Marramarra National Park is located on the Hawkesbury River, to the north of Sydney. Although most of the bushwalks are along firetrails, it has a few interesting trails that are never busy.

Marramarra National Park is on the southern side of the Hawkesbury River, to the north-west of Sydney. The national park covers many sandstones ridges as well as mangrove swamps along the Hawkesbury River and its tributaries. Although described as “one of the Hawkesbury’s best-kept secrets”, many of the bushwalking and mountain-biking routes follow the top of ridges along fire trails, and are not particularly pleasant – especially in summer. However, there are are a few nice trails for bushwalking and mountain-biking, as well as opportunities for kayaking.

The park is bounded by the Hawkesbury River in the north, Berowra Creek to the east, and private land to the south and west; urbanisation and development of private land has meant that some trails are no longer publicly accessible (many of these have been illegally blocked by land owners).

There are a handful of trig stations in Marramarra National Park, with a few close to trails and many more requiring some serious bush-bashing along remote ridges.

The traditional custodians of Marramarra were the Darug (or Dharug) people, and there are many indigenous heritage sites in Marramarra National Park including rock engravings, cave art, grinding grooves, scarred trees and stone arrangements. Canoelands, one of the most significant Aboriginal sites around Sydney, was of great importance in the ritual and mythology of the local people.

Bushwalks in Marramarra National Park

The majority of bushwalks in the park are firetrails (which also allow mountain biking, an often horses), although there are a few dedicated bushwalking tracks.

Calabash Ridge Fire Trail2.6kmEasyPartial loop on a firetrail. No views.Map
Ben Bullen Road Trail3.0kmEasyPartly overgrown trail descends to Colah CreekMap
Waddell Ridge Fire Trail4.8kmEasyFiretrail to Yurts Track, whch descends to Banks CreekMap
Forest Glen Trail5.8kmEasyService trail for electrical pylons. No views.Map
Calabash Point (Fretus Hotel)7.6kmEasyInteresting bushwalk to ruins of abandoned hotel Map
Simpsons Hill Trail8.2kmEasyService trail for electrical pylons. Minimal views.Map
Duckponds Ridge Trail8.6kmEasyFiretrail along ridge. Steep descent at the end. No views.Map
Weavers Ridge Trail 9.5kmEasyNice firetrail walk to views over Hawkesbury River Map
Collingridge Point10.6kmEasyFiretrail to nice lookout over Berowra CreekMap
Peebles Road Fire Trail11.4kmEasyFiretrail along ridge with a few branches. Not many views.Map
Smugglers Ridge to Marramarra Ridge13.2kmEasy/ModerateHalf firetrail & half bushwalking track; descends to Marramarra CreekMap
Coba Point19.5kmEasyLong bushwalk along ridge to lookout (average views)Map
Canoelands Ridge to Gentlemans Halt22kmModerateFiretrail until steep descent to campground on Hawkesbury RiverMap
Ruins of Fretus Hotel on Calabash Point

Fretus Hotel on Calabash Point

Located just outside Marramarra National Park, this dog-friendly and family-friendly bushwalk follows a firetrail to the end of Calabash Point. At the end of the trail are the fascinating ruins of the Fretus Hotel, built around 1900 and abandoned by 1920.

Distance: 7.6km return (2-3 hours).
Grade: Easy

The Duckpond on Marramarra Creek

Duckponds Ridge to the Duckpond

Most of this route is a fairly dreary bushwalk along the Duckponds Ridge Trail, with a very steep descent at the end. The firetrail stops a short distance above the creek, so you’ll need to bushbash the last 600m or so to reach the Duckpond – a large pool on Marramarra Creek.

Distance: 9.9km return (3-4 hours).
Grade: Moderate (with off-track section to creek)

AWAT0720 LR Guide to Marramarra National Park

Coba Ridge to Collingridge Point

An easy walk along Coba Ridge via the Neverfail Fire Trail to Collingridge Point, which has nice views over Berowra Creek. (Optional side-trip to an Aboriginal rock rock art site and the Coba trig station make this bushwalk bit more challenging.)

Distance: 10.6km return (3 hours). 16km with side-trips.
Grade: Easy (Moderate with side-trips)

AWAT4283 LR Guide to Marramarra National Park

Smugglers Ridge to Marramarra Ridge

A loop walk in Marramarra National Park which descends to Marramarra Creek via the Smugglers Ridge Track, and returns along the Marramarra Ridge Trail. A pleasant but not particularly exciting walk; it does have some nice river views and passes an old orchard.

Distance: 13.2km return (4-6 hours).
Grade: Easy/Moderate

AWAT6797 LR Guide to Marramarra National Park

Coba Point

A fairly long out-and-back bushwalk to Coba Point, which is half along a firetrail and half along a bushwalking track. Some filtered views over Berowra Creek along the trail, but the views at the end are fairly underwhelming.

Distance: 19.5km return (4-6 hours).
Grade: Easy (long but easy walking)

1X3A9987 LR Guide to Marramarra National Park

Canoelands Ridge to Gentlemans Halt

The longest trail on Marramarra National Park, the Canoelands Ridge firetrail takes you to a steep bushwalking track down to Gentlemans Halt campground. You can add a couple of side-trips to a trig point and lookout.

Distance: 21-24km return (7-9 hours).
Grade: Moderate (long walk with steep descent/ascent)

Camping in Marramarra National Park

There are four campgrounds in Marramarra National Park; all are remote and one of them is only accessible by kayak or boat. Bookings are essential for all campgrounds, except the Marramarra Creek Orchard Campground.

Gentlemans Halt Campground

A basic campground on the Hawkesbury River in Marramarra National Park, which has picnic tables, barbecue facilities, toilets. There are multiple unmarked sites over a fairly large area.

The campground can be reached via a 20km return walk along the Canoelands Ridge Trail, or by boat or kayak.

1X3A0018 LR Guide to Marramarra National Park

Marramarra Creek Campground

At the end of the Smugglers Ridge Track is the Marramarra Creek Campground. There’s a wide clearing with a few picnic tables, some firepits and an impressive-looking pit toilet. Below the campground is Marramarra Creek.

It’s about 6.4km to the campground via the Smugglers Ridge Track, or a 13.2km loop (Smugglers Ridge to Marramarra Ridge)

Marramarra Creek Campground in Marramarra National Park

Marramarra Creek Orchard Campground

The Orchard Campground is a bit more basic than the Marramarra Creek Campground, with a couple of picnic tables, but no toilet. (Unlike the Marramarra Creek Campground, this campsite can’t be booked online.)

It’s about 7.7km to the campground via the Marramarra Ridge Trail, or a 13.2km loop (Smugglers Ridge to Marramarra Ridge). It can also be reached via kayak.

Marramarra Creek Orchard Campground in Marramarra National Park

Twin Beaches Campground

Located at the southern area of Marramarra National Park near Berowra Waters, the campground is right on the beach on Berowra Creek. It has pit toilets and fire rings (bring your own firewood).

The campground is accessible by kayak or boat only.

twin beaches campground NPWS Guide to Marramarra National Park

Mountain Biking

There are many options for mountain biking in Marramarra National Park – almost all the trails are fire trails, where bikes (and often horses) are allowed. However, most of the trails are “out and back” trails along ridges and not partiularly interesting. A few options are:

  • Coba Ridge (Neverfail Fire Trai) – easy and fairly level 10km return ride to Collingridge Point, or a much more challenging 20km return ride to Coba Point
  • Marramarra Ridge Trail is a moderately hard 8km return ride down to the Marramarra Creek, with some very steep sections

Kayaking and Boating in Marramarra National Park

Marramarra National Park has many waterways that can be explored by kayak or boat, with three of the four campgrounds and many small beaches accessible by kayak. There are a few kayak launching areas, although the upper reaches of Marramarra Creek is a long trip from all of the start points. There’s a useful interactive map on the Waterways Guide, a paddling guide to Australian waterways.

Getting to Marramarra National Park

The national park is accessed from the south via Dural, or via Hornsby and then along a very twisty road through Galston Gorge – it’s about 50km and just under an hour north of Sydney. Two main roads provide access to the boundaries of Marramarra National Park: Bloodwood Road (in Fiddletown) to the southern edge of the park and the Old Northern Road past Glenorie to the middle of the park. There is no reliable public transport to any of the trailheads.


There’s no map specifically for Marramarra National Park, but two detailed topographic maps cover the entire park and all the bushwalks:

  • 9131-3S Gunderman (1:25K) – Buy / Download
  • 9130-4N Cowan (1:25K) – Buy / Download (most bushwalks are on this map)

More information

Subscribe via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to Hiking the World, and receive notifications of new posts by email. (A hike is added every 1-2 weeks, on average.)

Join 1,205 other subscribers

1 Comment

Exploring the Peebles Trail near Marramarra NP | Hiking the World · December 24, 2022 at 10:35 am

[…] haven’t got too high expectations for the Peebles Trail – but it’s one of the Marramarra trails I have’t done yet, and I’m also keen to have a look at the Fagan Trig. The start of the […]

Leave a Reply