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Bushwalking track notes, photographs, maps and more for Thornleigh to Cowan are found in each of the tabs below
Thornleigh to Cowan
Time: 2 Days Walking time
Please allow extra time to rest and to explore
0.5 km WNW of Thornleigh
Length: 35.9 km Walk Length
As this is a One Way walk, the 35.9 km only includes the walking distance from the start to the end point
Berowra Valley National Park
Climb: 2336 m Total Climbing
This walk has a total cumulative climb of 2336 m, this is the total of the elevation gains made in each of the walks uphill sections
There is car access and parking near the start and end of this walk There is a bus stop within 2km of the start and end of this walk There is a train station near the start and end of this walk
Style: One way
Track: Hard

Following the Great North Walk and Berowra Creek through Berowra Valley Regional Park, this walk cuts straight through the length of the Park. The views are good, providing a broad idea of what this park has to offer. Conserve your energy for the section between Berowra Waters and Cowan as there are several solid hills. You can refill the tummy in Berowra Waters with a couple cafes to choose from. Note this walk was re-routed in early 2016 to go via the streets of Hornsby Heights. This re-route is due to the multi-agency decision to close the Fishponds to Steele Bridge section of the Benowie Track. This decision has upset many people and the protest continues. (open in app)


There are Safety alerts in Berowra Valley National Park
Today's Fire rating
LOW MODERATE (No fire ban)
  Bushwalking track notes photographs, maps and camping spots for Thornleigh to Cowan

Map of Walk

Location

                Sponsor of Thornleigh to Cowan bushwalking tracknotes
Map of Thornleigh to Cowan
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Map Scale 10 km
Thornleigh Train Station
Morgan Rd
Int of Bellamy trail and Morgan Rd tracks
Zig Zag Creek Bridge intersection
Jungo campsite
Int of GNW and Stringybark Ridge trail
Elouera Lookout
Int of the Great North Walk and the Quarter Sessions Road track
Int of the Great North Walk and the Blackfellows Head lookout track
Int of the Great North Walk and the Blue Gum Walk (SW)
Fishponds Lookout
Fishponds Lookout
Int of GNW and Manor Rd Bushtrack
Corner of Dilkera and Manor Rd
Int of Rosamond St and Stewart Ave
End of Clarinda St
Int of Clarinda St and Simon Pl trails
Int of Clarinda St and waterfall track
Unnamed Waterfall
Int of Stewart Ave service trail and waterfall track
Steele Bridge
Tunks Ridge Rest Area
Int of Great North Walk and Galston Gorge track
Galston Gorge track head
Unnamed Falls
Berowra Creek campsite track
Crosslands southern toilet block
Crosslands Carpark
Northern end of Crosslands Carpark
Crosslands North
Estuaries viewing platform
Somerville Ridge
Calna Creek Bridge intersection
Sams Creek ridge clearing
Sams Creek Crossing
Int of Great North Walk and Berowra Link tracks
Int of Naa Badu Lookout
Int of Great North Walk and Banggarai Creek access track
Int of Great North Walk and Berkeley Close service trail
Int of Great North Walk and Currawong Road track
Washtub Gully Creek
Berowra Waters track head
End of Kirkpatrick Way
Berowra Waters view seat
Berowra Waters view point
Deep Bay Creek crossing
Int of GNW and Coreen Close service trail
Int of ridge top campsite and Great North Walk
Int of Great North Walk and Berowra Heights service trail
Joe Crafts Creek crossing
Valley viewing area
Int of GNW and Glendale Road
Int of GNW and Pacific Highway service trail
Starting point for this hiking track: Thornleigh Train Station

Base maps are used under licence and is © Department of lands   Panorama Avenue Bathurst 2795   www.lands.nsw.gov.au

Maps that cover the walk area (please always carry maps of the area)

Print a map and track notes here
 Hornsby 1:25 000 Map Series NSW-91304S 
 Cowan 1:25 000 Map Series NSW-91304N 
 Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park Tourist Map 1:40 000 Map Series CMA Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park Tourist Map 
 Sydney 1:100 000 Map Series 9130 

Photo Gallery

 
Rock formations near The Jungo
 
Rock formations near The Jungo +
 
fenced off cliffs
 
fenced off cliffs +
 
Bushland in the Berowra Valley
 
Bushland in the Berowra Valley +

 
Crossing Waitara Creek at the 'Spa'
 
Crossing Waitara Creek at the 'Spa' +
 
Crossing Berowra Creek at Fishponds
 
Crossing Berowra Creek at Fishponds +
 
winding back up the ridge
 
winding back up the ridge +

 
Fishponds Bridge
 
Fishponds Bridge +
 
Historical Military Steele bridge
 
Historical Military Steele bridge +
 
steps down into Galston Gorge
 
steps down into Galston Gorge +

 
climbing down into Galston Gorge
 
climbing down into Galston Gorge +
 
Galston Gorge track head
 
Galston Gorge track head +
 
Small falls
 
Small falls +

 
crosslands reserve
 
crosslands reserve +
 
Crosslands boardwalk
 
Crosslands boardwalk +
 
 
+

 
Great North Walk boardwalk
 
Great North Walk boardwalk +
 
winding up the valley
 
winding up the valley +
 
GNW sheltered chair
 
GNW sheltered chair +

 
Naa Badu Lookout
 
Naa Badu Lookout +
 
following the Great North Walk
 
following the Great North Walk +
 
Rock Overhang
 
Rock Overhang +

 
heading north from Berowra Waters
 
heading north from Berowra Waters +
 
steps up onto the ridge
 
steps up onto the ridge +
 
Graceful Bush Pea (Pultenaea flexilis)
 
Graceful Bush Pea (Pultenaea flexilis) +

 
lookout point
 
lookout point +
 
winding around to Cowan
 
winding around to Cowan +
 
Cowan Station Crossing
 
Cowan Station Crossing +

Terrain

Cross sectional view of the Thornleigh to Cowan bushwalking track

Cross Section of the Thornleigh to Cowan bushwalking track



Analysis and summary of the altitude variation on the Thornleigh to Cowan bushwalking track

Summary of the gradients over the the lenght of the Thornleigh 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.
Length 36km
Time 2 Days
.


Grade 4/6

Track: Hard
AS 2156.1 Gradient Very steep (4/6)
Quality of track Rough track, where fallen trees and other obstacles are likely (4/6)
Signs Directional signs along the way (3/6)
Experience Required Moderate level of bushwalking experience recommended (4/6)
Weather Forecast, unforecast storms and severe weather may impact on navigation and safety (4/6)
Infrastructure 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
14km of this walk has short steep hills and another 9km has gentle hills with occasional steps. Whilst another 9km is very steep and the remaining 3.8km is flat with no steps.

Quality of track
17km of this walk follows a formed track, with some branches and other obstacles and another 9km follows a clear and well formed track or trail. Whilst another 6km follows a rough track, where fallen trees and other obstacles are likely and the remaining 3.3km follows a smooth and hardened path.

Signs
Around 27km of this walk has directional signs at most intersection, whilst the remaining 9km is clearly signposted.

Experience Required
21km of this walk requires some bushwalking experience and another 13km requires no previous bushwalking experience. The remaining (1.7km) requires a leader a with moderate level of bushwalking experience.

Weather
34km of this walk is not usually affected by severe weather events (that would unexpectedly impact safety and navigation) and another 1.4km is affected by storms that may impact your navigation and safety. The remaining (660m) is affected by forecast, unforecast storms and severe weather events that may impact on navigation and safety.

Infrastructure
Around 23km of this walk has limited facilities (such as not all cliffs fenced), whilst the remaining 13km is close to useful facilities (such as fenced cliffs and seats).

Track Notes


Catch the train to Thornleigh Station
Public transport (train) available to this Bushwalk Check out the facilities at Thornleigh Station
You can phone 131500 (the transport info line) for up to date running times.
Use these links to plan your train trip to the end of the walk.
Plan your trip from --> Castle Hill|Chatswood|Dural|Epping|Gosford|Hornsby|Katoomba|Manly|Parramatta|Penrith|Strathfield|Sutherland|Sydney|
Catch the bus to Thornleigh Train Station
Public transport (bus) available to this Bushwalk You can phone 131500 (the transport info line) for up to date running times.
Use these links to plan your Bus (and train) trip to the end of this walk.
(Links currently not working sorry)
Plan your trip from --> Castle Hill|Chatswood|Dural|Epping|Gosford|Hornsby|Katoomba|Manly|Parramatta|Penrith|Strathfield|Sutherland|Sydney|
Drive to Thornleigh Train Station
You can drive or ride to this start of this Bushwalk There is free parking available.
You can drive or ride to the start of this walk
Use these links to plan your trip to the start of this walk.
Plan your trip from --> Castle Hill|Chatswood|Dural|Epping|Gosford|Hornsby|Katoomba|Manly|Parramatta|Penrith|Strathfield|Sutherland|Sydney|

(0 km) Thornleigh Train Station to Morgan Rd
Walk: Easy - road
Length = 989 m Time = 18 mins
Climb = 7 m Descent = -47 m
From the western (north bound) side of Thornleigh Station[1], this walk follows the 'Jungo Rest Area' sign[2] along the footpath towards the car park and The Esplanade[3]. The walk then heads down a short distance further to turn left and cross 'The Esplanade' at the traffic lights[4], then continue straight along the footpath down along Eddy Rd[5]. Following a couple of GNW arrows[6] down Eddy Rd as it then bends left[7], turning into Tilock St, and shortly later this walk then turns right into Morgan St[8]. Continuing down till just before the end of this street[9][10], this walk comes to an intersection marked with a GNW arrow[11] and the 'Elouera Bushland Natural Park' sign[12] (on the right).

(0.99 km) Morgan Rd to Int of Bike Trail and Morgan Rd tracks
Track: Moderate - bushtrack
Length = 226 m Time = 4 mins
Climb = 3 m Descent = -7 m
Turn right: From the end of Morgan Street, the walk follows the GNW arrow[13] and the 'Elouera Bushland Natural Park' sign[14] between houses[15] no. 28 and 26. Once behind the houses at a small clearing[16], the track turns left and follows down the rocky side of Zig Zag Creek[17]. Soon after passing behind the third house, the track comes to an intersection with a wide concrete trail[18], where a sign points back along the track to 'Sydney Cove'[19].

(1.22 km) Int of Bellamy trail and Morgan Rd tracks to Zig Zag Creek Bridge int.
Walk: Easy - servicetrail
Length = 129 m Time = 2 mins
Climb = 0 m Descent = -6 m
Turn right: From the intersection, this walk follows the 'The Jungo' arrow[20] downhill along the wide concrete trail for 25m to cross over the culverted creek[21] (with a green rail[22] on one side)[fac=8404]. The walk continues down into the valley[23] along the concrete trail for another 110m to come to a signposted intersection marked with a 'Great North Walk' sign[24][25] (on your left), just before 'Zig Zag Creek'[26] and the long bridge[27].

Thornleigh zigzag railway Alt = 120 m
The Thornleigh zigzag railway originally ran from the main rail line near Thornleigh to a historic quarry, near present day De Saxe Cl, Thornleigh. There are only minor fragments still visible today. The 'Heritage Trail' in Thornleigh has interpretive signs for the railway and the old Thornleigh Quarry. A book is available with some detail on railway and associated quarry: 'Sydney's Forgotten Quarry Railways' by John Oakes, ISBN 0 9757870 3 9

(1.34 km) Zig Zag Creek Bridge intersection to The Jungo
Track: Moderate - bushtrack
Length = 1.43 km Time = 25 mins
Climb = 16 m Descent = -37 m
Turn left: From the intersection, this walk follows the 'Great North Walk' sign[28] along the narrower track, keeping the gully to your right. The pleasant track leads into, then through, the ferny forest[29] with tall trees for about 700m, before crossing a side creek on a timber bridge[30]. The track then continues in a similar manner for another 700m, coming to a large clearing and campsite[31], The Jungo. On the far side of this clearing is a well-signposted intersection with a 'Bellamy Street' sign[32] pointing back through the campsite.

The Jungo Alt = 98 m
The Jungo is a relatively small clearing and campsite near the junction of Berowra and ZigZag Creeks at a well signposted intersection[33]. There is often water in the creeks (treat well before drinking) but there are no facilities[34]. Speculation on the source of the name 'Jungo' includes the Aussie tendency to abbreviate words ('Junction' gets corrupted to 'jung-o' etc) as well as a possible derivation from one of a few similar sounding aboriginal words.

(2.78 km) Jungo campsite to Int of GNW and Stringybark Ridge trail
Track: Moderate - servicetrail
Length = 103 m Time = 2 mins
Climb = 1 m Descent = 0 m
Veer right: From the campsite, this walk follows the 'Fishponds' sign[35] down across the concrete ford, over the usually small creek[36]. Here, the concrete management trail[37] leads uphill, becoming dirt as it starts to flatten out[38]. This walk then comes to a signposted intersection[39] of the 'Great North Walk'[40] and the Stringybark Ridge management trail (signposted 'Cherrybrook Lakes' trail[41]).

(2.88 km) Int of GNW and Stringybark Ridge trail to Elouera Lookout
Track: Moderate - bushtrack
Length = 1.05 km Time = 27 mins
Climb = 81 m Descent = -58 m
Turn right: From the intersection, this walk follows the 'Great North Walk' sign[42] down the narrower track. The track leads downhill for about 70m, getting steeper[43] as it goes, and then crosses Berowra Creek[44] - this creek may become impassable after rain. On the other side, the walk comes to an intersection on a small sandy beach. Here, the walk turns left, following the GNW arrows downstream for about 250m among the grass trees and crossing a flat timber bridge[45]. The rocky track then continues for just shy of 250m and crosses a mossy gully on a large flat rock[46]. The track then continues, staying fairly flat[47] for another 170m before bending right and heading steeply uphill[48]. At the top of this climb, the track soon leads to a section of fenced cliff[49]. At the end of the fence, the walk passes through casuarina forest[50] for a short distance before passing alongside another (longer) fenced cliff and coming to the Elouera Lookout[51], where there is an intersection with the 'Westleigh' track[52] (on your right).

Elouera Lookout Alt = 116 m
This fenced lookout is on the Benowie Track close to Westleigh. There are uninterrupted views from the clifftop across the Berowra Creek valley, which is rare for the area[53]. As well as being on the Great North Walk, this lookout can be accessed by a short walk from Elouera Rd, Westleigh. This section of fenced rock platform is about 100m long[54], and there is some limited shade[55] from the casuarina near the lookout if you want to take a rest.

(3.93 km) Elouera Lookout to Int of the Great North Walk and the Quarter Sessions Road track
Track: Moderate - bushtrack
Length = 2.16 km Time = 54 mins
Climb = 152 m Descent = -130 m
Continue straight: From Elouera Lookout[56], this walk follows the 'Great North Walk' sign[57] along the track, keeping the fence and valley to your left[58]. At the end of the fence, the walk bends left following the rocky flat track for about 200m, where the track then becomes progressively steeper for about 250m, winding steeply down then across a flat timber bridge[59]. From here, the track leads beside Berowra Creek[60] for a short time before crossing another flat timber bridge[61]. The track then passes among the pleasant grass trees for about 200m (crossing a couple of small creeks with timber plank spans[62]) to then climb a few sets of timber steps and cross a small (often dry) creek[63]. From here, the track gently winds up along the side of the hill for about 800m, passing through a pleasant casuarina forest[64] then heading across a rocky creek on another small, flat, timber bridge[65]. Just over 100m later, the track crosses a smaller (often dry) creek[66] to then wind uphill for about 100m to a three-way intersection with the signposted 'Quarter Sessions Rd' track[67] (on your right).

(6.08 km) Int of the Great North Walk and the Quarter Sessions Road track to Int of the Great North Walk and the Blue Gum Walk (SW)
Track: Moderate - bushtrack
Length = 691 m Time = 18 mins
Climb = 43 m Descent = -73 m
Veer left: From the intersection, this walk heads north along the main rocky track, keeping the valley down to your left. The track leads along beside a rock wall (which is on your right) and through a rock outcrop[68], where the track soon heads quite steeply uphill along the eroded track[69] for a short time. At the top of this steep section, the rocky track continues to meander much more gently up along the side of the hill[70] for about 300m, then crosses a small, rocky gully[71], just below some houses[72]. The track then continues gently uphill for about 100m to an intersection with the unsignposted Blackfellows Head track[73] (on your right).
Continue straight: From the intersection, this walk heads north along the clear track, keeping the valley down to your left for about 100m, where the walk comes to a three-way intersection and 'The Jungo' sign[74] points back along the track.

(6.77 km) Int of the Great North Walk and the Blue Gum Walk (SW) to Fishponds Lookout
Track: Hard - bushtrack
Length = 988 m Time = 21 mins
Climb = 21 m Descent = -87 m
Veer left: From the intersection, this walk follows the 'Fishponds' sign[75] past the 'Berowra Valley Regional Park' sign[76], gently uphill along the narrow ridge[77]. The track is mostly flat for about 200m before it starts to head fairly steeply down over some rocks[78] and down a set of rock steps[79]. This area comes alive with Patersonia lilies and pink wax flowers in early spring. The track then continues fairly gently down along the narrow ridge[80] for another 200m before leading through a crack in a rock, then down a bit further to climb down through a particularly steep rocky section[81]. Near the bottom of this descent, this walk passes a couple of arrow posts[82], where the track bends right to pass below a large rock overhang[83]. Just beyond this overhang, the track bends left and leads across Waitara Creek at the interesting holes in the rock know as 'the spa'[84]. This creek may become impassable after heavy rain, the rocks can also be slippery. Across the creek, the walk comes to a large rock platform and a Blue Gum Track post[85].
After stopping to enjoy cool spot, this walk continues left along the unfenced rock platform[86] (keeping the creek down to your left). The walk soon steps off this large rock (at the far right-hand corner, through the fork in a tree[87]). This walk heads over another rock platform[88], then along a notably flat section of track[89] (now with Berowra Creek on your left), passing beside some cascades[90] for about 100m before climbing up and over some rocks and under a sandstone overhang[91]. The track leads around the side of the hill for about 100m, then down to cross a small creek using the small flat timber bridge[92]. The walk then climbs up some timber steps[93] to a fenced lookout[94] over Fishponds, at a well-signposted intersection[95]. A sign points back along the track to 'Thornleigh Station'[96].

Fishponds Lookout 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.

(7.76 km) Fishponds Lookout to Fishponds crossing
Optional sidetrip: Track: Moderate - bushtrack
Length = 71 m Time = 2 mins
Climb = 3 m Descent = -4 m
Continue straight: From the lookout[97], this walk follows the 'Galston Gorge' sign[98] along the fenced rock shelf (keeping the fence to your left). The track leads down the rocky steps to the edge of Berowra Creek[99]. The walk crosses the creek using the stepping stones, and comes to a small cave[100] on the other side. This creek may be impassable after rain[101].
(Retrace your steps back to the main track, then turn left to continue along this walk.)

Fishponds Alt = 49 m
Fishponds is a long waterhole[102] on Berowra Creek in Berowra Valley Regional Park. The waterhole is lined with tall cliffs[103] and a few sandstone caves. At the southern end, there are stepping stones to help cross the creek[104], and a small timber bridge[105] at the northern end. This is a beautiful spot and a worthy place to rest and enjoy the water passing by[106]. The waterhole is fairly popular with local teens in summer, cooling off. Swimming and jumping at the Fishponds waterhole has resulted in fatalities[107] - please heed the signs and Cora's parents' plea and enjoy the water from the edge.

(7.76 km) Fishponds Lookout to Corner of Dilkera and Manor Rd
Track: Moderate - bushtrack
Length = 496 m Time = 19 mins
Climb = 131 m Descent = 0 m
Turn right: From the lookout, this walk follows the 'Rosemead Rd Trackhead' sign[108] directly away from the view over Berowra Creek. After about 70m, the track leads over a timber footbridge[109], then leads up the side of the valley for about 100m to climb up the steep carved rock steps (with a hand rail)[110]. Here the track leads along the top of this unfenced cliff and soon comes to a well signposted three-way intersection, where a 'Fishponds' sign[111] points back along the track.
Veer left: From the intersection, this walk follows the 'Alternative Route' arrow on the GNW sign[112]. The track dips before heading steeply uphill, zigzagging in several sections. The walk leads you up a large metal staircase to the top of the cliffs, coming to the intersection of Manor Rd and Dilkera Cl.

(8.26 km) Corner of Dilkera and Manor Rd to End of Clarinda St
Walk: Easy - road
Length = 1.66 km Time = 31 mins
Climb = 36 m Descent = -49 m
Continue straight: From the intersection, this walk follows Manor Rd as it initially heads up a gentle hill. After about 600m, Manor Road turns to skirt about Mount Wilga Hospital, and the road changes name to Rosamond St. The walk continues along to the intersection with Stewart Ave on the left (this is a four-way intersection, with Carrington Rd on the right).
Continue straight: From the intersection, this walk heads north along Rosamond St following the Great North Walk arrow. The walk then turns left into Clarinda St and follows it to the end of the road, to find the 'Clarinda Wetlands' sign.

(9.91 km) End of Clarinda St to Int of Clarinda St trail and waterfall track
Walk: Easy - servicetrail
Length = 1.08 km Time = 24 mins
Climb = 51 m Descent = -66 m
Turn right: From the end of Clarinda St Hornsby, this walk heads around the green gate with the 'Berowra Valley Regional Park' sign on it, keeping the 'Clarinda wetlands' to the left. The walk follows the management trail, which soon bends left and gently winds through the bushland. There are some interesting rock formations on the right and the occasional valley view on the left. The track is fairly flat most of the way, until a left-hand bend that leads down to cross a small creek, and then up the other side of the valley. Once the track flattens out again, it comes to an intersection with the Simon Pl management trail on the right, at a fairly large clearing.
Continue straight: From the intersection, this walk follows the flat management trail, heading away from Simon Place past the 'Berowra Valley Regional Park', 'Dogs Prohibited' sign[113]. The walk gently meanders along the trail, enjoying the ferns and sandstone rocks for a while until coming to a 'Great North Walk' sign[114] highlighting the intersection with small track on the left.

(10.99 km) Int of Clarinda St and waterfall track to Int of Stewart Ave service trail and waterfall track
Track: Moderate - bushtrack
Length = 473 m Time = 13 mins
Climb = 9 m Descent = -98 m
Turn left : From the intersection, this walk heads down the hill along the narrow track, following the 'Great North Walk' sign[115]. The track is rocky and steep in a few places. Take care as the track turns at the top of some smaller cliffs while winding down the hill. Steps have been made from rocks and logs, making this track a bit more gentle, and there are some carved steps in the steeper sections. At the bottom of a small flight stone stairs, the walk crosses the creek on the rocks just in front of the waterfall.
Veer right: From the waterfall, this walk climbs the stone stairs (keeping the waterfall initially on the left) and then turns right, heading up out of the gully. Once at the top of the stairs, the walk heads through the bush until soon coming to a 'T' intersection with the Stewart St management trail, signposted with a large 'Great North Walk' sign[116].

(11.46 km) Int of Stewart Ave service trail and waterfall track to Steele Bridge
Walk: Easy - servicetrail
Length = 396 m Time = 8 mins
Climb = 5 m Descent = -29 m
Turn right: From the intersection, this walk follows the 'Galston Gorge 4km' arrow[117] down the hill along the wide management trail. For the most part, the trail gently heads downhill then bends around to the left, leading to an intersection just before Steele Bridge.

Historic Military 'Steele' Bridge Alt = 38 m
This large steel and timber bridge spans Berowra Creek north of Fishponds. The creek is fairly wide at this point and the bridge provides a great view of the sandstone overhangs along the creek's edge. The bridge was commissioned in 1965 to allow access for fire trucks. The bridge was designed by Major General Sir Clive Steele in 1942. Bridges of this type were critical during the WWII South West Pacific campaigns. The bridge is designed on the Warren truss style and is one of only 4 'Steele' bridges still in use in NSW. More info

(11.86 km) Steele Bridge to Tunks Ridge Rest Area
Track: Hard - servicetrail
Length = 1.78 km Time = 44 mins
Climb = 160 m Descent = -33 m
Veer right: From the intersection, this walk crosses the 'Historic Military Steele Bridge'[118] and turns right to follow the 'Crosslands' sign [119] uphill along the wide management trail. After about 200m, the trail becomes steeper (and is concreted) for around 150m, then flattens out just before the left bend. The trail continues to climb (enjoying the valley views to the right) for another 400m, after which the trail becomes quite steep again for for about 600m (here the trail is sealed[120] then concreted[121] in two sections). From the top of the second concreted section, the trail leads gently uphill for just shy of 300m to the well-signposted 'Tunks Ridge Rest Area', where a sign points back down the trail to 'Stewart St Hornsby Trackhead'[122].

Tunks Ridge Rest Area Alt = 165 m
Tunks Ridge Rest Area is a large, shady and gently sloping campsite[123] at the junction of three management trails. There is no water or other facilities (you will need to carry your own in). A sign at the top of the campsite reminds campers that there is a one night limit and that it is a fuel stove only area (no campfires)[124]. Please note that the composting toilet[125] has been removed and no longer available.

(13.63 km) Tunks Ridge Rest Area to Int of Great North Walk and Galston Gorge track
Track: Moderate - servicetrail
Length = 1.36 km Time = 28 mins
Climb = 38 m Descent = -68 m
Turn right: From the top of the rest area, this walk follows the 'Galston Gorge' AND 'Crosslands Reserve' signs[126] along the wide management trail, keeping the valley to your right. The trail winds along the side of the ridge[127] (passing along the base of a long rock wall[128], up to your left) for about 700m, until the trail comes to the top of the ridge. From here, the trail leads for another 500m, down across a saddle[129] then up to a clear Y-intersection[130]. The walk takes the left branch and passes a few 'Regeneration Area' signs[131][132] over about 250m, coming to a well-signposted[133] intersection with narrower track (on your left), partway around the right-hand bend.

(14.99 km) Int of Great North Walk and Galston Gorge track to Galston Gorge track head
Track: Hard - bushtrack
Length = 546 m Time = 16 mins
Climb = 14 m Descent = -119 m
Turn left: From the intersection, the walk follows the 'Galston Gorge' sign[134] down the steep rocky track[135] as it zigzags down towards the valley. About 40m down the hill, the track comes to a 'Great North Walk - Walkers Registration' box[136]. After leaving your comments, this walk continues downhill, passing through a crack in the rock[137] where the walk bends right and follows along the particularly rocky section for about 150m and comes to a fence[138]. The fence guides down a steep section, passing a cave[139], and comes to the top of a metal peg ladder[140]. This walk climbs down the ladder, then follows the rock wall (keeping the road to your left), heading down through a crack[141] and along another fence, then coming to a flat area beside the road[142]. Here the walk follows the GNW arrow[143] to the right and down under the bridge[144]. The walk crosses the creek, usually a bit more than ankle deep[145]. This creek maybe impassable after rain - the road bridge above offers an alternate way across[146], but watch and listen for traffic. On the other bank, the walk turns left to follow the track uphill[147]. The track well-formed track climbs to the well-signposted and paved Galston Gorge trackhead[148], where a 'Fishponds' sign[149] points back down the track.

Galston Gorge track head Alt = 24 m
Galston Gorge track head is located at a small car park[150] 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[151]. Keep an eye open for the local chickens[152].

(15.54 km) Galston Gorge track head to Unnamed Falls
Track: Moderate - bushtrack
Length = 1.27 km Time = 41 mins
Climb = 161 m Descent = -109 m
Turn left: From the Galston Gorge trackhead, this walk follows the 'Crosslands' sign[153] up the timber steps, away from the road[154]. 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[155] (some distance down the hill, to your left). Here the narrowing, rocky track winds down through a lovely grass tree[156] and boulder[157] forest for about 600m, coming to a small flat rock platform[158]. 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[159]. Once across this gully, the track begins to climb steeply[160], then up a steep set of steps (through a crack in the rock)[161]. At the top of the steps, the track continues to climb for another 70m before mostly flattening out[162]. Soon the track starts to wind downhill, crossing a wider mossy gully[163] with larger boulders[164] and a small waterfall[165]. The gully is marked with a few GNW markers[166].

Gulley Creek Falls Alt = 84 m
This is a nice little creek crossing[167] on the Great North Walk in Galston Gorge. The small falls[168][169] 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.

(16.8 km) Unnamed Falls to 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[170] out of the gully, initially keeping the waterfall[171] up to your right. The rocky track leads up the side of the hill[172], moderately steeply at times, for about 600m and then passes along the base of a long rock wall[173] (on your right). At the end of this wall, the walk climbs the carved steps[174]. The walk continues along the track for about 600m, walking along the series of unfenced rock platforms[175] (passing under the high-tension power-lines[176]) to then head down to a section of fenced track. There are some good valley views from this lookout[177]. 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 platform[178]which is marked with a GNW arrow post[179]. Here, the walk turns left and winds quite steeply[180] downhill for about 120m, to then follow a flatter section of track with plenty of grass trees[181]. After about 300m (passing close to the creek a couple of times[182]), the walk crosses a rocky gully[183] (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[184] and finds another nice spot beside Berowra Creek just beyond[185]. 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[186].
Over the next 600m, the track crosses a couple of small, flat timber bridges[187][188] and passes alongside the lovely creek[189] to then climb up through a crack in a rock, where there is a handrail in place[190]. On the other side of this little climb, the track passes under a small overhang[191] and continues alongside the creek for another 300m, where it comes to an intersection[192] with a track on your right (which leads to a clearing[193] and campsite[194]).

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[195], flat ground[196] and an established fire scar[197], 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.

(20.23 km) Berowra Creek campsite track to 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[198], then continues to wind along near the creek[199] for about 300m before crossing a rocky gully[200], with a small creek[201]. After another 250m of walking through the the fern and turpentine forest, the track leads to an overgrown but signposted campsite[202] (on your left). The track then crosses a small creek using a timber bridge with a handrail[203] then almost 200m later, the track passes a more open area that has been used as a campsite[204]. 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[205][206]). Here the walk climbs the stone steps[207], to pass another (unfenced) view across the creek[208].
The track continues to wind downhill[209] for another 250m, then heads along the flat[210], past the 'Crosslands Reserve' sign[211], to come to the large corrugated iron toilet block[212].

Crosslands Campsite 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[213], electric barbecues[214], toilets[215], a children's playground[216], garbage bins[217] and town water[218]. There is a large flat grassy areas to camp and a single authorised fire pit[219]. 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)[220]. A pleasant and well established campsite beside the river[221]. More info

(21.59 km) Crosslands southern toilet block to 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[222] 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[223], then past the only 'Authorised fire pit'[224][225] and main camping area. This walk then continues along the path, passing the 'Climate change and the river' information sign[226] and timber viewing platform[227][228]. Here the path leads past the picnic shelters[229] and BBQ's[230] to then continue along the concrete footpath[231]. The path leads past another viewing platform[232] (and information sign), then past the children's play equipment [233] and comes to the end of the path where there is a car park[234](on your right) and sign pointing to 'Crosslands Conventions Centre AND Field Study' across the creek (on your left)[235]

Crosslands Alt = 1 m
Crosslands Reserve is lovely and long mixed use picnic area, spanning along the edge of Berowra Creek. There are picnic tables[236], electric barbecues[237], toilets[238], car parking[239], a children's playground[240], garbage bins[241], camping area, toilets[fac=8086] and town water[242]. The southern part of Crosslands is managed by Hornsby Council[243] and the northern half by the NPWS within the Berowra Valley National Park[244].
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[245].

Overnight stay Goto day 2 notes

Day 2


(21.93 km) Crosslands Carpark to 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[246] 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[247]. After another 120m this walk comes to a locked gate[248] at the northern end of the car park[249]. There is also a wetland through the trees to the right worth noticing.

(22.18 km) Northern end of Crosslands Carpark to 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[250] (at the far northern end of Somerville Rd, Hornsby Heights), this walk follows the 'Newcastle' arrow[251] on the large 'Great North Walk' sign around the locked gate[fac=8043] and along the sealed old road[252]. 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[253]. At the intersection this walk veers right, past the 'Place of Winds' sign[254] and wetland[255] (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[256] and 'Great North walk' sign[257]. This is just on the edge of the northern picnic area[258], not far from the toilet block[259][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][260][261] and a few sandy beaches with direct access to the water[262]. 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][263], as well as garbage bins[264]. The eastern side is home to a boardwalk exploring the estuarine wetland[265]. A pleasant area to rest and enjoy the water. Fires are only permitted in formally established fire places[266] .

(22.44 km) Crosslands North to 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[267], this walk follows the 'Great North Walk' sign[268] along the timber boardwalk[269][fac=8085]. The timber boardwalks winds through the mangroves for about 60m, coming to a firm dirt track[270] which leads for another 70m to a second timber boardwalk[271]. The second boardwalk leads for another 70m, past 'Mangrove Food Cycle' information signs[272] to come to an 3-way intersection[273] in the boardwalk with the estuaries viewing platform boardwalk[274] (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[275], the timber fence is 95cm high[276]. There are also information signs about the local flora and fauna[277] and the 'Original Inhabitants'[278]. There are two timber bench seats[fac=8053][279] encouraging you to take some time to soak up this view.

(22.65 km) Estuaries viewing platform to 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[280] and heads past the '..unsuitable for wheelchair access' sign[281]. The track leads alongside the wide creek for about 200m to the 'All creatures great and small' information sign[282], then down a little way further to head along a short section of timber boardwalk[283].
About 100m further along the rocky track, this walk comes to a lookout and a 'Catch the Threats' information sign[284], where the track continues past the bench seat[285] and alongside the creek to the 'The Rock Club' information sign[286]. The track then leads among some grass tress[287] for just over 100m to the 'Bush Supermarket' information sign[288]. Just past this sign, the track begins to climb fairly steeply up the stone[289] and timber steps[290] to the ridge line, marked with a GNW arrow and a 'Stop! Look! Listen! and Smell!' information sign[291].
Continue straight: From the ridge line, this walk follows the GNW arrow east downhill, initially keeping the 'Stop! Look! Listen! and Smell!' information sign[292] on your right. The track bends left and follows the timber steps[293] 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[294] then comes to a long, metal footbridge[295]. The walk crosses the bridge over Calna Creek and comes to a signposted intersection, with a 'Fragile Marsh' information sign[296]

(23.44 km) Calna Creek Bridge intersection to 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[297] along the timber boardwalk[298]. The boardwalk leads for about 80m across the large open flat saltmarsh[299] into the casuarina forest[300] on the other side. Here the track bends left and leads along the side of the saltmarsh[301] for almost 200m, where the rocky track leads a little further before coming alongside Berowra Creek's mangroves[302]. The track continues to gently undulate along the side of Berowra Creek for about 650m among the casuarinas[303] and grass tress[304], 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[305].

(24.58 km) Sams Creek ridge clearing to 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[306] , where the track bends right to soon come to a large flat clearing[307] beside Sams Creek[308] (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[309] pointing back along the track, beside the creek.

(25.09 km) Sams Creek Crossing to 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[310] 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[311] and heads up the timber steps[312]. The track now starts to climb steeply, zigzagging up the timber steps [313] and a couple of staircases[314] for just over 300m to find a bench seat in a small sandstone cave[315]. 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[316] points back down the track.

(25.76 km) Int of Great North Walk and Berowra Link tracks to 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[317] 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[318] (on the right). After about 180m, the trail crosses a concrete drain[319], then leads up the hill to find the signposted 'Naa Badu' lookout[320] and its great view[321].

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'[322] 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[323], has a bench seat[324], picnic table[325] and a fair amount of natural shade.

(26.02 km) Int of Naa Badu Lookout to 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[326], this walk follows the management trail over the small rise[327] and across the concrete ditch[328], 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[329], keeping the valley to your left. After about 140m, the trail narrows a bit, leading down a few short but steeper sections[330] to an intersection (with some steps[331] on your left), where a 'The Great North Walk' sign[332] points back up along the trail.

(26.56 km) Int of Great North Walk and Berkeley Close service trail to Berowra Waters trackhead
Track: Hard - bushtrack
Length = 2.2 km Time = 1 Hr
Climb = 140 m Descent = -262 m
Turn left: From the intersection, the walk follows the 'Berowra Waters' sign[333] down the timber steps. The walk then crosses Banggarai Creek using a timber bridge[334], and leads up some timber steps[335]. The rocky track then leads up some more timbers steps, between two rocks[336] then over a few rocks, where the track then flattens out. The now flat, sandy track[337] winds through the forest for about 150m and passes a timber seat[338], then leads down across a small gully[339] before the track begins to climb again. The track leads up some more timber steps[340], then the walk climbs two metal pegs[341] in the rock and continues to climb steeply up the rock and timber steps[342]. After 60m, the track[343] flattens out again, leading gently up through the scribbly gum[344] and angophora forest[345] for just over 100m to a three-way intersection marked with a couple of GNW arrow posts[346].
Turn left : From the intersection, this walk follows the GNW arrow post north-west down the sandy track[347], directly towards the valley. The track soon becomes rocky[348] 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[349]. Here the rocky track continues more gently down along the top of the ridge[350] for about 200m and comes to a large rock platform[351]. This walk veers right to lead down the gap in the rock[352][353], climbing down some steel pegs[354] to where the track flattens out again[355]. The track leads across the saddle[356] for about 60m then veers left and follows along the base of a long rock wall[357] (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[358][359][360] then down some sandstone steps[361] to find a tall sandstone overhang[362] with a timber seat[363]. From this cave, this walk continues along the base of the rock wall[364], and soon bends left and winds fairly steeply down a series of rock[365] and timber steps[366] to come to the edge of Berowra Creek (where there is a 'no wash' sign[367][368] facing the water from the rock platform). The track leads along the shore line for a short time to head onto the rock platform[369][370] in Washtub Gully.
Continue straight: From Washtub Gully[371], this walk crosses the creek[372] and follows the track, keeping Berowra Creek not far to your left[373]. After about 50m, the track passes an old partially sunken boat[374], then about 100m further on, the track passes a view point that is an obviously popular (but not recommended) jumping spot[375]. The track then soon leads up some steps and over a rise[376] behind the 'Berowra Waters Garden House' restaurant[377], then heads down the steps[378] to come to the signposted 'Berowra Waters Trackhead'[379][380] on 'Berowra Waters Rd'[381].

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.

(28.76 km) Berowra Waters track head to 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'[382], 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[383] and public toilet[384][385] (and tap water[386]) on your right. The walk continues along the road, keeping the water to your left[387] for about 180m, then passing under the yellow boom gate[388]. About 30m later, the walk stays left[389] to head alongside the fenced car park. At the far end of this car park, the walk comes to a turning area[390] at the end of Kirkpatrick Way.

(29.15 km) End of Kirkpatrick Way to Deep Bay Creek crossing
Track: Hard - bushtrack
Length = 1.2 km Time = 35 mins
Climb = 131 m Descent = -87 m
Continue straight: From the end of Kirkpatrick Way[391], this walk follows the GNW arrow post[392] along the track, keeping the water just to your left. This walk follows the rocky shoreline, enjoying the views of the water[393], the boats and houses on the other shore[394] and the large rocks[395] (up to your right). After about 450m, the track passes a large boulder[396] and then turns right and climbs up a staircase[397], finding a small seat and viewing platform[398].
Veer right: From the seat and view[399], this walk follows the 'Cowan' sign[400] steeply uphill, following the series of timber[401] and rock steps[402]. After about 50m, the track leads up beside a rock wall[403], and at the top, turns right and mostly flattens out[404] for about 80m before starting to climb again[405]. At the top of this hill, this walk comes to a small clearing[406] (on the left, that has been used as a campsite[407]) and a large unfenced rock platform with great views[408] back over the valley (on your right).
Continue straight: From the view at the top of the ridge, this walk follows GNW arrow post[409] east, directly away from the Berowra Water views and over the small rise. The track soon leads down off a rock[410], where the track bends right and starts to lead fairly gently downhill[411]. The track then leads down a few short, steep, rocky sections[412] before crossing a lovely creek[413], flowing over the sandstone rock platform[414][415]. This creek may be slippery and can be particularly risky to cross after rain.

(30.36 km) Deep Bay Creek crossing to Int of GNW and Coreen Close western trail
Track: Hard - bushtrack
Length = 835 m Time = 32 mins
Climb = 187 m Descent = -25 m
Continue straight: From beside the creek, this walk follows the GNW arrow post[416] east, away from the creek, up the steep rocky hill[417]. The track soon passes between two rock slabs[418], then passes a handrail to climb up two metal pegs beside some more hand railing[419]. The track then continues to climb up for another 50m before mostly flattening[420] out for about 150m. the track then starts to climb again and soon steps up a rock with two more metal pegs[421]. Then after another 70m, the track climbs up past a sandstone cave[422]
and heads up a crack in the rock with four metal pegs[423], then just past the next cave[424], goes up another rock with a single peg[425]. A short time later, this walk leads up another rock with two pegs[426], where the track then leads up the steps through a cleft of a rock[427]. 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[428]. The track then leads steeply up[429] to a fair sized rock platform, with rewarding views[430] 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[431] with a wide sandy management trail.

(31.19 km) Int of GNW and Coreen Close service trail to Int of ridge top campsite and GNW
Track: Moderate - servicetrail
Length = 224 m Time = 4 mins
Climb = 2 m Descent = -4 m
Veer right: From the intersection, this walk follows the GNW arrow along the sandy management trail[432], heading south. The trail immediately bends left[433] and passes a track[434] (on your right, that runs generally parallel to this trail). This trail leads down through the scribbly gum and heath forest[435], where the trail widens (after about 70m) and then comes to an intersection[436] beside the large ridge top campsite[437][438]. There is a 'Berowra Waters' sign[439] 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[440] 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[441].

(31.42 km) Int of ridge top campsite and Great North Walk to 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[442], directly away from the campsite along the clear track. The track leads over a small rise[443] and then heads down to a four-way intersection[444] with a management trail (and the GNW track continuing ahead).
Continue straight: From the intersection[445], this walk follows the GNW arrow post[446] 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[447] and comes to a second rock platform with more views[448] and a 'Great North Walk' log book box[449] 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[450] (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[451][452], and passes some interesting large rock boulders[453][454] along the way. As the track moves further into the valley, it becomes consistently steeper[455] until leading down leading into the ferns and beside Joe Crafts Creek[456][457].

(33.07 km) Joe Crafts Creek crossing to Int of GNW and Glendale Road
Track: Hard - bushtrack
Length = 1.54 km Time = 42 mins
Climb = 183 m Descent = -19 m
Continue straight: From the western bank, this walk crosses Joe Crafts Creek[458][459] 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[460], passing through a couple of cracks in the rock[461] before a 'Great North Walk' sign[462] about 60m from the creek. The rocky track continues to climb steeply up for about 300m, then climbs up a timber (and metal) staircase[463], followed by a few section of handrail[464]. Here the walk leads up around the base of rock wall[465] and then climbs up the side to the top of the large, unfenced rock platform with great valley views[466]. The walk continues up the ridge line for another 200m, very gently at first[467], then more steeply up the rocky sections[468]. The track heads along the base of another rock wall[469], then up the stone steps[470] and past the handrail to come to an intersection marked with a 'Great North Walk - Viewing Area' sign[471]. The short track (on your right) leads to a seat at the edge of an unfenced cliff with views[472] and a seat[473].
Turn left: From the intersection near the 'viewing point'[474], this walk heads gently uphill directly away from the viewing area, keeping the valley on your right[475]. The track leads up a few short, moderately steep sections[476] for about 100m, then the track heads much more gently up through the open scribbly gum forest[477] for about 400m before passing under the power lines[478]. Here, the walk turns left and follows the wide trail[479] for about 40m and turns right[480] (before the locked gate), following a GNW arrow post[481] under another set of power lines[482]. The walk follows the track through the pleasant forest[483] for just shy of 300m then crosses the dirt Glendale Rd[484] to find 'Berowra Waters' sign[485] pointing back across the intersection.

(34.6 km) Int of GNW and Glendale Road to 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[486] 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[487][488]) for about 600m before bending left and following under a set of power lines[489]. Near the Pacific Hwy (up to your right), this walk continues for about 150m and crosses over a very short section of timber boardwalk[490] before climbing up a few steps to a T-intersection with a wide management trail[491].

(35.44 km) Int of GNW and Pacific Highway service trail to 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[492] gently downhill, keeping the valley views to your left[493]. The trail gently winds behind some houses (up to your right) for about 400m before bending right and heading up through a weedy section[494]. The walk then passes around a locked gate[495] to come to an intersection with a footpath, just before the Pacific Hwy[496] and across from Cowan station. There is a large 'Great North Walk' sign[497] here, pointing back to 'Sydney Cove'.

Catch the train from Cowan Station
Public transport (train) available from this Bushwalk Check out the facilities at Cowan Station
You can phone 131500 (the transport info line) for up to date running times.
Use these links to plan your train trip from the end of the walk.
Plan your trip to --> Castle Hill|Chatswood|Dural|Epping|Gosford|Hornsby|Katoomba|Manly|Parramatta|Penrith|Strathfield|Sutherland|Sydney|
Catch the bus from Cowan trackhead
Public transport (bus) available from this Bushwalk You can phone 131500 (the transport info line) for up to date running times.
Use these links to plan your Bus (and train) trip from the end of this walk.
(Links currently not working sorry)
Plan your trip to --> Castle Hill|Chatswood|Dural|Epping|Gosford|Hornsby|Katoomba|Manly|Parramatta|Penrith|Strathfield|Sutherland|Sydney|
Drive from Cowan trackhead
You can drive or ride from this end of this Bushwalk There is free parking available.
You can drive or ride from the end of this walk
Use these links to plan your trip from the end of this walk.
Plan your trip to --> Castle Hill|Chatswood|Dural|Epping|Gosford|Hornsby|Katoomba|Manly|Parramatta|Penrith|Strathfield|Sutherland|Sydney|

Getting there

Plan your trip to the start of the walk and back from the end of the walk

Public Transport links currently not working, sorry
Public Transport Timetables

To the start of the walk

From
Castle Hill
Chatswood
Dural
Epping
Gosford
Hornsby
Katoomba
Manly
Parramatta
Penrith
Strathfield
Sutherland
Sydney
From the end of the walk

To
Castle Hill
Chatswood
Dural
Epping
Gosford
Hornsby
Katoomba
Manly
Parramatta
Penrith
Strathfield
Sutherland
Sydney

Driving Directions
Map Car Shuffle
To the start of the walk

Drive from:
From the end of the walk

Drive to:


Near by



Nearest know Outdoor Stores near the start of this walk
Store Address Phone Distance (straight line)
All Camping Supplies 12 Railway Pde, Thornleigh (02) 9481 0473 0.1 km
CampHikeClimb 20 George St, Hornsby (02) 9476 5767 3.7 km
Kathmandu 236 Pacific Hwy (Westfield), Hornsby (02) 9476 1399 3.7 km
One Stop Adventure Shop 1045 Victoria Rd , West Ryde (02) 9858 5844 8.4 km
Castle Tarpaulin Warehouse 14/ 10 Victoria Ave, Castle Hill (02) 9899 3959 9.3 km


A list of the nearest UHF CB repeaters I found to Thornleigh to Cowan.
Channel Call sign
(more info)
Site Distance and dir from Thornleigh to Cowan
Click to re-center search
5 SYD05 Sydney Adventist Hospital 185 Fox Valley Rd WAHROONGA
Emergency use only
2 km (to the ESE)
6 VMB7 CB Repeater Site 16 Alan Rd BEROWRA HEIGHTS 14 km (to the NNE)
7 SYD07 7 Glamorgan St BLACKTOWN 17 km (to the WSW)
1 SYD01 12/14 Ormonde Parade HURSTVILLE 27 km (to the S)
8 MDC08 Gencom Site Lot 6 Wakefield Close KARIONG 38 km (to the NNE)

Weather and Park info

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.

Weather and Climate
Weather and Climate summary detailed weather and climate information here
°C (feels like °)
km/h from the
% humidity     (as at )
Wed      33°Showers. Likely storm developing.
Thu19°|28°Possible shower.
Fri18°|33°Partly cloudy.
Sat16°|26°Possible late shower.
A graph displaying the average daily temperature range for the year

Berowra Valley National Park Link 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 fees Camping
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.



Muogamarra Nature Reserve Link to official closures and fire bans page

Region:
Park fees I am not aware of any closures in this park at the moment.

Walker Feedback

Comments
Add NewSearch
Troiks IP:61.14.187.xxx | 2010-11-29 05:13:43
Howdy

My GF & I did this walk over the weekend & thought it was great. Be aware that this is quite a long walk though. First day took us 7.5 hours.

There is no need to take the detour around the rifle range however if you get jumpy at the sound of constant gunshots (like my GF) you may want to consider taking the long way.

Crosslands is a great camping spot considering it's in Sydney & they have town water & a ranger to ensure that there are no 'undesirables' being to loud

The restaurant at Berrowra Waters mentioned in the track notes (2nd day) appears to be closed so we caught the ferry to the other side & had a nice lunch.

Long walk but well worth it

Cheers
Benny - Cowan to Thornleigh IP:122.108.47.xxx | 2012-01-08 04:32:15
Thanks for the great track notes on this walk!

I tried this walk in reverse over the weekend and would probably suggest people do it the normal way :) (i.e. from Thornleigh to Cowan).

This since after the Crosslands camping area (around 12km in from North to south I believe) there is very little in terms of good spots for camping, and in the end I had to go past Galston Gorge to find a decent flat area (making for a 10 hour walk on day one). Whichever way you go, I'd say it would be a good idea to get an early start for day one.

The track is extremely well posted and the terrain is quite undulating. You can't really see the undulation well in the terrain section on this site as the chart is so compressed (would be great if they could fix that). the track is well maintained around 'civilized' areas, but can get a bit rough once you get off the beaten path.

I would also suggest that the hike is closer to 36Km from station to station if the signposts are anything to go by. There is a sign where you join the Great North Walk from Zig Zag Creek saying 33Km from there to Cowan, and it's a good 2Km from there to Thornleigh Station.

Great walk, challenging with lots of varied views, terrain and wildlife around.

Happy hiking
admin - re: Cowan to Thornleigh Super Administrator | 2012-01-08 04:52:05
Hi Benny - thanks for the feedback glad you enjoyed the walk

Benny wrote:
You can't really see the undulation well in the terrain section on this site as the chart is so compressed (would be great if they could fix that).


Yeah it is a problem with terrain profiles over long walks. You either have to do crazy vertical exaggeration, which makes them look silly, or make them much bigger. I am rolling out new bigger ones soon, which do help. but I think the best trick it to read the other graph that summaries the amount of hills along the way. This is the best way to get a sense of how hill a walk will be (I think)

Benny wrote:
I would also suggest that the hike is closer to 36Km from station to station if the signposts are anything to go by. There is a sign where you join the Great North Walk from Zig Zag Creek saying 33Km from there to Cowan, and it's a good 2Km from there to Thornleigh Station.

I mapped this walk well and I think the length is correct. I have seen the signs that you mentioned, but I am thinking that they are wrong. Measuring distance on walks is surprisingly tricky to do well, so it is possible I am wrong, but I have double checked it (I have made mistakes in the past that I have corrected).

Matt :)
Karen - Loved the walk IP:138.130.87.xxx | 2012-06-10 09:55:46
We walked Hornsby to Cowan staying overnight at Crosslands. It was a fantastic walk, beautiful bush land, stunning views around Berowra and a great lunch at the fish cafe.
Thanks for the website it provides wonderful practical information on the Great North Walk
Karen
admin - re: Loved the walk Super Administrator | 2012-06-11 23:55:12
Karen wrote:
...Thanks for the website it provides wonderful practical information on the Great North Walk...

Hi Karen
Thanks for the feedback. Glad you enjoyed the walk and the side trip to the cafe. Great that you are finding Wildwalks helpful. Enjoy the GNW it is a great adventure.
Matt :)
Angela - Needed these notes! IP:60.242.16.xxx | 2012-10-03 05:21:52
We walked/ran from Thoirnleigh to Cowan in one day. Because we were running we missed a set of stairs carved into a rock between Galston and Crosslands. There was no GNW marker to indicate them. It took us quite some time to work out where we were because we had gone past the turn off on what was quite a well worn track for about an extra kilometre. by the time we found the markers at Un-named falls and followed your perfect instructions to the metre we had lost nearly an hour. But thank goodness for your meticulous instructions. We can't thank you enough.

Other than that set back we had a wonderful (if tiring) day; completed these sections in 8hr 30 minutes (included getting lost 1 hr and lunch 30mins).
Arturas & Simona - great track IP:120.23.179.xxx | 2013-03-31 21:58:25
This track is amazing and one of the hardest tracks we did in one day. We enjoyed nature, ups and downs and etc.
Today whole body sore, but it reminds of a good day yesterday. Thanks for great job wildwalks.com
Thats how we did http://www.endomondo.com/workouts/171490889
Debbie & Andrew Iverach - Bridge at Calna Creek IP:203.45.169.xxx | 2013-07-01 01:24:44
We are looking at doing this walk in the next couple of weeks - Is the bridge at Calna Creek open?
Mark - Hiking Sydney and Surrounds IP:210.7.132.xxx | 2013-09-30 05:50:42
Hi Matt,

Just wanted to follow up on the previous question. I've looked on Google Earth, and the bridge looks fine. Do you know if the bridge is fine or if there is another way across? Is it worth trying to wade across or going around the river?

I would love your advice here...

As always, love the site, thanks a million for all your effort in creating/maintaining it. :)
Stephen - Calna Bridge can be swum at si IP:115.69.41.xxx | 2013-11-03 00:32:49
The bridge is still down at Calna. The track management signs say they have no planned time for replacement, which is pretty slack.

There are two options for crossing the creek at this point.

1) Take a lightweight waterproof gear bag with you and put your pack in it - swim across the deepest part of the creek downstream of the broken bridge. Since the bridge is still in position, enter/climb back out (Thornleigh-Cowan/Cowan-Thornleigh) by sitting on the bridge and inching your way up to the other end.
2) Go 80 m upstream of the bridge and wade across the shallow river. Note that you'll have to bush-bash a bit on the Thornleigh side of where you're wading. It's about 1 m deep at worst.
Stephen - Confusing signs at Tunks rest IP:115.69.41.xxx | 2013-11-03 00:38:42
If walking from Cowan to Thornleigh, be aware that the signs at the northern end of the Tunks camping/rest area which indicate "Hornsby" via two different entrance points are also the way to Thornleigh. The sign marked "Dural" at the southern end of the Tunks area pointing the other way will not take you to Thornleigh. In fact, it's not even part of the Great North Walk.

Big fail for the GNW management - the large signs distract attention from the tiny finger post on the ground which indicates where the GNW really goes (it's not via Dural!).
Stephen - Cowan-Thornleigh or Thornleigh IP:115.69.41.xxx | 2013-11-03 00:40:45
If you're thinking of doing this walk in just one day, consider walking from Cowan to Thornleigh because the steepest hills from Cowan to Berowra Waters and beyond are tackled first thing in the morning. Later hills from Galston Gorge to Thornleigh are less severe (in the warm afternoon!).
Kit Kat - Clana creek bridge IP:60.242.177.xxx | 2013-11-19 12:22:42
Hi there,

The headnote for this walk states that the Calna creek bridge is out - does anyone know if this is still the case?

Cheers!
Greg & Julie IP:110.20.123.xxx | 2014-05-27 11:44:36
Did this walk Sunday & Monday, the walk was lovely but absolutely exhausting so much that we walked back via Berowra Heights rather than take the last descent and climb towards Cowan.
Regarding the Calna bridge it's out and after speaking to a bloke from Dept of Sport & Rec. There appears to be no plans to fix it. We crossed the creek approx 100m upstream. The are markings through the bush that help you navigate from the broken bridge to a clearing in the mangroves. We crossed an hour after high tide and the water was a little over waste deep for me 6 foot tall. All in all a great walk but more of a climb than a walk
Cheers G&J
Charles - Calma Bridge IP:60.225.13.xxx | 2015-10-13 07:06:55
They have put a new Calna Creek bridge in over the creek. It still looks new.
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