Hornsby and Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park
The upper north shore is known for its green leafy streets and tranquil vibe. Hornsby is the area‘s relaxed hub and is the gateway to the area’s main attractions, Berowra Valley National Park and Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, which joins the waterways of Pittwater and the Hawkesbury.
Things to do in Hornsby and Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park
Berowra Valley National Park has everything you want for a day of outdoor adventuring. Berowra Creek is a lovely waterway that makes an ideal spot for water sports including kayaking, boating and fishing plus there‘s free BBQ facilities, including picnic tables at nearby Crosslands Reserve.
Ku-ring-gai Chase is the second oldest national park in Australia, it’s heritage-listed so it combines history with natural beauty including rainforests and mangroves which sit by stretches of ocean. There are more delightful waterside picnic spots here, including Apple Tree and Bobbin Head.
Both national parks contain sections of the Great North Walk, a 250km trail from Sydney to Newcastle created to mark Australia's bicentenary of the First Fleet arrival. Berowra track follows the creek and Ku-ring-gai track begins at Cowan station, two stops northeast of Hornsby station.
There are smaller trails for those who prefer walking to trekking, such as the Place of Winds interpretative trail that starts and ends at Crosslands Reserve or the Aboriginal Heritage Walk. Before setting out on any kind of bushwalking trail, it‘s important to read these bushwalking safety tips.
For those who prefer two wheels to two legs, take the exhilarating cycling route through Ku-ring-gai which begins at Mount Colah station, just five minutes by train from Hornsby. The Hornsby Mountain Bike Trail is also near the station and is made up of 6km of track through picturesque bushland for beginners and more advanced riders.
Eat and drink
You have a choice of cafes, restaurants and shops near Hornsby station, being a multicultural hub you can find everything from Persian to Korean cuisine. If you‘re heading up on a Thursday, stop by the Hornsby Organic Markets to pick up some fresh produce so you can cater your own picnic in the national park.
If you’re looking for something a little more luxe, you can’t go past Berowra Waters Inn or Cottage Point Inn. Both restaurants serve award winning cuisine, but to make it memorable leave the car at home and take a seaplane from Rose Bay to either restaurant for a waterside dining experience like no other.
It’s easy to reach Hornsby via public transport, trains regularly depart from the city centre or Strathfield in Sydney’s west. If you prefer to drive, take the M1 or M2 motorway from the city centre and it should take you just under an hour.