Taking in over 100km of coastline along the southern edge of Broken Bay, where it heads into the Hawkesbury River. Located in Sydney’s north, Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park combines important history with scenic beauty, making it perfect for school excursions. Bobbin Head is a great place for a family picnic, and parts of the park are ideal for cycling, fishing and bushwalking.

Ku-ring-gai takes its name from its original inhabitants, the Guringai people, who were all but wiped out just after colonisation through violence at the hands of British settlers and introduced disease. It’s well worth reading Kate Grenville’s Booker-nominated The Secret River for an engrossing but harrowing telling of this story.

Remnants of Aboriginal life are visible today thanks to the preservation of more than 800 sites, including rock paintings, middens and cave art. To learn more, enter the park through the Mt Colah entrance and visit the Kalkari Discovery Centre , which has displays and videos on Australian fauna and Aboriginal culture. There is a self-guided walk on which you can see swamp wallabies, bush turkeys, native ducks and goannas.

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