Canoelands Ridge walking track

Marramarra National Park

Affected by closures, check current alerts 

Overview

Canoelands Ridge walking track is a beautiful day walk near Hornsby and Sydney. See scenic Hawkesbury River views and native wildflowers along the way on this long hike.

Where
Marramarra National Park
Distance
21km return
Time suggested
8 - 10hrs
Grade
Grade 4
Trip Intention Form

It's a good idea to let someone know where you're going. Fill in a trip intention form to send important details about your trip to your emergency contact.

Price
Free
What to
bring
Drinking water, hat, sunscreen, suitable clothing
Please note
Remember to take your binoculars if you want to birdwatch.

There’s no better way to experience the beauty of Marramarra than by spending the day exploring Canoelands Ridge walking track on foot.

The 10km walk to Gentlemans Halt takes you through constantly changing vegetation and right in to the heart of this secluded pocket of bushland in the northern outskirts of Sydney. See spectacular ridge-top colours of iconic Hawkesbury sandstone and remarkable views of Hawkesbury River. Watch the occasional boat carving through the glistening blue waters of this beautiful waterway.

In spring, the bush turns into a vibrant display of colour with the native wildflowers. Wander through gullies of bright red waratahs and Gymea lilies, and explore the saltmarsh and mangroves by the river’s edge near Gentlemans Halt. Head off for a long day walking in the bush, or pack your tent and sleeping bag for a peaceful night camping by the river at historic Gentlemans Halt campground.

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/walking-tracks/canoelands-ridge-walking-track/local-alerts

General enquiries

Park info

See more visitor info

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about Canoelands Ridge walking track.

Track grading

Grade 4

Learn more about the grading system Features of this track
  • Time

    8 - 10hrs

  • Quality of markings

    Limited signage

  • Gradient

    Short steep hills

  • Distance

    21km return

  • Steps

    Occasional steps

  • Quality of path

    Formed track, some obstacles

  • Experience required

    Experienced bushwalkers

Getting there and parking

Get driving directions

Get directions

    Canoelands Ridge walking track is in the northern precinct of Marramarra National Park. To get there:

    • Follow the directions to the park via Canoelands Road
    • Continue driving along Canoelands Road until you see the parking area on your left where the walk starts

    Park entry points

    Parking

    Parking is available at the start of Canoelands Ridge walking track.

    Best times to visit

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

    Autumn

    Unwind and take in the serenity of camping at Gentlemans Halt or Marramarra Creek campgrounds.

    Spring

    Wander through the bush and enjoy the colourful display of wildflowers.

    Summer

    Paddle the waterways by kayak or canoe and have a swim in the rivers.

    Winter

    Enjoy longer hikes and day walks such as Canoelands Ridge walking track or Marramarra Ridge to Smugglers Ridge walking track.

    Weather, temperature and rainfall

    Summer temperature

    Average

    19°C and 28°C

    Highest recorded

    44.8°C

    Winter temperature

    Average

    6°C and 16°C

    Maps and downloads

    Safety messages

    Bushwalking safety

    If you're keen to head out on a longer walk or a backpack camp, always be prepared. Read these bushwalking safety tips before you set off on a walking adventure in national parks.

    • This walk takes you to a remote location. Please ensure you’re well-prepared, bring appropriate clothing and equipment, and advise a family member or friend of your travel plans.
    • If you’re bushwalking in this park, it’s a good idea to bring a topographic map and compass, or a GPS.

    Mobile safety

    Dial Triple Zero (000) in an emergency. Download the Emergency Plus 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).

    Permitted

    Camp fires and solid fuel burners

    • You are encouraged to bring gas or fuel stoves, especially in summer during the fire season.

    Fishing

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

    Prohibited

    Gathering firewood

    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

    Gosford (24 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

    Hawkesbury area (16 km)

    Explore the beautiful Hawkesbury River with Australia's Last River Boat Postman, or sample fresh oysters at a casual riverside cafe. Start your Hawkesbury adventure with a seaplane flight from Sydney to a local restaurant by the river.

    www.sydney.com

    Parramatta (34 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

    Canoelands Ridge walking track is in Marramarra National Park. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:

    Darug country

    Sandstone cave, Marramarra National Park. Photo: John Spencer

    Marramarra is part of the traditional lands of the Darug Aboriginal people. Their use and respect of the land can be found in isolated corners of the park. The surviving Aboriginal sites, which provide the only indications of traditional life in the area, are of special importance to local Aboriginal communities. Cave art, rock engravings, grinding grooves, middens, scarred trees, and other occupational deposits and stone arrangements are all part of Marramarra. 

    Exploring the land

    View of the Hawkesbury River, Marramarra National Park. Photo: John Spencer

    In the early days of the new colony, Hawkesbury River was a major communication route and supported an active river-based community. European exploration began as early as 1789 when Governor Arthur Phillip took his second trip up Hawkesbury River and camped at Gentlemans Halt. By 1884, there was a small community at Gentlemans Halt and a provisional school had been established; you can still see the foundations of a road and a wharf from this era. Other reminders of European historic heritage include remains of orange orchards along Marramarra Creek and the foundations of a hut, stone walls and a well at Big Bay.

    Is it a bird?

    Flannel flowers (Actinotus helianthi), Marramarra National Park. Photo: Michael Jarman

    Marramarra is home to a great diversity of animals and birds, making it a great place for wildlife spotting and bird watching. You're likely to spot a white-breasted sea eagle, swamp wallaby, possum or kingfisher in your travels. If you're lucky, you might come across some of the more uncommon animals found here such as rails, gang-gang and glossy black cockatoos, and red-crowned toadlets.

    Plentiful lands

    View of the Hawkesbury River, Marramarra National Park. Photo: John Spencer

    The sandstone ridges and deep gullies of Marramarra support a wide range of environments. Experience salt marsh and mangrove forests on the shores of Hawkesbury River, to tall open forest and ridge-top woodlands. In spring, the bush turns into a brilliant display of colour as the wildflowers burst in action. Discover the unique plant life and help preserve it – why not participate in the bush regeneration volunteer programs in the park?

    Education resources (1)