Escape to tranquil bushland and nature, right in the heart of Sydney, you can even go for paddle down the river! Lane Cove National Park is a hidden escape.

  • Rowboat and pedal boat rental
  • Heaps of barbecues
  • Variety of walking trails
  • Cycling paths


A Nature Escape Half An Hour From The Sydney CBD // Lane Cove National Park, rafaela khodai, lane cove, sydney, NSW, hiking trail, path

The Lowdown

Lane Cove National Park is located less than 15km north of Sydney’s CBD, yet could possibly be one of the city’s best-kept secrets! Switch up the coastal walks and wander along the shores of tranquil Lane Cove River next time you need some quality time in nature.

What the park lacks in width, it makes up for in length – the Lane Cove National Park stretches all the way from Wahroonga to East Ryde and numerous walking and cycling trails weave through this pretty pocket of bushland. The two most popular ones are the Lane Cove Valley Walk (10km circuit) and the Riverside Walking Track (5km one way).

A Nature Escape Half An Hour From The Sydney CBD // Lane Cove National Park, rafaela khodai, lane cove, sydney, NSW, sign

The Valley Walk conveys a true bushwalk feeling and leads past mangrove forests, stone caves and overhangs, while the Riverside Walking Track is a more casual alternative. It follows the west bank of the river and passes multiple picnic areas and even toilets!

By the way, the Lane Cove Valley Walk is part of the Great North Walk , a multi-day-hike that takes you from Sydney to Newcastle.

Take your picnic on the river

Undoubtedly one of the highlights of Lane Cove National Park is the river, which is best enjoyed from… the river! The Lane Cove Boat Shed is open daily from 10:00am to 5:00pm and has a bunch of rentals. Whether a rowboat, pedal boat, canoe or a good old kayak fits your style best, you’ll be able to channel your inner Blackbeard here.

No food is better than food eaten outside

There are countless picnic spots with tables and electric barbecues scattered around the park. And if you want to really impress your date, bring a nice bottle of wine, an Esky full of cold beers and some sandwiches for a proper boating experience! For those who forgot to stock up on snacks at home, do some last-minute-shopping at the Chatswood train station (there’s a Woolies) or grab a bite from the Lane Cove National Park Café.


Wildlife to be spotted!

Laughing kookaburras and rainbow-coloured lorikeets will sail over your head, and water dragons, ducks and turkeys will cross your way or rustle in the bushes next to the trails. Swamp wallabies and the spikey echidnas live in the Lane Cove National Park too – but they’re a bit trickier to spot. 

Won’t you staaaay with me?

If you’re looking for a full reset in nature, but without the travel time it takes to get out of the city, just stay in the park overnight. The Lane Cove Holiday Park offers fair-priced campsites and cabins.

With decent facilities, like a camp kitchen, laundry and even a swimming pool, it’ll ease even the most sceptical campers into the bonfire life! There’s also a glamping option at the Lane Cove Holiday Park. Here you’ll sleep in elegant safari tents, complete with a king-size bed, flat-screen TV and a private deck with prime views of the bushland. Now that’s fancy!

How To Get There

Lane Cove National Park can be reached via car in less than 20 minutes from Sydney’s CBD, or by public transport via North Ryde metro station or via bus from Chatswood train station. 

Essential Gear
  • Sun protection – hat, sunscreen
  • Mosquito protection
  • Picnic or snacks
  • Money for boat hire
  • Walking shoes 
  • Someone to enjoy your mini-break with


Skill Level

Easy to intermediate – most trails are well-maintained and easy to walk.

  • Boat up the river
  • Have a barbie
  • Stay and camp – or better, glamp!



From 3-4 hours to a whole day