Following mostly along the side of Berowra Creek, along a section of the Great North Walk, this walk is worth spending the day on. Crosslands is a good spot to break at about the half-way mark. Highlights include the views from the top of the ridges between Galston Gorge and Crosslands, and the section of track west of Calana Creek. There are a few nice water falls and classic sandstone formations for the area. Getting to the start may be tricky, but a taxi will drop you off.
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Cross sectional view of the Galston Gorge to Berowra Station bushwalking track
Analysis and summary of the altitude variation on the Galston Gorge to Berowra Station 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.
5 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)
Weather generally has little impact on safety (1/6)
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
8km of this walk has short steep hills and another 2.4km has gentle hills with occasional steps. Whilst another 1.8km is flat with no steps and the remaining 670m is very steep.
Quality of track
7km of this walk follows a formed track, with some branches and other obstacles and another 3.4km follows a rough track, where fallen trees and other obstacles are likely. Whilst another 1.8km follows a smooth and hardened path and the remaining 1.1km follows a clear and well formed track or trail.
Around 11km of this walk has directional signs at most intersection, whilst the remaining 1.8km is clearly signposted.
9km of this walk requires some bushwalking experience and another 2.9km requires no previous bushwalking experience. The remaining (670m) requires a leader a with moderate level of bushwalking experience.
This whole walk, 13km is not usually affected by severe weather events (that would unexpectedly impact safety and navigation).
Around 8km 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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Galston Gorge track head is located at a small car park on the eastern side of Berowra Creek, near the bottom of the gorge on Galston Road. This track head is a good access point for those wanting to do sections of the Great North Walk and is well signposted. Keep an eye open for the local chickens.
Galston Gorge track head
Unnamed Falls Track: Moderate - bushtrack
Length = 1.27 km
Time = 41 mins
Climb = 161 m
Descent = -109 m
From the Galston Gorge trackhead, this walk follows the 'Crosslands' sign up the timber steps, away from the road. The track soon bends left then mostly flattens out as it winds along the side of the valley for almost 200m, where it passes above an old rusted car (some distance down the hill, to your left). Here the narrowing, rocky track winds down through a lovely grass tree and boulder forest for about 600m, coming to a small flat rock platform. The walk then bends right (ignoring the steep track down to the left). The track then leads among more grass trees for another 100m and crosses a mossy and rocky gully. Once across this gully, the track begins to climb steeply, then up a steep set of steps (through a crack in the rock). At the top of the steps, the track continues to climb for another 70m before mostly flattening out. Soon the track starts to wind downhill, crossing a wider mossy gully with larger boulders and a small waterfall. The gully is marked with a few GNW markers.
Gulley Creek Falls
Alt = 84 m
This is a nice little creek crossing on the Great North Walk in Galston Gorge. The small falls flow just upstream of the track, even after a small amount of rain. Enjoy the cool shade of the trees at the creek crossing from the track.
Berowra Creek campsite track Track: Hard - bushtrack
Length = 3.43 km
Time = 1 hr 28 mins
Climb = 217 m
Descent = -297 m
Continue straight: From the waterfall, this walk follows the GNW markers out of the gully, initially keeping the waterfall up to your right. The rocky track leads up the side of the hill, moderately steeply at times, for about 600m and then passes along the base of a long rock wall (on your right). At the end of this wall, the walk climbs the carved steps. The walk continues along the track for about 600m, walking along the series of unfenced rock platforms (passing under the high-tension power-lines) to then head down to a section of fenced track. There are some good valley views from this lookout. From the end of the fence, the track soon starts to lead further downhill for about 150m, coming to a clearing on a flat rock platformwhich is marked with a GNW arrow post. Here, the walk turns left and winds quite steeply downhill for about 120m, to then follow a flatter section of track with plenty of grass trees. After about 300m (passing close to the creek a couple of times), the walk crosses a rocky gully (where you can see the creek again on your left). Continuing along the side of the valley for about 250m, the track then leads across another rocky gully and finds another nice spot beside Berowra Creek just beyond. The track continues near the creek (passing under the power lines) for another 300m and climbs down a rock with a couple of metal pegs.
Over the next 600m, the track crosses a couple of small, flat timber bridges and passes alongside the lovely creek to then climb up through a crack in a rock, where there is a handrail in place. On the other side of this little climb, the track passes under a small overhang and continues alongside the creek for another 300m, where it comes to an intersection with a track on your right (which leads to a clearing and campsite).
Berowra Creek campsite
Alt = 5 m
This shady campsite is located on the Benowie Track a short distance back from Berowra Creek, south of the Crosslands Reserve. Providing plenty of tree cover, flat ground and an established fire scar, this campsite is a great spot for those walkers who want a quiet night's sleep away from the more popular Crosslands Reserve. The creek water is brackish at this point, so it is not drinkable (except after heavy rain and lower tide, but then the water is more polluted) - best to bring your own water.
Berowra Creek campsite track
Crosslands southern toilet block Track: Moderate - bushtrack
Length = 1.36 km
Time = 33 mins
Climb = 85 m
Descent = -84 m
Continue straight: From the intersection near the campsite, this walk follows the clear track alongside Berowra Creek, whilst keeping the creek to your left. After about 30m, the track crosses a small, flat, timber bridge, then continues to wind along near the creek for about 300m before crossing a rocky gully, with a small creek. After another 250m of walking through the the fern and turpentine forest, the track leads to an overgrown but signposted campsite (on your left). The track then crosses a small creek using a timber bridge with a handrail then almost 200m later, the track passes a more open area that has been used as a campsite. The track continues mostly flat for another 100m, coming to a view across the creek (to the grassy area of Crosslands Youth and Convention Centre). Here the walk climbs the stone steps, to pass another (unfenced) view across the creek.
The track continues to wind downhill for another 250m, then heads along the flat, past the 'Crosslands Reserve' sign, to come to the large corrugated iron toilet block.
Alt = 2 m
On the far southern end of Crosslands Reserve is a toilet block and campsite. The campsite is well set up and managed by Hornsby Council. There are picnic tables, electric barbecues, toilets, a children's playground, garbage bins and town water. There is a large flat grassy areas to camp and a single authorised fire pit. The campsite must be booked and fees apply - $9 per night for adults and $6 for children (infants under 4 are free). The gate at the top of the hill is locked at 5.30pm EST and 7.30pm (daylight savings time). A pleasant and well established campsite beside the river. More info
Crosslands southern toilet block
Crosslands Carpark Path: Easy - Wheelchair accessible - footpath
Length = 335 m
Time = 5 mins
Climb = 2 m
Descent = -5 m
Veer left: From the toilet block, this walk follows the dirt footpath nearest the creek, towards the main area of Crosslands reserve, whilst keeping the creek to your left. The track soon leads past a 'Boats destroyed' information sign, then past the only 'Authorised fire pit' and main camping area. This walk then continues along the path, passing the 'Climate change and the river' information sign and timber viewing platform. Here the path leads past the picnic shelters and BBQ's to then continue along the concrete footpath. The path leads past another viewing platform (and information sign), then past the children's play equipment  and comes to the end of the path where there is a car park(on your right) and sign pointing to 'Crosslands Conventions Centre AND Field Study' across the creek (on your left)
Alt = 1 m
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
Continue straight: 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
Sams Creek Ridge Clearing Track: Moderate - bushtrack
Length = 1.93 km
Time = 47 mins
Climb = 121 m
Descent = -115 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 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 Optional sidetrip: 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. (Retrace your steps back to the main track, then continue straight to continue along this walk.)
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 Great North Walk and Berowra Link tracks
Crowley Road track head Track: Moderate - servicetrail,bushtrack,bushtrack
Length = 2.01 km
Time = 48 mins
Climb = 163 m
Descent = -87 m
Turn right: From the intersection, this walk follows the 'Berowra Station' sign uphill along the wide management trail. The trail then undulates around the side of valley, now generally heading downhill for about 600m before crossing a small creek (where the trail is gravel). The trail continues for another 300m to a wide three-way intersection, where a sign (on your right) points back to 'Crosslands'. Veer right: From the intersection, this walk follows the 'Berowra Station' sign downhill along the management trail, which soon bends to the right. The trail then leads moderately steeply downhill, before continuing uphill for about 40m more to a Y-intersection with a narrow track (on your left), marked with a GNW arrow. Veer left: From the intersection, this walk follows the GNW arrow post along the narrow track. The track leads over a small rise then down to cross a small creek. The track then heads uphill for about 40m to find a three-way intersection marked with a couple of arrow posts. Veer left: From the intersection, this walk follows the arrow post gently uphill along the track, whilst keeping the gully on your left. Over the next 500m, the track crosses the gully twice then become steeper as it climbs up towards the rocks and drier forest. This walk then climbs the metal staircase, turns left and follows the unfenced rock platform. The track soon bends right and climbs up the fairly steep steps for about 120m, which come up behind some houses. From here, the track leads left up through an open grassy parkland (past the sign pointing back down to 'Crosslands') to find Crowley Rd.
Crowley Road track head
Berowra Station Path: Easy - Wheelchair accessible - footpath
Length = 709 m
Time = 14 mins
Climb = 15 m
Descent = -25 m
Turn left: From the small park, this walk follows the 'Berowra Station' sign alongside Crowley Rd 40m to the roundabout. The walk crosses Berowra Waters Rd in front of the 'Old Berowra District Hall'. Here the walk heads right and follows the footpath past the park, across 'The Gully Rd', past the Caltex and post office and up to the Pacific Hwy. The walk turns left, following the footpath for just over 150m past a series of local shops and cafes, then turns right and crosses the highway at the traffic lights past the GNW signpost to Berowra Station.
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.
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.