National Parks in Australia could be deemed as the country’s prestigious natural heritage. Pick any state of the Aussie land and its certain that you will spot a National Park. In Sydney alone, there are five national parks! One of them is the famous Ku-Ring Gai Chase National Park; it is a wonderful weekend getaway within Sydney.
The word ‘Ku-ring-Gai’ comes from the aboriginal Guringai community that lived in this region and suffered after the British settlers arrived in 1788. It’s Australia’s second oldest national park since 1894 and was added to the Australia’s National Heritage List in 2006. The park has 800 aboriginal sites!
There are plenty of recreational opportunities at Ku-ring-gai and here are few suggestions
1. Bobbin Head
If you are first time visitor or tourist, this is where you should be going. Bobbin Head marks the entrance to Ku-ring-gai.
This has the Bobbin Head Information Centre and souvenir shop, so you can pick up a map and other information brochures. The souvenir shop has beautiful aboriginal art customised in scarves, decor pieces, hats and more. I picked up a beautiful hand made apron from here at just $18!
Overlooking the information centre is a marina and picnic area, where most families enjoy barbecue and fishing.
Marina at Bobbin Head
Fishing is popular at Bobbin Head Waterfront
A far view of Bobbin Head Waterfront Ku-ring-gai National Park is one of the most famous picnic spots in Sydney
Bobbin Head Information Centre
2. Bobbin Inn Cafe
A breezy restaurant at Bobbin Head where you can satiate your hunger after a few walking trails. We made a stop here for lunch and gorged on Chicken Schnitzel and Battered Fish and Chips. The restaurant opens at 9 am till 4 pm.
Chicken Schnitzel at Bobbin Inn Cafe
Battered Fish and Chips at Bobbin Inn Cafe
Food Score: 8/10
Meal for two: $40 – $50
Check out their website
3. Apple Tree Bay
Apple Tree Bay is famous for canoeing, kayaking and fishing. It’s close to Bobbin Head. There’s no kayak hire here but you can hire one from Cottage Point Kiosk or Berowra Waters Marina. There’s a boat ramp available and you can find many boat owners parked here for a spin over the weekend. There’s plenty of car parking if you just decide to sit back and relax here.
Boat ramp for public use at Apple Tree Bay
4. Walking Trails
National Parks walking trails can’t be completed just few hours. So keep some time aside when you are here. The shortest is the Sphinx track, which is 1.5 km.
The Sphinx Memorial is a monument carved from sandstone. Its dedicated to the lives lost in the First World War and was created by a soldier in the 1920s.
These are other tracks that you can select from:
Warrimoo Track: Its 3 km and can be done in two hours. An easy walk behind the marina following Cowan Creek. You can even spot aboriginal shell middens on the hillside.
Bobbin Head engraving site
Bobbin Head Track: Its 3.5 km. Look out for the aboriginal engraving within 1.5 km.
Gibberagong Track: Its 6.5 km and will take you at least 3 hours, you will also spot aboriginal engravings here.
Kalkari Track: Its 3.5 km. It starts at Mt Colah entrance and ends at the Kalkari Discovery Centre.
Other trails are Birrawanna Track, Mount Ku-ring-gai Track, Murrua Trail, Powerline Trail.
5. Your Travel Essentials
- Sunglasses, Hat, Sunscreen
- Wear sporty, casual clothes and walking shoes
- Carry lots of water, fruits and quick snacks.
The park is open from 9 am to 5 pm. There is a vehicle entry fee of $11 but its free for cyclists and enthusiastic walkers.
For more information check the following website:
Images: theozsafari, enviroment.nsw.gov.au, wildwalks.com