Natural Bridge track to Davidson Park

Garigal National Park

Overview

This is a challenging walking track winds through Garigal National Park taking in impressive sandstone rock formations and spectacular water views.

Where
Garigal National Park
Distance
6.8km one-way
Time suggested
3 - 4hrs
Grade
Grade 3
Price
Free
Entry fees

Park entry fees apply at Davidson Park only

What to
bring
Hat, drinking water, sunscreen
Please note
Remember to take your binoculars if you want to bird watch.

The Natural Bridge track is a delightful half day walk linking the eastern and western foreshores of Bantry Bay. Keep an eye on the way for the impressive crossing the track is named for, a natural sandstone bridge formed by erosion over thousands of years.

The walk starts along The Bluff track at the end of Grattan Crescent before joining up with the Natural Bridge track. It’s a steep descent but the views down Bantry Bay are great. Then link up with the Currie Road trail, which crosses the Cook Street trail onto the Bates Creek track. The walk then drops steeply into Bates Creek crossing before zigzagging up to a flat section of the track.

At the Tipperary Road turnoff, you’ll reach the start of the historic Magazine track. After a short descent that takes you past the Magazine complex, you’ll be rewarded with excellent views across Bantry Bay. Further on, there is a crossing of mossy rocks and a pretty waterfall just before you reach Flat Rock Beach, a great spot to have a picnic and take in the views down Middle Harbour.

From Flat Rock Beach, exit the park onto Killarney Drive. Follow around 1.3km then turn left onto Drumcliff Avenue, and after 450m turn left onto Downpatrick Road, where you can re-enter the park on Flat Rock track. You'll eventually come to a set of steps down into Davidson Park picnic area and boat ramp.

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/natural-bridge-track-to-davidson-park/local-alerts

Park info

See more visitor info

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about Natural Bridge track to Davidson Park.

Track grading

Grade 3

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

    3 - 4hrs

  • Quality of markings

    Clearly sign posted

  • Gradient

    Short steep hills

  • Distance

    6.8km one-way

  • Steps

    Many steps

  • Quality of path

    Formed track

  • Experience required

    Some bushwalking experience recommended

Getting there and parking

Get driving directions

Get directions

    Natural Bridge track to Davidson Park is accessed via Grattan Crescent, Forestville. To get there:

    • Make your way to Warringah Road, Frenchs Forest
    • Turn into Bantry Bay Road and travel south
    • Turn right into Grattan Crescent
    • You can also access the track via the Currie Road trail that starts at Currie Road, Forestville

    Park entry points

    Parking

    Parking is available on Grattan Crescent, Forestville, and at Davidson Park picnic area if you start the walk there.

    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

    Davidson Park picnic area is well equipped with picnic tables, barbecues, toilet facilities and parking (vehicle fees apply).

    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 (3 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 (23 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 (16 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

    Natural Bridge track to Davidson Park 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)

    Kookaburra in the trees. Photo:Shaun Sursok