Bobbin Head is a popular family day-trip destination situated on Cowan Creek in the western section of Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park.
Surrounded by beautiful scenery, the area boasts excellent facilities such as picnic areas, gas barbecues and playgrounds. With a great variety of hiking trails, Bobbin Head is also the perfect spot for bush walking.
How to Get to Bobbin Head
There are two ways to drive to this beautiful place on earth. You can follow Ku-ring-gai Chase road coming in from the west (near Hornsby), or Bobbin Head road coming in from the south (North Turramurra).
There is lots of public parking available, but you will need to pay the full day $12 entrance fee to get into the park.
What is the best time to visit Bobbin Head? All year round, but a sunny day in spring or summer works best for water activities, and winter is great for hiking.
Things to See and Do in Bobbin Head
Less than an hour driving from the Sydney CBD, Bobbin Head has loads of facilities and exciting activities on offer to keep visitors entertained for a whole day. Escape the city and enjoy a day in stunning natural scenery.
Be sure to visit the information centre and grab yourself a handy map of the area.
1. Water Activities
Bobbin Head is surrounded by water, making it a great spot for water activities such as canoeing, kayaking and fishing.
Paddle boats and kayaks can be hired to further explore Cowan Creek and Apple Tree Creek. A boat ramp is also available for public use at Apple Tree Bay.
There are several great fishing spots in the area, but you willl need to have a fishing license. Make sure you drive a bit further north along Apple Tree Road, as this area tends to be a bit quieter.
2. Picnic Areas and Cafes
With so much open green space and excellent facilities, Bobbin Head is the perfect spot for a barbecue or picnic.
Be spoiled with several barbecue stations, picnic shelters, toilet facilities and playgrounds spread out across the area.
Two large picnic shelters (The Pavilion and The Station) are also for hire. Contact the information centre for more information and bookings.
If you’re simply driving through, or you haven’t brought any food with you, there are also two cafes in Bobbin Head where you can go for a coffee and a bite.
Bobbin Inn Cafe is situated in an historic building right in the heart of Bobbin Head. This building was originally constructed as a dance hall and restaurant in the 1930’s, and now hosts a cafe and the information centre.
We personally found the cafe to be lacking in atmosphere and the food to be a bit pricey. But that’s not much of a surprise though, being in a remote area.
Gallery Foods Eatery is a cafe situated on the water inside the Empire Marina on the eastern side of Bobbin Head.
The menu here is slightly more affordable, plus the atmosphere in the marina, with 200 marina berths and 10 moorings, is a bit more appealing.
But as mentioned, if you’re going to spend a day in Bobbin Head, it’s more fun to organise your own picnic or barbecue.
3. Walking Tracks in and Around Bobbin Head
If you’re into hiking as much as we are, then Bobbin Head is a great destination, with several short and long bushwalking trails in the area.
1. Mangrove Boardwalk
The easiest and shortest walk is the family friendly Mangrove Boardwalk that swirls its way through saltwater mangroves right above Cockle Creek.
Keep an eye out for wildlife such as flying foxes, snakes, mangrove herons and mud crabs!
2. Rainforest Track
Not too far from the end of the boardwalk, the Gibberagong Track splits in two separate tracks, one taking you to Wahroonga and the other guiding you through a rainforest ending at a beautiful gully.
This Rainforest Track is relatively short and is a great opportunity to experience the beauty of a true rainforest.
3. Bobbin Head, Sphinx and Warrimoo Loop Track
One of the most challenging and also most beautiful walking tracks near Bobbin Head is the 10km circuit walk that includes the Bobbin Head track, the Sphinx track and the Warrimoo track.
The start of this walk is behind the Empire Marina, clearly signposted with Warrimoo and Bobbin Head track, and you can choose to go clockwise or anti-clockwise.
The Warrimoo track follows the western shoreline of Cowan Creek through thick mangroves with several remnants of Aboriginal middens along the way.
Created by a soldier in the 1920’s, the Sphinx Memorial along the Sphinx track is a sandstone monument created in memory of lives lost in the First World War. It’s a fascinating structure in an unlikely spot that is worth a visit.
4. Gibberagong Track
The Mangrove Boardwalk changes into the Gibberagong Track, a 4km trail that takes you all the way to suburban Wahroonga.
Gibberagong means “place of rocks” and is the alternate name for the creek.
Following Cockle Creek, this moderate bushwalking trail is perfect for wildlife and birdwatching enthusiasts.
5. Birrawanna Track
The 2.5km Birrawanna Track starts near the Bobinn Inn and brings you to the Kalkari Discovery Centre on Ku-ring-gai Chase Road.
Run by volunteers, this centre tells you everything about the national park’s plants, animals and Aboriginal history.
Bobbin Head Cycle Classic
Bobbin Head is also host to the Bobbin Head Cycle Classic, an annual cycling event with various routes (from 27km to 104km) to suit all levels of cyclists.
This exciting event takes place in some of the most beautiful scenery in Sydney, including a pristine national park, rolling hills, open countryside and leafy suburban streets.
Check out the Bobbin Head Cycle Classic website for more details. The last event was held on Sunday 24 March 2019, with the 2020 event unfortunately cancelled.
Follow Ku-ring-gai Chase Road if you’re coming in from the west (near Hornsby), or follow Bobbin Head road if you’re coming in from the south (North Turramurra).
Public parking is available close to all facilities.