Bushwalking at Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden

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The Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden offers a range of bushwalks from leisurely step-free paths to short adventure tracks to a steep, rocky wilderness path that feels quite remote.

Our bushwalks are all named after early botanists. 

Step-free paths

The Senses Track

The Senses Track is located at the top of the Wildflower Garden opposite the Visitor Centre.

There are two loops of 400m and 500m respectively, which each take ten minutes or so at a steady pace.

They are all step-free with regular locations to pause, sit and enjoy the quiet atmosphere. Interpretive signage reveals interesting facts about the bushland you’re going through, and a lookout provides a view through the trees across the valley.

The Solander Trail

The Solander Trail is a vehicular track (closed to public traffic) that’s ideal for walking and cycling.

Almost 2km in length, it traverses the ridgetop in a circuit that takes in some of the best wildflowers, amazing tree and rock formations, and the pretty Lambert’s Clearing in its path.

Expect to take between 40 minutes and an hour to complete the route.

Cyclists (particularly young ones!) should beware of two steep sections that are signposted and may require dismounting by less experienced riders.

The Brown Trail

The Brown Trail is a short detour off the Solander Trail route that offers a view of Donnelly’s Swamp and access to the Mueller Track.

A further short but pretty step-free path winds its way through Caley’s Pavilion Gardens and provides access to the boardwalk over our wetland area.

All of these paths are adjacent to accessible picnic areas and toilets.

Short adventure tracks

Banks Track

The Banks Track is a gentle route between Caley’s Pavilion and Lambert’s Clearing.

It takes in a boardwalk across our wetland area, a short rocky section through sandstone heath, and another boardwalk across a swampy area regenerating from bushfire (a hazard reduction burn carried out in September 2013).

The Banks Track is 200m in length and takes about 5 minutes.

There are only a few steps so it can be walked with a three-wheeled stroller.

Smith Track

The Smith Track is an active, rocky route that traverses the sandstone ridge between Bidwill’s Clearing and Cunningham’s Rest.

The vegetation features sandstone heath (typically short eucalypts and small-leaved dense shrubs such as Heath Banksia and Sheoak, with a variety of fragrant wildflowers such as Snow Heath. The track also connects with the Bentham Track to give access to The Knoll and Lambert’s Clearing.

Smith’s Track is 400m in length and takes 10-15 minutes.

Bentham Track

Bentham Track runs between Cunningham’s Rest and The Knoll at Lambert’s Clearing. The rocky, thin soil along this route supports low-growing sparse shrubs and a variety of small trees and wildflowers. In hot weather, the sunny rock shelves make good basking sites for lizards and snakes.

The Bentham Track is 400m long and takes abut 10 minutes.

Caley Track

The Caley Track provides an alternative route between Lambert’s Clearing and the Bentham Track which avoids The Knoll. Splashes of colourful wildflowers can be seen in the winter and spring from its aspect to the north. In wet weather, water runs by the path into a swampy area below.

Caley Track is 200m long and takes about 5 minutes.

Combinations of our short adventure tracks can make for an active, scenic circular route starting from Cunningham’s Rest, Lambert’s Clearing or Caley’s Pavilion.

Wilderness path

Mueller Track

After a few minutes on our Mueller Track, you’d think you were miles from Sydney! It’s a strenuous walk of 4km in length, that runs between Cunningham’s Rest and Lambert’s Clearing via Ku-ring-gai Creek and Tree Fern Gully. Allow 1.5-2 hours to complete this route.

We usually recommend travelling the Mueller Track in a clockwise direction, beginning at Cunningham’s Rest, because the steepest sections are travelled downhill, however it’s a delightful, challenging route in either direction.

Look out for wallabies and wildflowers on the hot, north-facing hillside below Dampier’s Clearing. The valley along Ku-ring-gai Creek has a cool microclimate with giant specimens of Sydney Red Gum, an understorey of ferns, and lush green coachwoods along the creekline.

The route passes close to Phantom Falls which, as the name suggests, can be heard but not seen from the track. Don’t miss the secluded Whipbird Gully, where Ku-ring-gai Creek descends a pretty cascade and makes a lovely scenic lunch stop. From this area you can return to the Solander Trail via either of two steep short-cuts that connect to Endlicher Point.
Along Tree Fern Gully Creek, you’ll pass through taller gully forest comprising various eucalypts. Look out for Billy’s Bridge, a natural rock arch, and small waterfalls and creeks in which careful observers might see little orange Sydney Spiny Crayfish (like a miniature lobster).

Drinking water and toilets are available at Dampier’s Clearing and Lambert’s Clearing, at either end of the track. Mobile phone reception is patchy.

Groups walking the Mueller Track are encouraged to leave their details at the St Ives Precinct Visitor Centre and, when complete, to advise us of your safe return.