Kalkari and Birrawanna Loop Tracks

2 h 15 min to 4 h 30 min

5.5 km
circuit

↑ 283 m
↓ -283 m

Hard track
This great circuit walk enjoys some views of Cowan Creek and explores the many ferns through the open forest. The walk starts at the Kalkari Discovery Centre and follows the Birrawanna Loop Track down to Bobbin Head, a large picnic area with kiosk, toilets, BBQ's and more. The walk then continues up through the bush to the National Park Regional Office, before returning to the Kalkari. Let us begin by acknowledging the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we travel today, and pay our respects to their Elders past and present.
Show all
Kalkari Centre. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2006.
Start of the bushtrack. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Following the side of the animal enclosures. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Continuing through the bush. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Crossing under some powerlines. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Heading through the trees. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
The Regional Office Track intersection. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Looking up the hill. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Down the steps. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Birrawana trackhead behind kiosk at Bobbin Head. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Kiosk at Bobbin Head. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Picnic shelter at Bobbin head. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Old Picnic area at base of Cockle Creek lookout track. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
One of a few Birrawanna trackheads. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Steps and track passing cliff. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
To Cockle Creek Lookout. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Following the side of the hill. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Continuing through the bush. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Birrawanna trackhead at regional office. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Climbing up the hill. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
The Regional Office Track. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Heading through the bush. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Through the ferns. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Back to the Birrawanna Track. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Downloads GPX PDF

+
-
Safer Bushwalks
Tips on staying safe on track
Before you start any bushwalk ensure you;
• Tell someone you trust where you are going and what to do if you are overdue
• Have adequate equipment, supplies, skills & knowledge for the whole journey
• Consider the impact of weather forecasts, park/track closures & fire dangers
• Can respond to emergencies & call for help at any point
• Are healthy and fit enough for this journey
If not, change plans and stay safe. It is okay to delay and ask people for help.
+
-
Getting There
Transport options and directions
Start (-33.6655223,151.149099)
Mode Car (A park entry fee is required for driving into the park.)
DirectionsFrom Pacific Motorway, M1
  • Turn on to Ku-Ring-Gai Chase Road Offramp then drive for 530 m
  • Keep right onto Ku-Ring-Gai Chase Road Offramp and drive for another 3.4 km
+
-
Track Notes
Turn by turn instructions & maps
Getting started
From the front of the 'Kalkari' centre, this walk heads gently downhill through the car park, keeping the Ku-ring-gai Chase Road to your left, to walk past the 'Kalkari Bush Discovery Track' map to the 'Birrawanna Track' sign at the far end of the car park. This walk now follows the 'Birrawanna Track' sign to the SW corner of the Kalkari enclosure fence and follows the fence for just shy of 400m to step down off a rock platform and continue along the fence for another 150m to the NW corner of the enclosure fence. Here the walk leaves the fence and follows the track as it gently undulates through the wooded forest following the occasional timber step for just over 350m to come to a clear four-way intersection where a sign points back to the 'Kalkari Visitor Centre'.
From the intersection this walk follows the 'Bobbin Head' arrow post east along the track as it almost immediately passes under a set of power lines. The track starts to wind downhill, down a number of timber steps for about 250m where the sandy track flattens out again to come to a three-way intersection marked with a 'Kalkari' sign point back up the hill.....
Turn map Directions & comments
Start.
Kalkari Discovery Centre (about 35 m back from the start).
Kalkari Discovery Centre
Kalkari Discovery Centre

Kalkari Discovery Centre is in the Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, on Ku-Ring-Gai Chase Road, Mt Colah. The discovery center is staffed by volunteers from Chase Alive. The center boasts some interesting flora and fauna displays inside, and out the back is a large enclosure with emu, kangaroos and other native animals roaming around. Take time to explore the wheelchair-accessible circuit within the fence. There are toilets at the centre. For information, phone 02 9472 9300. There are picnic tables, seats and drinking fountain at the front. There is a large car parking area at the front of the centre with two designated mobility parking bays.
+
-
Kalkari Discovery Centre is in the Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, on Ku-Ring-Gai Chase Road, Mt Colah. The discovery center is staffed by volunteers from Chase Alive. The center boasts some interesting flora and fauna displays inside, and out the back is a large enclosure with emu, kangaroos and other native animals roaming around. Take time to explore the wheelchair-accessible circuit within the fence. There are toilets at the centre. For information, phone 02 9472 9300. There are picnic tables, seats and drinking fountain at the front. There is a large car parking area at the front of the centre with two designated mobility parking bays.

Toilet Accessible (about 15 m back from the start).
Toilet Accessible
Toilet Accessible

Shared male/female wheelchair accessible toilet. Entrance is 87cm wide (with 2cm step up), hand basin 85cm high, toilet seat 42cm high with a handrail, in a 1.57x1.64m room. The toilet is located behind a locked gate.
+
-
Shared male/female wheelchair accessible toilet. Entrance is 87cm wide (with 2cm step up), hand basin 85cm high, toilet seat 42cm high with a handrail, in a 1.57x1.64m room. The toilet is located behind a locked gate.

After another 20 m find the "Toilet" (10 m on your right).
Toilet
Toilet

Separate male and female toilet blocks. Each block has entrance 101cm wide, hall is 91cm wide, 2 hand basins 87cm high, 2 toilet seats 42cm high. Male toilet has a urinal. No handrails.
+
-
Separate male and female toilet blocks. Each block has entrance 101cm wide, hall is 91cm wide, 2 hand basins 87cm high, 2 toilet seats 42cm high. Male toilet has a urinal. No handrails.

After another 20 m find the "Potable Water" (on your left).
Potable Water
Potable Water

A drinking fountain, 1m high, not working in June 2016.
+
-
A drinking fountain, 1m high, not working in June 2016.

Then pass the "Kalkari Carpark" (9 m on your right).
After another 20 m find the "Kalkari Picnic Area" (10 m on your right).
Kalkari Picnic Area
Kalkari Picnic Area

Out the back of the Kalkari Visitor Center is a fenced animal enclosure and a small seating area. There are some information signs and some seats. There is also a covered 3D terrain map of the area.
+
-
Out the back of the Kalkari Visitor Center is a fenced animal enclosure and a small seating area. There are some information signs and some seats. There is also a covered 3D terrain map of the area.

Turn right.
Then find the "Parking Accessible" (on your right).
Parking Accessible
Parking Accessible

There are many car parking bays at the front of the Kalkari Visitor Center. There are two marked mobility parking bays, they are 3m wide and 5m deep with a rough asphalt surface.
+
-
There are many car parking bays at the front of the Kalkari Visitor Center. There are two marked mobility parking bays, they are 3m wide and 5m deep with a rough asphalt surface.

After another 35 m turn right.
After another 35 m turn right, to head along Birrawanna Track.
After another 460 m find the "Kalkari Outlook" (70 m on your right).
Kalkari Outlook
Kalkari Outlook

The Kalkari Outlook is a fenced lookout with views over one of the Kalkari fenced enclosures. At times you will be able to see kangaroos grazing in the clearing. There are two seats with views over the outlook. The lower end of the platform is natural rock and the fence is about 90cm high.
+
-
The Kalkari Outlook is a fenced lookout with views over one of the Kalkari fenced enclosures. At times you will be able to see kangaroos grazing in the clearing. There are two seats with views over the outlook. The lower end of the platform is natural rock and the fence is about 90cm high.

After another 370 m (at the intersection of Birrawanna Track & Birrawanna Trail) continue straight, to head along Birrawanna Track.
After another 225 m continue straight, to head along Birrawanna Track.
After another 430 m veer left, to head along Birrawanna Track.
After another 195 m head down the 35 steps (about 30 m long)
After another 9 m head down the 50 steps (about 60 m long)
After another 25 m head down the 21 steps (about 25 m long)
After another 80 m head down the 18 steps (about 9 m long)
After another 30 m head down the 26 steps (about 30 m long)
Then head down the 19 steps (about 15 m long)
After another 15 m head down the 8 steps (about 5 m long)
After another 15 m head down the 46 steps (about 7 m long)
After another 30 m head up the 48 steps (about 40 m long)
Then head up the 12 concrete steps (about 5 m long)
After another 10 m find the "Bobbin Inn Cafe" (25 m on your left).
Bobbin Inn Cafe
Bobbin Inn Cafe

At the centre of Bobbin Head picnic area, in the old 'Bobbin Inn' building, is a cafe offering inside and outdoor dining, and a range of foods and drinks. Food includes fish and chips, wraps, focaccia, sandwiches and snack foods. Tea, coffee and cold drinks are also on offer. Opening hours are 9 - 4pm Mon to Fri (closed Tuesdays) & 9 - 5pm weekends. For more information, phone the cafe on 9457 7170. The NPWS Bobbin Head Information Centre is open 7 days a week (closed Christmas Day) 10 - 4pm (closed 12 - 12:30pm lunch). Ramp access available on the southwestern corner of the building. Ramp access to the information centre through the cafe.
+
-
At the centre of Bobbin Head picnic area, in the old 'Bobbin Inn' building, is a cafe offering inside and outdoor dining, and a range of foods and drinks. Food includes fish and chips, wraps, focaccia, sandwiches and snack foods. Tea, coffee and cold drinks are also on offer. Opening hours are 9 - 4pm Mon to Fri (closed Tuesdays) & 9 - 5pm weekends. For more information, phone the cafe on 9457 7170. The NPWS Bobbin Head Information Centre is open 7 days a week (closed Christmas Day) 10 - 4pm (closed 12 - 12:30pm lunch). Ramp access available on the southwestern corner of the building. Ramp access to the information centre through the cafe.

Turn right.
After another 200 m pass the picnic table (10 m on your left).
Then find the "Toilet Accessible" (15 m on your right).
Toilet Accessible
Toilet Accessible

Two accessible unisex toilet toilets. There are handrails, a basin with running water. Door is 90cm wide. Access is via concreate path from the carpark. The toilet is located at the edge of 'The Station' BBQ area.
+
-
Two accessible unisex toilet toilets. There are handrails, a basin with running water. Door is 90cm wide. Access is via concreate path from the carpark. The toilet is located at the edge of 'The Station' BBQ area.

After another 4 m turn left.
After another 135 m pass the picnic table (15 m on your left).
Continue straight.
After another 45 m turn left, to head along Ku-Ring-Gai Chase Road.
After another 75 m find the "Bobbin Head" (25 m on your left).
Bobbin Head
Bobbin Head

Bobbin Head is a historic recreation area which is still popular today, suiting the needs of many people. At the center of the Bobbin Head area is the old 'Bobbin Inn', built in the 1930s - it is now the park information center and cafe. The area is popular with picnickers, boaters, walkers, canoeists, family groups and people who like to fish. Bobbin Head is roughly divided into three sections (north, south and east). Southern Bobbin Head is a popular picnic area for families and large groups. The area is surrounded by a car park and dotted with picnic tables, electric BBQs, shelters and a large playground. There are toilets nearby, and 'The Station' is a sheltered accessible area with BBQ and tables that can be booked NPWS. The northern Bobbin Head (Orchard Park) area is a more formal picnic area. There is a large picnic shelter, surrounded by 14 smaller octagonal shelters, each of these divided into 4 walled-off compartments, ideal for small groups. The eastern side of Bobbin Head is dominated by the Empire Marina and a public wharf. The marina is home to a nice restaurant and public toilets.
+
-
Bobbin Head is a historic recreation area which is still popular today, suiting the needs of many people. At the center of the Bobbin Head area is the old 'Bobbin Inn', built in the 1930s - it is now the park information center and cafe. The area is popular with picnickers, boaters, walkers, canoeists, family groups and people who like to fish. Bobbin Head is roughly divided into three sections (north, south and east). Southern Bobbin Head is a popular picnic area for families and large groups. The area is surrounded by a car park and dotted with picnic tables, electric BBQs, shelters and a large playground. There are toilets nearby, and 'The Station' is a sheltered accessible area with BBQ and tables that can be booked NPWS. The northern Bobbin Head (Orchard Park) area is a more formal picnic area. There is a large picnic shelter, surrounded by 14 smaller octagonal shelters, each of these divided into 4 walled-off compartments, ideal for small groups. The eastern side of Bobbin Head is dominated by the Empire Marina and a public wharf. The marina is home to a nice restaurant and public toilets.

After another 15 m (at the intersection of Apple Tree Bay Road & Ku-Ring-Gai Chase Road) turn left, to head along Birrawanna Track (a walking track).
After another 10 m pass the "Bobbin Head Inn" (15 m on your left).
Then pass the "National Parks Information Centre" (10 m on your left).

Mo-Su 10:00-16:00
Then pass the "Welcome to Cockle Creek Lookout Track".
After another 115 m cross the bridge (about 3 m long)
After another 15 m pass the "Birrawana Loop Track" (6 m on your right).
Then head up the 30 steps (about 10 m long)
After another 10 m head up the 28 steps (about 7 m long)
After another 20 m head up the 60 steps (about 30 m long)
Then pass the toilet (60 m on your right).
After another 20 m head up the 12 steps (about 10 m long)
After another 60 m cross the ford.
The starting point of an optional sidetrip. An optional side trip to Cockle Creek Lookout. To start this optional side trip turn right here. On returning from this side trip turn right when you get back to this intersection. Details below.
After another 165 m veer left, to head along Birrawanna Track.
After another 370 m cross the ford.
After another 7 m turn sharp left, to head along Birrawanna Track.
After another 140 m pass the "Birrawana Loop Track".
After another 175 m head up the 17 steps (about 10 m long)
After another 45 m head up the 36 steps (about 45 m long)
After another 15 m head up the 17 steps (about 10 m long)
After another 145 m veer left, to head along Birrawanna Track.
After another 450 m turn right, to head along Birrawanna Track.
After another 225 m (at the intersection of Birrawanna Trail & Birrawanna Track) continue straight, to head along Birrawanna Track.
After another 830 m to find the "Kalkari Carpark".
Veer right.
After another 9 m continue straight.
After another 40 m turn left.
After another 35 m pass the "Kalkari Discovery Centre" (5 m on your left).
After another 20 m come to the end.

An optional side trip to Cockle Creek Lookout.
Turn map Directions & comments
Start.
Continue another 115 m to find Cockle Creek Lookout at the end.
"Cockle Creek Lookout".
Cockle Creek Lookout
Cockle Creek Lookout

Cockle Creek Lookout is an informal lookout with no facilities, on the Birrawanna track in Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park. The lookout provides Glimpses of Cockle and Cowan Creeks. The area is surrounded by some beautiful gum trees and rock boulders, making it a nice place to sit and reflect on the surroundings.
+
-
Cockle Creek Lookout is an informal lookout with no facilities, on the Birrawanna track in Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park. The lookout provides Glimpses of Cockle and Cowan Creeks. The area is surrounded by some beautiful gum trees and rock boulders, making it a nice place to sit and reflect on the surroundings.

Turn around and retrace your steps back the 115 m to the main route.
+
-
Terrain
Know the Hills, grading & facilities

Kalkari and Birrawanna Loop Tracks


Grading
Class 4/6
Hard track
Length 5.5 km
Time 2 h 15 min to 4 h 30 min
Quality of track Formed track, with some branches and other obstacles (3/6)
Gradient Very steep (4/6)
Signage Directional signs along the way (3/6)
Infrastructure Limited facilities, not all cliffs are fenced (3/6)
Experience Required Some bushwalking experience recommended (3/6)
Weather Weather generally has little impact on safety (1/6)

Some facilities on route
Toilet: There is one 2.7 km from the start.


Order of key facilities on route
ItemFrom StartName & link to notes
Toilet
2.7 km[toilet]
+
-
Articles
Discover more details to thrive on track
Get more information
Wildwalks
+
-
Reviews & Feedback
Share your experience
+
-
Weather & Alerts
Check forecasts & closures
Show Full Weather
Alerts and Closures
Show all alerts
Show all alerts
Show all alerts
+
-
Other Journeys
Discover nearby and similar journeys
Similar Journeys
Nearby Journeys
Some of the information and maps on this page was generated using data from the awesome © OpenStreetMap contributors.
Please see how you can embed some widgets, access data and other stuff to that might be helpful.