Marramarra National Park

Facilities and activities

Places to visit

Gentlemans Halt campground

It’s believed that Governor Phillip camped at Gentlemans Halt in 1789 during his explorations of Hawkesbury River. Today, you’ll find it very much the same – picturesque and remote bushland with great views across the river, and not a soul in sight.

It’s a 10km walk in, but it’s worth it for the serenity when you arrive. The hike itself along Canoelands Ridge walking track is spectacular. You’ll see the beautiful ridge top colours of iconic Hawkesbury sandstone and remarkable views of Hawkesbury River. Once you arrive, it’s time to relax and recharge. Look out across Hawkesbury River while sea-eagles and wedge-tail eagles soar above. You might also see lyrebirds and bandicoots who often visit at dusk and dawn.

Gentlemans Halt is also a great place to explore by water. Paddle in by kayak and canoe, or anchor your boat and enjoy a night sleeping under the stars in this back-to-basics campground, north of Sydney.

Activities: paddling, sailing, swimming, fishing, birdwatching, picnics and barbecues, camping

Getting there: Gentlemans Halt campground is in the northern precinct of Marramarra National Park. To get there:

  • Follow the directions to the park via Canoelands Road
  • Continue driving on Canoelands Road until you see the carpark on your left
  • Leave your car here and walk along the management trail for 8km
  • Turn left onto the walking track and follow for 2km before you arrive at the campground
  • You can also access the campground by boat from Hawkesbury River – there’s a timber wharf at the campground, located roughly opposite the community of Spencer.

Road access: Sealed road - 2WD vehicles.

Facilities: picnic tables, fire rings (bring your own firewood), trackhead/access point

Bookings: Bookings are not available for this campground.

Contact: Bobbin Head Information Centre, Phone: 02 9472 8949

Marramarra Creek campground

Marramarra Creek campground is delightful. Set among the trees and by the tranquil waters of Marramarra Creek, this campground is in the northern outskirts of Sydney.

The beauty of this remote campground is that you can only access it by foot or by water, making it a peaceful retreat away from the crowds. Follow the easy 3.5km walk along Marramarra Ridge trail to the campground. Try your luck fishing in the creek or head off along Marramarra Ridge to Smugglers Ridge walking track to explore. Jump in your canoe or kayak and paddle around the mangroves. Wander off on foot and explore the orange orchards from early European settlers that still exist near the campground.

Lie back and listen to the chorus of birds in the trees above. You might see a majestic wedge-tailed eagle gliding high above. Keep your eyes out for swamp wallabies and bandicoots, then get ready for a peaceful night with a bit of stargazing.

Activities: paddling, sailing, swimming, fishing, birdwatching, picnics and barbecues

Getting there: Marramarra Creek campground is in the southern precinct of Marramarra National Park. The campground can only be accessed by foot or boat. To get there:

  • From Fiddletown, follow Bloodwood Road until you see the sign to Marramarra Ridge on your left
  • Follow the gravel-surfaced Marramarra Ridge trail to the management trail gate
  • Park your car here and continue along the Marramarra Ridge trail for approximately 3.5km. Note that this trail has several steep sections
  • At the bottom of the last hill, turn left and continue to the main campground, or turn right to the Orchard campground

Boat access:

  • Access to the campground is via Berowra Creek
  • Take care when heading upstream during low tides, particularly approaching Big Bay and beyond

Road access: Unsealed road/trail - 2WD vehicles. Dry weather only.

Facilities: picnic tables, fire rings (bring your own firewood), trackhead/access point

Bookings: Bookings are not available for this campground.

Contact: Bobbin Head Information Centre, Phone: 02 9472 8949

Roads, tracks and trails

Canoelands Ridge walking track - 10km each way (one-way route)

Walking (medium difficulty, 8 hours each way)

General information

There’s no better way to experience the beauty of Marramarra than by spending the day exploring Canoelands Ridge walking track on foot.

The 10km walk to Gentlemans Halt takes you through constantly changing vegetation and right in to the heart of this secluded pocket of bushland in the northern outskirts of Sydney. See spectacular ridge-top colours of iconic Hawkesbury sandstone and remarkable views of Hawkesbury River. Watch the occasional boat carving through the glistening blue waters of this beautiful waterway.

In spring, the bush turns into a vibrant display of colour with the native wildflowers. Wander through gullies of bright red waratahs and Gymea lilies, and explore the saltmarsh and mangroves by the river’s edge near Gentlemans Halt. Head off for a long day walking in the bush, or pack your tent and sleeping bag for a peaceful night camping by the river at historic Gentlemans Halt campground.

Marramarra Ridge to Smugglers Ridge walking track - 13km (loop)

Walking (medium difficulty, 5 hours )

General information

Discover the Hawkesbury Sandstone ridge tops and explore the tidal creek lines of Marramarra on this beautiful day walk.

Enjoy easy walking along Marramarra Ridge trail down to Marramarra Creek. Stop for a while and enjoy picnicking and a refreshing swim at Marramarra Creek campground. Head off to explore the historic orange orchards, and in late winter, you can probably pick an orange from these historic trees.

Continue along the walking track that takes you back up to Bloodwood Road along Smugglers Ridge. It’ll be impossible to miss the wildflowers in spring. Admire the beautiful colours of pink eriostemons and boronias, yellow peas and white epacris, as well as yellow and red bloodwoods and angophoras.