Nature hikes here lead past rock engravings and paintings by the Guringai Aboriginal tribe, the area's original inhabitants for whom the park is named. Created in the 1890s, the park mixes large stands of eucalyptus trees with moist, rain-forest-filled gullies where swamp wallabies, possums, goannas, and other creatures roam. The delightful trails are mostly easy or moderate, including the compelling 3-km (2-mile) Garigal Aboriginal Heritage Walk at West Head, which takes
in ancient rock-art sites. From Mt. Ku-ring-gai train station you can walk the 3-km (2-mile) Ku-ring-gai Track to Appletree Bay, while the 30-minute, wheelchair-accessible Discovery Trail is an excellent introduction to the region's flora and fauna. Leaflets on all of the walks are available at the park's entry stations and from the Wildlife Shop at Bobbin Head.
The park is 24 km (15 miles) north of Sydney. Railway stations at Mt. Ku-ring-gai, Berowra, and Cowan, close to the park's western border, provide access to walking trails. On Sunday, for example, you can walk from Mt. Ku-ring-gai station to Appletree Bay and then to Bobbin Head, where a bus can take you to the Turramurra railway station. By car, take the Pacific Highway to Pymble. Then turn into Bobbin Head Road or continue on the highway to Mt. Colah and turn off into the park on Ku-ring-gai Chase Road. You can also follow the Pacific Highway to Pymble and then drive along the Mona Vale Road to Terry Hills and take the West Head turnoff.
For more information on the park, contact the Sydney North Region Information Centre, which is located in the historic Bobbin Inn.
Basin. Camping in the park is permitted only at the Basin on Pittwater (near Palm Beach). Sites with access to barbecues and picnic tables must be booked in advance. The rate is A$28 for the campsite per night. Supplies can be purchased in Palm Beach. Book online or over the phone with National Parks and Wildlife Service. Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park. 9974–1011. www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au.