This delightful loop is one of the prettiest and most popular walks in the Hornsby area. Going from an environment of ferns and clear bushland to dry sandstone bush near Berowra Creek, this walk has a good complement of environments. The side trip out to Joe's Mountain doesn't have the most fantastic views but is still a nice walk.
(open in app)
Cross sectional view of the Hornsby Blue Gum Walk bushwalking track
Analysis and summary of the altitude variation on the Hornsby Blue Gum Walk 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
3.3km of this walk has gentle hills with occasional steps and another 1.7km is very steep. Whilst another 1.4km has short steep hills and the remaining 360m is flat with no steps.
Quality of track
3km of this walk follows a formed track, with some branches and other obstacles and another 2.3km follows a clear and well formed track or trail. The remaining (1.5km) follows a smooth and hardened path.
Around 3.9km of this walk has directional signs at most intersection, whilst the remaining 2.9km is clearly signposted.
4.1km of this walk requires no previous bushwalking experience and another 1.6km requires some bushwalking experience. The remaining (990m) requires a leader a with moderate level of bushwalking experience.
Around 6km 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 3.7km of this walk is close to useful facilities (such as fenced cliffs and seats), whilst the remaining 3km has limited facilities (such as not all cliffs fenced).
Online bushwalking Magazine. Download the full magazine for free Bushwalk Australia eMag The Online Magazine is produces by the community at bushwalk.com and the Wildwalks team Bushwalk.com Australia's most active bushwalking forum - Check it out. Happy Reading. Matt :)
Hornsby Train Station
Int of Quarry Road and Great North Walk Walk: Easy - road
Length = 717 m
Time = 14 mins
Climb = 8 m
Descent = -34 m
From the western side of Hornsby Railway Station, this walk first crosses the bus lane, then follows the large 'To the Great North Walk' sign across the Station St pedestrian crossing, and then across the Pacific Highway at the traffic lights. Here the walk turns right and follows the footpath (across 'Dural Lane') past some shops to cross 'Dural St'. The walk then turns left and follows the footpath down along 'Dural St', past a few more shops. Continuing past the units, this walk then turns right onto 'Quarry Rd' and follows the road down the gently hill for about 180m to an intersection with 'Old Mans Valley' management trail and locked gate (on your right). Continue straight: From the intersection, this walk follows Quarry Road down the gentle hill, leaving the houses behind to come to an intersection with a track, signposted with a 'Great North Walk' sign (on your left).
Int of Quarry Road and Great North Walk
Berowra Valley Bushland Park Track: Hard - bushtrack
Length = 544 m
Time = 14 mins
Climb = 12 m
Descent = -89 m
Turn left: From the intersection, this walk follows the 'Great North Walk' sign up the hill. The track leads up over the rise, then continues down to the intersection with the Quarry Rd Management trail. Continue straight: From the intersection, this walk follows the 'Great North Walk' sign down the steep rock steps. The walk winds steeply down a number of sets of stone steps, passing some large rock walls for a bit over 100m, to find a welcome flat section of track midway the hill. As the track leads past some houses (through the trees on your left), this walk heads down more steps before coming to the open area of 'Berowra Valley Bushland Park', at the end of Rosemead Road.
Berowra Valley Bushland Park
Alt = 82 m
'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
Veer right: 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 Servicetrail
Joes Mountain Lookout Optional sidetrip: Track: Moderate - servicetrail
Length = 603 m
Time = 13 mins
Climb = 25 m
Descent = -37 m
Veer left: From the intersection, this walk heads up along the management trail, leaving the arrow marker behind to the right. Soon, the trail curves around to the left, past a track on the right, and continues for a while to the end of the management trail. There is a somewhat overgrown bush track continuing from here, about 10m further to an informal lookout over the creek, although the creek itself is not very visible. Beware of the unfenced sheer drops. (Retrace your steps back to the main track, then turn left to continue along this walk.)
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.
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
Hornsby Train Station Track: Hard - road,bushtrack,bushtrack,road,road
Length = 1.84 km
Time = 40 mins
Climb = 149 m
Descent = -35 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. Veer right: From the lower side of 'Berowra Valley Bushland Park', this walk follows the 'Hornsby Station' sign across the park, then follows the GNW arrow up the stone steps, keeping the houses to your right. The walk winds steeply up the steps, leaving the view of the house and finding a welcome flat section of track midway up. The steps then lead more steeply up the side of the valley, along the sheer rock walls for about 100m, and come to an intersection with the Quarry Road management trail, where a 'Great North Walk' sign points back down the the hill. Continue straight: From the intersection, this walk follows the GNW arrow post up a couple of timber steps and then follows the track as it winds up over the gentle rise. Once over the rise, the track then leads down to the intersection with Quarry Rd, where a 'Great North Walk' sign points back up the track. Turn right: From the intersection, this walk follows Quarry Road gently uphill away from the face of the 'Great North Walk' sign until just past a couple of house, this walk comes to an intersection with the gated 'Old Mans Valley' management trail (on your left). Continue straight: From the intersection, this walk follows Quarry Rd up the gentle hill for about 180m, then follows the GNW arrow left onto Dural St. The footpath leads past the unit block, then past a few shops to come to an intersection with the Pacific Hwy. Following the GNW arrow, this walk turns right across 'Dural St', passes a few more shops, then crosses 'Dural Lane' before turning left across the Pacific Hwy at the traffic lights. Here the walk continues straight across the 'Station St' pedestrian crossing, past the large 'Great North Walk' sign and across the bus lane to the western entrance of Hornsby 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 4 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.