National Parks and Nature Reserves of Broken Bay, Pittwater, Cowan Creek, and the Hawkesbury River


Explore more than 60,000 ha of wilderness on the very edge of Sydney. From space you can see humanity's tendrils creeping over the landscape, lacing into the green and blue wilderness of 10 major national parks and nature reserves.

At night, from the middle of the marine park in Cowan Creek, you will see Sydney's glow lighting up the clouds. But during the day, the shore and cliffs look just the way they did when the Ku-Ring-Gai Aboriginal people first discovered these waterways thousands of years ago. It's easy to sense the thread of your beginnings in the quiet and timeless beauty of this reservation of life.

hand print in cave in the Ku-ring-gai National ParkDeep in the parkland you will find traces of the Ku-Ring-Gai people who lived here for thousands of years. There are wonderful drawings of whales and fish and dolphins and spirits etched into the broad expanses of rocks overlooking the forests and the sea.

The National Park Service has made some of these sacred aboriginal sites available to you - enhancing access and understanding with trails, walkways, literature and signs.

Other sacred places are hidden by request of aboriginal elders - although you might find them yourself if you wander off the beaten tracks.

But the most sacred places are entirely unmarked, waiting patiently for you to awaken to the interface between the antiquity of life and your busy holiday spirit.

The ten major park areas are shown on the space image above:

1. Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park.

  • 15,000 ha.
  • Walking Trails
  • Public Moorings
  • Aboriginal rock engravings
  • Horseback trails
  • Scenic Overlooks
  • Waterfalls
  • Marine Park
  • Information Kiosks and guided nature tours at Bobbin Head.
Park Areas Toilets Picnic Facilities Kiosk Public
Information Boat Ramp Boat Hire
Bobbin Head Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes   Yes
Appletree Bay Yes Yes Yes Yes   Yes  
Kalkari Yes       Yes    
West Head Lookout* Yes Yes          
Resolute Picnic Area Yes Yes   Yes      
The Basin Yes Yes + Camping   Yes Yes    
Illawong Bay Yes Yes          
Akuna Bay Yes   Yes Yes   Yes Yes

2. Brisbane Water National Park

  • 10,000 ha of rugged sandstone wilderness
  • Wildflowers
  • Aboriginal engravings
  • Koalas
  • Platypus
  • 150 species of birds
  • Nature Walks
  • Waterfall

3. Bouddi National Park

  • 395 ha of sand dunes forests and heath.
  • 287 ha Marine Park
  • Bushwalking
  • Swimming
  • Surfing
  • Snorkeling
  • Picnic Facilities
  • Camping

4. Barrenjoey Lighthouse

  • Beautiful lighthouse on a rugged headland
  • Easily accessible.
  • Walking trails
  • Scenic views
  • Guided tours.


5. Dharug National Park

  • 14,000 ha of spectacular sandstone cliffs and canyons.
  • Aboriginal rock etchings and cave paintings
  • Early European history.
  • Picnic and Camping
  • Easy and challenging bush walks.
  • Mountain Bike trails
  • Excellent Canoe waters.

6. Mudgamarra Nature Reserve

Sandstone ridges and deep gullies supports a wide diversity of plants and birds in this nature reserve.

Many of the birds, such as this Kukabarra, are so tame you have to guard your lunch.

7. Marramarra National Park

12,000ha of diverse sandstone and volcanic terrain. A little visited wilderness with a rich population of rare and unusual birds and reptiles. The park includes the largest mangrove forest on the central coast of New South Wales.

8. Angophora Reserve.

In the heart of Avalon is a forest preserve with the oldest living Angophora tree.

Walking trails wind through a rugged terrain.

Step from upper class suburbia into a lovely forest.

9. Spectade Island Nature Reserve.

Just off the Mooney Mooney Point Park, this nature reserve is a totally protected zone for Hawkesbury wildlife.

10. Long Island Nature Reserve

Between the expressway bridge and the railroad bridge the Long Island Nature Reserve protects a wide range of birds and is an extension of the Muogamarra Nature Reserve. Together, this system of parks and reserves forms part of an important wildlife corridor that extends along the NSW coast.


Go To: Introduction | Chartering | Fishing | Parks | Weather |Getting There |
| The Nautical Guide to Broken Bay |
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| Contact

Go To: Introduction | Chartering | Fishing | Parks | Weather |Getting There |
| The Nautical Guide to Broken Bay |
Advertising | Links
| Contact