Sydney is blessed with easy access to bushland. Mt Ku-ring-gai National Park to the north offers an array of walking tracks including this one from Mt Ku-ring-gai to Apple Tree Bay and Bobbin Head. The distance is ten kilometres return, taking roughly three hours. Take the train (or car) to Mt Ku-ring-gai station and walk east onto Harwood Avenue, following the road until it ends at the entrance to the National Park.
Highlights of the walk include 180 degree views from Houseboat Bay to Cowan Water and Apple Tree Bay, and a bucolic walk alongside the river to Cowan Waters. This is a popular walking track, well worn and easy to follow. The first two kilometres comprise a descent through grassy woodlands with large boulders and an eucalyptus forest. This part of the track is filled with loose stones, exposed tree roots and the odd aggressive ‘bull’ ant. It’s not a difficult track, however, decent walking shoes are advised.
The last part of the descent to the river is a steep, zig-zag before ending at Cowan Waters. At water level, turn right and follow the (at times muddy) track along the waterline. Along the path there is plenty of evidence of former habitation and industry, such as old boat launches, decaying jettys and even a rusted-out iron cabin (easier to spot on the way back).
Follow the water for approximately one kilometre until the track meets Apple Tree Bay boat launch and carpark. To continue to Bobbin Head, follow the water to Mt Ku-ring-gai Road and continue for another 1.5 kilometres to Bobbin Head.
Heading back to Mt Ku-ring-gai Station is quite strenuous, as you walk uphill from the water for the last two kilometres. This walking track is a very accessible way to get some fresh air and experience the wonders of the Australian bush.