The Sphinx Loop Track to Bobbin Head is a peaceful bush walk through varied landscapes on Guringai country at the northern edge of suburban Sydney.
- Uncrowded hike close to the water
- Plenty of wildflowers
- An Egyptian-style monument carved by a WWI veteran
This 10km loop track begins at the entrance to Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park in North Turramurra. Stock up on cool drinks and snacks as you pass by the shops on Bobbin Head Rd; the walk will take just under three hours at a leisurely pace for the reasonably fit.
The sandstone figure of the sphinx that gives the track its name was carved over nearly two years in the 1920s by returned soldier Private William Shirley as a tribute to his fallen World War I comrades.
Starting at The Sphinx
From the sphinx memorial you can either take the walk clockwise, ascending to a fire trail along the ridge that eventually descends to Bobbin Head, or go anti-clockwise, beginning on the section labelled ‘Sphinx Track’ and ending the walk on the fire trail.
On my most recent walk here, the afternoon sun intensified the peppery scent of native flora, bright and clean after a few days of decent rain. There weren’t many puddles or mud-baths on the track – the high sand content in the soil makes drainage fairly quick. Keep an eye out for wildflowers of many shapes and colours along the trail!
There isn’t a lot of shade on this section of the track, so make sure to pack a hat and sunscreen to avoid getting burnt. By the time you spot the water at Bobbin Head you’re well on your way down the switch-back road. If you’re lucky you’ll spot wallabies beside the track.
Follow The Water to Greener Pastures
Although some parts of the walk are narrow and not super well-trodden, the route is clearly signposted at key junctures, so you’re not at great risk of getting lost.
At the end of the descent, the track takes a sharp right and follows the water through a cool, shaded area filled with the herbaceous scent of greener plants.
Several dramatic sandstone overhangs create little caves, perfect for rest stops. Stretches of marshy mangrove forest add a salty edge to the smells of the bush. Watch out for the hundreds of little crabs scuttling across the sand carrying bits and pieces aloft.
The last part of this loop is long and steep and loose rocks present a hazard for weary legs, so take care. At the top of several long flights of stairs, you’ll see the path back to the Sphinx monument and car park.
How To Get There
The Sphinx Loop Track is about 35 mins north of the Sydney CBD and is best accessed by car, though there is also a bus route that stops nearby.
A car park adjoins the Sphinx Memorial, down a sealed driveway off Memorial Rd. The gate at the top of this driveway closes at 5:30pm, so if you’re doing the walk in the afternoon, park on the street outside the national park gates to avoid the $50 ranger call-out fee if you arrive back late!
- Hiking shoes
There are a few steep climbs and rocky sections along the way
Distance Covered / Duration
10km / 3 hours