Located in the west of Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park (NSW), Bobbin Head is a large area offering lots of things to do. From bush walks to water sports, or simply relax enjoying the beautiful water views, Bobbin Head ticks all the boxes. Besides the natural attractions, Bobbin Head has great facilities such as picnic grounds with shelters and barbecues, several cafés, a fenced playground and spacious grassy areas for the kids to run and play ball games.
NB People often search for Bobbin Head Park, but really they mean the area of Bobbin Head within Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park.
Bobbin Head, Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park, NSW
By Mireia Garriga Seguranyes
I love Bobbin Head because it offers a lot of variety and it is not too far away from the city. There is so much to do that it would take more than one day to discover everything. In this post, you will find some suggestions and very useful information to help you to plan your day out.
Bobbin Head Walks
The benefits of reconnecting with nature are enormous according to lots of studies. For preschool kids, I recommend the very easy and scenic Mangrove Boardwalk. The little ones will enjoy the walk, as they have to go over a suspended bridge.
There are lots of mud crabs and birds, and they might even spot a snake. We saw one totally curled inside the hole of a tree!
Besides the Mangrove Boardwalk, there are other walks that you can do with older and experienced children, like the Sphinx Memorial to Bobbin Head loop track.
Save Money – Use Bobbin Head Picnic Grounds
Have a great day without spending too much. Entry is $12 (free, if you hold the National Parks Pass). Make some sandwiches, cut some refreshing fruit like watermelon, and add a treat (it could be something like a chocolate bar). We are chocoholics at home. What about you?
Sometimes, I bake banana bread or pumpkin cake in the morning for our picnic.
Find a picnic area to set up a rug or one of the tables. After finding the right spot, you can take the children to the fenced playground.
Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park Playground
It’s not often you can find a playground in a national park. However, Bobbin Head has one, and it is fenced. Hooray! The equipment is ideal for toddlers and pre-schoolers. If you bring buckets and spates, your young children can be entertained for a while with that too, as the playground area is filled with sand.
There are no shade sails, so avoid this playground when summer is at its peak or make sure that they wear a hat.
Bobbin Heads Cafes + Kiosks
Do you need to wind down? Bobbin Café Inn situated in the historic art deco building of the Information Centre is one option. It has a quite spacious terrace and even a fireplace for the coldest months. Homemade pumpkin soup was on special when we went there in winter.
A second option is Galley Foods Restaurant and kiosk, situated in the Empire Marina. Why don’t you go for lunch on Saturday and enjoy the live music? It is a luxury, without the price tag of some other water front locations. Both places offer kids meals.
Enjoy Cowan and Apple Tree Creeks, if you have older children
Bobbin Head is also a fantastic place for water activities such as fishing (you need a license), kayaking, paddle boating and canoeing. Explore Cowan Creek and Apple Tree Creek while you do some exercise.
There is a public ramp behind the playground. Paddle-boards and boats can be hired at the weekends and during school holidays from the Bobbin Head Inn. The Empire Marina also has tinny boats for hiring.
Also, if you plan a water activity, please read “Visitor Info”
It has a chapter with some important advice for aquatic environments. They can be unpredictable, especially rivers.
Bobbin Head: National Park and Playground Details
Directions: Bus route 577 follows Bobbin Head Road, but it doesn’t reach Bobbin Head. The best way to go to Bobbin Head is by car. If you use maps from iPhone, type “Orchard Park”, Mt Colah, or “Bobbin Head Marina” and select “Empire Marina”.
Google Map is more precise, see below.
There are two ways to access:
Take Ku-Ring-Gai Chase Rd or Bobbin Head Road.
Nearby ferry: Yes, but it is a scenic river cruise, departing from Palm Beach and Patonga Beach.
Important note: They don’t accept credit cards and they don’t operate every day. For further information Palm Beach Cruises
Bus stop nearby: No
Information about Bobbin Head: Bobbin Head has an Information Centre, but they don’t open until 9am or 10am, depending on the day.
Toilets/Baby change: Yes. Baby change in Galley Foods.
Nearby takeaway coffee: Yes.
Enclosed: Yes, playground is fully fenced.
Shade: Sheltered picnic tables and lots of shade around but sun exposed playground
Children’s menu: Yes.
Nearby station: No.
Dogs and domestic animals: Not permitted (other than certified assistance animals).
Extra: To extend the day, you can stop at Kalkari Discovery Centre. It is free!!! Info: Kalkari Discovery Centre
Or, visit West Head another day. Click on here to read Seana’s post.
If you are a nature lover, consider buying an Annual Pass of NSW National Parks. There are different types.
If you decide to bring your own BBQ, please be aware that there are only the gas ones allowed. Wood fires, solid fuel, and heat bead, charcoal stoves are not permitted. Penalties apply. BBQ’s cannot be placed on picnic tables neither close to overhanging trees/shrubs.
If you want to book a table / shelter for a reunion, birthday party, meet-up, you will need to pay a booking fee. Please, call 0294728949 for further information.
The Pavilion picnic shelter with waterfront views has a capacity of 100 people. There is also The Station, which has less capacity.
Bobbin Head is one of these places that you should keep in mind, if you have to plan a picnic with friends, a family reunion or simply a day outdoors.
Located on the shores of the beautiful Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, you will feel that you have escaped from the city.
The best of all, it is not far away. Therefore, you will not have to hear one hundred times: “Have we arrived yet?” I am sure that you are familiar with this situation.
Bobbin Head Map
Have you ever visited Bobbin Head? What did you like the most? We tried paddle boarding and we had a lot of fun!
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