Dalrymple-Hay Nature Reserve

Open, check current alerts 


Located in St Ives, North Sydney, Dalrymple-Hay Nature Reserve offers walking and birdwatching opportunities in an unspoilt bushland setting.

Read more about Dalrymple-Hay Nature Reserve

Escape the hustle of the city for a refreshing dose of nature. A 15-minute drive from the Sydney CBD can take you to a patch of paradise near St Ives.

Dalrymple-Hay Nature Reserve, in North Sydney, boasts one of the last remaining stands of magnificent blue gum forests within the Sydney region. This much-loved reserve is featured as part of the Ku-ring-gai Council nature walks and NPWS discovery program, making it popular for bushwalking and birdwatching.

The towering canopy and lush understorey of ferns support a staggering array of wildlife including black-faced swamp wallabies and echidnas. If visiting Dalrymple-Hay Nature Reserve at night, then keep your eyes peeled for sugar gliders, possums and owls.

Early morning is a superb time for birdwatching as the reserve comes alive with the sound of native Australian birds singing, including pardalotes, king parrots, and lorikeets.

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/visit-a-park/parks/dalrymplehay-nature-reserve/local-alerts


  • in the Sydney and surrounds region
  • Dalrymple-Hay Nature Reserve is open sunrise to sunset but may have to close at times due to poor weather or fire danger.

    • Bobbin Head Visitor Centre
      02 9472 8949
      Contact hours: 10am to 4pm daily. 9am to 4pm during summer school holidays, closed 12pm-12:30pm. Closed Christmas Day.
    • 688 Ku-ring-gai Chase Road, Mount Colah, NSW 2079
    • Email: bobbin.head@environment.nsw.gov.au
See more visitor info

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about Dalrymple-Hay Nature Reserve.


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Getting there and parking

Get driving directions

Get directions

    From Sydney:

    • Drive north from the CBD along Pacific Highway, turn right onto Mona Vale Road, just past Gordon, and continue for 2km.
    • Turn right onto Rosedale Road , just north of St Ives shopping centre, and drive for 1km.
    • At the sign for the reserve, park at the southern end and walk in.

    By bike

    Check out the Bicycle information for NSW website for more information.

    By public transport

    Dalrymple-Hay Nature Reserve is accessible by train from Pymble Station. It’s also accessible by bus along Mona Vale Road. For information about public transport options, visit the NSW transport info website.

    Best times to visit

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


    Autumn is a great time of year to view the abundant birdlife such as pardalotes, lorikeets and silver-eyes.


    A great time for a walking through the forest as native flowers, such as the blue flax lily and a range of orchids, burst with colour.


    On a hot Sydney afternoon, retreat to the cool forest with an understorey of lush ferns.


    A brisk early morning walk along the short steep track is a great way to get your heart pumping and ward off the winter chill.

    Weather, temperature and rainfall

    Summer temperature


    17.5°C and 25.9°C

    Highest recorded


    Winter temperature


    8°C and 17.8°C

    Lowest recorded



    Wettest month


    Driest month


    The area’s highest recorded rainfall in one day


    Maps and downloads

    Safety messages

    However you discover NSW national parks and reserves, we want you to have a safe and enjoyable experience. Our park and reserve systems contrast greatly so you need to be aware of the risks and take responsibility for your own safety and the safety of those in your care.

    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).



    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.


    NSW national parks are no smoking areas.

    Nearby towns

    Wahroonga (6 km)

    Located on Sydney's upper north shore, Wahroonga is within short driving distance of Lane Cove National Park, Berowra Valley Regional Park, and the heritage-listed Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park. Australia's second-oldest national park, Ku-ring-gai Chase offers a range of recreational activities, as well as cafes and picnic areas.


    Parramatta (22 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.


    Sydney City Centre (23 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.


    Learn more

    Dalrymple-Hay Nature Reserve is a special place. Here are just some of the reasons why:

    Pristine bushland

     Dalrymple-Hay Nature Reserve. Photo: John Spencer

    Named after Richard Dalrymple-Hay, the first Commissioner for forests, he acquired the tract of largely uncleared land for a demonstration forest. When it was discovered, the land was not large enough to log economically, so it was left untouched. Luckily for us, it's preserved for future generations to enjoy.

    • Browns Forest loop trail An easy walk in unspoilt blue gum forest, Browns Forest loop trail, in Dalrymple-Hay Nature Reserve, St Ives, offers great birdwatching and is a great walk for kids.

    Aboriginal lands

    Lush bushland, Dalrymple-Hay Nature Reserve. Photo: John Spencer

    The reserve is part of the traditional lands of Aboriginal people whose Country stretched from the northern shores of Sydney Harbour to Broken Bay in the north. This fertile bushland would have supported large numbers of grazing animals such as wallabies, making it an important hunting ground.

    Botanists ahead

    Ferns (Cyathea cooperi), Dalrymple-Hay Nature Reserve. Photo: John Spencer

    This natural bushland has remained largely untouched since colonisation. This forest is an important breeding ground for a range of animals that hunt and feed at night. Here, you'll find nocturnal species such as possums, sugar gliders as well as both powerful and boobook owls. It's not just a haven for animals and birdlife. Due to its largely undisturbed state, nature enthusiasts, botanists and researchers flock to the area to study this special patch of forest.

    • Browns Forest loop trail An easy walk in unspoilt blue gum forest, Browns Forest loop trail, in Dalrymple-Hay Nature Reserve, St Ives, offers great birdwatching and is a great walk for kids.

    Best practice bush care

    Browns Forest loop trail, Dalrymple-Hay Nature Reserve. Photo: John Spencer

    Dalrymple is a showpiece for best practice bush regeneration in blue gum forest. So if you enjoy getting your hands dirty, and want to help preserve this precious tract of bushland, join the regular bush regeneration workings bees. For more information on their regular gatherings, email the Bushcare coordinator or phone (02) 9410 3998.

    • Browns Forest loop trail An easy walk in unspoilt blue gum forest, Browns Forest loop trail, in Dalrymple-Hay Nature Reserve, St Ives, offers great birdwatching and is a great walk for kids.

    Education resources (1)

    What we're doing

    Dalrymple-Hay Nature Reserve has management strategies in place to protect and conserve the values of this park. Visit the OEH website for detailed park and fire management documents.