In preparation for the Bloody long walk last year (2019), I explored the Lane Cove national park (North Shore) that is closer to the place that I stayed at that time. After researching, I found that the Lane Cove Riverside Walk is one of the popular and spectacular walks in the Lane Cove national park. It was surprising to know that there was a national park that had these amazing walks so close to home but I had never explored it before.
For other walks in Sydney, refer Sydney walks section on my blog.
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Lane Cove National Park
Lane Cove National Park is a protected area within Sydney city. It is a perfect place to spend a day over the weekends and the best thing about the national park is that it is very close to the Sydney Central Business District (CBD). The national park has a river that flows in between and divides the park into two sections. The river is beautiful and the walks are around the river, which are even more beautiful.
The national park is open everyday from 7 AM to 7 PM.
How to get to the national park?
- From the Central/Town Hall/Wynyard train station, one needs to take the North Shore train line to get to the Chatswood train station.
- There are frequent buses between Chatswood station and Lane Cove National Park.
- More details and up-to-date information can be found on the Transport for NSW website.
The Lane Cove National Park is about 10 kilometres (20 minutes) from Sydney CBD. The quickest and easiest way to get to the national park is to drive. But taking a car into the national park costs money and there is an entry fee of AUD 8 per vehicle for a single entry.
The national park has two entry points – one in Chatswood and the other in Macquarie Park. As the walk is a circuit walk, the starting point of the walk can be from any of these entries.
Macquarie Park entrance
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Lane Cove Riverside walk details
As the name suggests, the Lane Cove Riverside walk is along the river in the Lane Cove National Park. The Lane Cove Riverside walk offers as a beautiful walk for bird watching and wildlife spotting.
Note: There are a few picnic areas along the way and if the weather is good then you can find many people barbecuing and enjoying the weather.
- Starting point: Lane Cove National Park Entrance (either Chatswood or Macquarie Park). As this is a circuit walk, the starting point can be at either of the national park entrances.
- Finishing point: Lane Cove National Park Entrance (either Chatswood or Macquarie Park). As this is a circuit walk, the finishing point can be at either of the national park entrances.
- Total distance: 10 kilometers circuit.
- Total time taken: 2.5 to 3 hours.
- Grade: Easy to Moderate. There are some steep slopes along the way even though they are not too hard.
- Cost: The entrance fee is only for the car and the cost is AUD 8. But if walking into the national park without a car then it is FREE.
If you have a car, then the best thing to do is to buy an yearly pass from National Park NSW website.
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- It is a family-friendly walk. I did see many kids accompanying their parents on this walk.
- The best time to visit the national park is during spring (September to November) and autumn (March to May). However, a warm sunny day in winter (June to August) is also a great time to do the walk.
- Carry sufficient water. There are water filling stations at picnic tables where one can refill water. These water filling stations provide tap water and I would suggest taking water purifying tablets.
- There are toilet facilities in the picnic area.
- The national park also has a Lane Cove Boatshed where one can hire kayaks, pedal boats, and rowboats. The shed is open over the weekends and summer school holidays between 10 AM to 5 PM.
- Watch out for wildlife. I saw a duck and its many ducklings. I think that was one of the best sights I have seen in this national park. Other than the ducklings, do look out for lizards, kookaburras, and many other species of birds.
- There is a cafe in the national park near the parking area where one can buy water, ice cream, chips (french fries) and other food items.
- There are no shops along the walk and hence ensure to take lunch and snacks.
- Wear sturdy and comfortable shoes.
- carry an extra pair of socks, in case of blisters.
- Do not feed or harm wildlife.
- Do not throw litter in the national park. There are dedicated garbage bins, so dispose of the rubbish only in those garbage bins.
- Smoking is not allowed in the national parks of New South Wales (NSW).
Is it safe for solo female travelers?
Yes, the Lane Cove National Park is very safe for solo female hikers. However, I would suggest going with one more person or with a group of people. This is because it is a national park and if there is a hiking buddy then it is useful in handling any unexpected situations.
I loved the Lane Cove Riverside walk. It was very pretty and had a calming effect throughout the walk. I definitely recommend visiting this national park and doing the Lane Cove Riverside walk. This is one national park that I have to explore more and find more walks to do.
If you have explored the Lane Cove National Park and done any other walks, I would love to hear. Please drop a comment below or write to me on Raksha.Nagaraj@Solopassport.com or Solopassport@gmail.com.