Last updated: June 20, 2020
The scenic Narrabeen Lagoon trail is a stunning 8.4km circuit track around Narrabeen Lakes in Sydney’s north.
Completed in February 2015, this trail is a very popular weekend escape for walkers, joggers, cyclists and parents with prams, all enjoying the natural beauty and serenity of an idyllic lake surrounded by thriving bushland.
|Narrabeen Lagoon Trail|
|Distance:||8.4 km (return)|
|Grade:||Easy / moderate|
|Dogs:||On a lead|
How to Get There
There are quite a few paid parking areas available at several parks that exist around Narrabeen Lakes. Mind you though, parking in these car parks is quite expensive.
Alternatively, there is also limited free parking available in the suburban streets nearby, or otherwise you could try parking at the nearby shopping precinct.
Public transport is an option too, with buses traveling via Pittwater Road (Berry Reserve), next to Narrabeen Lake.
Narrabeen Lakes guides hikers, runners and cyclists through ecosystems with an abundance of wildlife, historical sites and cultural heritage.
The area is home to birds (1/3 of Sydney’s bird species live here), rodents, bats, frogs, marsupials, lizards and many different types of fish.
Narrabeen Lakes is also referred to as Narrabeen Lagoon, because the lake is basically a coastal lagoon separated from the ocean next door.
The area around the lagoon has been a popular camping and leisure spot since the beginning of the 19th century, when the tram line was extended to Narrabeen, making transport much easier.
With the recent completion of the Narrabeen Lagoon trail, the area will further develop itself as an attractive tourist and weekend recreation hot spot.
Check out this great video to get a good impression of what the Narrabeen Lagoon Trail is all about:
Narrabeen Lagoon Trail
In February 2015 the final section of the walking trail around the lake was completed, making it a beautiful uninterrupted loop. With an exciting boardwalk and a couple of steel bridges, you can now walk, run or cycle all around the lake.
What you’ll notice is that the trail has a very friendly atmosphere. Joggers, hikers, leisure cyclists, families with small kids on bikes, it can definitely get a bit crowdy there at times.
But everyone is mostly respectful and accommodating to one another, and there’s no reason to feel intimidated in any way by all the traffic.
The Narrabeen Lagoon trail is divided into 5 different sections which we will describe below. Starting at Middle Creek, make your way around the lake in a clockwise manner.
1. Middle Creek to Bilarong Reserve (2.2km)
Middle Creek is a good starting point for the walking trail, with a decent sized car park, toilet facilities and a water fountain.
Make your way north and follow the Wakehurst Parkway all the way to Bilarong Reserve. Keep an eye out for an interesting historic feature: the scattered remains of lime and cement works that were active in this area in the 1930’s and 1940’s.
Interestingly, the construction of the Wakehurst Parkway prevented the works to reach their full potential.
An interesting part of this section is the newly built over-water boardwalk. It’s quite a spectacular boardwalk that brings the trail away from the busy Wakehurst Parkway over the lagoon.
Not only is this solution safer for all trail users, it also helps to protect the fragile bio-diversity along the northern foreshore of the Narrabeen Lagoon.
2. Bilarong Reserve to Berry reserve (1.2km)
Bilarong Reserve also has a large car park, making it another good spot to start this exciting walking trail.
The reserve is also a perfect stopover for families with kids, with a huge playground and excellent BBQ facilities to enjoy.
This is also a very popular spot for boating enthusiasts who launch their boats here. From Bilarong it’s only a short stroll around the corner to Berry Reserve.
3. Berry Reserve to Jamieson Park (1.5km)
Berry Reserve has recently been upgraded and now includes public toilets, picnic tables, a playground, a basketball court and barbecues.
If you’re feeling hungry, Berry Reserve is a great place for a pit stop. Have a picnic in the park or go to one of the cafes nearby for a bite.
Another great spot for a coffee or lunch is the Boatshed cafe & bar. Located right at the lake, this place offers the best views.
Continue the trail by following the shoreline of the lake all the way to Jamieson Park.
4. Jamieson Park to South Creek (2.3km)
Jamieson Park is a 42.8ha reserve at the southern point of Narrabeen Lagoon. There is a large paid parking area, but this fills up pretty quickly on a warm summer day.
With its sheltered waters and scenic surroundings, Narrabeen Lagoon is the perfect place to try out a bit of water sports action.
At Jamieson Park you can also hire equipment for kayaking and stand-up-paddling.
The trail from Jamieson Park to South Creek is my favourite part of the circuit track. This is where you’ll hike through beautiful native bushland with scenic views across the lake.
Take your time, breathe in the fresh air, and enjoy one of Sydney’s best kept secrets.
5. South Creek to Middle Creek (1.2km)
The stretch between South Creek and Middle Creek was the last part of the circuit to be completed in 2015.
A beautiful wooden boardwalk and steel bridges make it now possible to do a full, uninterrupted loop around Narrabeen lakes.
This section of the trail runs past the Sydney Academy of Sport and Recreation, which organises sports programs for schools, community and sporting groups, and for anyone looking to participate in some outdoor fun.
The completion of the Narrabeen Lagoon trail in 2015 has made Narrabeen Lakes the perfect spot to escape the city and the suburbs. With an abundance of activities you can do, the Narrabeen Lakes area is a great day out for the whole family.
The walk itself is very easy and diverse, but can perhaps be a bit too long for young children. Of course, you don’t need to do the whole trail to enjoy Narrabeen Lagoon. Simply pick one or more of the 5 sections and do the rest on another day.
If you’ve never tried kayaking or stand-up-paddling before, Narrabeen Lakes is the best spot to have a go and have some fun.
Narrabeen Lakes Map
You can start the Narrabeen Lagoon trail anywhere around the lake. Paid parking is available at some of the parks such as Jamieson Park and Bilaroy Reserve.