Davidson Park to Stepping Stone Crossing walk

Garigal National Park

Overview

Take a scenic walk from Davidson Park along Lyrebird track. Enjoy views of Middle Harbour Creek and continue along historic Governor Philip Walk in Garigal National Park.

Where
Garigal National Park
Distance
5.2km one-way
Time suggested
2 - 3hrs
Grade
Grade 3
Price
Free
Entry fees

Park entry fees apply at Davidson Park only

Opening times
  • Davidson Park picnic area gates are open 6am – 6pm daily.
  • Gates close at 8pm during daylight savings.
What to
bring
Drinking water, hat, sunscreen
Please note

Starting along Lyrebird track at the northern end of Davidson Park picnic area and boat ramp, this walk branches off along the banks of Carroll Creek and across a stepping stone crossing just above the tidal limit, where the Governor Philip walk commences. Once a management trail for the local sand mining industry in the 1950s and 60s, Lyrebird track today offers spectacular views of Middle Harbour Creek.

This walk follows the banks of Middle Harbour Creek before linking up with Carroll Creek, then taking you past the Sydney Water Pipeline, where the creek starts to narrow and the track passes a rock bar crossing; this is Bungaroo, where the expedition camped. About 150m further on, the Stepping Stone Crossing provides access to the Bungaroo Track and uphill to Hunter Avenue, St Ives.

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/davidson-park-to-stepping-stone-crossing-walk/local-alerts

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 Davidson Park to Stepping Stone Crossing walk.

Track grading

Grade 3

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

    2 - 3hrs

  • Quality of markings

    Sign posted

  • Gradient

    Short steep hills

  • Distance

    5.2km one-way

  • Steps

    Occasional steps

  • Quality of path

    Formed track, some obstacles

  • Experience required

    Some bushwalking experience recommended

Getting there and parking

Davidson Park to Stepping Stone Crossing walk commences at the north-western end of Davidson Park picnic area in Garigal National Park.

The entrance to Davidson Park picnic area is located near 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 Roseville Bridge

Parking

Parking is available at Davidson Park picnic area, a short walk from the Lyrebird Track.

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

Picnic tables

The picnic area at Davidson is well equipped with picnic tables and barbecues.

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.

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).

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.

Prohibited

Cycling

Cycling is not permitted on this track.

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 (19 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 (11 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 to Stepping Stone Crossing walk 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)

Waterfall. Photo: Shaun Sursok