This walk follows the eastern side of the steep Berowra Creek valley from Galston Gorge to Crosslands and then heads over the ridge to follow Lyrbird Gully up to the train station at Mt Kuring-gai. This enjoyable section of The Great North Walk spends most of the time enjoying the wide tidal creeks in the deep valleys. There are many grass trees and sandstone caves to enjoy as well as several lovely places to camp. Crosslands provides road access, a chance to fill up the water bottle and an optional side trip to motel style accommodation at Crosslands Conventions centre.
(open in app)
Cross sectional view of the Galston Gorge to Mt Kuring-gai bushwalking track
Analysis and summary of the altitude variation on the Galston Gorge to Mt Kuring-gai 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
Short steep hills (3/6)
Quality of track
Rough track, where fallen trees and other obstacles are likely (4/6)
Directional signs along the way (3/6)
Some bushwalking experience recommended (3/6)
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
9km of this walk has short steep hills and another 1.8km has gentle hills with occasional steps. The remaining (1.7km) is flat with no steps.
Quality of track
6km of this walk follows a rough track, where fallen trees and other obstacles are likely and another 4km follows a formed track, with some branches and other obstacles. Whilst another 2.1km follows a smooth and hardened path and the remaining 110m follows a clear and well formed track or trail.
Around 11km of this walk has directional signs at most intersection, whilst the remaining 1.7km is clearly signposted.
Around 10km of this walk requires some bushwalking experience, whilst the remaining 2.2km requires no previous bushwalking experience.
Around 10km of this walk is not usually affected by severe weather events (that would unexpectedly impact safety and navigation), whilst the remaining 3km 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 3.7km 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.
Crosslands Youth & Convention Centre Optional sidetrip: Walk: Easy - transport
Length = 72 m
Time = 1 mins
Climb = 3 m
Descent = -1 m
Turn left: From the intersection, this walk follows the 'Crosslands Convention Centre & Field Study' sign down the rough track directly to the water's edge. Here, you wait for your pre-booked boat ride across Berowra Creek to the convention centre. (Retrace your steps back to the main track, then turn left to continue along this walk.)
Crosslands Youth & Convention Centre
Alt = 5 m
Crosslands Youth & Convention Centre is a wonderful facility run by the Seventh-day Adventist Church. The centre provides a large tent-based campsite ($12 pp/pn), large group dorm-style and unit-style accommodation. The units have 5 beds (plus sofa bed) and cost $36 a night per person. The units are equipped with a kitchen, TV, blankets, supplies for hot drinks, pillows, blankets and a balcony with views over Berowra Creek. You will need your own sheets, pillow cases and towels. Meal packs range from $5-$10 per person per meal. Breakfast includes juice, fresh fruit, cereal, toast and optional hash browns, eggs and sausages. Dinner includes juice, dinner rolls, salad, pie or sausage (or optional steak) and desert. No cigarettes, alcohol or other drugs are allowed on site. For more information, call your hosts John & Margaret on (02) 9653 1041.
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
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
Int of GNW and Lyrebird Gully tracks
Calna Creek campsite (north) Walk: Easy - bushtrack
Length = 110 m
Time = 2 mins
Climb = 3 m
Descent = 0 m
Turn right: From the intersection beside the Calna Creek bridge, this walk follows the 'Mt Kuring-Gai' sign along the clear track, keeping Calna Creek (through the trees) to your right. After about 100m, the track passes the southern tip of the saltmarsh (on your left) and comes to a large clearing and campsite (also on your left), surrounded by casuarina trees.
Calna Creek Campsite (north)
Alt = 4 m
This is a quaint little campsite, located on the Mt Kuring-gai access track to the Great North Walk, on the banks of Calna Creek. This campsite provides plenty of room for a few tents, and also a fire scar with logs for seating. Carry in your own water as the salty creek water is not suitable for drinking.
Calna Creek campsite (north)
Calna Creek campsite (south) Track: Moderate - bushtrack
Length = 402 m
Time = 9 mins
Climb = 23 m
Descent = -23 m
Continue straight: From the campsite, this walk follows the track south along the clear track, keeping Calna Creek to your right. The track leads along the flat for about 100m to the climb over a rocky rise then down a short timber staircase. The rocky track continues for another 180m, stepping over a fallen tree, to then cross a timber bridge (with handrails) over a small tidal creek. Here the track leads through flat grassy area and casuarina forest for about 100m to come to a signposted camping area.
Calna Creek Campsite (south)
Alt = 7 m
This small signposted campsite sits on a flat grassy clearing in a small casuarina forest which provides plenty of shade. There is a small fireplace set up. This creek-side campsite is a good spot for those wanting to get the most out of a relaxing, overnight camp, just a short stroll to Berowra Creek and the main spine of the Great North Walk. Bring your own water, as the creek water is not suitable for drinking.
Calna Creek Campsite (south)
Lyrebird Caves Track: Hard - bushtrack
Length = 1.61 km
Time = 33 mins
Climb = 106 m
Descent = -39 m
Continue straight: From the signposted campsite, this walk follows the clear flat track upstream, keeping the wide Calna Creek to your right. After just 25m, the track leads over flat timber bridge then continues along the mostly flat track for another 400m, passing a few sandy beaches to come to the point where the track leads up away from open valley views and into the denser forest. Here the walk leads up the rocky track among the ferns and mossy boulders for 400m to follow a GNW arrow post across Calna Creek using boulders with carved steps. This creek crossing and other crossing further up the valley can become impassable after heavy or prolonged rain. Here the track continues upstream (with the creek on your left) among more ferns, for almost 300m to follow another GNW arrow post across creek, again using boulders with carved steps. Back on the other side, this walk heads along the side of the creek (on your right) through the shaded forest and past some large boulders for about 70m, where the track then bends left to follow some stone steps steeply as they zigzag up the hill a fairly short distance. The track then mostly flattens out and leads along the side of the hill for about 200m, to then head up another shorter but steep hill. About 40m past the top of this climb (just past a small overhang), this walk leads under a large sandstone overhang, the larger of a few Lyrebird gully caves in the area.
Alt = 72 m
The Lyrebird caves are a series of notable sandstone overhangs on the eastern side of Lyrebird Gully. There are 3 main overhangs, with the larger (more northern) one providing significant shelter. The larger cave has a fairly flat base in the centre and provides a pleasant place to rest on a hot or rainy day.
Lyrebird Waterfall Track: Moderate - bushtrack
Length = 141 m
Time = 4 mins
Climb = 1 m
Descent = -14 m
Continue straight: From the cave, this walk follows the track out of the cave to head along the side of the hill, keeping the valley to your right. After about 70m, the track leads through a smaller cave, then just a few metres later through another (bit larger) sandstone overhang. The track then continues along the side of the hill for another 50m before bending right and leading down the timber steps to find a 'The Great North Walk' sign on the handrail. This is at the top of Lyrebird Gully waterfall.
Alt = 58 m
This informally named waterfall is found on Lyrebird Gully creek about 300m upstream of its confluence with Calna Creek. The top of the fall is partially fenced with a timber handrail where the water flows over the solid rock platform, with naturally carved holes, to fall about 8m to the shallow pool and boulders below. The track passes the top of the fall and does not provide a good view of the face of the fall, but it is still a very pleasant spot.
Lyrebird Clearing Track: Hard - bushtrack
Length = 1.38 km
Time = 27 mins
Climb = 92 m
Descent = -21 m
Continue straight: From the top of the Lyrebird Gully falls, this walk follows the 'The Great North walk' sign and the handrail across the creek using the flat timber bridge (note: this boardwalk/bridge was washed away during a flood in 2012, the hand rail is still in place). Once on the other side of the creek, this walk bends left and almost immediately crosses the creek again using boulders with carved steps. Once back on the other side, this walk follows the edge of creek upstream (keeping the creek to your right)  for just shy of 100m, where the rocky track then bends left and leads up the hill then up a rock (with metal peg). The walk then leads along the side of the hill and soon passes beside a rock wall (on your left) and a section of handrail and steep valley (on your right). Here the rocky track continues along side of hill for about 250m before bending right and leading down to and across a short section of green timber boardwalk, then follows the GNW arrow post across Lyrebird Gully creek on the sandstone platform. Here the track leads up the other side of the gully, up a series of rock and timber steps for about 300m to pass a short section of handrail. Just past this handrail, the track leads along a rock wall to find a 'Great North Walk register' box on a pole. After filling in your intentions (and reading others entries), this walk continues up the stone steps with a handrail, where the track bends left and along the side of the hill for about 150m to cross a short flat timber bridge over a concrete channel. Here the track leads up the short hill, bends left and soon comes to a clearing to turn right at the 'The Great North Walk' sign. Here the track continues for another 120m through the larger clearing to come to the the start of a sealed management trail, beside the tall green sewage vent.
Int of Glenview Rd and the Pacific Hwy Track: Moderate - servicetrail
Length = 529 m
Time = 12 mins
Climb = 84 m
Descent = -2 m
Continue straight: From the clearing, this walk follows GNW arrow post uphill along the sealed management trail, from beside the tall green sewage vent. The trail winds steeply uphill for about 500m, then behind the houses it bends right, mostly flattening out at the large 'To the Great North Walk' sign. Here the walk continues a short distance further to head around the locked 'Lyrebird Gully Track' gate coming to Glenview Rd (just beside the intersection with the Pacific Hwy).
Int of Glenview Rd and the Pacific Hwy
Mt Kuring-gai Railway Station Path: Easy - Wheelchair accessible - footpath
Length = 518 m
Time = 9 mins
Climb = 9 m
Descent = -8 m
Continue straight: From the locked gate (near the intersection of 'Glenview Rd' and the Pacific Hwy), this walk crosses 'Glenview Rd' and follows the footpath beside the Pacific Hwy to come to the base of the pedestrian bridge (just before the Aldi shopping complex).
From the bottom of the footbridge near the Aldi shopping complex, this walk follows the ramp as it zigzags up to the bridge that then leads over the Pacfic Hwy. On the other side of the bridge, this walk turns left then crosses the road, following the footpath down beside the road. The walk soon crosses Glenview Rd at the traffic lights (intersection with the Pacific Hwy). Here the walk continues along the footpath between the Pacific Hwy and the railway line for about 200m to come to the entrance of 'Mt Kuring-gai Station'. Here the walk heads down through the tunnel to come to a signposted intersection, midway through the tunnel, at the base of the steps (that lead up to the train 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 7 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.