Ku Ring Gai National Park Overview
Ku Ring Gai Chase National park covers a vast area of over 15000 hectares, has hundreds of species of native plants and is located adjacent to Sydney's northern suburbs.
To put the size of the park in perspective, the eastern boundary is marked by the stretch of the Pacific Highway from just north of Hornsby up to Brooklyn - this is a distance of 30 km.
Similarly the southern boundary is the 18 km section of the Mona Vale road from St Ives to Mona Vale. The northern and eastern borders are the Hawkesbury River and Pittwater respectively.
One of the reasons the park has a couple of million visitors annually is its close proximity to Sydney; it is only 25 km away from the CBD.
There is a small, well sign posted road network throughout the park which makes getting about quite easy. An entrance fee is payable which helps maintain the park.
West Head, one of the most popular look out points in the Sydney area, is accessed up West Head Road (which heads north off McCarrs Creek Road) which just about spans the length of the park.
The lookout area, tastefully designed in stone, provides views over to Palm Beach, Barren Joey and Lion Island (which resembles a crouching lion) and a three dimensional location map allows visitors to find their bearings.
There are toilets, seating and picnic areas and several walking tracks start from here. West Head lookout is also a popular location for weddings since the views and setting are so spectacular.
Another popular attraction in Ku Ring gai Chase National park is Bobbin Head which also has a waterside setting. Located here is an information centre, barbecue / picnic areas and a mangrove boardwalk.
There are also more extensive walking trails including up to Kalkari Visitor Centre which has information and exhibits on the local Aboriginal culture, plant and animal life.
A prominent feature of the area is the myriad of waterways which stretch like tendrils through the reserve.
Cowan Water River runs off The Hawkesbury River at Broken Bay (in the north east) and branches off at various points creating an interesting system of creeks and rivers.
This is great fun to explore and House boats and other water craft can be hired throughout the park, most notably at Brooklyn, Bobbin Head and Akuna Bay. Smaller tinnies and run a bouts can be hired from Cottage Point.
Scattered throughout the park are many sites of Aboriginal significance which include rock carvings and paintings.
A number of walking trails near West Head are marked allowing some of the sites to be viewed. Visitors are asked to respect and to not damage these sites.
Ku Ring Gai Chase National Park is approximately 25Km to the north of the Sydney CBD. The park has several entrances around its perimeter including near St Ives, Turramurra and Mona Vale. See Map of Ku Ring Gai National Park
Cottage Point, a small settlement overlooking the junction of Cowan Water River and Coal and Candle Creek, is accessed up Cottage Point Road and includes a quaint waterside general store and cafe - The Cottage Point Kiosk. As well as serving great cream teas, meals, provisions, fishing tackle and small boat hire are available.
Also located here, just round from the Kiosk, is the highly regarded Cottage Point Inn. The waterside restaurant has a sublime setting and serves modern Australian food and fine Australian and New Zealand wines.
Driving is not the only way to get to the restaurant. A popular way to arrive ( from Rose Bay in Sydney) is by the sea planes which land in Cowan Water. They then taxi to the restaurants own jetty, moor up and allow the guests to arrive in sheer style.
Driving To Sydney
Some approximate driving times to Sydney are:
20Hrs From Adelaide(1400Km)
12Hrs From Brisbane (950Km)
31Hrs From Cairns (2500Km)
3.5Hrs From Canberra(300Km)
45Hrs From Darwin (4000Km)
12Hrs From Melbourne (950Km)
42Hrs From Perth (4000Km)
Driving through the Outback and remote or isolated areas of Australia is not recommended for the unprepared or inexperienced.
See Route and Distance Calculator for more accurate driving times and routes from additional locations.
Flying To Sydney
As a guide, some approximate flying time from Sydney are:
Perth is 5 hours
Melbourne 1.5 hours
Brisbane 1.5 hours
Cairns 3 hours.
Times do not include travel time to and from airports and adequate time prior to check in etc.
These figures are for guidance only:
Max Average Temperature
Deg C/ Deg F
Winter(June-Aug):17 / 63
Spring(Sep-Nov):22 / 72
Summer(Dec-Feb):26 / 79
Autumn(Mar-May):23 / 73
Average Monthly Rainfall - mm
Further Sydney Climate information