This great circuit walk enjoys some views of Cowan Creek and explores the many ferns through the open forest. The walk starts at the Kalkari Discovery Centre and follows the Birrawanna Loop Track down to Bobbin Head, a large picnic area with kiosk, toilets, BBQ's and more. The walk then continues up through the bush to the National Park Regional Office, before returning to the Kalkari.
(open in app)
Cross sectional view of the Kalkari and Birrawanna Loop Tracks bushwalking track
Analysis and summary of the altitude variation on the Kalkari and Birrawanna Loop Tracks bushwalking track
Overview of this walks Grading - Based on the AS 2156.1 - 2001
These details are new. This new feature still requires more testing and refining. Please use the 'Walker Feedback' for report specific issues. Please e-mail Matt if you have any general comments. Hope you find it helpful.
Under this standard, a walk is graded based on the most difficult section of the walk.
2 hrs 15 mins
Very steep (4/6)
Quality of track
Formed track, with some branches and other obstacles (3/6)
Directional signs along the way (3/6)
Some bushwalking experience recommended (3/6)
Weather generally has little impact on safety (1/6)
Limited facilities, not all cliffs are fenced (3/6)
*This summary of grading information is new and still in testing
Some more detail of this walks Grading
Here is a bit more details explaining the grading looking at sections of the walk. Gradient
3.1km of this walk has gentle hills with occasional steps and another 1.1km has short steep hills. Whilst another 820m is very steep and the remaining 160m is flat with no steps.
Quality of track
Around 5km of this walk follows a formed track, with some branches and other obstacles, whilst the remaining 160m follows a clear and well formed track or trail.
Around 4.1km of this walk is clearly signposted, whilst the remaining 1.1km has directional signs at most intersection.
Around 2.7km of this walk requires some bushwalking experience, whilst the remaining 2.5km requires no previous bushwalking experience.
This whole walk, 5km is not usually affected by severe weather events (that would unexpectedly impact safety and navigation).
Around 4.2km of this walk is close to useful facilities (such as fenced cliffs and seats), whilst the remaining 940m has limited facilities (such as not all cliffs fenced).
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Kalkari Discovery Centre is in the Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, on Ku-Ring-Gai Chase Road, Mt Colah. The discovery center is staffed by volunteers from Chase Alive. The center boasts some interesting flora and fauna displays inside, and out the back is a large enclosure with emu, kangaroos and other native animals roaming around. Take time to explore the wheelchair-accessible circuit within the fence. There are toilets[fac=8059][fac=8058] at the centre. For information, phone 02 9472 9300. There are picnic tables[fac=8055], seats[fac=8056] and drinking fountain[fac=8057] at the front. There is a large car parking area at the front of the centre with two designated mobility parking bays[fac=8054].
Kalkari Discovery Centre
Int of Birrawanna and Regional Office tracks Track: Moderate - bushtrack
Length = 1.15 km
Time = 25 mins
Climb = 29 m
Descent = -63 m
From the front of the 'Kalkari' centre, this walk heads gently downhill through the car park, keeping the Ku-ring-gai Chase Road to your left, to walk past the 'Kalkari Bush Discovery Track' map to the 'Birrawanna Track' sign at the far end of the car park. This walk now follows the 'Birrawanna Track' sign to the SW corner of the Kalkari enclosure fence and follows the fence for just shy of 400m to step down off a rock platform and continue along the fence for another 150m to the NW corner of the enclosure fence. Here the walk leaves the fence and follows the track as it gently undulates through the wooded forest following the occasional timber step for just over 350m to come to a clear four-way intersection where a sign points back to the 'Kalkari Visitor Centre'. Continue straight: From the intersection this walk follows the 'Bobbin Head' arrow post east along the track as it almost immediately passes under a set of power lines. The track starts to wind downhill, down a number of timber steps for about 250m where the sandy track flattens out again to come to a three-way intersection marked with a 'Kalkari' sign point back up the hill.
Int of Birrawanna and Regional Office tracks
Bobbin Head Kiosk Track: Moderate - bushtrack
Length = 1.06 km
Time = 32 mins
Climb = 14 m
Descent = -156 m
Continue straight: From the intersection, this walk follows the 'Bobbin Head' sign east and gently down through the tall wooded forest. After about 400m this track passes between two piles of disused sandstone blocks then about 30m later leads past an intersection with an informal track in a casuarina forest (on your right).
The main track continues straight, gently downhill for 80m where this walk almost completely flattens out for about 100m. The track then begins to wind down a series of timber and stone steps for about 300m to find a flat sandstone rock platform beside a large angophora with filtered views over Cowan Creek.
From here the rocky track bends right and heads downhill for another 30m to pass through a tunnel formed under a sandstone overhang, then about 30m further downhill this walk follows a metal handrail down some steps. Here the track then zig-zags downhill for about 60m before heading down some sandstone stairs, where the track comes to the edge of the Bobbin Head clearing, marked with a 'Welcome to the Birrawanna Track' sign. This walk now veers left and follows the brick paved footpath, to come to the now visible 'Bobbin Inn' cafe, just before Ku-ring-gai Chase Rd.
Alt = 9 m
Bobbin Head is a historic recreation area which is still popular today, suiting the needs of many people. At the center of the Bobbin Head area is the old 'Bobbin Inn', built in the 1930s - it is now the park information center and cafe. The area is popular with picnickers, boaters, walkers, canoeists, family groups and people who like to fish. Bobbin Head is roughly divided into three sections (north, south and east).
Southern Bobbin Head is a popular picnic area for families and large groups. The area is surrounded by a car park and dotted with picnic tables, electric BBQs, shelters and a large playground. There are toilets[fac=8042] nearby, and 'The Station' is a sheltered accessible area with BBQ and tables that can be booked NPWS.
The northern Bobbin Head (Orchard Park) area is a more formal picnic area. There is a large picnic shelter, surrounded by 14 smaller octagonal shelters, each of these divided into 4 walled-off compartments, ideal for small groups.
The eastern side of Bobbin Head is dominated by the Empire Marina and a public wharf. The marina is home to a nice restaurant and public toilets.
Bobbin Inn Cafe
Alt = 16 m
At the centre of Bobbin Head picnic area, in the old 'Bobbin Inn' building, is a cafe offering inside and outdoor dining, and a range of foods and drinks. Food includes fish and chips, wraps, focaccia, sandwiches and snack foods. Tea, coffee and cold drinks are also on offer. Opening hours are 9 - 4pm Mon to Fri (closed Tuesdays) & 9 - 5pm weekends. For more information, phone the cafe on 9457 7170.
The NPWS Bobbin Head Information Centre is open 7 days a week (closed Christmas Day) 10 - 4pm (closed 12 - 12:30pm lunch).
Ramp access available on the southwestern corner of the building. Ramp access to the information centre through the cafe.
Bobbin Inn Cafe
Bottom of the Birrawana track steps Walk: Easy - bushtrack
Length = 155 m
Time = 4 mins
Climb = 30 m
Descent = 0 m
Turn left: From the 'Bobbin Inn' cafe, this walk heads to the front of the building to the 'Information Centre' main entrance. From here this walk follows the 'Birrawana Loop Track' alongside the road a few meters to find a metal 'Welcome to the Cockle Creek Lookout Track' sign and map. Now the walk follows the track behind the safety barrier (keeping the road to your right) for about 70m to cross a small culverted creek and pass a few old a couple of picnic tables in a shaded and mossy gully. This walk continues for another 30m behind the safety barrier to come to the bottom of the signposted 'Birrawanna Track' steps.
Int of Birrawana track and Ku-Ring-Gai Chase Road
Int of Birrawana and Cockle Creek Lookout tracks Track: Hard - bushtrack
Length = 299 m
Time = 7 mins
Climb = 38 m
Descent = -10 m
Veer left: From beside Ku-Ring-Gai Chase Road, this walk heads down a few steps to cross a small flat concrete bridge, to then follow the 'Birrawanna Track' sign up the timber steps. This walk leads quite steeply up the track as it zig-zags up a series of timber and rock steps for just over 300m to find the top of small rocky ridge. Here the walk leads down a series of timber steps for about 50m to cross a moist gully that is home to a disused telegraph pole. Now this walk follows the clear rocky track leads uphill for just shy of 200m to come to a faint intersection at the top of the ridge (where the lookout track is on your right).
Int of Birrawana and Cockle Creek Lookout tracks
Cockle Creek Lookout Optional sidetrip: Track: Moderate - bushtrack
Length = 112 m
Time = 3 mins
Climb = 1 m
Descent = -15 m
Turn right: From the intersection, this walk follows the rocky track, east along the top of the ridgeline towards the rocky outcrop. After about 50m this walk passes through a gap between two large rock outcrops, then around another rock to wind gently down the hill for just shy of 50m to come to an unfenced rock ledge overlooking Cockle Creek. (Retrace your steps back to the main track, then turn right to continue along this walk.)
Cockle Creek Lookout
Alt = 54 m
Cockle Creek Lookout is an informal lookout with no facilities, on the Birrawanna track in Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park. The lookout provides Glimpses of Cockle and Cowan Creeks. The area is surrounded by some beautiful gum trees and rock boulders, making it a nice place to sit and reflect on the surroundings.
Int of Birrawana and Cockle Creek Lookout tracks
Birrawana Loop Int (behind the Regional Office) Track: Moderate - bushtrack
Length = 366 m
Time = 9 mins
Climb = 24 m
Descent = -25 m
Continue straight: From the intersection, this walk heads north gently down hill for a few meters to follow an NPWS arrow post along the clear track. After just shy of 100m this track bends left to then gently undulate along the side of the hill (with the road down to your right) for about 300m. Here the track mostly flattens out and contours around the side of the hill for about 150m to then lead up a very gently hill to a signposted three way intersection. The intersection is beside a small clearing behind the regional office (on your right) and is marked with a 'Cockle Creek Lookout' and 'Bobbin Head' sign pointing back along the track.
Birrawana Loop Int
Int of Regional Office and Link tracks Track: Hard - bushtrack
Length = 521 m
Time = 12 mins
Climb = 78 m
Descent = -4 m
Turn left: From the intersection, this walk follows the 'Kalkari' arrow along the track which climbs up the ridge. The track winds steeply up the long, rocky hill until it climbs up through a cleft in a rock, then flattens out. A short distance later, the track again starts to climb up the ridge, winding up a long set of wooden steps. The track then flattens again and comes to an intersection and a sign pointing back towards 'Regional Office'.
Int of Regional Office and Link tracks
Kalkari Discovery Centre Track: Moderate - bushtrack
Length = 1.63 km
Time = 34 mins
Climb = 85 m
Descent = -40 m
Turn left: From the intersection, this walk follows the 'Bobbin Head' arrow along the track, winding down and along the side of the hill, keeping the valley to the left. After a while, the track comes to an intersection with the Birrawanna track, and a sign pointing back towards 'Regional Office'. Turn right: From the intersection, this walk follows the 'Kalkari' sign gently uphill along the sandy track. This track winds uphill, up a number of timber steps for just shy of 250m where the track flattens out and leads under a set of power lines. Just shy of 20m past these power lines this walk comes to a four-way intersection (where a 'Bobbin Head' arrow post points back along the track). Continue straight: From the intersection, this walk follows the 'Kalkari Visitor Centre' sign along the track, over the metal pipe and away from from power lines. The track gently undulates through the wooded forest following the occasional timber step for just over 350m to come to the NW corner of the Kalkari enclosure fence. Here the walk follows the fence for 150m to step step up onto a rock platform and continue along the fence for just shy of 400m
to the SW corner enclosure. This walk now follows the short track to car park then walks through the car park, past the 'Kalkari Bush Discovery Track' map to the entrance of 'Kalkari'.
Fire Danger This walk passes Greater Sydney Region fire area which currently has a LOW MODERATE rating and No fire ban in place. (Tomorrow the Fire Danger Rating is LOW MODERATE, No fire ban.) (Downloaded 8 years ago) Please Note: Each park may have its own fire ban, this rating is only valid for today and is based on information from the RFS Please check the RFS Website for more information.
Ku-ring-gai Chase National ParkLink to official closures and fire bans page A largely untouched wilderness on the northern boundary of Sydney, Ku-ring-gai Chase NP is one of Australia's oldest national parks. Here at the head of the Hawkesbury River, you'll find Aboriginal engravings and sites, as well as sandstone escarpments, Region: Sydney & Surrounds Park feesCampingFacilities I am not aware of any closures in this park at the moment.