Bushwalking


Aboriginal Heritage Walk

A great experience that highlights the best of the Aboriginal art in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park. Combining Resolute and West Head walking tracks, you’ll encounter historic rock engravings and art of the Guringai Nation, whose traditional lands include this park and Pittwater area.

Distance: 4.5km (loop)
Time suggested: 2.5 hours
Grade: Medium 

Within a 10-minute walk along the track, you’ll come across the best-known site in the park: Red Hands Cave. It’s not known how old some of this art is, but either way, you’re bound to be in awe of this ancient Aborginal art. Nearby, as you continue on the track, there are impressive rock engravings, and further down the hill you’ll discover an historic occupation shelter. During the colder months, families would light a fire inside, warming the stones and themselves.

The people of West Head were virtually decimated by an outbreak of smallpox within a year of the arrival of the First Fleet. Pause for a moment in this beautiful bushland, to reflect and pay your respects. Continue around the loop track to the impressive views from West Head lookout before heading back to Resolute picnic area for lunch

You should know: It’s a good idea to put sunscreen on before you set out, remember to take a hat, and bring plenty of water. Remember to take your binoculars if you want to birdwatch The Aboriginal rock art and engravings along this walk are of great cultural and historical significance and are very delicate. Please don’t touch or interfere with the artworks. You can do an easy 1km return walk to Red Hands Cave and the rock engravings. Toilets and picnic facilities are located at Resolute picnic area.

Check out the National Parks website for up to date information and a Virtual tour and map of the walk.

Content Source: National Parks and Wildlife Service

America Bay Walking Track

America Bay walking track is moderately difficult walk, and a great Sydney day trip with waterfalls, Aboriginal engravings, picnicking and scenic views in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park.

Where: Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park
Distance: 2km 
Time: 30min    
Grading: Easy
Entry fees: Park entry fees apply

A great walk through iconic Australian bushland in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, America Bay walking track is a lovely spot for a remote picnic and you won’t believe you’re only an hour from Sydney city. The track follows a sandstone ridgeline from West Head Road down to America Bay, near the mouth of the Hawkesbury River.

Not far from the beginning of this moderate track, a short detour reveals some fascinating Aboriginal rock engravings on a sandstone shelf. Back on the main track, you’ll descend gradually though woodlands of scribbly gum and bloodwood to a tinkering creek. Follow the stream to a rock platform overlooking scenic America Bay with views across Cowan Water. Here, a small picturesque waterfall cascades over the escarpment.

Roll out the picnic blanket in your own private bushland setting. If you’re feeling adventurous, scramble down to the water’s edge. But be prepared, the steep climb back up will get your heart pumping.

Check out the National Parks website for up to date information and a Virtual tour and map of the walk.

Content Source: National Parks and Wildlife Service

Bairne Walking Track

Long and easy Bairne walking track offers spectacular scenic views, wildflowers, picnicking and birdwatching, in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, near Pittwater.

Where: Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park
Distance: 5.5km  
Time: 2hr 30min
Grading: Easy
Entry fees: Park entry fees apply

A long and easy walk along the ridgelines, Bairne walking track boasts two of the best views in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, near West Head. Make a day of it, gather your friends and pack a picnic lunch for a revitalising day in the Australian bush. A spectacular walk in spring, the wildflowers make for excellent birdwatching.

Passing through heathlands of banksia, boronia and grevllea, look for nectar-loving yellow-faced honeyeaters and the vibrant variegated wren. The track leads to Towlers Bay lookout, with magnificent views up and down Pittwater. Head back up the track and veer off to Soldiers Point for a brilliant view of The Basin and northern Pittwater.

Choose a spot and unpack a hamper for a leisurely bush picnic, before retracing your steps. Or alternatively, catch a ferry from Bonnie Doon Wharf at Soldiers Point to The Basin.

Check out the National Parks website for up to date information and a Virtual tour and map of the walk.

Content Source: National Parks and Wildlife Service

Centre Walking Track

Centre walking track is an easy walk taking in heath, scenic views, wildflowers and Aboriginal rock engravings in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, near Terrey Hills.

Where:  Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park
Distance: 3.5km one-way
Time: suggested 1hr
Grading: Easy
Entry fees: Park entry fees apply

A delightful track through heathland leading to a fascinating site of Aboriginal heritage, the easy Centre walking track leads along a ridge off McCarrs Creek Road near Terrey Hills in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, making it a great walk for any season.

Check out the National Parks website for up to date information and a Virtual tour and map of the walk.

Content Source: National Parks and Wildlife Service

Red Hands Cave Walking Track

A short and easy walk to Aboriginal ochre rock paintings at Red Hands Cave in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, near West Head overlooking Pittwater. More...

Where:  Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park
Distance: .25km one-way
Time: suggested 30min    
Grading: Easy
Entry fees: Park entry fees apply

For an opportunity to see one of the most famous Aboriginal heritage sites in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, Red Hands Cave walking track is the route you're looking for. Near West Head from Resolute picnic area, head out on an easy bush track to see rock art of the Aboriginal people of the Guringai Nation.

The Guringai Nation extended from Broken Bay in the north to Port Jackson in the south and as far south west as Lane Cove River. There are six clans within the nation, and it’s the Garigal who lived at West Head.

Arriving after a short walk through the red gums, you’ll discover the cave with ochre hand-prints. Pause for a moment to reflect on the lives of the people whose palms are now immortalised. Retrace your steps, or if you’re inspired to experience more, continue on Aboriginal Heritage walk.

Check out the National Parks website for up to date information and a Virtual tour and map of the walk.

Content Source: National Parks and Wildlife Service

Salvation Loop Trail

Salvation loop trail is an easy family-friendly nature walk through hanging swamps and heathland in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, near West Head.

Where:  Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park
Distance: 4km loop     
Time: 1hr
Grading: Easy
Entry fees: Park entry fees apply

An easy walking track through the hanging swamps off West Head Road in the middle of Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, Salvation loop trail offers a perfect outing for the family and a brilliant walk for nature enthusiasts who want to experience the wet heathlands of the park.

Skirting the edge of the hanging swamp and wet heathland, notice how the vegetation changes. Only plants that don’t mind getting their feet wet can thrive here. You’ll see sphagnum moss, sword grass and the green-flowering swamp banksia. Coral and pink swamp heath are dotted through the heathland.

On close inspection, you might discover the insect-eating sundew plant, which catches small insects with its velcro-like mitts. If you want a longer walk, take the turn off to Wallaroo walking track, or simply continue on the loop and walk back along the road. Lay out a picnic lunch on the tables at Salvation Creek picnic area

Check out the National Parks website for up to date information and a Virtual tour and map of the walk.

Content Source: National Parks and Wildlife Service

The Basin Track and Mackerel Track

Starting at West Head Road, The Basin track and Mackerel track offers stunning heathland and dry eucalypt forest scenery. Detour to Currawong Beach for a picnic or swim.

Where:  Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park
Distance: 7km
Time: 2hrs 30mins
Grading: Medium    
Entry fees: Park entry fees apply
OpeningTimes:
Non Daylight saving: 6am - 6pm
Daylight saving:  6am - 8.30pm

Both the Basin track and Mackerel tracks start from West Head road, 8.5km from the Liberator General San Martin Drive junction. Head along the ridge top and stop to explore the Basin Aboriginal Art site. From here, follow signs to The Basin campground, and enjoy glimpses of Pittwater through the trees before descending to the campground. Spend as much time as you like in this popular area, where you can take a refreshing swim, play games on the grass clearing and enjoy the facilities. When you’re ready, you simply walk back to West Head Road via the Basin Trail, or alternatively you can catch a Palm Beach Ferry and enjoy some of the beaches of Pittwater.

To explore the Mackerel track take the left hand turn after the Basin Aboriginal Art site. Head out to the point to enjoy the impressive views across Pittwater, and look down upon Mackerel Beach to the north and Currawong to the south. There is no access to either beach via the track, however you can catch the hourly ferry service from The Basin campground, where you can stop at Currawong and Mackerel beaches for a picnic and a swim. To return, follow the Mackerel track back to West Head road.

You’ll see more of the park’s stunning scenery on the way, including heathlands, grassy woodlands and dry eucalypt forests.

Check out the National Parks website for up to date information and a Virtual tour and map of the walk.

Content Source: National Parks and Wildlife Service

Topham Walking Track

Topham walking track offers scenic views, picnicking, wildflowers and wildlife near Cowan Water in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, north of Sydney. Moderate difficulty, it’s perfect for families.

Where: Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park
Distance: 1.8km 
Time: suggested 1hr
Grading: Easy
Entry fees: Park entry fees apply

Topham walking track winds its way through open woodland to the escarpment overlooking Cowan Water, in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, north of Sydney. An excellent nature day trip for family and friends, you can be amongst the trees and listening for whipbirds within an hour of the city.

Passing heathlands of banksia and bottlebrush, look for colourful wildflower displays during the warmer months. You’ll catch the scent of the highly fragrant red and white boronia flowers along this walk. Keep an eye out for delicate flannel flower and iconic waratahs amongst the bush.

As the track leads to the escarpment, take in the lovely water views over Refuge Bay. Here, amongst the scribbly gums, you might hear the rustling of an echidna or perhaps the call of the golden whistler. Unpack a bush picnic and make the most of the tranquil setting before retracing your steps.

Check out the National Parks website for up to date information and a Virtual tour and map of the walk.

Content Source: National Parks and Wildlife Service

Wallaroo Walking Track

Wallaroo walking track is a moderate hike through woodlands in West Head, offering secluded picnicking and scenic views of Cowan Water in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park.

Where:  Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park
Distance: 4.6km
Time: 2hr 30min     
Grading: Medium     
Entry fees: Park entry fees apply

For a day in the bush that’s sure to recharge the batteries, pack some treats and head to Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, near Terrey Hills. Moderately long Wallaroo walking track meanders through open woodland before arriving at a secluded rocky overhang with lovely water views.

After veering off Salvation loop trail, the medium track follows a service trail along a ridge. You’ll pass through a rare stand of yellow-top ash trees before heading down a steep slope. Stop for a moment to enjoy magnificent views over Cowan Creek and Refuge Bay.

The walk passes the turn off to Yeomans Branch track through open woodland before arriving at a secluded spot overlooking Cowan Creek, just perfect for unrolling the picnic rug. Enjoy a leisurely lunch with water views, before retracing your steps.

Check out the National Parks website for up to date information and a Virtual tour and map of the walk.

Content Source: National Parks and Wildlife Service

Waratah Walking Track

The long and easy Waratah walking track takes in wildflowers and scenic water views over Akuna and Yeomens Bay in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park.

Where:  Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park
Distance: 4.5km
Time: 2hr 30min
Grading: medium
Entry fees: Park entry fees apply

Waratah walking track is a long and easy track that takes in the western area off West Head Road through heathland, with lovely water views over Yeomens Bay in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park.

It’s perfect for a day trip, so don’t forget to pack a picnic lunch as the track leads through sandy heath dotted with boronia and waratahs. Stop and enjoy the scenic water views down to Akuna Bay and Yeomens Creek. Near the end of the walk, a large rock shelf brims with islands of wildflowers.

Unroll the picnic rug and enjoy a snack while soaking up the escarpment view overlooking Yeomens Bay and Coal and Candle Creek. When you’ve had your fill of scenery and wildflowers, retrace your steps.

Check out the National Parks website for up to date information and a Virtual tour and map of the walk.

Content Source: National Parks and Wildlife Service

Willunga Trig Walking Track

Moderate Willunga Trig walking track offers spectacular panoramic scenic views from the highest lookout point in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park. It’s an exceptional short walk that leads to Willunga Trig lookout, the highest point in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, offering magnificent panoramic views of the park, bushland, and waterways.

Where:  Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park
Distance: 1.5km Loop
Time: 30 Min
Grading: medium
Entry fees: Park entry fees apply

This easy track leads through dry heathland of banksia and grevillea. As you start to climb, the heath gives way to woodland of scribbly gum and red bloodwood. At the top, you’ll be rewarded with spectacular views across the entire park and Pittwater, to Mona Vale. In the distance, you’ll see the outline of Sydney and Chatswood to the south.

When you’ve soaked in the views, and thoughts turn to a tasty snack, why not head down to The Basin picnic area. Or, if you’re feeling energetic, try nearby Towlers Bay walking track.

Check out the National Parks website for up to date information and a Virtual tour and map of the walk.

Content Source: National Parks and Wildlife Service


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