This is an enjoyable circuit walk that allows you to explore this rare pocket of Sydney Blue Gum forest. You will follow a signposted track across a few creeks and alongside Waitara Creek, with a few cascades. There are many small sandstone caves and a great diversity in plant life along the way. Sit quietly on the bank of Waitara Creek and you may see a water dragon, or get going early and listen for the Lyrebirds.
(open in app)
Cross sectional view of the Blue Gum Walk (Joe's Mountain Circuit) bushwalking track
Analysis and summary of the altitude variation on the Blue Gum Walk (Joe's Mountain Circuit) bushwalking track
Overview of this walks Grading - Based on the AS 2156.1 - 2001
These details are new. This new feature still requires more testing and refining. Please use the 'Walker Feedback' for report specific issues. Please e-mail Matt if you have any general comments. Hope you find it helpful.
Under this standard, a walk is graded based on the most difficult section of the walk.
Very steep (4/6)
Quality of track
Formed track, with some branches and other obstacles (3/6)
Directional signs along the way (3/6)
Moderate level of bushwalking experience recommended (4/6)
Storms may impact on navigation and safety (3/6)
Limited facilities, not all cliffs are fenced (3/6)
*This summary of grading information is new and still in testing
Some more detail of this walks Grading
Here is a bit more details explaining the grading looking at sections of the walk. Gradient
1.8km of this walk has gentle hills with occasional steps and another 1.4km has short steep hills. The remaining (990m) is very steep.
Quality of track
1.9km of this walk follows a formed track, with some branches and other obstacles and another 1.2km follows a clear and well formed track or trail. The remaining (1.1km) follows a smooth and hardened path.
Around 2.8km of this walk has directional signs at most intersection, whilst the remaining 1.4km is clearly signposted.
2.3km of this walk requires no previous bushwalking experience and another 990m requires a leader a with moderate level of bushwalking experience. The remaining (930m) requires some bushwalking experience.
Around 3.2km of this walk is not usually affected by severe weather events (that would unexpectedly impact safety and navigation), whilst the remaining 990m is affected by storms that may impact your navigation and safety.
Around 2.4km of this walk has limited facilities (such as not all cliffs fenced), whilst the remaining 1.9km is close to useful facilities (such as fenced cliffs and seats).
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'Berowra Valley Bushland Park' is also known as Rosemead Rd Park and is found at the bottom end of Rosemead Rd, Hornsby. This is an open area park surrounded by shady eucalyptus trees, making a pleasant spot to rest on a walk. It has a picnic table with bench seats, and a sheltered free electric BBQ. There is a water tap in the park, near the road. There is also a 'Welcome to Old Mans Valley' information sign with information about the traditional country of the Darug and Guringai peoples.
Berowra Valley Bushland Park
Int of Blue Gum Walk and Joes Mountain Service Trail Track: Moderate - bushtrack,servicetrail
Length = 887 m
Time = 20 mins
Climb = 45 m
Descent = -39 m
From the lower side of Berowra Valley Bushland Park (at the end of Rosemead Rd, Hornsby), this walk follows the 'Fishponds 1.2km' arrow on the large sign, down the track for approximately 30m, to the intersection with the Rosemead management trail, marked with a Great North Walk arrow. Veer right: From the intersection, this walk heads downhill along the wide rocky management trail as it bends left (and passing some houses off to the left). The trail then bends right and leads across Old Mans Creek using some concrete stepping stones. The walk then continues by heading up the moderately steep hill and then through a thick blue gum and bracken fern forest. The wide trail leads to the top of the hill then bends left, (ignoring the track on the right) to pass over a saddle. Here the trail leads down the gentle hill, through the turpentine forest for just over 300m to find an intersection with narrower track on the right, marked with arrow posts.
Int of Blue Gum Walk and Joes Mountain Service Trail
Fishponds Lookout Track: Moderate - bushtrack
Length = 297 m
Time = 7 mins
Climb = 0 m
Descent = -39 m
Veer right: From the intersection, the walk follows the 'Great North Walk' arrow down the narrower track a short distance to find a three-way intersection marked with a large 'Great North walk' signpost. Continue straight: From the intersection, this walk follows the 'Fishponds' sign along the flat narrow track past the 'Berowra Valley Regional Park' sign. The track soon bends left (passing along the top of an unfenced cliff) then winds down some steep carved rock steps (with a hand rail). The rocky track then leads down along the side of the valley for just over 100m to cross a timber foot bridge. The track then continues for another 70m to find a fenced rock platform and signposted intersection.
Alt = 49 m
Fishponds Lookout is a fenced rock platform at the intersection of the Benowie walking track and the Rosemead trackhead. It is marked with a number of Great North Walk signs. This informally named lookout has good views down over Fishponds, a large waterhole on Berowra Creek. Looking north across the creek, there are views to the upper waterhole and the cliffs on the other side.
Fishponds crossing Optional sidetrip: Track: Moderate - bushtrack
Length = 71 m
Time = 2 mins
Climb = 3 m
Descent = -4 m
Turn right: From the lookout, this walk follows the 'Galston Gorge' sign along the fenced rock shelf (keeping the fence to your left). The track leads down the rocky steps to the edge of Berowra Creek. The walk crosses the creek using the stepping stones, and comes to a small cave on the other side. This creek may be impassable after rain. (Retrace your steps back to the main track, then continue straight to continue along this walk.)
Alt = 49 m
Fishponds is a long waterhole on Berowra Creek in Berowra Valley Regional Park. The waterhole is lined with tall cliffs and a few sandstone caves. At the southern end, there are stepping stones to help cross the creek, and a small timber bridge at the northern end. This is a beautiful spot and a worthy place to rest and enjoy the water passing by. The waterhole is fairly popular with local teens in summer, cooling off. Swimming and jumping at the Fishponds waterhole has resulted in fatalities - please heed the signs and Cora's parents' plea and enjoy the water from the edge.
Int of the Great North Walk and the Blue Gum Walk (SW) Track: Hard - bushtrack
Length = 988 m
Time = 21 mins
Climb = 87 m
Descent = -21 m
Turn left: From the lookout, this walk follows the 'Thornleigh Station' arrow (and 'Pennant Hills' arrow) down the timber steps past the 'Blue Gum Walk' sign, and crosses a small creek using the small flat timber bridge. The track leads around the side of the hill for about 100m, then scrambles over some rocks and under a sandstone overhang.
The rocky track follows alongside Berowra Creek for another 100m, passing beside some cascades to the end of a notably flat section of track. This walk heads over another rock platform (now with Waitara Creek down and to your right), then soon climbs up through the fork in the tree on left, coming to a large, unfenced rock platform. This leads to a flat area beside some interesting holes in a rock known as 'the spa'.
From here, this walk follows the Blue Gum Track arrow post across Waitara Creek, stepping over 'the spa'. This creek may become impassable after heavy rain, the rocks can also be slippery. On the other side, the track leads uphill and bends right, passing a large rock overhang, where the track then leads left, following the arrow posts and climbing up through the crack in the rock. The track leads more gently up through another crack in a rock, then continues fairly gently up along the narrow ridge. After about 200m, the track becomes steeper, climbing up rock steps and over rocks. This area comes alive with Patersonia lilies and pink wax flowers in early spring. The track then mostly flattens out for another 200m, coming to a signposted three-way intersection, where a 'Fishponds' sign points back along the track.
Int of the Great North Walk and the Blue Gum Walk (SW)
Int of Blue Gum Walk at bottom of wooden steps Track: Moderate - bushtrack
Length = 817 m
Time = 21 mins
Climb = 58 m
Descent = -58 m
Veer left: From the intersection, this walk follows the Blue Gum Walk marker along the bush track, leaving 'The Great North Walk' track behind. The track winds through the blue gum forest, keeping the valley down to the left and houses above on the right as it winds along the side of the hill. The walk comes to an intersection with a bush track, just below some overhead power lines. Continue straight: From the intersection, the walk follows the bush track south, keeping the valley down to the left. The track winds along the side of the hill until coming down a set of wooden steps to the 'T' intersection at the top of the concrete section of management trail.
Int of Blue Gum Walk at bottom of wooden steps
Ginger Meggs Park Track: Moderate - servicetrail
Length = 653 m
Time = 15 mins
Climb = 15 m
Descent = -60 m
Turn left: From the intersection, the walk follows the Blue Gum Walk marker down the bumpy concrete management trail, winding steeply down the hill, until reaching the intersection with an old logging trail on the left . Continue straight: From the intersection, this walk follows the more defined management trail down the hill, following the Blue Gum Walk marker. The trail meanders down the spur until a sharp left turn, shortly after which the walk comes to an intersection with a bush track (on the right) where there is another Blue Gum Walk marker. Continue straight: From the intersection, the old management trail heads down the hill and follows Waitara Creek past a small pipeline on the left and a few houses on the right, until coming to an intersection with another management trail from the left - this intersection is marked with a Blue Gum Walk post. Continue straight: From the intersection, this walk heads north, down the hill with the creek on the right, to the intersection just before the causeway over Waitara Creek. There are usually ducks and brush turkeys in this area. Turn right: From the intersection, this walk follows the management trail across Waitara Creek and up the hill, passing around the gate before arriving on Valley Road, at the lower corner of Ginger Meggs Park.
Ginger Meggs Park
Alt = 70 m
Ginger Meggs Park is a large fenced grassy area with childrens play equipment. The park is found on Valley Rd, Hornsby (opposite Lochness Pl). There are two picnic tables (with shelter), a garbage bin and a drinking fountain. The park was named in July 1997, for the comic character Ginger Meggs, created by Jimmy Bancks. Bancks (1889-1952) grew up in the local area, and the creek south of the park is also named in his honour.
Ginger Meggs Park
Berowra Valley Bushland Park Walk: Easy - road
Length = 578 m
Time = 12 mins
Climb = 26 m
Descent = -15 m
Veer left: From Ginger Meggs Park, this walk follows Valley Road (past Lochness Pl on the right), keeping the children's playground on the left. Note that water is available from the park. The walk passes 'West Hornsby STP' before coming up to the intersection with Rosemead Road and turning left. The walk follows Rosemead Rd down the hill to the end and heads into Berowra Valley Bushland Park.
Fire Danger This walk passes Greater Sydney Region fire area which currently has a LOW MODERATE rating and No fire ban in place. (Tomorrow the Fire Danger Rating is LOW MODERATE, No fire ban.) (Downloaded 3 years ago) Please Note: Each park may have its own fire ban, this rating is only valid for today and is based on information from the RFS Please check the RFS Website for more information.
Manor Road Bushland Manor Road Bushland is a small parcel of natural bushland between Manor road and the Hornsby quarry. The blue Gum walk and the Great North walk Hornsby track head pass through the section of land where there are some wonderful tall Blue gums and Black Buts. There is also a lovely array of ferns and Turpentine trees. Region: I am not aware of any closures in this park at the moment.
Berowra Valley National ParkLink to official closures and fire bans page Following the Berowra Creek the Berowra Valley National Park is located on the Hornsby Plateau and is made up of typical Hawkesbury Sandstone. The great North walk, Benowie walking track, and many other great walks stretch spann this park. The area has varied vegetation including many different sorts of Eucalyptus and plenty of native animals, includingl swamp wallibies, water dragons, bandicoots, Lyre Birds, and bush turkeys. There are several campsites within the Park, and Crosslands Reserve is also a popular spot near the middle of the park. Region: Sydney & Surrounds Park feesCamping Current Park Closure information for Berowra Valley National Park Closure information last downloaded Sunday 27th of September 2015 07:00 AM Safety alerts: Quarry trail and Benowie walking track restricted access Access restrictions are in place along trails that traverse the land managed by the Hornsby Rifle Range. Restricted areas include:
an 800m section of trail, 2km in from the Quarry Road entrance at Dural
an 800m section of trail, 300m in from the Stewart Avenue entrance at Hornsby
a 750m section of the Benowie walking track between Steele Bridge and Fishponds Waterholes.
Shooting times are between 9am and 4.30pm, 7 days a week. All visitors wishing to access the restricted sections of trail during these times must request prior authorisation by contacting the Hornsby Rifle Range on their 24 hour contact number 0417 201 606. Consult the map on Page vii of the Berowra Valley National Park Draft Plan of Management to plan alternative routes during these hours. Visit the website for further information about the Hornsby Rifle Range.
Dog Pound Creek Reserve Dog Pound Creek reserve is managed by Hornsby Council and is home to a spectatular native Blue Gum stand. The valley has a number of walks and creeks running through it and joins Westleigh, Thronleigh and Hornsby. The reserve is named after a creek that runs from the former dog pound that was on Warrigal Dr, Westleigh. Region: Sydney & Surrounds I am not aware of any closures in this park at the moment.