Ku-ring-gai Chase is the best known of New South Wales’ national parks and, with the Pacific Highway running all the way up one side, is also the easiest to get to. The bushland scenery is crisscrossed by walking tracks, which you can explore to seek out Aboriginal rock carvings, or just to get away from it all and see the forest and its wildlife.

The park’s most popular picnic spot is at Bobbin Head, 6km east of the Sydney–Newcastle Freeway, essentially just a colourful marina with a café, picnic area and NPWS Bobbin Head Information Centre, located inside the Art Deco Bobbin Inn, which is neither a pub nor a hotel. From here, the Mangrove Boardwalk (10min return) pleasantly traces the water’s edge past thousands of bright red crabs and continues as the Gibberagong Track (additional 20min return) through a small sandstone canyon to some Aboriginal rock art featuring figures and axe-grinding grooves.

To the northeast, West Head Road leads to West Head, which juts into Broken Bay marking the entrance to Pittwater, a deep, 10km-long sheltered waterway. There are superb views from here across to Barrenjoey Head and Barrenjoey Lighthouse at Palm Beach on the eastern shore of Pittwater. From West Head, the Garigal Aboriginal Heritage Walk (3.5km loop; 2–3hr) leads past the Aboriginal rock-engraving site, the most accessible Aboriginal art in the park.

Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners

Australia features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

A Rough Guide to: visiting Australia's Great Barrier Reef

A Rough Guide to: visiting Australia's Great Barrier Reef

Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is one of the world’s greatest natural wonders – it’s the largest structure ever built by living things and is even visib…

25 Oct 2017 • Penny Walker insert_drive_file Article
The best aerial views in the world

The best aerial views in the world

Got a head for heights? If you're craving a new perspective on your travels, the best thing to do is get up high. From mountain-top panoramas to cityscapes, her…

17 Oct 2017 • Olivia Rawes camera_alt Gallery
Undiscovered Australia: 7 places to get off the tourist trail

Undiscovered Australia: 7 places to get off the tourist trail

Australia is a vast country, though most visitors stay on the same tried and tested track, ticking off well-touristed pitstops along the way. But, of course, …

07 Aug 2017 • Helen Ochyra insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Weekly newsletter

Sign up now for travel inspiration, discounts and competitions

Sign up now and get 20% off any ebook