, flowers and fruit.
Sugar glider (Petaurus breviceps)
The sugar glider is a tree-dwelling Australian native marsupial, found in tall eucalypt forests and woodlands along eastern NSW. The nocturnal sugar glider feeds on insects and birds, and satisfies its sweet tooth with nectar and pollens.
Common brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula)
One of the most widespread of Australian tree-dwelling marsupials, the common brushtail possum is found across most of NSW in woodlands, rainforests and urban areas. With strong claws, a prehensile tail and opposable digits, these native Australian animals are well-adapted for life amongst the trees.
Kookaburra (Dacelo novaeguineae)
Of the 2 species of kookaburra found in Australia, the laughing kookaburra is the best-known and the largest of the native kingfishers. With its distinctive riotous call, the laughing kookaburra is commonly heard in open woodlands and forests throughout NSW national parks, making these ideal spots for bird watching.
Brown-striped frog (Lymnastes peronii)
One of the most common frogs found in Australia, the ground-dwelling brown-striped frog lives in ponds, dams and swamps along the east coast. Also known as the striped marsh frog, this amphibian grows to 6.5cm across and has a distinctive ‘tok’ call that can be heard all year round.
Cumberland Plain land snail (Meridolum corneovirens)
The endangered Cumberland Plain land snail is only found on the Cumberland Plain, west of Sydney. During drought it digs deep into the soil to escape harsh conditions. Its brown shell is thin and fragile.