The Guringai people are the traditional custodians of the land now reserved as the Garigal National Park and there is considerable evidence of past Aboriginal activity in the area, with over 100 Aboriginal sites recorded to date, including shelters, cave art, rock engravings, middens, grinding grooves and a possible stone arrangement.
However, the park hasn't had much modern post colonial history. The park was founded in April 1991, and was mainly created intending to preserve the Aboriginal sites.
Flora and fauna
A Dry Sclerophyll Forest, Garigal National Park is home to a wide range of fauna, including birds, snakes and a wide range of native mammals (such as bandicoots, koalas, wallabies).
There is also a number of introduced pests, including rabbits and foxes.
Generally a mild climate during the autumn and spring months, and rainy during the latter part of summer. It can get a little cold during winter, but a small jacket will do fine if you're used to a little bit of the cold.
There are only five entry points to the park, with Currie Road and Davidson Park (access via an exit from) in Forestville, Douglas Street and Hunter Ave in St. Ives, and Ralston Avenue in Belrose. However, the only place that has a parking lot is Davidson Park, and it's the only place where fees are required.
Generally, there's not much public transport specifically designed to go to Garigal National Park, and there are no public ferries that run on the Lane Cove River.
Fees and permits
There are no fees and permits required except at Davidson Park, where a fee of $8 applies per vehicle.
Not all of the park is connected, but nor are there roads in the park. Your best way to get around is to:
- Walk for short distances and on hiking trails
- Take your car and leave and re-enter a different section to where you're going.
- 1 Stepping Stone Crossing, Governor Phillip Track, St Ives. A small creek crossing with stepping stones.
- 2 The Bluff Lookout, The Bluff Track, Killarney Heights. Gives you some picturesque views of Chatswood and even beyond to the CBD which are the views seen in this page's banner.
- 1 Cascades trail. 3.2 km one hour trail one way. The track is mostly suitable for walkers, horse riders, and mountain bikers but not for road bikers.
- 2 Natural Bridge track to Davidson Park. The trail is 6.8 km one way and takes about 3-4 hours to do. The trail is more known for being just a nice quiet spot linking the eastern and western sections of Bantry Bay.
- 3 Gahnia and Serrata mountain bike trails. Mountain bike trail, but more suitable for experienced riders as opposed to learner riders. Has 6.5km of trails and would take about 1.5 hours. For some easier tracks use Heath and Bare Creek trails.
- 4 Heath and Bare Creek trails. A much easier mountain bike trail, 3.7km one-way which takes about 1.5 hours to do.
- 5 Stepping Stone Crossing to Cascades trail. 2.7 km trail one way which takes about 0.5-1 hour to do. Another low lying relaxing short quick trail.
There are no cafes nor restaurants in Garigal National Park but there is a picnic area.
Given that this is quite a small park, there are no places to sleep. The nearest are in Macquarie Park, but if you're looking for a camping experience, then Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park is a nearby national park to the north. The Northern Beaches also have some accommodation to the east.
Wildlife nor safety isn't a big concern here, nor is the crime rates as they're very low in this part of Sydney. Do however, bring some water with you.
- Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park to the north, Lane Cove National Park to the south west, and Sydney Harbour National Park to the south east.
|Routes via Garigal National Park|
|Macquarie Park/Lane Cove National Park ← Chatswood ←||SWNE||→ French Forest → Dee Why|