New South Wales
This piece of paradise is perfect for a day out, right in our backyard! NSM Discoverer Kirsten Kane recently spent a Sunday afternoon exploring part of Lane Cove National Park and felt like she had a weekend away!
First of all, this park is huge! It’s 372-hectare huge. We weren’t sure where to start or even which park entrance to go in so we thought we’d head to the start of the Riverside Walk and entered via Delhi Road. Our kids – 8 and 10 years old – love to get outdoors but aren’t long distance walkers so for the sake of our sanity, we aimed to walk about 3km in total.
We spotted the Jenkins Hill Café across the Lane Cove Weir and headed there to get our caffeine fix. It’s a lovely relaxed cafe set amongst the greenery which also offers light meals, refreshments and snacks. Perfect if you didn’t pack a picnic or need a bribe later. And you’ll have happy children while you sip on your latte as the playground is right next to it.
This lovely shaded playground has a double slide, swings (including a baby one), a sandpit with activity toys in it and a crocodile and snake to practice balancing skills.
This was one of the kid’s favourite parts of the park. After reading some fun facts about flying foxes they got to see the cute creatures sleeping at the top of their cage. These orphaned baby flying foxes are in a mesh covered enclosure but you can still see them at the top. There’s also a great little walking trail and climbing equipment. We stopped here for a snack while the kids learnt about the native species.
After checking out the Australian bass in the Fish Ladder, we walked along the boarded path and got to experience our first views of Lane Cove River. Instantly it felt like we were far away from the city. It’s simply stunning. The walk continues onto a dirt path and half a kilometre later, we reached The Boatshed. You can hire all sorts of boats here – rowboat, kayak, pedalboat or an aqua-trike. Cold drinks, chips and ice creams are also available to purchase. We continued on the path and we’re treated to even more tranquil views of the river. If you need a stop for the little ones, there are many large grassy areas and spots for a picnic.
This walk follows the southern bank of Lane Cover River and starts from the weir near Delhi Road. We walked about 1.5km into the walk then turned back. The whole walk is 5km one way and takes approximately 2-3 hours. The path to The Boatshed is relatively flat but from that point there’s a few rocky parts, many big tree roots to be careful of and a few sets of stairs.
They are everywhere so of course we had to count how many different kinds of birds we saw. Egrets, swamphens, ducks, kookaburras, lorikeets. We even had a bush turkey join us on some of the walk.
There’s a great area for your kids to ride their bike or scooter around near the weir and café and playground. Bikes are not permitted on walking tracks so if you’re after a dedicated bike track then the Pennant Hills to West Pymble fire trail is for you. Distance is 3km and should take about an hour. There are some steep sections so this would be for the much older kids. If you have a kayak then you need to come here.
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