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Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park: Indigenous history meets scenic beauty

Located north of Sydney, Ku-ring-gai is Australias second oldest national park and is a local favourite for bushwalking, cycling, fishing and swimming. There are several trails, lookouts, picnic spots, secluded beaches and well-preserved Aboriginal heritage sites that provide a window into the past.

Aboriginal history

The Guringai people (from which the park takes its name) are the traditional custodians of the land on which the national park sits, and there are many ways to learn about their culture and heritage during your visit.

Red Hands Cave can be found along the Aboriginal Heritage Track or the Resolute Loop Track. The cave is an important site for the Guringai People as it provides physical evidence of their ancestors. It also provides a spiritual connection to the past which is incredibly important in Aboriginal culture. When you reach the cave, you’ll see ochre handprints in the stone, but refrain from touching or laying your hands over the prints as this will damage them.

Another Aboriginal heritage site in the park is the rock engravings which can also be found along the Aboriginal Heritage Track. This rock art is one of the best examples of engravings by the Garigal people of the Guringai Nation.

It’s thought that these human and animal figures were carved into the large, flat sandstone surfaces by the Guringai People more than 5000 years ago. To see the art in its full glory, it’s best to arrive early in the morning or later in the afternoon so that the light casts deeper shadow across the rock.

5 Best Walks in Ku-Ring-gai Chase

To make the most of your visit to Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, pack a bag with bushwalking essentials and tackle one of the area’s many trails. Bobbin Head and the Barrenjoey Lighthouse are two of the most popular spots, but there are trails for all levels of fitness and a few campgrounds for those you want more of an adventure.

Warrimoo Track to Bobbin Head – 6.2km one way

This is a great walk for exploring the upper reaches of Cowan Creek. There are some incredible viewpoints along the way, a variety of flora and fauna and a café at the end for a refreshing drink.

West Head Lookout Track – 1.9km return

Starting at Resolute Picnic Area, this walk heads out to West Head Lookout where you’ll be rewarded with magnificent views across the Hawkesbury River and Lion Island.

America Bay Track – 2.2km return

If you don’t have a lot of time, this short walk is a great choice as you’ll experience the bush, pass historic Aboriginal engravings, a small waterfall and a beautiful lookout point.

Resolute Track – 3.7km return

One of the harder tracks in the park, the Resolute Track is a great way to see two major Aboriginal sites and the magnificent and secluded Resolute Beach – so pack your swimmers.

Aboriginal Heritage Track – 1.1km circuit

From the Resolute Picnic Area, the Aboriginal Heritage Track takes in one of the most popular rock art sites in the park and a well preserved Aboriginal engraving site.

Head over to Ku-ring-gai National Park and experience the thrill of Australian wilderness whilst hardly leaving the metropolitan area. The winding creeks and turquoise strips of ocean here, paired with thick rainforests and flourishing mangroves provide visitors with a real sense of adventure.

Where?

Website: www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au

Address: Bobbin Head Rd, Mount Colah NSW 2079

Jennifer Gaskin
Jen is obsessed with both food and travel. She believes that the way we explore the world, and our own backyards, can have a profoundly positive effect on the planet and its people. Her favourite things to do are explore far-flung corners of the globe, eat as many different types of food as possible and work up a sweat in the boxing ring!