Escape to Lane Cove National Park and explore the tranquil bushland, 30 minutes from Sydney CBD. Hire a kayak and paddle down the river!


  • Kayak and rowboat rental
  • Plenty of barbecues for a picnic
  • 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 and could easily be one of the city’s best-kept secrets! Switch up the coastal walks and wander along the shores or paddle the 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 National Park stretches all the way from Wahroonga to East Ryde.

There are numerous walking and cycling trails that 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 Lane Cover Valley Walk really feels like a true bushwalk because it is! You’ll pass mangrove forests, stone caves and overhangs and forget you are in the middle of Sydney.

The more casual alternative is the Riverside Walking Track. It follows the west bank of the river and passes multiple picnic areas and toilets!

By the way, the Lane Cove Valley Walk is part of the Great North Walk  – a multi-day hike that starts from Sydney and finishes in Newcastle.

Take Your Picnic on The River

Undoubtedly, one of the highlights of Lane Cove National Park is the river and should be enjoyed from… the river!

 The Lane Cove Boat Shed is open daily (Currently under restricted hours due to COVID. Best to call to see opening hours) from 10:00am to 5:00pm and has a bunch of rentals. You’ll be able to pick from a rowboat, pedal boat, canoe, or a good old kayak!

This is perfect for the kids, a romantic date, or even by yourself.

No Food is Better Than Food Eaten Outside

There are countless picnic spots with tables and electric barbecues scattered around the park.

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 all day while 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 don’t have the time to get out of the city, stay in the park! 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 skeptical campers into the bonfire life! There’s also glamping options 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, by public transport via North Ryde metro station, or via bus from Chatswood train station. 

Essential Gear

  • Sun protection
  • Mosquito protection (summer only)
  • 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 or Kayak up the river
  • Have a barbie
  • Stay and camp – or better, glamp!

Time Taken

From 30 minutes to all day! It’s all up to you.