Lane Cove National Park
The picturesque Lane Cove River winds through a peaceful bushland valley within easy reach of the city centre, extending from East Ryde to Wahroonga/Pennant Hills.
The river is the focus of most activities — visit the Kukundi Wildlife Shelter, take a stroll along the bank, or hire a row boat. Swimming is not advisable. There are dozens of picnic spots and you can stay overnight in cabins or powered/unpowered camping sites at the nearby caravan park.
>>The Kukundi Wildlife Shelter, where you'll see tawny frogmouths, lizards and flying foxes
>>The Riverside Walk and Heritage Walk
>>Boating on Lane Cove River
>>An early section of the Great North Walk
This park is near...
Sydney (11 km)
Best access routes
From the city take the Pacific Highway and follow the signs to Chatswood. At Chatswood shopping centre turn left down Fullers Road. Due to Parramatta Rail Link works the Delhi Road entrance is closed (for up to two years), so use the Lady Game Drive entrance.
Road quality: paved
Take the national park turnoff on Lane Cove Road (also Mona Vale Road) near DeBurghs Bridge.
Road quality: paved
Facilities & things to do
>>Canoeing & boating
>>Picnics & barbecues
Native plant communities
Culture & history
History of the park since colonisation
Governor Phillip was the first European to lead an expedition into the Lane Cove River Valley, some three months after the arrival of the First Fleet in the colony in January 1788. The Lane Cove River had probably been named in February 1788 during an expedition around Port Jackson. Lieutenant Ralph Clark, accompanied by three convicts, explored the Lane Cove River Valley in 1790. They rowed some 10 kilometres up the Lane Cove River and recorded that they saw Aboriginal people.
The next recorded explorer was botanist George Caley who, in 1805, set out from John Macarthur's farm at West Pennant Hills. Caley was impressed by the stands of blackbutt and blue gums at Gordon and Pymble.
The first European to live in the vicinity of the park is probably William Henry, who took possession of land north of Blue Gum Creek, some seven kilometres from the river mouth, in 1807. He lived on Millwood farm from 1814 to 1850, in what is now Fuller picnic area.
Many timber-getters were attracted to the area and began illegal operations in the 1820s. The sawyers camped out, living on salt beef and damper, felled the forest giants and dug great saw pits.
Joseph Fidden's grant, dated 5 April 1821, was on the south side of Fiddens Wharf Road. Bullock drays and jinkers carried logs along the ridge towards the city, turning off at Killara down Fiddens Wharf Road to reach the Lane Cove River.
The six and a half hectares around Fiddens wharf was declared a wharfage reserve from which no timber could legally be cut. This resulted in the preservation of the fine stand of blackbutt which now remains.
When the sawyers left, in came the orchardists. They put up huts, made their own furniture, bread and clothes. Five orchardists were located around the weir area. Fuller's orchard was downstream of the present bridge, on the eastern bank of the river. Jenkins was next upstream, and William Henry was the grandfather of Maria Jenkins, Thomas Jenkins' wife. The kitchen of Jenkins' house has survived and is located next to the visitor centre. The homestead was weatherboard with a shingle roof. It was damaged by fire in the 1920s and was demolished in the 1930s. Robert Baker's orchard is now The Pines picnic area while the kitchen on the hill above the flat forms part of the park depot.
The only surviving homestead is Schwartz's, a large weatherboard house with an iron roof and verandah on three sides.
George Baker and Hughes had holdings on the Ryde side of the River.
Thomas and Maria Jenkins had the largest property and the largest family (13). Their farm became popular with picnickers and the property was purchased for the inclusion into the national park in the 1930s.
History of the park
In 1924 a letter appeared in the Evening News describing the area's potential and advocating the need for preservation. After some work the 125 hectare park was officially opened and named the Lane Cove National Park on Saturday 29 October 1938. In 1967 an Act of Parliament changed the name to Lane Cove River Park. In recognition of its special significance as an outdoor passive recreational resource, it was proclaimed a State Recreation Area in August 1976. In 1992 the park regained the title of national park with significant (over 300 hectares) land additions in 1999, included Sugarloaf and Pennant Hills.
Information for this National Park has been supplied courtesy of The New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service