I'm a freelance actor, travel writer, photographer, foodie and attention seeker living in the lower North Shore. Check out my blog at www.emmajaneexplores.com for more.
Published December 7th 2016
How's the serenity?
Sydney-siders looking for a lush Aussie bushland escape need look no further than the gorgeous and expansive Lane Cove National Park, located a mere 10km from the CBD on the capital's lower north shore. Vast enough to feel like you're the only person in the world and popular enough to boast a quaint row boat hire service, this hidden gem is easily accessible by car which you can drive around the park for under $10. If you're a PT kind of person, then head to North Ryde station or catch a bus from Chatswood.
Barbeque spots abound, wildlife is plentiful and untamed and with a huge variety of different picnic spots featuring different parts of the huge natural bushland. Take an esky, find a little alcove near the water to relax with a good book and a beverage and fire up the BBQ to make the most of the serenity. Once suitably fed and awoken from a Zen-like food coma, head to the boat hire to spend the afternoon on a cute little rowboat a la The Notebook (hopefully without the rain, but preferably with someone resembling Ryan Gosling).
If boating just isn't your bag, there are a heap of walks and trails throughout the park as well as fascinating indigenous sites that remain from the Guringai People. I did the Lane Cove National Park Heritage Walk, which took me just under 3 hours in total, but was pretty easy to stroll along at my own pace and enjoy the scenery. Along my leisurely walk I saw gorgeous wildlife, flower, water life and managed to get myself in the way of a mother duck and her babies which resulted in a rather embarrassing standoff with the local wildlife. Duck = 1, Emma = 0.
If that's still not enough and you just can't bring yourself to head back to the big smoke yet then it's also possible to camp in Lane Cove National Park at the Lane Cove River Tourist Park to experience the nightlife of the Aussie bushland.