Lane Cove National Park Riverside Circuit Walk

Last updated: February 4, 2022

Located only 20 minutes north-west of the Sydney CBD, Lane Cove National Park is a large pocket of scenic bushland surrounding the banks of the Lane Cove River which flows into Sydney Harbour.

A picturesque 10 km circuit walk along both sides of the river makes for an excellent way to explore the natural beauty of this national park.

Often considered as one of the best bush walks in Sydney, this walking track will not disappoint.

Distance: 10km (circuit)
Duration: 3 hours
Grade: Moderate

How to Get There

The central part of Lane Cove National Park has two main entry points, one in Macquarie Park (map) and the other one in Chatswood West (map). You can start the riverside circuit walk from either side.

From the Pacific Highway in Chatswood, turn into Fullers Road. From there, turn right into Riverside Drive inside the national park, just after crossing Fullers Bridge.

Alternatively, you can turn right into Lady Game Drive just before crossing the bridge. This takes you to the northern side of Lane Cove River.

The western part of Lane Cove National Park can be reached via Riverside Drive off Lane Cove Road. Entry to the park is $8 per vehicle for a whole day.

If you’re using public transport, the national park is accessible from North Ryde train station and by bus from Chatswood train station. Visit the NSW transport info website to help plan your trip.


About Lane Cove National Park

Popular with walkers, joggers and cyclists, Sydney’s metropolitan Lane Cove National Park extends from Pennant Hills in the north to East Ryde in the south.

The main section of the park sits between De Burghs Bridge on Ryde Road in Macquarie Park and Fullers Bridge in Chatswood West.

Lane Cove River
Lane Cove River

This central part is home to the Riverside Walking Track and the Lane Cove Valley Walk (part of the Great North Walk) that together from a moderately challenging yet pleasant 10km circuit trail.

Several picnic areas, playgrounds, camping sites and cycle paths can also be found in this part of Lane Cove National Park.

The Future of Lane Cove National Park

Sydney’s strong population growth in the last few decades has put a lot of pressure on the park, which is now completely surrounded by urban development.

One major issue is water pollution and weed infestation due to storm water run-off from houses, businesses, hospitals and schools in the catchment area.

Let’s hope the park can be preserved for future generations to enjoy.

Riverside Circuit Walk Track Notes

The 10km riverside circuit walk in Lane Cove National Park consists of two tracks:

  1. Lane Cove Valley Walk:
    A moderately challenging walk along the east bank of the Lane Cove river.
  2. Riverside Walking Track:
    A family-friendly walking track along the west bank of the river.

The two tracks connect at the Lane Cove Weir in the east and at the De Burghs Bridge on the other side (both marked with an X in below map).

Lane Cove National Park walk map

The Lane Cove National Park riverside circuit walk can be started either at the Lane Cove Weir or at the De Burghs Bridge.

The below track notes however, describe the circuit trail starting at the Lane Cove Weir heading north.

1. Lane Cove Valley Walk

The walking track that roughly follows the northern shoreline of the Lane Cove River is part of the famous Great North Walk, a 250km walking track between Sydney and Newcastle.

Signpost for Lane Cove National Park south

From the Koonjeree Picnic area, cross the Lane Cove Weir at the big signpost, and follow Max Allen Road for a short while until you see a big Great North Walk sign.

At that sign, the track continues up the stairs and into the bush. At the intersection with the Heritage Walk, turn right following the Lane Cove Valley walking track.

Lane Cove Weir
Lane Cove Weir

From this point onward, the track is an easy-to-follow bushwalk with several highlights along the way, such as sandstone caves and overhangs, mangroves, and picturesque Lane Cove River views.

The turning point of the circuit walk is at the De Burghs Bridge. Follow the track up hill and cross the bridge via the mixed pedestrian/cycle lane.

Lane Cove Valley walk
Lane Cove Valley walk

The noise of the traffic may be a bit off-putting, especially after hiking in the bush for more than an hour. but it’s only temporary.

At the other side of the bridge, head back down into the bush and you will soon see a sign that marks the starting point of the Riverside walking track.

2. Riverside Walking Track

The Riverside walking track along the west bank is a lot easier than the valley walk on the other side of the river.

Signpost for Lane Cove National Park north

The path meanders through beautiful natural bushland, and passes several family-friendly picnic areas with toilet facilities.

Surrounded by urban development, the landscape in this part of Lane Cove National Park is very refreshing, with eucalypt forests, casuarina woodlands and saltwater wetlands.

Lane Cove Riverside walking track
Lane Cove Riverside walking track

The park is also home to a great variety of different plants, animals and birds.

As you follow the Riverside walking track, keep an eye out for local residents such as swamp wallabies, bush turkeys and kookaburras, as well as eastern water dragons, cockatoos and lorikeets.


Lane Cove National Park riverside walk


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  1. I wish I had seen this website before I set off today.

    The visitor guide map available at the information office is very poor (such as, for the Fiddens Wharf walk, it refers to Max Alan Drive which isn’t even shown on the map) and the distances noted are confusing as to which distances are single direction and which are return loops…

    The NP leaflet refers to the Fiddens Wharf walk as an easy 3.5km loop but in fact the signpost at the turnoff from the Great North Walk indicated a further 1.7km and this is more than halfway along the section from the weir to De Burgh’s Bridge (which at the bridge end is listed as 4km).

    Also the tracks in many places seem unused for a long time and covered with leaves which became very slippery when it started to rain.

    It should be noted The Great North Walk section is graded “medium difficulty” but this is obviously a hiker’s rating, not a day tripper’s rating. There is quite a bit of rock scrambling and some creek hopping involved where the track is not obvious until you get to the other side of the creek.

    I enjoyed my walk in Lane Cove National Park but it was much more than I set out for…

    • Sounds like you had quite an adventure today, Karen. Thanks so much for sharing your experience with the rest of us. Happy to hear though you still enjoyed the hike, despite the challenges.

  2. A great place to walk! The directions were clear, great picnic areas, also a place where you could rent boats further down into the walk!

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