Starting with a steep climb from Wondabyne Train station you will explore a series of large rock platforms with wide views over the Brisbane Water National Park and visit Scopas Peak. After Scopas walk you cross a few pleasant rocky gullies before crossing Piles Creek on the Phil Houghton suspension foot bridge. Here the walk heads towards Mooney Mooney Creek before walking up to the Mooney Mooney Creek Trackhead on the Old Pacific Hwy. A side trip to Camp Kariong is also described if you want to take advantage of the well established camping facilities.
(open in app)
Cross sectional view of the Wondabyne to Mooney Mooney Creek Trackhead bushwalking track
Analysis and summary of the altitude variation on the Wondabyne to Mooney Mooney Creek Trackhead 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.
4 hrs 15 mins
Very steep (4/6)
Quality of track
Rough track, where fallen trees and other obstacles are likely (4/6)
Minimal directional signs (4/6)
Some bushwalking experience recommended (3/6)
Weather generally has little impact on safety (1/6)
Limited facilities, not all cliffs are fenced (3/6)
*This summary of grading information is new and still in testing
Some more detail of this walks Grading
Here is a bit more details explaining the grading looking at sections of the walk. Gradient
6km of this walk is very steep and another 2.3km has gentle hills with occasional steps. Whilst another 2km has short steep hills and the remaining 130m is flat with no steps.
Quality of track
6km of this walk follows a clear and well formed track or trail and another 2.4km follows a rough track, where fallen trees and other obstacles are likely. The remaining (1.7km) follows a formed track, with some branches and other obstacles.
Around 8km of this walk has directional signs at most intersection, whilst the remaining 2.4km has minimal directional signs.
Around 6km of this walk requires some bushwalking experience, whilst the remaining 4.2km requires no previous bushwalking experience.
This whole walk, 10km is not usually affected by severe weather events (that would unexpectedly impact safety and navigation).
Around 6km of this walk is close to useful facilities (such as fenced cliffs and seats), whilst the remaining 3.8km has limited facilities (such as not all cliffs fenced).
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Wondabyne is situated in Brisbane Waters National Park on the banks of Mullet River, which feeds into the Hawkesbury River north of Brooklyn. The area is defined by the National Park's flora and fauna, the quarry, railway station and a few houses sitting above the water around the river. The quarry produced sandstone building materials, used in the construction of the National War Memorial in Canberra. More recently, in 2000, the quarry was re-opened for restoration of St Mary's Cathedral spire in Sydney. Wondabyne Station, named after the nearby Mt Wondabyne, was built in 1889 and exclusively used for the quarry - it was then known as Mullet Creek Station. The station is one of the smallest on the line and one of very few railway stations in a NSW National Park. When you catch the train to Wondabyne, let the guard know you want to get off at Wondabyne Station, otherwise the train will not stop. Travel in the last carriage as the platform is very short. To catch the train from Wondabyne, wave to the driver.
Clearing above Wondabyne Station Track: Hard - bushtrack
Length = 441 m
Time = 13 mins
Climb = 100 m
Descent = -15 m
From the north-bound platform of Wondabyne Station, this walk follows the 'The Great North Walk' sign off the southern the end of the platform, keeping the train lines (and water) to your left. The track soon leads past a strangler fig and a large boulder then bends right and heads up a timber staircase with a metal landing at the top. The track winds steeply uphill, up a series of timber and rock steps for just over 200m to pass a filtered view of the cranes (right), down at the old Gosford Quarry. Here the walk continues a bit more steeply uphill for another 150m, up a series of rock steps, and then, soon after passing up the carved steps in a cleft in a rock, the track flattens out and comes to a clearing at the end of a management trail, marked with a 'Brisbane Water National Park' sign.
Clearing above Wondabyne Station
Eastern end of the Pindar Cave Track Track: Hard - servicetrail
Length = 1.03 km
Time = 19 mins
Climb = 72 m
Descent = -3 m
Continue straight: From the clearing, this walk follows the wide management trail uphill past the 'Brisbane Water National Park' sign. The trail leads up quite steeply for about 250m, where the trail bends right then leads gently uphill for about 600m. Here the trail leads up a short but quite steep hill, to then bend left and, about 150m later, come to an intersection with the Pindar Cave track (that leads over a rock platform, on your left), marked with a GNW arrow post (on your right).
Eastern end of the Pindar Cave Track
Int of GNW and Wondabyne Station tracks Track: Moderate - servicetrail
Length = 629 m
Time = 11 mins
Climb = 19 m
Descent = -5 m
Continue straight: From the intersection, this walk follows the GNW arrow post north, gently uphill along the wide trail. The trail gently undulates along the top of the ridge for about 600m to come to an intersection with the 'Great North Walk' track (on your right), marked with a 'Wondabyne Station' sign pointing back down the hill.
Int of GNW and Wondabyne trail
Int of GNW and Gosford Rifle Range trail Track: Moderate - servicetrail
Length = 1.12 km
Time = 22 mins
Climb = 27 m
Descent = -40 m
Continue straight: From the intersection, this walk follows the 'Girrakool' sign uphill along the wide trail. After about 50m, this trail leads up onto a large rock platform. From the top of this platform, there are some distant views over Mooney Mooney Creek. The walk continues on the platform, following the scrape marks on the rock, tending right, to soon find the wide trail again. The trail undulates (moderately steeply in a few places) along the ridge line for about 900m to come to an intersection marked with a 'Girrakool' sign (pointing left), just before a 'No Entry Past This Point' sign.
South end of Scopas Peak Track
Scopas Peak Track: Hard - bushtrack
Length = 1.17 km
Time = 23 mins
Climb = 80 m
Descent = -14 m
Turn left: From the intersection, this walk follows the 'Girrakool' sign and GNW arrow post north along the clear track. After about 150m, the walk comes to a green painted metal box on a post (on your right), containing a Great North Walk intentions book. Continue straight: From the Great North Walk intentions book, after leaving your comments, this walk heads north, gently up along the clear track. The track gently undulates along this ridge for about 750m, leading across a long sandy saddle to the base of Scopas Peak. Here the walk climbs steeply for about 230m, stopping occasionally to enjoy the view, up the series of rocks with cut steps and past a few rock walls. Near the top of this climb, the track bends left to lead up to a view point just to the west of Scopas Peak.
Tributary Crossing Track: Hard - bushtrack
Length = 2.42 km
Time = 57 mins
Climb = 33 m
Descent = -189 m
Veer right: From the view point just west of Scopas Peak, this walk heads north-east and gently downhill, initially keeping the distant views to your left. The track leads down, becoming notably steeper for about 300m to then cross over a long rock platform, with a series of GNW arrow posts guiding the way. After this rock platform, the track leads for another 250m, crossing a couple of small rock platforms before leading along a heathy track. About 400m along, the walk passes another view to Mooney Mooney Bridge, then comes to the edge of another large rock platform. A series of GNW arrow posts lead across this rock platform, generally heading away from Scopas Peak for about 400m, where the arrows lead off the rock platform and back onto a heathy track. The rocky track continues down along the ridge for just shy of 300m to come to the edge of another smaller rock platform with more with distant views. From here, the track leads downhill for about 600m, passing a couple of rocky outcrops and becoming progressively steeper until coming to the edge of an intermittent creek, which flows over the solid sandstone platform, at the bottom of the valley.
Int of Patonga Ferry and Girrakool tracks Track: Hard - bushtrack
Length = 716 m
Time = 21 mins
Climb = 48 m
Descent = -82 m
Continue straight: From the western bank, this walk crosses the intermittent creek which flows over the solid sandstone platform, to follow the track uphill. The rocky track initially leads gently uphill but soon leads steeply up for about 130m, where the track mostly flattens out to pass a sandstone overhang (on your right). Soon after this overhang, the track leads over a small gully then along the side of a longer rock wall with another tall sandstone overhang. The track continues gently downhill for another 300m, becoming a little steeper along the way, until just past a set of rock steps. Here the track begins to head steeply down the side of the hill for about 130m, first passing through a cleft in the rock then past a few rock walls. Just after a few switchbacks, this walk heads into a narrow gully, past a small 'Patonga' sign, then comes to a three-way intersection beside an intermittent creek, marked with a large 'The Great North Walk' sign with a 'Patonga Ferry' arrow pointing back up the hill.
Int of Patonga Ferry and Girrakool tracks
Camp Kariong Optional sidetrip: Track: Hard - bushtrack
Length = 1.87 km
Time = 45 mins
Climb = 143 m
Descent = -56 m
Turn sharp right: From the intersection, the walk crosses the small creek and then follows the 'Girrakool' sign along the bush track. The track winds up the side of the hill to soon head back down hill into Rat Gully. The track heads under a large fallen tree and crosses the boulder field and creek. There are steps cut in the rock to help the crossing. The walk then passes the old bridge and heads into the bush again. The track then does a right hand switch back (at the 'Girrakool' sign) and climbs a small hill to an un-signposted but fenced lookout. Continue straight: From the lookout, this walk heads up the hill initially keeping the large gully to the right. The track soon turns left and heads to the top of the hill and passes a large and interesting monolithic rock. About 60m after this rock the track leads to another similar rock with a large cave just to the left of the track. Continue straight: From the cave, this walk heads north through the cleft in the rock. The clear track soon passes another rock wall then comes to an intersection at the base of the timber staircase. Veer right: From the intersection, the walk heads up the wooden staircase and along the track for a little while, until it comes to a three-way intersection and a 'Girrakool' sign. Turn right: From the intersection, this walk follows the eroded track east distinctly uphill away from the main valley, through the dense heath. After about 60m the track leads up to a small rock platform where the track bends a little to the right. The track continues uphill for another 500m, over a few more smaller rock platforms, flattening out the higher it climbs to come to an intersection with a faint track (on the left, that leads to Langford Dr), and a clearer track (ahead that leads to Camp Kariong). Continue straight: From the intersection, this walk follows the Camp Kariong track south east along the flat clear track. After about 80m the track leads through the property boundary marked with some star pickets and a 'Scout Camp Kariong' sign. This walk continues along the track for just over 100m to come to the edge of a large clearing, where a 'Girakool' sign points back along the track. Here the walk tends left and gently up to pass alongside the white 'The Chapman Centre' building (the amenities block is now down to the right). Here the walk veers a little more left to head past the 'Baden Powell Park' sign and follow the wide campsite track. The track leads past a series of signposted named and numbered campsites for almost 250m where the track narrows just past 'Site 7 Kenya' to then cross Rat Gully creek on a foot bridge. Just after crossing this bridge, 'Martins Crossing', this walk comes to a small clearing with a 'Camp Kariong' map at the gated main entrance to the Campsite. (Along the driveway to the right is the 'Wardens Residence and office'.) (Retrace your steps back to the main track, then turn right to continue along this walk.)
Alt = 120 m
Camp Kariong is a Scout Association run campsite with facilities for small to large groups. The campsite is well established with a range of good facilities in a pleasant bush setting. For groups of around 40 there are bunk rooms, Kitchen and a hall. For small to larger groups there are bush campsites, camp fires, toilets, showers, an outdoor camp chapel and a treated water supply. As an extra bonus there is a stone hut, know as the 'Gosford Apex Hut' that can be hired, and saves the need for a tent. The single room hut has a fire place, small kitchen, fridge, TV, crockery, tables , chairs and water tap near by. The hut has been recently renovated and can sleep four with a queen bed that has a single bunk above and there is a separate single bed. The Hut is $25 a night for two people. This campsite can also accessed by car from the signposted driveway on Woy Woy Rd south of Kariong. Visits must be pre-booked, contact your friendly hosts Andrew & Rebecca on (02) 4323 7095 or firstname.lastname@example.org More info
Int of Patonga Ferry and Girrakool tracks
Phil Houghton Bridge Track: Moderate - bushtrack
Length = 222 m
Time = 9 mins
Climb = 17 m
Descent = -47 m
Continue straight: From the intersection, this walk follows the 'Piles Creek' sign down the track (keeping the valley to the right). The rocky track heads steeply downhill for about 170m to Piles Creek. Just past the old bridge, this walk climbs up the stairs to cross the Phil Houghton suspension footbridge, enjoying the views of the tidal Piles Creek. On the other side, this walk climbs down the stairs to an intersection beside a large clearing (and campsite, on your left).
Phil Houghton Bridge
Alt = 3 m
The Phil Houghton Bridge is a metal suspension bridge that crosses Piles Creek. It is part of the Great North Walk and replaces an older bridge, with part still visible upstream. The bridge can hold up to 8 people and feels very stable. There are great views both up and downstream half way across this bridge. There is a clearing on the northern side that people have used for camping.
Phil Houghton Bridge
Brisbane Water NP sign Track: Moderate - bushtrack
Length = 1.79 km
Time = 36 mins
Climb = 62 m
Descent = -66 m
Turn left: From the intersection on the northern end of the 'Phil Houghton Bridge', this walk follows the 'Mooney Creek' arrow through the large clearing and campsite, keeping Piles Creek to your left. The track leads under a large dead tree then winds past some cliffs and among large boulders for about 1km then crosses a short timber bridge with handrails. Just past this bridge, this walk heads over a short flat timber bridge, then about just shy of 150m later, heads along a section of timber boardwalk. From this tall eucalypt forest, this track contours around the side of the hill for about 500m, alongside Piles Creek, then starts to climb passing among the grass trees before heading down a handful of timber steps and coming to a three-way intersection marked with a 'Brisbane Waters National Park' sign, just before Mooney Mooney Creek.
Brisbane Water NP sign
Mooney Mooney Creek Trackhead Track: Moderate - bushtrack
Length = 535 m
Time = 11 mins
Climb = 26 m
Descent = -2 m
Turn right: From the intersection, this walk follows the GNW arrow post directly away from the face of the 'Brisbane Waters National Park' sign along the clear track, keeping Mooney Mooney Creek to your left. After about 100m, this walk crosses a green timber footbridge, then about 200m later comes to a small clearing and intersection just before the road bridge. Here the walk turns right, following the old management trail uphill through the tall forest for about 200m then heading around a locked gate. Just past the gate, this walk turn left and heads up the short steep bank to come to a T-intersection with the old Pacific Hwy, at a large gravel car park marked with 'Mooney Mooney Creek' Trackhead (just east of the Mooney Mooney Creek bridge).
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.
Brisbane Water National ParkLink to official closures and fire bans page Brisbane Waters National Park is situated south west of Gosford perched on the Hawkesbury River. The park is characterised by sandstone features, Aboriginal engravings, flowery heaths, bird life and spectacular water views. Brisbane Waters NP has many bushwalks through the are with the Great North Walk passing through the middle of the park. Region: Sydney & Surrounds Park feesCampingFacilities I am not aware of any closures in this park at the moment.