The Best Things to do at Lane Cove National Park
- Mums & Bubs
Located just 20 minutes North West of the Sydney CBD, Lane Cove National Park is undoubtedly Sydney’s best-kept secret bushland that straddles the peaceful Lane Cove River, extending from East Ryde in the south to Pennant Hills in the north.
We love that amid the chaos of metropolitan life, families, both young and old, can find solace and adventure in this reserve.
Whether you choose to head on to the park for a day trip or a family weekender, you’ll want to be sure to do at least one of these awesome seven activities.
The Best Things to do at Lane Cove National Park
1. Boating Along the River
Located off Riverside Drive near the Delhi Road entrance of Lane Cove National Park, you’ll be able to hire rowboats, kayaks, canoes, pedal boats and even pushbikes (not to get into the river though!).
It’s open 10 am to 5 pm on weekends and public holidays and 12 pm to 5 pm on weekdays in the summer holidays.
Alternatively, you can also bring your own kayak or canoe to explore the Lane Cove River upstream from the weir.
2. Bushwalking Trails
Lane Cove National Park has so many great walking trails for everyone with various levels of experience.
We especially love the Fairyland Pleasure Gardens located near the Chatswood West end of the park, which is one of our recommended trails if you have little ankle-biters. With school kids, try the Riverside Walking Track (pictured above), a clearly signposted walking trail that meanders through natural bushland alongside Lane Cove River.
The park also has numerous historical sites, which are best explored along the self-guided Heritage walk. Plan ahead by picking up a brochure from the park office in Lindfield during the week.
3. Watch the Wildlife
Wherever you are in the park, you’ll definitely be greeted by the curious sounds and sights of the park’s natives.
Keep your eyes peeled for the shy brown antechinus (pictured above)! Catch kookaburras and colourful lorikeets flitting between the trees, the Eastern water dragon slithering about the river, brush turkeys darting about or swamp wallabies lurking by the bush.
There’s no end to the amazing wildlife and flora the kids can discover. Be sure to bring along binoculars for birdwatching in Lane Cove National Park.
4. Family Camping or Glamping
Lane Cove National Park is rated one of our favourite family camping spots, especially for beginners.
You can choose the caravan park, cabins or luxurious nature glamping at Tandara. Located near the National Park, it's a great place for glamping and a romantic weekend getaway.
The caravan park campground in itself is incredibly well-equipped with a camp kitchen, recreation room, laundry, electric barbecues, a shaded swimming pool for cooling off when the weather is hot, and a smaller paddling pool for smaller guests. What more could you ask for!
5. Cycling Tracks
The Pennant Hills and West Pymble Fire Trail is a familiar cycling track for the more adventurous and veteran family cyclers. Otherwise, Blackman Park in Lane Cove West has lovely paved paths perfect for little cyclists, or most of the picnic spots have plenty of space.
6. Pack a Picnic
We can’t think of a better place to have a picnic to enjoy a great screen-free day with the family! Choose from 12 picnic spots, including the Tunks Hill picnic area (pictured above), offering picnic tables, barbecues, children’s play equipment, flat grassy areas and easy access to any of the walking tracks and spaces to cycle in Lane Cove National Park.
Whatever activity you choose, the park has a serene atmosphere that’s perfect for doing nothing and everything in nature.
7. Free Playgrounds
There are three children’s playgrounds at Lane Cove National Park, all of which are amazingly well-equipped and maintained. They’re great meeting spots for families and groups or even birthday parties.
The playground at Tunks Hill picnic grounds is the most popular, given it is located on large picnic grounds with BBQ and toilet facilities. The only downside is that there’s no shade over the playground so it may get hot in the summer months. To get to this playground, drive along Riverside Drive off Lane Cove Road, not far from the M2.
The Jenkins Hill picnic area also has a large playground (pictured above) and is accessible via the Lady Game Drive entrance of the park, off Delhi Road. Toilets are located nearby, as are a few picnic areas with tables and BBQs. The playground is covered by a shade sail, which is perfect even on a sunny day.
The Airmans Park Playground is the smallest and most basic of the three, located at the end of Bradfield Road, Lindfield. There are no toilet facilities available, and it’s normally frequented by the locals.
Additional Information About the Park
Depending on which part of the park you’re accessing, there is an entry-day pass fee of $8.00 for cars or motorcycles. Pay at gate or ticket machine.
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION
Always inform someone of your plans, where you are going and when you expect to be back. If possible, plan your trip with a group or another family. Dress appropriately for the weather and conditions of the bushwalk. Ensure that your child has a wide-brimmed hat and sunscreen, as not all areas of the park are sufficiently shaded. Always check the weather forecast. Some areas with rivers or water catchment areas may be at risk of flooding after rain.
Please check bushfire danger ratings and restrictions before you go by visiting the NSW Rural Fire Service website.
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