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Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park facts for kids

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Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park
New South Wales
IUCN Category II (National Park)
Towlers Bay
The steep wooded ria that forms Towlers Bay, is typical of the Ku-ring-gai Chase terrain.
Nearest town or city Sydney
Established December 1894 (1894-12)
Area 149.77 km2 (57.8 sq mi)
Visitation 2 million (in 2001)
Managing authorities NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service
Website Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park
See also Protected areas of
New South Wales

Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park is a national park on the northern side of Sydney in New South Wales, Australia. The 14,977-hectare (37,010-acre) park is 25 kilometres (16 mi) north of the Sydney central business district and generally comprises the land east of the M1 Pacific Motorway, south of the Hawkesbury River, west of Pittwater and north of Mona Vale Road. It includes Barrenjoey Headland on the eastern side of Pittwater.

Ku-ring-gai Chase is a popular tourist destination, known for its scenic setting on the Hawkesbury River and Pittwater, significant plant and animal communities, Aboriginal sites and European historic places. Picnic, boating, and fishing facilities can be found throughout the park. There are many walking tracks in Ku-ring-gai Chase. The villages of Cottage Point, Appletree Bay, Elvina Bay, Lovett Bay, Coasters Retreat, Great Mackerel Beach and Bobbin Head are located within the park boundaries.

The park was declared in 1894, and is the third oldest national park in Australia. The park is managed by the NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service and was added to the Australian National Heritage List in December 2006.

The park gets its name from the Guringai Aboriginal people who were long thought to be the traditional owners of the area. However, more contemporary research suggests that this was not the case.


Ku-ring-gai Chase - petroglyph
Aboriginal rock engraving

The first inhabitants of the area were the indigenous Garigal people. The rugged landscape provided abundant food and adequate shelter for the aboriginals. More than 800 Aboriginal sites have been found in the park. These include rock engravings, cave drawings, paintings and stencils, axe grinding grooves and middens.

The park was first declared in 1894. The television series, Skippy the Bush Kangaroo was shot in northern Sydney at Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park and the adjacent Waratah Park. Bushfires ravaged the park in January 1994.


Many of the park's attractions are accessible only by walking track. Many kilometres of park front the southern shoreline of Broken Bay making it a good place to explore by boat.

Rail access is provided at Mount Colah, Mount Kuring-gai, Berowra and Cowan railway stations. All roads in the area are sealed and all have collection gates where a daily fee is payable.


Bobbin Head

Bobbin Head is located on Cowan Creek and facilities include a marina, picnic areas, a small store, and a lunch-time restaurant in what used to be the Bobbin Head Inn, which also contains an information centre. The area contains many fire trails and a walk through mangroves. Aboriginal engravings can be seen in the area.

Appletree Bay

  • Paved parking area, including trailer parking
  • Boat launch ramp and jetty
  • Flush Toilets
  • Picnic Tables
  • Barbecues

The Basin

A popular camping and picnic site with a small beach is located at the Basin on Pittwater. This is the only place in the entire national park where camping is allowed. Access is either by West Head Road via The Basin Track or on a ferry from Palm Beach Wharf.

West Head

West Head is a headland at the north eastern tip of the National Park. A lookout, with views of Barrenjoey, Palm Beach and Broken Bay, has been built on West Head. The Flint & Steel Guesthouse was one of the first buildings on West Head.

Panoramic View from West Head
The view from West Head Lookout over to Barrenjoey.


Barrenjoey is a locality of Palm Beach. It is a headland and unusual amongst the National Park's features as it is not joined to the rest of the Park by land but separated by 1 kilometer of water, the Pittwater.

The Sphinx

Sphinx Memorial

This is a walk going by the Sphinx Memorial commemorating the fallen A.I.F comrades of Pte. W. T. Shirley during World War I.

Cottage Point

Cottage Point Kiosk and Boat Hire, built around 1918, is situated at Cottage Point at the entrance to Coal and Candle Creek.

Jerusalem Bay

Jerusalem Bay is accessible by a track which is part of the Great North Walk from Cowan railway station next to the Pacific Highway. The track passes through a creek gorge lined with temperate rainforest and large turpentines before opening to the bay. At the bay is an old abandoned habitation site. It opens out to Cowan Water and Broken Bay making it popular with boating and fishing enthusiasts. After the bay the track proceeds up a steep climb past Campbell's Crater and along the ridge all the way to Brooklyn. Campbell's Crater is a volcanic diatreme containing subtropical rainforest species such as Red Cedars and Cabbage Palms with a floor of ferns.

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See also

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