A public park was first established in the area in 1938. It has since had a number of management arrangements and name changes and has also grown substantially in size. In 1992 it was reserved as a national park under the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974.
The park protects important Sydney bushland and estuarine communities, providing a primary vegetation corridor linking many smaller urban bushland remnants. It also provides habitat for many native animal species. A number of rare and threatened native plants, animals and ecological communities are also present.
The park is renowned as a respite from city living. It is a place highly valued by the community for both occasional experiences such as picnics, social gatherings and bushwalks and for regular fitness-based activities such as walking, jogging and cycling. It also has a popular tourist park providing nature-based accommodation and camping facilities.
Significant Aboriginal sites are located within the park, as are historic structures and locations connecting us with early use, settlement and recreation along Lane Cove River.