Boronia Park Reserve is the start of a little-known spot for a really diverse and interesting bush walk – the Lane Cove Valley Walk – beside the Lane Cove River. Few tourists see this side of Sydney, which is a pity as it’s only a 30 minute bus ride from the CBD.
The best type of bush walks have a few factors in common: diversity of terrain, different habitats back to back, water views and some serious forest peace and quiet. This walk has all that and more.
Furthermore, you can enter or leave the trails from a number of spots along the walk, meaning that you can make it an all-day trip and head all the way to the suburb of North Ryde – it will take you a couple of hours to do this comfortably – from where you can take a train back to the city.
Route Along The Lane Cove Valley Trail
Alternatively, a very rewarding – but far less demanding option – is to take the afternoon to just explore the trails in a big loop as I did.
Start at Boronia Park, enter the park using Princes road (this is a gated road that isn’t generally for cars, but great for walking along) and follow it all the way till you see water.
Follow the Lane Cove Valley path from the sign (see below), all the way up to the exit sign-posted ‘Access to Baron’s Cresent’ and return in a circle to the beginning of your walk via Thorn Street and Gaza Avenue.
This is a great way to approach the visit, It took us about 2 hours to do the walk this way, but we dawdled along the way, so you could do it a lot quicker if you wanted to. Or even bring a picnic lunch and take your time. There is a public toilet handy beside the children’s play area at Beronia Park, so keep that in mind during your visit.
Want to see my visit to the area? Check out the video below:
Lane Cove Valley Walk
The walk takes you through the bush beside the Lane Cove river and is a perfect opportunity to get acquainted with the natural habitat around Sydney – which few visitors really get a grasp of. There’s no entry fee to the space, so it makes for a fantastic free activity.
There are informative plaques along the walk to give you some insight into the ecological communities that make up this area and provide an important habitat for local wildlife. Expect to hear lots of local birds around you.
The great thing about this walk is that the transition between different habitats is so sudden – one moment you are in dry coastal scrub, then lush bush land, find yourself walking over a freshwater stream and up against brackish water in the heart of the mangroves.
The colour palette of this walk is special too – so many vibrant greens in the fern groves that line the tracks, offset by the washed out tan and grey of the salt marshes.
This walk happens to include a section of the Great North walk, which is a challenging walk that stretches through a large section of the Sydney area and its surrounds all the way to Newcastle. You will see signs to that effect along the way – and you may even meet some people who are doing the epic 250 km walk that takes around 2 weeks to complete.
How To Get There
From the CBD, get a bus from Sydney Town Hall. The 506 bus gets you closest to Beronia Park in Hunters Hill. That being said, be sure to double check your options. In particular, Transport NSW Trip Planner is a great site to use for planning your travel around Sydney.
There is internet reception along the walk so make use of Google Maps to help you navigate to one of the many entrances and along the walking paths. To be doubly sure, consider downloading a map of the area on Google maps while you are still at your accommodation – then you will have it offline on your phone, independent of internet access.
But either way, there are information boards with maps at Beronia Park Reserve to give you some direction at the start of your walk.
Are you a fan of exploring a place like the locals and getting off the beaten tourist track? Let us know your best experiences exploring cities in the comments below.