Davidson Park picnic area and boat ramp

Garigal National Park

Overview

If you're looking for something to do in Sydney, Davidson Park is a pretty harbourside park with boating and canoeing access, just a short drive from the Sydney CBD.

Type
Picnic areas
Where
Garigal National Park
Accessibility
Easy
Price
Free
Entry fees

Park entry fees apply at Davidson Park

Opening times
  • Davidson Park picnic area gates are open 6am – 6pm daily
  • Gates close at 8pm during daylight savings
Bookings

For information about booking Area 2 for private functions please call the Forestville office.

Please note
All launch areas are close to picnic grounds, toilets and barbecue facilities.

If you’re after a beautiful waterside setting for a great day out with family or friends, Davidson Park picnic area is perfect, and just a short drive from the Sydney CBD.

Large open grassy areas, free barbecues and a stunning Middle Harbour Creek backdrop make this spot the perfect place to unwind. Eucalyptus trees are abundant here, so there’s plenty of shade, and lots of space for family games.

Launch ramps mean getting out on the water in a boat or canoe is a breeze. The south-eastern end of the park is ideal for launching your motor boat or sail boat for access to Middle Harbour and Sydney Harbour and, if you’re keen to discover the waterways by canoe or kayak, there are two dedicated ramps - one near the boat ramp parking area and the other at the western end of the picnic grounds. If you feel like a walk after lunch, try Davidson Park to Stepping Stone Crossing walk or Natural Bridge track to Davidson Park, which begin nearby.

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/davidson-park-picnic-area-and-boat-ramp/local-alerts

General enquiries

Park info

  • in Garigal National Park in the Sydney and surrounds region
  • Garigal National Park is open 6am to 6.30pm (8pm during daylight savings) but may have to close at times due to poor weather or fire danger.

  • Park entry fees:

    $8 per vehicle per day applies at Davidson Park only. There are coin-operated or credit card pay and display machines. Bus: $4.40 per adult, $2.20 per child (per day).

    Daily entry fee exemption for teachers and educational supervisors (1 adult per 10 children) applies only for organised and pre-arranged group bookings.

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

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about the Davidson Park picnic area and boat ramp.

Getting there and parking

The entrance to the Davidson Park picnic area is located near the Roseville Bridge, Warringah Road, Forestville. To get there:

  • Travel southwest along Warringah Road from Forestville
  • Take the Healey Way exit on the northeast side of the Roseville Bridge

Road quality

  • Sealed roads

Vehicle access

  • 2WD vehicles

Weather restrictions

  • All weather

Parking

  • Parking is available at Davidson Park picnic area. It can be a busy place on the weekend, so parking might be limited.
  • Bus parking is also available.

Best times to visit

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

Spring

Spot wildflowers turning the undergrowth into a painter's palette along the Cascades trail during late winter and early spring.

Summer

Davidson Park is a popular place for a family picnic or barbecue, so pack up the kids and a tasty lunch to enjoy some time in the great outdoors.

Weather, temperature and rainfall

Summer temperature

Average

18°C and 26°C

Highest recorded

44°C

Winter temperature

Average

10°C and 16°C

Lowest recorded

-1.7°C

Rainfall

Wettest month

March

Driest month

September

The area’s highest recorded rainfall in one day

290mm

Facilities

Amenities

Toilets

  • Flush toilets

Picnic tables

Barbecue facilities

Gas BBQs only.

Boat ramp

  • A time-controlled water supply is conveniently located near the boat ramp for engine-flushing (a small fee applies).
  • You can launch your motor boat or sail boat at Davidson Park for access to Middle Harbour and Sydney Harbour.
  • The boat ramp allows for several craft to be launched/retrieved at one time and the ample parking area accommodates vehicles with trailers.
  • Two canoe launch ramps are located at Davidson Park. One near the boat ramp parking area, and the other is at the western end of the picnic grounds next to Area 4.
  • The boat ramp is open 24 hours every day of the year.
  • Canoe ramps are also available.

Carpark

Drinking water

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 – most of Davidson Park is wheelchair-accessible
  • There is a wheelchair-accessible boat landing pontoon

Prohibited

Camp fires and solid fuel burners

The use of solid fuel barbecues (including wood and charcoal) is prohibited in Garigal National Park.

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.

Nearby towns

Mosman (7 km)

There are plenty of water sports that the whole family can enjoy at Balmoral Beach, near Mosman. Go snorkelling in the sheltered waters around Balmoral Beach, sailing or join a scuba dive course at Chowder Bay where you may be lucky enough to see the tiny sea horses that inhabit this part of Sydney Harbour.

www.sydney.com

Parramatta (20 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

Sydney City Centre (10 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

Davidson Park picnic area and boat ramp is in Garigal National Park. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:

Outdoor action

Davidson picnic area, Garigal National Park. Photo: Shaun Sursok

There are countless ways to pass the time in Garigal. Explore the park's trails and tracks on horseback, mountain bike or on foot. If you enjoy water activities, launch your canoe or boat from the ramp at Davidson Park or drop a line in one of the great fishing spots throughout the park, like Middle Harbour, where you can catch flathead, flounder, mullet and bream.

  • Cascades trail The Cascades Trail is ideal for walking, horseriding and mountain biking. A medium difficulty walk or ride along a fire trail, it traverses Middle Harbour creek.
  • Davidson Park picnic area and boat ramp If you're looking for something to do in Sydney, Davidson Park is a pretty harbourside park with boating and canoeing access, just a short drive from the Sydney CBD.
  • Natural Bridge track to Davidson Park This is a challenging walking track winds through Garigal National Park taking in impressive sandstone rock formations and spectacular water views.

Rich Aboriginal heritage

Cascade trail, Garigal National Park. Photo: Kim McClymont

The Guringai people have been custodians of the land in Garigal National Park for thousands of years and this connection and legacy is evident throughout the park. Garigal has extensive Aboriginal art sites, with over 100 Aboriginal sites recorded to date, including cave art, rock engravings, shelters, middens and grinding grooves.

Wartime stories

Pipeline and Bungaroo tracks to Stepping Stones trail, Garigal National Park. Photo: John Spencer

There are many places of historical interest in the park, such as Bungaroo and the former Bantry Bay Explosives Magazine complex. Both sites played a key role in the early establishment of Sydney and are important reminders of our history since colonisation. Enjoy a walk to Bantry Bay, where you'll see a collection of historically important buildings surrounded by stunning foreshore and bushland views.

Wildlife haven

Silver banksia (Banksia marginata), Garigal National Park. Photo: John Spencer

Garigal is part of an important wildlife corridor that spans all the way from Sydney Harbour to the national parks of the Blue Mountains. It's the natural habitat for a number of threatened native animal species, such as tiger quolls, broad-headed snakes and red-crowned toadlets, so keep your eyes peeled. If you see a hole in the ground it may be that of the endangered southern brown bandicoot.

  • Cascades trail The Cascades Trail is ideal for walking, horseriding and mountain biking. A medium difficulty walk or ride along a fire trail, it traverses Middle Harbour creek.
  • Stepping Stone Crossing to Cascades trail Located in Garigal National Park, Stepping Stone Crossing to Cascades trail is an easy walk that you can enjoy by walking, horse riding or mountain biking.

Plants and animals you may see

Animals

  • Eastern water dragon. Photo: Rosie Nicolai

    Eastern water dragon (Intellagama lesueurii lesueurii)

    The eastern water dragon is a subaquatic lizard found in healthy waterways along eastern NSW, from Nowra to halfway up the Cape York Pensinsula. It’s believed to be one of the oldest of Australian reptiles, remaining virtually unchanged for over 20 million years.

Plants

  •  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.

  • 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.

Environments in this park

Education resources (1)

The view along the river. Photo: Shaun Sursok