This section of the Great North Walk starts from the Crosslands camping area and winds north alongside Berowra creek, passing through Berowra Waters and climbing up into Cowan. This day walk provides great views of the Berowra creek from the Naa Badu lookout and, as it finishes at the Cowan train station, there are fairly frequent trains running, providing a good transport option for the trip home.
(open in app)
Cross sectional view of the Crosslands to Cowan bushwalking track
Analysis and summary of the altitude variation on the Crosslands to Cowan 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.
7 hrs 30 mins
Very steep (4/6)
Quality of track
Rough track, where fallen trees and other obstacles are likely (4/6)
Directional signs along the way (3/6)
Moderate level of bushwalking experience recommended (4/6)
Forecast, unforecast storms and severe weather may impact on navigation and safety (4/6)
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
6km of this walk is very steep and another 4km has gentle hills with occasional steps. Whilst another 2.8km has short steep hills and the remaining 1.3km is flat with no steps.
Quality of track
8km of this walk follows a formed track, with some branches and other obstacles and another 3.1km follows a rough track, where fallen trees and other obstacles are likely. Whilst another 1.5km follows a clear and well formed track or trail and the remaining 1.1km follows a smooth and hardened path.
Around 13km of this walk has directional signs at most intersection, whilst the remaining 1.4km is clearly signposted.
10km of this walk requires some bushwalking experience and another 3.3km requires no previous bushwalking experience. The remaining (670m) requires a leader a with moderate level of bushwalking experience.
13km of this walk is not usually affected by severe weather events (that would unexpectedly impact safety and navigation) and another 660m is affected by forecast, unforecast storms and severe weather events that may impact on navigation and safety. The remaining (390m) is affected by storms that may impact your navigation and safety.
Around 9km of this walk has limited facilities (such as not all cliffs fenced), whilst the remaining 5km is close to useful facilities (such as fenced cliffs and seats).
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Crosslands Reserve is lovely and long mixed use picnic area, spanning along the edge of Berowra Creek. There are picnic tables, electric barbecues, toilets, car parking, a children's playground, garbage bins, camping area, toilets[fac=8086] and town water. The southern part of Crosslands is managed by Hornsby Council and the northern half by the NPWS within the Berowra Valley National Park.
The first inhabitants of this area were a subgroup of the Dharug people who enjoyed the sandstone caves, fish and abundant plant life in the area. It is now managed by Hornsby Shire Council, but in 1856 Matthew Charlton asked Burton Crossland to be caretaker on this area. Burton built a house and made a living by harvesting timber, growing fruit, fishing and boat-building.
Northern end of Crosslands carpark Path: Easy - Wheelchair accessible - footpath
Length = 247 m
Time = 4 mins
Climb = 1 m
Descent = 0 m
From the car park, this walk follows the flat dirt path between the road (on the right) and creek (on the left). The path leads through the casuarina trees for about 120m to pass the boat ramp. After another 120m this walk comes to a locked gate at the northern end of the car park. There is also a wetland through the trees to the right worth noticing.
Northern end of Crosslands Carpark
Crosslands North Path: Easy - Wheelchair accessible - footpath
Length = 263 m
Time = 4 mins
Climb = 1 m
Descent = -2 m
Continue straight: From the northern end of Crosslands car park (at the far northern end of Somerville Rd, Hornsby Heights), this walk follows the 'Newcastle' arrow on the large 'Great North Walk' sign around the locked gate[fac=8043] and along the sealed old road. The walk continues along the old road for just over 150m passing 4 picnic tables[fac=8044][fac=8045][fac=8046][fac=8047] to come to a y-intersection. At the intersection this walk veers right, past the 'Place of Winds' sign and wetland (on your right). This walk continues along this old road for a little longer, coming to an intersection marked with a large 'Crosslands' information board and 'Great North walk' sign. This is just on the edge of the northern picnic area, not far from the toilet block[fac=8052].
Crosslands North Picnic area
Alt = 1 m
The northern section of Crosslands is in Berowra Valley NP and is a less formal picnic area compared with the southern area. There is a toilet block[fac=8052] and a few sandy beaches with direct access to the water. Here you will find a few picnic tables[fac=8044][fac=8045][fac=8046][fac=8047][fac=8049][fac=8048] and shelters[fac=8050][fac=8051], as well as garbage bins. The eastern side is home to a boardwalk exploring the estuarine wetland. A pleasant area to rest and enjoy the water. Fires are only permitted in formally established fire places .
Estuaries viewing platform int. Path: Easy - Wheelchair accessible - duckboard
Length = 215 m
Time = 4 mins
Climb = 7 m
Descent = -5 m
Turn right: From the intersection at the northern picnic area, this walk follows the 'Great North Walk' sign along the timber boardwalk[fac=8085]. The timber boardwalks winds through the mangroves for about 60m, coming to a firm dirt track which leads for another 70m to a second timber boardwalk. The second boardwalk leads for another 70m, past 'Mangrove Food Cycle' information signs to come to an 3-way intersection in the boardwalk with the estuaries viewing platform boardwalk (on your left).
Berowra Creek (Estuarie) Lookout
Alt = 3 m
The Estuarie lookout over Berowara Creek is found at the end of the wheelchair-accessible walk in Crosslands area. The timber lookout platform provides great views over Berowra Creek, the timber fence is 95cm high. There are also information signs about the local flora and fauna and the 'Original Inhabitants'. There are two timber bench seats[fac=8053] encouraging you to take some time to soak up this view.
Estuaries viewing platform
Calna Creek Bridge intersection Track: Moderate - bushtrack
Length = 781 m
Time = 20 mins
Climb = 54 m
Descent = -57 m
Continue straight: From the intersection at the estuaries viewing platform, this walk follows the timber ramp down to the dirt track and heads past the '..unsuitable for wheelchair access' sign. The track leads alongside the wide creek for about 200m to the 'All creatures great and small' information sign, then down a little way further to head along a short section of timber boardwalk.
About 100m further along the rocky track, this walk comes to a lookout and a 'Catch the Threats' information sign, where the track continues past the bench seat and alongside the creek to the 'The Rock Club' information sign. The track then leads among some grass tress for just over 100m to the 'Bush Supermarket' information sign. Just past this sign, the track begins to climb fairly steeply up the stone and timber steps to the ridge line, marked with a GNW arrow and a 'Stop! Look! Listen! and Smell!' information sign. Continue straight: From the ridge line, this walk follows the GNW arrow east downhill, initially keeping the 'Stop! Look! Listen! and Smell!' information sign on your right. The track bends left and follows the timber steps as the track winds steeply down the side of the hill. Near the bottom of the hill, the track passes a 'Rock n Roll' information sign then comes to a long, metal footbridge. The walk crosses the bridge over Calna Creek and comes to a signposted intersection, with a 'Fragile Marsh' information sign
Calna Creek Bridge intersection
Sams Creek Ridge Clearing Track: Moderate - bushtrack
Length = 1.15 km
Time = 27 mins
Climb = 67 m
Descent = -58 m
Veer left: From the intersection, this walk follows the 'Berowra Waters' sign along the timber boardwalk. The boardwalk leads for about 80m across the large open flat saltmarsh into the casuarina forest on the other side. Here the track bends left and leads along the side of the saltmarsh for almost 200m, where the rocky track leads a little further before coming alongside Berowra Creek's mangroves. The track continues to gently undulate along the side of Berowra Creek for about 650m among the casuarinas and grass tress, before heading up a fairly short, steep climb. At the top of this climb, the walk comes to a small, flat, pleasant clearing surrounded by large boulders.
Sams Creek ridge clearing
Sams Creek Crossing Track: Moderate - bushtrack
Length = 501 m
Time = 11 mins
Climb = 20 m
Descent = -23 m
Continue straight: From the clearing, this walk leads down the north eastern side of this ridge, keeping the main valley to your left. After about 100m this walk comes to another flat saltmarsh , where the track bends right to soon come to a large flat clearing beside Sams Creek (subject to flooding).
The track then leads alongside Sams Creek (on your left) for about 350m when, just after climbing over a rock, the track comes to a 'Crosslands' sign pointing back along the track, beside the creek.
Sams Creek Crossing
Int of Great North Walk and Berowra Link tracks Track: Hard - bushtrack
Length = 670 m
Time = 30 mins
Climb = 181 m
Descent = -44 m
Turn left: From the south side of the creek, this walk follows the 'Berowra Waters' sign across the rocky Sams Creek. This creek may become impassable after heavy or prolonged rain. On the other side, the track veers left, crossing a rocky gully and heads up the timber steps. The track now starts to climb steeply, zigzagging up the timber steps  and a couple of staircases for just over 300m to find a bench seat in a small sandstone cave. After a rest, this walk continues up more steps (and staircases) for just over 150m, coming to a T-intersection with a wide service trail, where a 'Crosslands' sign points back down the track.
Int of Great North Walk and Berowra Link tracks
Int of Naa Badu Lookout Walk: Easy - servicetrail
Length = 263 m
Time = 7 mins
Climb = 19 m
Descent = -22 m
Turn left: From the intersection, this walk follows the 'Berowra Waters' sign gently down along the management trail, keeping the valley to your left. The trail gently undulates along the side of the hill, enjoying some glimpses up to the cliff faces (on the right). After about 180m, the trail crosses a concrete drain, then leads up the hill to find the signposted 'Naa Badu' lookout and its great view.
Naa Badu Lookout
Alt = 135 m
Naa Badu Lookout offers magnificent views south over Berowra Creek as well as over Sams and Calna Creeks. Naa Badu means 'See water' in the Aboriginal tribal language of the Dharug people. It is believed that Berowra Creek was the boundary between the Dharug and Guringai Aboriginal peoples. The lookout is fenced, has a bench seat, picnic table and a fair amount of natural shade.
Int of Naa Badu Lookout
Int of Great North Walk and Berkeley Close service trail Track: Moderate - servicetrail
Length = 543 m
Time = 11 mins
Climb = 16 m
Descent = -26 m
Continue straight: From the 'Naa Badu' lookout, this walk follows the management trail over the small rise and across the concrete ditch, keeping the valley to your left. The trail leads around the side of the hill for about 300m, gently undulating to come to an intersection with a narrow track and small clearing (on your left, as the trail bends right), just past the large scribbly gum. (This informal track leads down to an unfenced rock platform, with filtered views over Berowra Creek). Continue straight: From the intersection, the walk follows the wide trail gently downhill as it bends right, keeping the valley to your left. After about 140m, the trail narrows a bit, leading down a few short but steeper sections to an intersection (with some steps on your left), where a 'The Great North Walk' sign points back up along the trail.
Int of Great North Walk and Berkeley Close service trail
Int of Great North Walk and Currawong Road track Track: Hard - bushtrack
Length = 565 m
Time = 18 mins
Climb = 78 m
Descent = -31 m
Turn left: From the intersection, the walk follows the 'Berowra Waters' sign down the timber steps. The walk then crosses Banggarai Creek using a timber bridge, and leads up some timber steps. The rocky track then leads up some more timbers steps, between two rocks then over a few rocks, where the track then flattens out. The now flat, sandy track winds through the forest for about 150m and passes a timber seat, then leads down across a small gully before the track begins to climb again. The track leads up some more timber steps, then the walk climbs two metal pegs in the rock and continues to climb steeply up the rock and timber steps. After 60m, the track flattens out again, leading gently up through the scribbly gum and angophora forest for just over 100m to a three-way intersection marked with a couple of GNW arrow posts.
Int of Great North Walk and Currawong Road track
Berowra Waters trackhead Track: Hard - bushtrack
Length = 1.64 km
Time = 42 mins
Climb = 62 m
Descent = -231 m
Turn left : From the intersection, this walk follows the GNW arrow post north-west down the sandy track, directly towards the valley. The track soon becomes rocky and leads fairly steeply down the hill for about 150m before mostly flattening out and coming close to the top of an unfenced cliff with good views over Berowra Creek. Here the rocky track continues more gently down along the top of the ridge for about 200m and comes to a large rock platform. This walk veers right to lead down the gap in the rock, climbing down some steel pegs to where the track flattens out again. The track leads across the saddle for about 60m then veers left and follows along the base of a long rock wall (on your right). Here the track leads down around the side of the ridge for just over 400m, passing some unfenced views for rock platforms then down some sandstone steps to find a tall sandstone overhang with a timber seat. From this cave, this walk continues along the base of the rock wall, and soon bends left and winds fairly steeply down a series of rock and timber steps to come to the edge of Berowra Creek (where there is a 'no wash' sign facing the water from the rock platform). The track leads along the shore line for a short time to head onto the rock platform in Washtub Gully. Continue straight: From Washtub Gully, this walk crosses the creek and follows the track, keeping Berowra Creek not far to your left. After about 50m, the track passes an old partially sunken boat, then about 100m further on, the track passes a view point that is an obviously popular (but not recommended) jumping spot. The track then soon leads up some steps and over a rise behind the 'Berowra Waters Garden House' restaurant, then heads down the steps to come to the signposted 'Berowra Waters Trackhead' on 'Berowra Waters Rd'.
Berowra Waters Garden House
Alt = 8 m
#######CLOSED###### This picturesque little restaurant sits on the eastern side of Berowra Creek and is just a hop, skip and a jump from the ferry. With breakfast, lunch and dinner menus, the Garden House Restaurant is a great spot for those looking to tap into the Berowra Valley's full potential. For information on bookings and opening hours phone (02)9456 2955.
Berowra Waters track head
End of Kirkpatrick Way Path: Easy - Wheelchair accessible - road
Length = 389 m
Time = 8 mins
Climb = 10 m
Descent = -15 m
Continue straight: From 'Berowra Waters Trackhead', this walk follows the 'Newcastle' sign along 'Kirkpatrick Way' and across the culverted Franks Gully creek. As the walk crosses the gully, there is a picnic area and public toilet (and tap water) on your right. The walk continues along the road, keeping the water to your left for about 180m, then passing under the yellow boom gate. About 30m later, the walk stays left to head alongside the fenced car park. At the far end of this car park, the walk comes to a turning area at the end of Kirkpatrick Way.
End of Kirkpatrick Way
Berowra Waters view seat Track: Moderate - bushtrack
Length = 473 m
Time = 9 mins
Climb = 12 m
Descent = -8 m
Continue straight: From the end of Kirkpatrick Way, this walk follows the GNW arrow post along the track, keeping the water just to your left. This walk follows the rocky shoreline, enjoying the views of the water, the boats and houses on the other shore and the large rocks (up to your right). After about 450m, the track passes a large boulder and then turns right and climbs up a staircase, finding a small seat and viewing platform.
Berowra Waters view seat
Deep Bay Creek crossing Track: Hard - bushtrack
Length = 731 m
Time = 26 mins
Climb = 119 m
Descent = -79 m
Veer right: From the seat and view, this walk follows the 'Cowan' sign steeply uphill, following the series of timber and rock steps. After about 50m, the track leads up beside a rock wall, and at the top, turns right and mostly flattens out for about 80m before starting to climb again. At the top of this hill, this walk comes to a small clearing (on the left, that has been used as a campsite) and a large unfenced rock platform with great views back over the valley (on your right). Continue straight: From the view at the top of the ridge, this walk follows GNW arrow post east, directly away from the Berowra Water views and over the small rise. The track soon leads down off a rock, where the track bends right and starts to lead fairly gently downhill. The track then leads down a few short, steep, rocky sections before crossing a lovely creek, flowing over the sandstone rock platform. This creek may be slippery and can be particularly risky to cross after rain.
Deep Bay Creek crossing
Int of ridge top campsite and GNW Track: Hard - bushtrack,servicetrail
Length = 1.06 km
Time = 36 mins
Climb = 189 m
Descent = -29 m
Continue straight: From beside the creek, this walk follows the GNW arrow post east, away from the creek, up the steep rocky hill. The track soon passes between two rock slabs, then passes a handrail to climb up two metal pegs beside some more hand railing. The track then continues to climb up for another 50m before mostly flattening out for about 150m. the track then starts to climb again and soon steps up a rock with two more metal pegs. Then after another 70m, the track climbs up past a sandstone cave
and heads up a crack in the rock with four metal pegs, then just past the next cave, goes up another rock with a single peg. A short time later, this walk leads up another rock with two pegs, where the track then leads up the steps through a cleft of a rock. Here the track mostly flattens out and leads gently uphill for almost 200m until crossing a small saddle, marked with a two GNW arrow post beside each other. The track then leads steeply up to a fair sized rock platform, with rewarding views back over Berowra Creek (on your left). From this view point, the track leads fairly gently uphill for almost 150m, coming to a T-intersection with a wide sandy management trail. Veer right: From the intersection, this walk follows the GNW arrow along the sandy management trail, heading south. The trail immediately bends left and passes a track (on your right, that runs generally parallel to this trail). This trail leads down through the scribbly gum and heath forest, where the trail widens (after about 70m) and then comes to an intersection beside the large ridge top campsite. There is a 'Berowra Waters' sign here, pointing back along the trail.
Ridge Top Campground
Alt = 207 m
About 800m from Turners Rd, Berowra Heights lies this pleasant ridge top campsite. This is a fairly popular campsite on the Great North Walk, providing a flat area with plenty of shade. There are no facilities (or water) at this large campsite. A faint track leads west from the campsite to an unfenced cliff with great views over the Berowra Waters Valley.
Int of ridge top campsite and Great North Walk
Joe Crafts Creek crossing Track: Hard - bushtrack
Length = 1.65 km
Time = 37 mins
Climb = 24 m
Descent = -196 m
Veer left: From the intersection, this walk follows the 'Cowan Station' sign, directly away from the campsite along the clear track. The track leads over a small rise and then heads down to a four-way intersection with a management trail (and the GNW track continuing ahead). Continue straight: From the intersection, this walk follows the GNW arrow post east along the track as it leads very gently downhill along the top of the ridge. Over the next 300m, the track passes a rock platform and comes to a second rock platform with more views and a 'Great North Walk' log book box on a post. After leaving your note (and reading through a few entries), this walk continues down along the top of the ridge for another 200m to step down off another rock platform (ignoring the track to your left). Here the walk starts to head downhill for the next 1km - initially the track leads down a series of short rocky steep sections, and passes some interesting large rock boulders along the way. As the track moves further into the valley, it becomes consistently steeper until leading down leading into the ferns and beside Joe Crafts Creek.
Joe Crafts Creek crossing
Valley viewing area Track: Hard - bushtrack
Length = 659 m
Time = 26 mins
Climb = 158 m
Descent = -5 m
Continue straight: From the western bank, this walk crosses Joe Crafts Creek and heads east up the clear track. This creek may be particularly dangerous to cross after heavy or prolonged rain. The track climbs up a series of stone steps, passing through a couple of cracks in the rock before a 'Great North Walk' sign about 60m from the creek. The rocky track continues to climb steeply up for about 300m, then climbs up a timber (and metal) staircase, followed by a few section of handrail. Here the walk leads up around the base of rock wall and then climbs up the side to the top of the large, unfenced rock platform with great valley views. The walk continues up the ridge line for another 200m, very gently at first, then more steeply up the rocky sections. The track heads along the base of another rock wall, then up the stone steps and past the handrail to come to an intersection marked with a 'Great North Walk - Viewing Area' sign. The short track (on your right) leads to a seat at the edge of an unfenced cliff with views and a seat.
Valley viewing area
Int of GNW and Glendale Road Track: Moderate - bushtrack
Length = 876 m
Time = 16 mins
Climb = 25 m
Descent = -14 m
Turn left: From the intersection near the 'viewing point', this walk heads gently uphill directly away from the viewing area, keeping the valley on your right. The track leads up a few short, moderately steep sections for about 100m, then the track heads much more gently up through the open scribbly gum forest for about 400m before passing under the power lines. Here, the walk turns left and follows the wide trail for about 40m and turns right (before the locked gate), following a GNW arrow post under another set of power lines. The walk follows the track through the pleasant forest for just shy of 300m then crosses the dirt Glendale Rd to find 'Berowra Waters' sign pointing back across the intersection.
Int of GNW and Glendale Road
Int of GNW and Pacific Highway service trail Track: Moderate - bushtrack
Length = 834 m
Time = 19 mins
Climb = 33 m
Descent = -59 m
Continue straight: From the intersection, this walk follows the 'Cowan' sign away from the dirt road and down along the rocky and sandy track. The track winds through the forest (with some interesting twisted, thin scribbly gums) for about 600m before bending left and following under a set of power lines. Near the Pacific Hwy (up to your right), this walk continues for about 150m and crosses over a very short section of timber boardwalk before climbing up a few steps to a T-intersection with a wide management trail.
Int of GNW and Pacific Highway service trail
Cowan trackhead Track: Moderate - servicetrail
Length = 499 m
Time = 11 mins
Climb = 27 m
Descent = -13 m
Veer left: From the intersection, this walk follows the GNW arrow post gently downhill, keeping the valley views to your left. The trail gently winds behind some houses (up to your right) for about 400m before bending right and heading up through a weedy section. The walk then passes around a locked gate to come to an intersection with a footpath, just before the Pacific Hwy and across from Cowan station. There is a large 'Great North Walk' sign here, pointing back to 'Sydney Cove'.
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 5 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.
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.