Things to do in Hornsby (2019)
Hornsby is a suburb located on the upper north shore area of Sydney, 25 km north-west of the Sydney central business district. Hornsby is a major hub with frequent transport services to and from the Sydney cbd.
It is an area with many well known public, private and selective schools. A suburb popular for growing young families with many facilities. A perfect place to explore the surrounding bushlands, national parks and gardens.
Below is a list of things to do in Hornsby so please take a look and check out some of the must see and must do activities in Hornsby.
Best Things to do in Hornsby
- Lisgar Garden
- Westfield Hornsby
- Bobbin Head (Ku Ring Gai Chase National Park)
- Crosslands Reserve
- Hornsby Mountain Bike Trail
- Hornsby Aquatic Centre
- Berowra Waters
- Hornsby RSL
- Fagan Park
1. Lisgar Garden
Lisgar Garden is a garden hidden away surrounded by bush lands located on Lisgar lane, a 10 minute walk from Hornsby station. A well maintained garden featuring many colourful flowers and plants, luscious native trees, a fish pond and a gazebo.
There are walking trails through the rainforest passing by streams leading to waterfalls. For a more relaxed visit, pack a picnic basket and sit down at one of many picnic spots hidden away in the garden.
Lisgar Garden can be hired for events, weddings, professional photography or ceremonies. A covered pavilion is available for weddings. The local council holds many events such as musical and children entertainment.
The gardens are opened everyday. Monday to Friday 8 am-3:30 pm and on weekends 10 am to 4 pm. Please be advised entrance to the gardens are closed during Christmas, Boxing day and New Year’s day.
Entrance to the garden is free but fees may apply at some events. Lisgar Garden is easily accessible by car and public transport. Parking is available on site but is restricted. Visitors are advised to park in surrounding streets.
If you are in Hornsby, make sure to take out the time to visit and enjoy the tranquility and beauty of the garden. A hidden paradise in the heart of Hornsby.
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2. Westfield Hornsby
Westfield Hornsby is a shopping centre located across Hornsby station. You can either take the public transport or drive to the centre, both easily accessible. The centre is home to many well known retail stores, cafes and restaurants including the Events cinema complex.
The council holds many events including children entertainment especially during the festive season. Local markets are held every Thursday and first Saturday of every month. The market is set up close to the iconic clock fountain. Here you will find fresh local produce of fruit and vegetables, art, crafts and clothing.
- The Coffee Club
- Gloria Jean’s Coffees
- Oliver Brown Belgian Chocolate Cafe
- Jamaica Blue
- The Coffee Emporium
- Pattison Patisserie
- Soul Origin
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3. Bobbin Head (Ku Ring Gai Chase National Park)
Bobbin Head is located in North Turramurra in the Ku Ring Gai Chase National Park, a popular area offering many attractions and facilities including picnic spots, fishing, bush walking and boating. You can spend a whole day here surrounded by water and bush land.
Bobbin Head is the perfect location for a waterfront picnic spot. The park features many picnic tables, shelters, barbecue, children’s playground and has plenty of green space. Head to Bobbin Head Inn Cafe or Galley Foods Restaurant and Kiosk for lunch or a coffee break.
For a day out on the water, you can hire a boat at Empire Marina or a paddle boat at Bobbin Inn Cafe. Take the boat out and discover one of many inlets in between your trip. The boats can also be used for fishing. Pricing to hire boats will vary depending on duration of time.
Paddle boats can be used around the marina. As the area is surrounded by water it is the perfect spot for water activities such as kayaking, canoeing and fishing.
If you seek for an adventure and hiking is one of your favourite things to do than Bobbin Head is the ideal location for bush walking. There are many trails available whether it is a short or long hiking trails.
Mangrove boardwalk is located behind the picnic area, this is a short walk through mangroves. Keep an eye out for wildlife you may come across during the walk. You can either stop at the end of the Mangrove walk or continue further on into the Gibberagong Track. This trail splits into 2 tracks that leads you to Wahroonga or through the rainforest ending up at the gully.
For a more challenging walk, take the most scenic 10km circuit walk which includes the Bobbin Head Track, the Sphinx Track and the Warrimoo Track. This circuit starts from the Empire Marina and will take you to spectacular landscapes of the National Park.
Bobbin Head is open daily however gates are closed from 8 pm to 6 am during daylight savings and from 5:30 pm to 6 am the rest of the year. Parking is available and park entry fee of $12 applies per day.
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4. Crosslands Reserve
Crossland Reserve is a short drive from Hornsby in the Berowra Valley National Park located at the end of Somerville rd Hornsby Heights. The reserve is ideal for picnic and camping. Picnic shelters for parties can be reserved as well as campsites. The Reserve features children’s playground and bike trails, barbecue facility and The Great North Walk trail. Explore the Reserve through bush lands in a picturesque setting.
Crosslands Reserve gates are open daily at 8 am and closes 7:30 pm during daylight savings and 5 pm the rest of the year. Entrance fee is free to the Reserve however campsite fee do apply.
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5. Hornsby Mountain Bike Trail
Hornsby Mountain Bike Trail is a 6 km single track trail through narrow bush lands in Olds Man Valley popular among the many visitors seeking adventure. The track is an easy walk or cycle from Hornsby station. The trail is suitable for various skilled riders with track grading of easiest, intermediate, more difficult and advanced. The track is opened daily during daylight hours. Track may close due to weather conditions.
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6. Hornsby Aquatic Centre
Hornsby Aquatic Centre located on Peats Ferry Rd, a short walk from Hornsby station. Parking is available on the premises. The centre features both indoor (heated) and outdoor lap pool, gymnasium, kiosk and cafes and children’s water features including water slide. The Aquatic Centre provides learn to swim classes held at different times of the week. The outdoor lap pool is set with a stunning view of Old Mans Valley in the background.
The centre is opened daily. From Monday to Thursday – 5:30 am to 7:45 pm and on Fridays 5:30 am to 6:45 pm. On weekends from 7 am to 6:45 pm. Entrance fee do apply.
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7. Berowra Waters
Berowra Waters is located on Berowra Creek connecting to the Hawkesbury River. It is a popular destination surrounded by natural bush land of the Ku Ring Gai National Park. The Berowra Waters Ferry transports cars across the east bank and west bank. This free service operates 24 hours 7 days a week. It is the perfect location for a waterfront picnic or to grab lunch or dinner at one of the local restaurants.
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Brooklyn a small town located on the Hawkesbury River. An ideal location for a day trip or a weekend away. It is easily accessible by public transport, boat or car. Brooklyn provides stunning waterfront views surrounded by nature. Spend the day either at the waterfront or in town and enjoy the local fresh seafood at one of many restaurants.
Boating and fishing are the main attractions of Brooklyn. Boats can be hired at the marina for a day out on the water exploring Brooklyn and its surroundings. There are many walking trails around Brooklyn including the famous Great North Walk, a bush walking trail from Sydney to Newcastle.
McKell Park is a popular picnic spot around Brooklyn with stunning river views. It features a children’s playground, picnic shelters, barbecue facilities and enclosed swimming pool. Expect the park to be overcrowded during the weekends and long weekends. Parking is available but very limited.
For a slight detour take a short stop at the famous Pie in the Sky located at Cowan for homemade pies. This place has stunning picturesque views overlooking the National Park and Hawkesbury River.
Here are some of the restaurants and cafes to try some of the best local seafood in Brooklyn.
- Life Boat Seafoods
- Angler’s Restaurant
- Estuary Restaurant
- Fitzies Brooklyn
- King Tide Cafe and Restaurant
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9. Hornsby RSL
Hornsby RSL is the local RSL located in the heart of Hornsby. It is a short walk from Hornsby station. This place features many facilities within the RSL for members and visitors. It is a family friendly environment, perfect for lunch and dinner or simply enjoy the ambience over drinks at one of their bars and dining. A sports bar is available on the lower ground floor for a game of snooker or pool and darts. Rooms are available to hire for events and functions. Catering and event services are provided.
Membership options are available for those wanting to become a member at the RSL. Fees do apply. There are many benefits of becoming a member including discounts on food, beverage and entertainment. Hornsby residents are encouraged to become a member to enjoy many of the facilities on offer.
Enjoy the dining experience at Hornsby RSL. Here you will find a large selection of food and drinks
- The Courtyard (modern Australian favourites)
- Level One (Alfresco style dining with tapas based menu and cocktails)
- Kekou Noodle and Dumpling Bar (authentic Asian cuisine)
- High Tea and High Cheese (Every Sunday except first Sunday of every month)
- Grounded Cafe
- The Brew Bar
- Sports Bar
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10. Fagan Park
Fagan Park is located in Galston. It is one of the main attractions in the Hornsby Shire. Take the scenic drive through the famous picturesque Galston Gorge from Hornsby. Galston Gorge is located in Berowra Valley Regional Park.
Take extra care when driving especially during wet weather and at night as the roads are very narrow and winding. The Gorge separates Galston from Hornsby Heights. The drive to Fagan Park will take 20-25 minutes.
The park covers 55 hectares of land and was originally owned by the Fagan family which was operated as a cattle farm. The park features The Garden of Many Nations (11 themed garden), children’s playground, barbecue facilities ($1 for use), picnic shelters and bicycle path. The main feature of the park is the lake and its surrounding with plenty of lush green grass open space. It is considered one of the most beautiful park in Sydney and one to visit.
The shelters are perfect to hire for events for the day, bookings can be done via online. Each booking costs $135 per day. The park is open everyday from 7 am until sunset. Plenty of parking is available on site. Parking costs $5 per vehicle with two car parks which can be accessed by Arcadia Road and Carrs Road.
There are charming cafes all a short drive away from the park. The area is popular for their fresh produce and vast selection of food. You will not be disappointed!
Here are some of the most famous cafes in the area.
- Wild Pear Cafe
- District 88 Cafe
- Wolfe and Co
- The House of Herbs and Roses
- The Wren
- The Fig
- Hills Organics
- Frankie’s Food Factory
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Hornsby is a place to visit that offers great activities with plenty of entertainment. The frequent transport services makes it easy to get to. Enjoy the natural beauty of the Hornsby Shire and its surrounding areas.
We hope that you enjoyed our guide to things to do in Hornsby. Please comment below and share your thoughts and experiences on Hornsby.