Bobbin Head Sydney

Bobbin Head

Bobbin Head hugs Cowan Creek

Located in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, Bobbin Head Sydney is a super popular picnic spot about 30kms north of the Sydney CBD.

It is one of those Sydney institutions where families visit for years on end. It is easy to see why with beautiful picnic spots, a fantastic boardwalk, bushwalks, water, a playground and the fabulous Kalkari Discovery Centre.

One of the best parts about Bobbin Head is that it is situated around Cowan Creek. This beautiful creek really is the heart of the area with many of the days activities centered around it.

Its a favourite with my family as even on busy weekends there’s a lot of room to find a good picnic spot and there’s heaps of activities to keep everyone busy!

So why not visit Bobbin Head and enjoy these 10 fab things to do! 

1. Visit the Kalkari Discovery Centre and look out for Kangaroos

Kalkari Discovery Centre Bobbin Head

The Kalkari Discovery Centre is full of surprises

The Kalkari Discovery Centre is located along Bobbin Head Road not far from the Mt Colah entrance (or past Bobbin Head Inn and up the hill if you are coming from Turramurra). I think because it is so unassuming from the outside that most visitors don’t stop here. But please do!

I’ll be honest it’s not a whizz bang Discovery Centre with touch screens and media rooms. But while it may lack a bit of glitz, it sure has an honest soul.

There is so much to do here including a visitors centre, bush track, lookout, picnic spots and amazingly a family of kangaroos who live in this large enclosed space.

I can’t stress enough how much I love this hidden gem. In fact so much that I gave it it’s own blog post!

2. Enjoy a BBQ and Picnic

Two sides of the park to choose a picnic ground

The picnic and BBQ areas in Bobbin Head are just perfect. There are large open grassy areas as well as tables, gazebos and sitting platforms. Visitors can choose to sit in the area with the playground or on the Orchard Park side of Bobbin Head Road.

You’ll enjoy free BBQ’s, great water views and the feeling of pure serenity down in this beautiful valley.

If you have a crowd coming you may wish to reserve The Pavillion or The Station picnic shelters. Extra charges apply.

There is also a small picnic spot at Apple Tree Bay (which is mainly used as a boat launching spot).

3. Let the kids loose in the playground

Bobbin Head Playground

A fenced playground means the kids are safely secured!

So whilst the playground is not a modern, super charged number it is actually pretty excellent for kids.

It is fully fenced, it is big and it doesn’t have bark or soft fall! There are swings, slides, towers and climbing frames.

Best of all with sand as the ground, get the kids to bring some buckets and spades and let their imagination run wild.

Mum can rest while the kids play

4. Go crab spotting along the boardwalk

Bobbin Head Gibberagong walking track

The boardwalk is an easy walk 

The boardwalk is actually the start of the Gibberagong walking track.

The boardwalk extends for a few hundred metres at the start of the Gibberagong Walk, winding its way through the mangroves and wetlands. It is a lot of fun looking out for crabs, fish and birds and the rock formations make for an interesting walk.

The boardwalk is easy and suitable for prams and wheelchairs.

You will find the track at the southern end of the park, just past the playground.

Kids love looking for crabs among the mangroves

5. Go for a bushwalk

Bobbin Head bushwalks

Some rewarding bushwalks to go on

There are two main bushwalks around the picnic area. One is the Gibberagong walking track. After the boardwalk finishes the track becomes a moderate grade walk leading to a large waterhole. The entire walk is grade 3, 8.3km return.

The other bushwalk is the Birrawanna Walking Track which starts at (or ends at) the Kalkari Discovery Centre.  This is a grade 3, 4km return walk. You will find the track near the playground, past the large picnic shelter.

6. Enjoy some water sports

Bobbin Head Kayak

Enjoy the views from a kayak (image courtesy of NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service)

Being set along a water way, water sports are a popular past time at Bobbin Head Sydney.

If you don’t have your own kit you can hire a ‘tinny’ from the Empire Bay Marina or a Paddle Boat from Bobbin Head Inn.

7. Admire the boats at Empire Bay Marina

Empire Bay Marina

It’s hard not to get boat envy….

Even if you don’t want to hire a boat, take a walk over the bridge, check out the marina and ogle at the boats.

8. Bring the rod

Bobbin Head Sydney Fishing

A nice spot to drop a line in

So you may not get the big catch here but it is a peaceful place to throw a line in if that is your thing. Make sure you have a valid fishing license!

9. Stop by the Information Centre

Bobbin Head Information Centre

The Information Centre is easily missed being at the side of the Bobbin Head Inn

The Information Centre is a neat place to stop by. Inside you will find park maps, brochures and information on the walking trails. You can also stock up on souvenirs, Aboriginal Art, gifts for the kids or a book or two.

The Information Centre is located on Bobbin Head Road in the same building as the Bobbin Inn Cafe.

10. If you have some spare change…..enjoy a coffee at the Cafe….

Bobbin Inn

The Bobbin Inn Cafe is a great place to stop for a bite

If you are feeling flush then there are two options for food at Bobbin Head Sydney. First up is the Bobbin Inn Cafe which sells cafe style food, drinks, snacks and ice creams.

There is also Galley Foods located at Empire Bay Marina which also serves cafe style food with a beer and wine list.

Freedays summary

  • Entry: Free
  • Toilets: Yes
  • Wheelchair friendly: Yes
  • Free carparking: No, parking is $12.00 per car per day
  • Free BBQ facilities: Yes
  • Time to spend here: All day
  • Food available: Yes
  • Address: Bobbin Head, Ku-ring-gai Chase Road, Mount Colah NSW 2080
  • Further details: Visit Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park directory listing



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