This full day walk is for the fit and keen bushwalker, exploring some of the Brisbane Waters National Park's great destinations like the Pindar caves, the Kariong Brook falls and Mt Wondabyne. The walk offers a few optional side trips to key locations including Pindar falls and the Mt Wondabyne Peak tracks. As the track ends at Woy Woy train station, there are regular trains for the trip home.
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This walk passes through a remote area and sections have no visible track. At least one person in your group should have training and experience in off track walking and navigation. Even with these notes and a GPS these extra skills and equipment are required.
Cross sectional view of the Wondabyne to Woy Woy station via Pindar Caves bushwalking track
Analysis and summary of the altitude variation on the Wondabyne to Woy Woy station via Pindar Caves 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.
8 hrs 30 mins
Very steep (4/6)
Quality of track
Rough unclear track (5/6)
No directional signs (5/6)
Moderate level of bushwalking experience recommended (4/6)
Storms may impact on navigation and safety (3/6)
Limited facilities (such as cliffs not fenced, significant creeks not bridged) (4/6)
*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
12km of this walk is very steep and another 6km has gentle hills with occasional steps. Whilst another 6km has short steep hills and the remaining 25m is flat with no steps.
Quality of track
11km of this walk follows a rough track, where fallen trees and other obstacles are likely and another 7km follows a clear and well formed track or trail. Whilst another 3.9km follows a smooth and hardened path and a 1.6km section follows a rough unclear track. The remaining 1.4km follows a formed track, with some branches and other obstacles.
8km of this walk has minimal directional signs and another 8km has directional signs at most intersection. Whilst another 6km is clearly signposted and the remaining 1.6km Has no directional signs.
12km of this walk requires some bushwalking experience and another 10km requires no previous bushwalking experience. The remaining (1.6km) requires a leader a with moderate level of bushwalking experience.
Around 23km of this walk is not usually affected by severe weather events (that would unexpectedly impact safety and navigation), whilst the remaining 690m is affected by storms that may impact your navigation and safety.
13km of this walk is close to useful facilities (such as fenced cliffs and seats) and another 9km has limited facilities (such as cliffs not fenced, significant creeks not bridged). The remaining (2.6km) 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.
Eastern end of the Pindar Cave Track Track: Hard - bushtrack,servicetrail
Length = 1.47 km
Time = 32 mins
Climb = 172 m
Descent = -18 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. 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).
Int. Rifle Range Service Track and Pindar Cave Track
Mt Pindar Lookout Track: Hard - bushtrack
Length = 3.5 km
Time = 1 hr 12 mins
Climb = 129 m
Descent = -129 m
Turn left: From the intersection, this walk follows the wide track to the west, keeping the large rocky outcrop to the right. The trail soon narrows to become an overgrown track and undulates for some time, through some rocky and dense scrub. Eventually, the track swings around to the north and arrives at the Mt Pindar Lookout, indicated by arrows marked in the surface that lead to the lookout, with views of Mooney Mooney, and Mooney Mooney Creek.
Mt Pindar lookout
Alt = 159 m
From the rocky perch of Mt Pindar, Brisbane Waters National Park, you can enjoy views over Mullet Creek, Dangar Island and the Hawkesbery River. This is an informal lookout, with no fencing or other facilities.
Mt Pindar Lookout
Pool Route: Hard - bushtrack
Length = 483 m
Time = 9 mins
Climb = 2 m
Descent = -25 m
Turn right: From the lookout, the walk follows the bush track north, around the edge of the ridge around a few rocks. The track then descends north-west into the valley below, continuing through areas of thick vegetation, until emerging onto a small clearing next to a pool of water.
Alt = 139 m
The pool between Mt Pindar and Pindar Cave is an ephemeral (short-lived, unreliable) waterhole. The pool is a refreshing place for a swim when full, with many birds enjoying the area too. The pool is a 10m by 5m tub which is quite deep. Being ephemeral, it is not always full of water.
Pindar Cave Route: Hard - bushtrack
Length = 315 m
Time = 6 mins
Climb = 12 m
Descent = -6 m
Turn left: From the pool, the walk follows the bush track west, into a small sandy clearing. The track then turns right, below a rocky outcrop on the left, and follows the rocky outcrop for approximately 100m to the large overhang of rock, Pindar Cave.
Alt = 146 m
Pindar Cave, Brisbane Waters National Park, is a large expanse of overhanging rock. The cave is made by a sandstone overhang of 15m, which spans approximately 50m along the hillside. The floor of the cave is a good spot for a sleep, while the roof of the cave is black from many campfires. Access to water is relatively good, however the waterfall and nearby pool are ephemeral (transient) streams with irregular and unreliable water patterns.
Waterfall Optional sidetrip: Route: Unmanaged - bushtrack
Length = 567 m
Time = 12 mins
Climb = 10 m
Descent = -57 m
Continue straight: From Pindar Cave, this walk heads north-west, parallel to a rocky outcrop. After following the cliff line for a little while, the track bends slightly to the right, and heads north-west, crossing several rocky outcrops, going down towards the creek line. The track then drops down some rockshelves to the waterfall. (Retrace your steps back to the main track, then continue straight to continue along this walk.)
Alt = 96 m
Pindar Waterfall, Brisbane Waters National Park, is a rocky outcrop from which a vegetation enclosed stream runs over and through. The waterfall is not a picturesque spot, with the water running through dense vegetation and cracks in the boulders to pools out-of-sight. The waterfall is fed by an ephemeral stream which will does not guarantee it as a source of water. From the rocky outcrop of the waterfall, views over the valley below can be observed.
Int. Rifle Range Service Track and Pindar Cave Track Route: Hard - bushtrack
Length = 4.29 km
Time = 1 hr 27 mins
Climb = 160 m
Descent = -143 m
Turn around: From the cave, the walk follows the bush track east, below a rocky outcrop on the right. The track soon comes to a small sandy clearing and crosses this to reach a pool. Turn right: From the pool, the walk follows the bush track east, out of the clearing. The track passes through an area of thick vegetation as is slowly climbs up the spur, before the vegetation gives way to a rocky area. The track winds further up the hill and along the ridge edge to the lookout. Turn left: From the lookout, the walk heads south-east along the rocky surface, to the dense tree line and follows the sandy track. This track soon bends to the north, going up the spur and across the plateau of Mt Pindar. From here the track undulates for some time and then widens to a management trail. The walk follows the management trail for a short distance, passing a large rocky outcrop to come to a 'T' intersection with a wide management trail.
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
Turn left : 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 Station Trail
Kariong Brook crossing Track: Hard - bushtrack
Length = 1.97 km
Time = 47 mins
Climb = 64 m
Descent = -211 m
Turn right: From the intersection, this walk follows the 'Patonga' sign heading east down along the rocky track. The track soon bends right and heads around a rock outcrop then continues down through the heath and scribbly gums for about 400m to come to a flat rock platform. Here the track continues downhill over several more rock platforms, becoming progressively steeper for just over 1km to head into the cool valley and come to the bank beside Myron Brook. Continue straight: From the western side of Myron Brook, this walk crosses the creek on the sandstone rock platform to follow the track up a few stone steps and up the short steep hill. The track then flattens out as it leads around the side of the hill for about 200m to pass alongside a long rock wall (on your left). Now leading downhill, the track continues for another 100m then heads down a short steep section into the dense moist gully, coming to a faint intersection in front of Kariong Brook Falls (on your left) (just before crossing the creek, which is often underground).
Kariong Brook Falls
Alt = 27 m
This tranquil spot of the Great North Walk is home to some lovely falls and a water hole. The eastern side of the creek has a tall sandstone cave and wall. After rain these falls can become very spectacular, other times is a cool place to rest. A great spot to stop for a snack.
Kariong Brook crossing
Int of the Great North Walk and Patonga service trail Track: Hard - bushtrack
Length = 688 m
Time = 24 mins
Climb = 122 m
Descent = -21 m
Continue straight: From Kariong Brook, the walk crosses the creek and heads up the hill towards the cave (keeping the waterfall to the left). The track leads under the overhang and then winds up the rocky path for about 400m, past a few rock walls and among the grass trees. The walk then heads up some more stone steps, bending left on the steps with a metal handrail. The rocky track continues up for another 130m over a few more rocks to come to a flat clearing (on your right, that has been used as a campsite). From the clearing, the track continues uphill, passing another rocky outcrop after about 60m, then after about 80m more, the track leads to a T-intersection with a management trail (and a sign pointing back to 'Girrakool').
Int of the Great North Walk and Patonga service trail
Int of GNW and Thommos Loop track Track: Moderate - servicetrail
Length = 1.49 km
Time = 28 mins
Climb = 54 m
Descent = -34 m
Veer right: From the intersection, this walk follows the GNW arrow post and 'Patonga' sign downhill along the management trail. The trail then winds along the side of the hill for about 1.3km (passing a pleasant grove of large Sydney Redgums) to then step up onto a particularly large rock platform. After crossing this rock platform, the trail continues for another 120m to come to a Y-intersection (at another rock platform) where a 'Girrakool' sign points back along the track.
Int of GNW and Thommos Loop trail
Int of GNW and Mullet Creek Trail (east) Track: Moderate - bushtrack
Length = 830 m
Time = 18 mins
Climb = 15 m
Descent = -50 m
Veer right: From the intersection, this walk follows the GNW arrow post and 'Patonga' sign east, gently downhill along the narrow track. After about 250m, the track leads to a notably large rock platform with a clear view across the valley to Mt Wondabyne. Here the track continues gently downhill, crossing more rock platforms for about 300m to head over a section of timber boardwalk and past a few disused power poles. The track then continues over another rock platform for another 200m to cross a small ephemeral creek. From the creek, the track leads up a short distance up under the power lines to come to a T-intersection with a wide trail, where a sign points back to 'Girrakool'.
Int of GNW and Mullet Creek Trail (east)
Int of GNW and Mt Wondabyne Peak tracks Track: Hard - servicetrail,bushtrack
Length = 1.16 km
Time = 25 mins
Climb = 123 m
Descent = -15 m
Turn right: From the intersection, the track follows the GNW arrow post along the management trail, initially keeping the power lines to your right. The trail soon bends left and leads uphill. As the trail flattens out again, it comes to a three-way intersection marked with a 'Great North Walk' and 'Wondabyne Station' sign, pointing back along the trail. Turn left: From the intersection, this walk follows the 'Mt Wondabyne' sign south up the trail. The trail soon begins to narrow and after almost 200m, the track steps up to cross a rock platform, following a few GNW arrow posts to find a GNW 'Walker Register' tube. After writing a comment, the walk continues uphill along the track for about 700m, as the track become progressively flatter, passing beside the Mt Wondabyne Peak (up to your left). Then about 50m after leaving the trees and entering a section of low heath, this track then comes to a three-way intersection (the Mt Wondabyne peak track, on the left), marked with a GNW arrow post.
Int of Great North Walk and Mt Wondabyne Peak tracks
Mt Wondabyne Peak Optional sidetrip: Track: Hard - bushtrack
Length = 208 m
Time = 5 mins
Climb = 20 m
Descent = -1 m
Turn left: From the intersection, this walk follows the Mt Wondabyne peak track north-east as it heads uphill directly towards Mt Wondabyne. The track is leads gently at first then starts to climb up a series of rock ledges. After about 60m, the track passes a small cave (large enough for 2 or 3 people to lie in). The track then continues to climb for another 90m, up the rocky track then for through a grove of small trees, to come to the first peak. The faint track continues along the ridge for another 60m then comes to the main peak, where there is an old trig station and great panoramic views. (Retrace your steps back to the main track, then turn left to continue along this walk.)
Alt = 230 m
Mount Wondabyne is one of the most prominent peaks in Brisbane Water National Park. The long cone-shaped hill has a rocky top and is home to a trig station. Walkers can enjoy full 360-degree panoramic views from the top. To the east are good views over the Brisbane Water, Woy Woy and other central coast suburbs. West, down next to Mullet Creek, you can see some buildings near Wondabyne Station and the train line. Otherwise, most of the expansive views are over much of Brisbane Water National Park. There are some small trees providing limited shade, a great place to soak up the views.
Int of Great North Walk and Mt Wondabyne Peak tracks
Mt Wondabyne Campsite Track: Moderate - bushtrack
Length = 87 m
Time = 2 mins
Climb = 0 m
Descent = -6 m
Continue straight: From the intersection, this walk follows the GNW arrow post south over a small rise then gently downhill along the rocky track, leaving Mt Wondabyne peak behind and to your left. After about 90m, the track leads down to a clearing at the end of a management trail, where there is a sign pointing back to 'Mooney Mooney rest area'. This is the Mt Wondabyne campsite.
Mt Wondabyne Campsite
Alt = 212 m
This basic campsite is found at the end of a management trail, near the base of Mt Wondabyne. The campsite is at the bottom of a small (east facing) rock wall and has trees surrounding much of the area, providing some shelter. There is an established fire circle and a basic seat. There is no water or other facilities. (There is also small cave suitable for sleeping a few people about half way up Mount Wondabyne).
Mt Wondabyne Campsite
Int of Tunnel Track and Mt Wondabyne trail Track: Moderate - servicetrail
Length = 757 m
Time = 16 mins
Climb = 0 m
Descent = -49 m
Turn left: From the clearing (campsite), this walk follows the 'Patonga' sign down the wide management trail. The trail winds downhill for about 300m, enjoying some views back to Mount Wondabyne as well as to Woy Woy and Brisbane Water. From here, the trail continues downhill through the heath for another 400m to come to a T-intersection with another management trail (Tunnel Track), where there is a 'Mt Wondabyne' and 'Girrakool' sign pointing back up the hill.
Int of Tunnel Track and Mt Wondabyne trail
Int of Rocky Ponds Trail and Tunnel Track Walk: Easy - servicetrail
Length = 465 m
Time = 9 mins
Climb = 8 m
Descent = -15 m
Turn right: From the intersection, this walk follows the GNW arrow post west, gently down along the wide management trail, keeping the main wide valley to your left. The trail winds along the side of the hill for just over 450m to come to a clear three-way intersection with the signposted with the 'Rocky Ponds Trail' (on your right). There is a sign here, pointing back up the trail to 'Girrakool'.
Int of Rocky Ponds Trail and Tunnel Track
Woy Woy Landfill Track: Moderate - servicetrail,bushtrack,servicetrail
Length = 1.94 km
Time = 37 mins
Climb = 25 m
Descent = -120 m
Continue straight: From the intersection, this walk follows the 'Patonga' sign south, downhill along the wide trail. After just over 100m, the trail passes through a metal gate and fence then continues for another 50m to come to an intersection with a narrow track (on your left), marked with a GNW arrow post and 'Tunnel Trail' (on your right). Turn left: From the intersection, this walk follows the GNW arrow post directly away from the face of the 'Tunnel Trail' sign along the narrow track. After about 20m, this short track leads to an intersection with the signposted 'Dillons Trail'. Turn left: With the Patonga-bound bush track on the right, this walk follows the management trail east, down the long, gentle hill. The trail gradually steepens as it winds down to the Woy Woy Landfill site. The walk then follows the landfill fence past a building and steps through a gap in the fence. The walk then heads along the gravel driveway to the landfill road.
Woy Woy Landfill
Woy Woy Landfill site front gates Walk: Easy - road
Length = 1.01 km
Time = 23 mins
Climb = 38 m
Descent = -84 m
Veer left: From the Woy Woy landfill site, this walk down the road, winding to the bottom where it flattens out at the Woy Woy Landfill front gates (these gates are locked at night but there is a gap for walkers to get through just up to the right of the gates).
Woy Woy Landfill site front gates
Woy Woy train station Walk: Easy - road
Length = 2.92 km
Time = 45 mins
Climb = 6 m
Descent = -21 m
Continue straight: From the landfill gates, this walk follows Nagari Road past the large self-storage facility on the right, and along to the intersection of Shoalhaven Drive. Continue straight: From the intersection, this walk follows Railway Street through the residential area, past the shopping centre to the Woy Woy train station.
Fire Danger This walk passes Greater Sydney Region fire area which currently has a LOW MODERATE rating and No fire ban in place. (Tomorrow the Fire Danger Rating is LOW MODERATE, No fire ban.) (Downloaded 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.