8 Best Walks in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park

Last updated: October 14, 2021

Established in 1894, Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park is Australia’s second oldest national park, 15 years younger than the Royal National Park.

Located only 25 km north of the Sydney CBD, Ku-ring-gai Chase is a popular weekend destination for Sydney residents as well as for tourists.

Measuring a generous 15,000 hectares, the park is characterised by rainforest, cliffs, mangroves, Aboriginal sites, picnic areas, secluded beaches, lookout points, mountain biking trails, and various walking tracks.

Top 8 Ku-ring-gai Chase Walks:

Walk Distance
1 Resolute Loop Track 6 km (circuit)
2 America Bay Track 2 km (return)
3 West Head Lookout to Great Mackerel Beach 5 km (one-way)
4 West Head Army Track 1 km (return)
5 Cowan to Brooklyn Walk via Jerusalem Bay 13 km (one-way)
6 Berowra to Mount Kuring-gai via Apple Tree Bay 10 km (one-way)
7 Bobbin Head, Sphinx and Warrimoo Loop 10 km (circuit)
8 Gibberagong Walking Track 6 km (one-way)
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Top 8 Ku-ring-gai Chase Walks

Here is our list of 8 great walks in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park.

Some of these walking walks are long and challenging, others are a bit shorter and easier to conquer.

1. Resolute Loop Track

One of the prettiest secluded beaches in Sydney is Resolute beach in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, not too far away from the West Head lookout.

Resolute Beach is a 60m long strip of sand, free of rocks, with calm water, making it very suitable for a relaxing swim.

Resolute Beach in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park
Resolute Beach

The beach is also a very popular boat landing area. Lots of visitors arrive here with their leisure boats from Palm Beach for a quiet afternoon in the sun.

The best way to visit Resolute Beach is by doing a picturesque 6 km loop track starting at the Resolute picnic ground. The first part of the track is a section with well-preserved Aboriginal engravings, followed by a descent into the bush towards Resolute beach.

After a refreshing swim, continue the track northbound to the West Head Lookout which offers amazing views of Pittwater and the Barrenjoey Headland.

Resolute Loop Track
Distance: 6 km (circuit)
Time: 2 – 3 hours
Grade: Moderate

2. America Bay Track

The America Bay Track in the West Head and Basin precincts of Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park may be short, but it’s a fun outdoor adventure that takes in a lot of bushwalking goodness.

America Bay
America Bay

The absolute highlight of this easy 2 km track is the lookout at the very end of the walk, which offers incredible views of America Bay. This lookout is also a great spot for a picnic in beautiful surroundings.

Before you get to this lookout though, you will be enjoying Aboriginal engravings, waterfalls, creek crossings, and beautiful natural scenery.

America Bay Track
Distance: 2 km (return)
Time: 1 hour
Grade: Easy

3. West Head Lookout to Great Mackerel Beach

The West Head Lookout in Ku-ring-gai Chase offers breathtaking views of Pittwater, Broken Bay, Barrenjoey Headland, Palm Beach and the Central Coast.

A relatively easy but exciting bushwalk that starts at the lookout leads to Great Mackerel Beach, a tiny suburb with a population of just over 100 residents that looks a bit like a remote holiday resort.

West Head Lookout
West Head Lookout

Go and have a wander around and admire the fascinating real estate right behind the beach, but watch out for the golf carts and wheelbarrows that are used to carry luggage and other things around.

Before arriving at Great Mackerel Beach, the walking track takes in the tiny West Head and Resolute beaches, so you’ll have plenty of options for a quiet swim.

You can read more about this beautiful walking track in our West Head Lookout article.

West Head Lookout to Great Mackerel Beach
Distance: 5 km (one-way)
Time: 2 – 3 hours
Grade: Moderate

4. West Head Army Track

Officially opened in 2016, the short but somewhat challenging West Head Army Track is a unique trail at the West Head Lookout that leads to a historic army battery.

Part of this walk consists of a steep ladder construction that is required to help navigate hikers all the way down to the old West Head army battery.

West Head Army Track
West Head Army Track

Once you’re down there, you can wander around and see the gun emplacements and battery observation posts that were used in the Second World War to protect the country against hostile activities.

You can read more about this unique walk in the West Head Army Track section in our detailed West Head Lookout article.

West Head Army Track
Distance: 1 km (return)
Time: 1 hour
Grade: Moderate (steep sections)

5. Cowan to Brooklyn Walk via Jerusalem Bay

The hard walk between Cowan and Brooklyn is part of the Great North Walk, a monstrous 250 km track between Sydney, Hunter Valley and Newcastle.

This particular section of that iconic walk is not the easiest but well worth the effort, with amazing scenery along the way.

Cowan to Brooklyn Walk via Jerusalem Bay
Jerusalem Bay

The 13 km walking track from Cowan train station to Brooklyn is not complete without a refreshing swim in Jerusalem Bay. The quiet and peaceful surroundings of the bay and the abundance of trees make swimming here such a unique experience.

The best way to get to Cowan is to simply use public transport, as the start of the walking track is right opposite the train station. Simply follow the signs for Brooklyn and the Great North Walk to find the start of the track. Once in Brooklyn, you can catch the train back to Cowan.

Cowan to Brooklyn Walk
Distance: 13 km (one-way)
Time: 4 – 5 hours
Grade: Hard

6. Berowra to Mount Kuring-gai via Apple Tree Bay

The moderately challenging walking track between Berowra and Mount Kuring-gai makes for a perfect day out for both seasoned bushwalkers as well as casual outdoor enthusiasts.

Berowra and Mount Kuring-gai both have railway stations with regular train services so you don’t have to walk all the way back once you’ve finished your journey.

Apple Tree Bay
Apple Tree Bay

The track mostly follows the shoreline of Cowan Creek with a few great lookout points along the way. A visit to Apple Tree Bay is optional as a side track but well worth the effort if you’ve never been there before.

Apple Tree Bay is a popular weekend destination with a boat ramp and plenty of parking. The area has large picnic areas with BBQs, a small kiosk, drinking water, toilet facilities and plenty of shade from the trees.

It’s the perfect spot to have a break while refuelling to get ready for the rest of the walking track to Mount Kuring-gai.

Berowra to Mount Kuring-gai
Distance: 10 km (one-way)
Time: 3.5 – 4.5 hours
Grade: Moderate / hard

7. Bobbin Head, Sphinx and Warrimoo Loop

While Bobbin Head is a beautiful destination in itself, it’s also a starting point for some great bushwalks.

One of these bushwalks is a 10 km circuit walk that consists of the Bobbin Head track, the Sphinx track and the Warrimoo track.

Bobbin Head in Ku-ring-gai Chase NP
Bobbin Head

The start of this walk is behind the Empire Marina, clearly signposted with Warrimoo and Bobbin Head track. You can choose to go clockwise or anti-clockwise which ultimately doesn’t make much difference.

The Warrimoo track follows the western shoreline of Cowan Creek through thick mangroves with remnants of Aboriginal middens to be discovered.

Created by a returned soldier in the 1920’s, the Sphinx Memorial on the Sphinx track is a sandstone monument created in memory of lives lost in WWI. It’s an unusual yet fascinating structure in an unlikely spot.

Bobbin Head, Sphinx and Warrimoo Loop
Distance: 10 km (circuit)
Time: 3.5 – 4.5 hours
Grade: Moderate

8. Gibberagong Walking Track

The Gibberagong track is another popular bushwalk that has its starting point in Bobbin Head.

The first section of this walking track is the Bobbin Head mangrove boardwalk that swirls its way through saltwater mangroves as part of Cockle Creek.

Gibberagong walking track
Gibberagong walking track

The track then continues all the way to North Wahroonga through thriving bushland with a large waterhole as one of the highlights.

The Gibberagong walking track is perfect for adventurous bushwalkers that enjoy bird-watching and wildlife-spotting.

Gibberagong Walking Track
Distance: 6 km (one-way)
Time: 2 – 3 hours
Grade: Moderate
 

8 Best walks in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park

 
 
7 Comments
  1. These look great, thanks for the info.

    Which of these do you think would be best for training for the Kokoda track, or can you recommend others?

    Cheers,
    Dave

    Reply
    • Hello David, the Kokoda track is on a whole different level, very exciting.

      From this list, the most challenging hike would be the Cowan to Brooklyn walking track, it’s quite a tough and long bushwalk.

      Reply
    • Hello Marshall,

      I believe the only spot in Ku-ring-gai Chase where you’re allowed to camp is at the Basin campground, which is accessible via the Basin walking trail or otherwise via ferry, as it’s facing Pittwater.

      Hope this helps!

      Reply
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