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A park in the north of Sydney that is large and very beautiful. It's about 50 square kilometres, and is about 25km north of the centre of Sydney. It incorporates bits of the Hawkesbury river, and also has quite a few nice beaches, as well as the bush.

Quite a few people live within it; for example, on Scotland Island.

There are lots of good bushwalks through it. Downsides: it's a little pricey if you want to park inside the national park ... it's about A$9. Getting around can be difficult, the drives can be quite long, even though the straight-line distance is small.

A good place to start is Bobbin Head, which is easy to get to. There's an information centre there, as well as boat hire. Half a dozen bushwalks also start there. Motor boats (no licence required) can be hired for about A$50 for a few hours, and it's fun exploring the area. Another popular place is The Basin, which has some nice beaches.

There's also a great little hidden Youth hostel in the park, known as Pittwater YHA. You can either get there by a 6 kilometer walk, or by catching a ferry from Church Point, then walking about 2 kms uphill. They rent out canoes, (which are great by the way, there are lots of secluded quiet beaches to explore). Their rates are reasonable, from A$17 to A$25 a night. Watch out for the kookaburra's though. Last time I was having my lunch on the verandah, one swooped down and stole one of my fish fingers. Ticks can also be a minor annoyance. But the place is beautifully serene.

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