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Brisbane Water National Park: Things to Do in the Park

Brisbane Water National Park: Things to Do in the Park

We previously told you about all of the walking tracks in Brisbane Water National Park.  Today, we will be highlighting the lookouts, biking trails, picnic spots, and exploring Aboriginal culture and history of the park. It is 11,506 hectares and located 27 km north of Sydney. It takes about 1 ½ hours to drive to the park from Sydney’s CBD. Brisbane Water National Park is located in the Central Coast region of New South Wales. We have been featuring the national parks in the region north of Sydney in New South Wales including the Greater Blue Mountains Area National Parks as well as other national parks in the region.  We featured Berowra Valley National Park, Marramarra National Park, Dharug National Park,  Yengo National Park, Kanangra-Boyd National Park, Nattai National Park, Gardens of Stone National Park, and Thirlmere Lakes National Park.  Previously, we highlighted several other National Parks in this region including Blue Mountains National Park, Ku-ring-ga National Park, Royal National Park and Wollemi National Park. There are so many national parks in this region close to Sydney, some are part of the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage-listed area and some are not. Visiting a national park helps contribute to their protection and is an excellent way to be able to enjoy the Australian wilderness. Today’s focus is on the different things to do in Brisbane Water National Park like the scenic lookouts, biking trails, picnic spots, and the Aboriginal art in the park.

Bulgandry Aboriginal Art Site in Brisbane Water National Park Photo Credit: NationalParks.nsw.gov.au

Tommos Loop and Rocky Ponds Cycling Loop in Brisbane Water National Park Photo Credit: NationalParks.nsw.gov.au

Things to Do in Brisbane Water National Park

Warrah Trig  Cycling Loop in Brisbane Water National Park Photo Credit: NationalParks.nsw.gov.au

Bulgandry Aboriginal Art Site in Brisbane Water National Park Photo Credit: NationalParks.nsw.gov.au

Brisbane Water National Park may be close to the city, but it definitely feels remote and is a rugged park. When you are planning to venture out into a national park, remember that it is still wild lands even though it is a protected national park. Do your research about the requirements and details of the walking track or biking trail you choose. No matter the length of your walk or ride, be sure to plan ahead, understand the fitness level requirements, use sunscreen and hats to protect your skin from the sun, have the right shoes and attire, bring plenty of drinking water, have emergency supplies with you, and make sure that someone not travelling with you knows when you are expected back. Check the weather before your trip so you know what type of conditions and temperatures you can expect. The weather in Brisbane Water National Park can be extreme and unpredictable, so be sure to come prepared for different weather scenarios. When you take all these necessary safety precautions, it ensures that you will have the most enjoyable holiday.  It is also important to always remember that you are a guest in nature. Bring a bag with you to take your own rubbish away. Leave nothing but footprints and take nothing but pictures. The highlights we will be covering in Brisbane Water National Park include cycle trails, scenic lookouts, picnic spots, and exploring the Aboriginal history and culture in the park.  Of course, there are also the great hikes and walks we already featured, plus kayaking in the park. The nearby coastal towns you can visit when not exploring the park include Umina Beach and Patonga. You can pick up supplies, food, or enjoy fish and chips with a beach view.

Tommos Loop and Rocky Ponds Cycling Loop

Tommos Loop and Rocky Ponds Cycling Loop in Brisbane Water National Park Photo Credit: NationalParks.nsw.gov.au

Tommos Loop and Rocky Ponds Cycling Loop in Brisbane Water National Park Photo Credit: NationalParks.nsw.gov.au

There are more than walking tracks in Brisbane Water National Park. If you like mountain biking, then you will love Tommos Loop and Rocky Ponds Cycling Loop. It covers 20km  of bushland and is about a 3 hour ride. The grade for this track is medium. The trail begins at the Staples lookout where you will find panoramic views of Brisbane Water. The trail can be done quickly or take longer if you choose to go slower and take in the scenery.

Warrah Trig Cycling Loop

Warrah Trig  Cycling Loop in Brisbane Water National Park Photo Credit: NationalParks.nsw.gov.au

Warrah Trig Track, Brisbane Water National Park

Warrah Trig  Cycling Loop in Brisbane Water National Park Photo Credit: NationalParks.nsw.gov.au

The Warrah Trig Cycling Loop is another fun bike trail in Brisbane Water National Park. It follows the ridge between Patonga and Pear Beach. The loop is rated a medium grade trail and is a 10 km loop. You should allow 3 hours to complete the cycling loop. It is near the Patonga to Pearl Beach Walking Track. There are over 270 species of animals and wildlife that are native to the park and this cycling trail gives you a great chance to see at least some of them. The Warrah Lookout is located on the route and you can also stop at one of the picnic spots in the park for lunch.

Somersby Falls Picnic Area

Somersby Falls Picnic Area in Brisbane Water National Park Photo Credit: NationalParks.nsw.gov.au

Somersby Falls Picnic Area in Brisbane Water National Park Photo Credit: NationalParks.nsw.gov.au

The Somersby Falls Picnic Area is a beautiful place to get away from the hustle and bustle of they city life. Sit down and relax and eat a nice meal among the lush rainforest. The picnic tables and barbecues are provided for free. You can use the carpark by Floods Creek. While relaxing in the picnic area, do some bird watching and listen to the creek cascading down the hill. The Somersby Falls Walking Track is accessible from the Somersby Falls Picnic Area.

Girrakool Picnic Area

Girrakool Picnic Area in Brisbane Water National Park Photo Credit: NationalParks.nsw.gov.au

Girrakool Picnic Area in Brisbane Water National Park Photo Credit: NationalParks.nsw.gov.au

Girrakool Picnic Area has the barbecues and picnic tables so you can bring your lunch and eat it in the park with the most beautiful views of nature all around. The picnic area is the beginning of Girrakool Loop Walk where you can see ancient Aboriginal engravings. There is plenty of parking available and also a lot of open green spaces and grassy areas for picnicking, relaxing and enjoying nature. Look out to spot local wildlife like wallabies, kangaroos, koalas, and more.

Staples Lookout

Staples Lookout in Brisbane Water National Park Photo Credit: NationalParks.nsw.gov.au

Staples Lookout in Brisbane Water National Park Photo Credit: NationalParks.nsw.gov.au

The Staples Lookout is easily to access on Woy Woy Road.  The views here include Brisbane Water, Woy Woy Bay, and Mount Wondabyne, the highest peak in Brisbane Water National Park. The views are expansive and quite amazing. You can also do some bird watching here and might even spot some rare birds like a spotted-tailed quoll or a yellow-tailed black cockatoo. There are picnic tables here at the lookout so you can choose to picnic here or wait until you reach one of the other picnic spots in the park.

Warrah Lookout

Warrah Lookout in Brisbane Water National Park Photo Credit: NationalParks.nsw.gov.au

Warrah Lookout in Brisbane Water National Park Photo Credit: NationalParks.nsw.gov.au

The Warrah Lookout has views over Broken Bay and the Hawkesbury River. The lookout is just a short, 15 minute walk from the carpark and does have some rough ground and steps. In season (winter), you can see Waratahs here, but year round you will find amazing panoramic views. The Waratah flowers are fiery red and are the state emblem for New South Wales. This is a beautiful and peaceful spot where you can relax to the sounds of the rustling eucalyptus trees and the lapping of the waves.

Bulgandry Aboriginal Art Site

Bulgandry Aboriginal Art Site in Brisbane Water National Park Photo Credit: NationalParks.nsw.gov.au

Bulgandry Aboriginal Art Site in Brisbane Water National Park Photo Credit: NationalParks.nsw.gov.au

The Bulgandry Aboriginal Art Site in Brisbane Water National Park is where you can find ancient, Aboriginal rock art from the Guringai People. It is very special because so much of the art is well-preserved rock engravings. Some of the engravings date back over 200 years but it is unknown exactly how old the engravings are. Some believe they can be over 2,000 years old! The name Bulgandry is one of the large engravings of a man. It is believed that he represents an ancestral hero who is depicted with an impressive headdress. The site also features some stone tool sharpening grooves. This site gives you a rare opportunity to see how Aboriginals lived, their lifestyles, traditions, and how they interacted with their environment to survive in the rugged bush. Some of the engravings include the local wildlife like wallabies, fish, a dolphin, and an engraving that is believed to be a canoe and a bird. This site still represents an important part of present-day Aboriginal culture so be sure to treat this land and the people with respect at all times. In addition to the Aboriginal history and culture here, it is a breathtakingly beautiful spot with plenty of wildlife and bush all around.

Hiring a Car in Sydney to get to Brisbane Water National Park

Brisbane Water National Park Map Photo Credit: Google Maps

Sydney Car Rental Map Photo Credit: Budget.com.au

It’s convenient and easy to hire a car in Sydney  at one of many convenient locations. If you flew into Sydney on holiday, you can hire a car right at the Sydney Airport. Other locations in Sydney where you can rent a car at a great price include Sydney east location in Alexandria, or the Sydney southwest location in Ravensby. The drive from Sydney to Brisbane Water National Park is about 1 ½ hour drive. If you want to hire your car or four wheel drive vehicle closer to Brisbane Water National Park, then choose the city of Gosford Budget location. Click through any of the links to get a quick and easy rate quote for the best car rental rates in Sydney. Be sure to let your car rental agent know your travel itinerary so that they can ensure you have the best vehicle for your trip. Many parts of this park are great for four-wheel driving, so you will likely want to hire a 4WD vehicle so that you can access all of those trails. Our helpful car rental agents can also assist you with local maps, holiday tips and pointers, and travel safety information. While in Sydney, check out these other holiday ideas from our blog:

Best Scenic Drives in Australia: Greater Blue Mountains

Scenic Drives in the Snowy Mountains

Snow Valley Way: A Delicious Scenic Drive

Things to Do on Holiday in Sydney

Sydney Holiday Ideas for Families with Kids

Free Things to Do in Sydney

A Spectacular New Year’s Eve in Sydney

Places to See in and Around Sydney

5 Day Trips from Sydney

Sydney’s Famous and Secret Beaches

Scenic Drive from Sydney to Melbourne

Experience the Vast Beauty of Wollemi National Park

Royal National Park

Enjoy the Diversity of Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park

Walking through Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park

Summertime is the Perfect Time for Sydney’s Outdoor Pools

Best Places to Celebrate Chinese New Year in Sydney

5 Must Do Walks of Sydney

Sydney’s Best Snorkeling Spots

 

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Shari McConahay
Wife, mom & internet geek. E-Commerce & Internet Marketing old timer, lover of social media, kung fu movies, sci fi, reality tv & game shows.

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