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Bushwalking track notes, photographs, maps and more for Congewai East Track Head to Watagan Forest Motel via Forestry HQ Campsite are found in each of the tabs below
Congewai East Track Head to Watagan Forest Motel via Forestry HQ Campsite
Time: 2 Days Walking time
Please allow extra time to rest and to explore
9.3 km SSE of Paxton
Length: 29.7 km Walk Length
As this is a One Way walk, the 29.7 km only includes the walking distance from the start to the end point
Watagans National Park
Climb: 1702 m Total Climbing
This walk has a total cumulative climb of 1702 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
Style: One way
Track: Hard

This section of the Great North Walk starts from the Congewai Valley east track head and heads north up into the Watagan National Park, climbing up to the ridgeline and following the management trails and bush tracks heading east all the way to the Forestry HQ campsite. On day two, the walk continues east, winding all the way around the ridge and past some great lookouts to the Heaton communications tower and down the steep ridgeline to Freemans Drive and the Watagan Forest Motel. (open in app)


There are closures in Watagans National Park
Today's Fire rating
LOW MODERATE (No fire ban)
  Bushwalking track notes photographs, maps and camping spots for Congewai East Track Head to Watagan Forest Motel via Forestry HQ Campsite

Map of Walk

Location

                Sponsor of Congewai East Track Head to Watagan Forest Motel via Forestry HQ Campsite bushwalking tracknotes
Map of Congewai East Track Head to Watagan Forest Motel via Forestry HQ Campsite
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Map Scale 10 km
Congewai Valley east trackhead
Stile
Property Gate
Int on GNW bushtrack
Int of Georges Rd AND GNW track
Old Loggers Hut
Georges Rd rest area
Int of Georges Rd & Barraba Trig Station track
Barraba Campsite
Int of Georges Road & Barraba Trig Rest Area
The Barbara Lowes gate
Saddle Rest Area
Int of Georges Rd AND Watagans National Park boundary gate
Top of the 125r Lookout trail
Top of the 125r Lookout trail
Northern rest area
Narrow Place Lookout
Int of Georges Road AND Congewai Creek track
Int of Georges & Heaton Rds
Int of Watagan Forest Rd and Bakers Rd
Forestry H.Q campsite
Int of Bakers & Rocky Creek Roads
Int of Bakers & Glen Roads
Int of Bakers Road and Hunter Lookout track.
Hunter Lookout picnic area
Int of Bakers Road & Hunter Lookout picnic area
Bakers Road Loop Intersection
Maclean Lookout
Int of GNW track & Bakers Road
Int of GNW track AND a wide track
Int of GNW track & Glen Road
Int of GNW track & a wide bushtrack
Int of GNW track & a wide track
Int of GNW track and a narrow road
Int of GNW track and Fosters Road south
Int of GNW track and Hammonds Road
Creek Crossing
Int of GNW track and Wallis Creek
Int of GNW track and Barniers Road
Heaton Lookout.
Heaton Communications Tower
Heaton Gap Lookout
Int of GNW track and Freemans Drive trail
Starting point for this hiking track: Congewai Valley east trackhead

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
 Quorrobolong 1:25 000 Map Series NSW-91322S 
 Cessnock 1:50 000 Map Series CW-91322 
 Cessnock 1:100 000 Map Series 9132 

Photo Gallery

 
the congewai east track head
 
the congewai east track head +
 
crossing paddock
 
crossing paddock +
 
property's service trail
 
property's service trail +

 
track up to the top of the main ridge
 
track up to the top of the main ridge +
 
view through the trees
 
view through the trees +
 
coming down to Georges road
 
coming down to Georges road +

 
Old Loggers Hut
 
Old Loggers Hut +
 
campsite at edge of ridge
 
campsite at edge of ridge +
 
nearing the Berraba campsite
 
nearing the Berraba campsite +

 
Barraba campsite
 
Barraba campsite +
 
Styles climbing over private property fence
 
Styles climbing over private property fence +
 
Georges road
 
Georges road +

 
georges road
 
georges road +
 
125r lookout clearing
 
125r lookout clearing +
 
following the dirt roads
 
following the dirt roads +

 
Forestry/Watagan Headquarters campsite
 
Forestry/Watagan Headquarters campsite +
 
winding around to the lookouts
 
winding around to the lookouts +
 
Hunter Lookout Picnic Area
 
Hunter Lookout Picnic Area +

 
Hunter Lookout
 
Hunter Lookout +
 
bakers road
 
bakers road +
 
GNW near Mcleans Lookout
 
GNW near Mcleans Lookout +

 
looking out across a gully
 
looking out across a gully +
 
winding through the watagans
 
winding through the watagans +
 
path heading up out of the gully
 
path heading up out of the gully +

 
looking out across the valley
 
looking out across the valley +
 
tree growing up the rock face
 
tree growing up the rock face +
 
the path cleared
 
the path cleared +

 
Heaton lookout
 
Heaton lookout +
 
heaton road
 
heaton road +
 
Heaton communications tower
 
Heaton communications tower +

 
heading down from the communications tower
 
heading down from the communications tower +
 
view from heaton gap lookout
 
view from heaton gap lookout +
 
Track above Heaton Gap
 
Track above Heaton Gap +

 
steps down to Freemans drive
 
steps down to Freemans drive +
 
winding down the ridge
 
winding down the ridge +
 
Watagan Forest Motel
 
Watagan Forest Motel +

Terrain

Cross sectional view of the Congewai East Track Head to Watagan Forest Motel via Forestry HQ Campsite bushwalking track

Cross Section of the Congewai East Track Head to Watagan Forest Motel via Forestry HQ Campsite bushwalking track



Analysis and summary of the altitude variation on the Congewai East Track Head to Watagan Forest Motel via Forestry HQ Campsite bushwalking track

Summary of the gradients over the the lenght of the Congewai East Track Head to Watagan Forest Motel via Forestry HQ Campsite 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 30km
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 Minimal directional signs (4/6)
Experience Required Moderate level of bushwalking experience recommended (4/6)
Weather Storms may impact on navigation and safety (3/6)
Infrastructure 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 has short steep hills and another 10km is very steep. The remaining (8km) has gentle hills with occasional steps.

Quality of track
16km of this walk follows a clear and well formed track or trail and another 9km follows a formed track, with some branches and other obstacles. The remaining (4.5km) follows a rough track, where fallen trees and other obstacles are likely.

Signs
26km of this walk has directional signs at most intersection and another 3.7km has minimal directional signs. The remaining (170m) is clearly signposted.

Experience Required
15km of this walk requires no previous bushwalking experience and another 12km requires some bushwalking experience. The remaining (2.6km) requires a leader a with moderate level of bushwalking experience.

Weather
Around 28km of this walk is not usually affected by severe weather events (that would unexpectedly impact safety and navigation), whilst the remaining 1.7km is affected by storms that may impact your navigation and safety.

Infrastructure
20km of this walk has limited facilities (such as not all cliffs fenced) and another 6km is close to useful facilities (such as fenced cliffs and seats). The remaining (3.9km) has limited facilities (such as cliffs not fenced, significant creeks not bridged).

Track Notes


Drive to Congewai Valley east trackhead
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) Congewai Valley east trackhead to Property Gate
Track: Hard - bushtrack
Length = 762 m Time = 17 mins
Climb = 54 m Descent = -12 m
From the Congewai Valley east trackhead[1], this walk follows the 'Newcastle' sign[2] over the stile[3]. Here the walk follows the track gently uphill[4] through the open forest, leaving the Congewai Valley Road behind. After about 500m, this walk comes to a stile[5] (with farmland[6] and a fence on the left).
Continue straight: From here[7], this walk climbs over the fence using the stile and follows the track gently uphill[8], keeping the more open farmland[9] on your left. The walk continues for about 300m to an intersection with a wide dirt trail, just before a vehicular gate[10], marked with a GNW arrow post.

(0.76 km) Property Gate to Int on GNW bushtrack
Track: Hard - servicetrail
Length = 1.2 km Time = 31 mins
Climb = 125 m Descent = -1 m
Veer left: From the intersection, this walk follows the wide trail gently downhill and through the gate[11], and into the signposted 'Edwin Crawford Conservation Area'. The trail bends right, then starts to lead gently uphill[12] for about 1.2km, until coming to a faint three-way intersection[13] with a track[14] (on the right), marked with a couple of GNW arrow posts[15].

(1.96 km) Int on GNW bushtrack to Int of Georges Rd & GNW bushtrack
Track: Hard - bushtrack
Length = 1.73 km Time = 52 mins
Climb = 239 m Descent = -36 m
Turn left: From the intersection[16], this walk follows the GNW arrow post uphill[17][18]. After about 700m, the track becomes narrower and much steeper as it climbs up to, then follows, the main ridge line. After about 600m of mostly steep climbing, the track then leads more gently uphill[19], enjoying the views through trees (on the right). The walk continues gently up this section for another 400m, then heads over a small rise and comes down to a T-intersection[20] with the dirt Georges Road marked with a 'Great North Walk' sign.

(3.69 km) Int of Georges Rd AND GNW track to Old Loggers Hut
Track: Moderate - servicetrail
Length = 127 m Time = 2 mins
Climb = 0 m Descent = -8 m
Turn right: From the intersection[21], this walk follows the GNW arrow marker gently downhill[22] along the dirt road. After 80m, this walk passes a small dam[23] and comes to an old tin hut[24] (on the left).

Old Loggers Hut Alt = 501 m
This Old Hut found beside Georges Rd, is in a state of disrepair. The corrugated iron[25] and wooden[26] hut has a dirt floor[27] and a simple fire place. The hut's condition is poor and would not provide suitable shelter. Just south of the hut is a small dam[28]. The hut was once used by loggers harvesting timber from these hills[29]

(3.82 km) Old Loggers Hut to Georges Rd rest area
Track: Moderate - servicetrail
Length = 302 m Time = 5 mins
Climb = 2 m Descent = -2 m
Continue straight: From the old loggers hut[30], this walk follows the dirt road north-east along the top of the ridge, initially keeping the hut to your left. After about 300m, the trail leads to a large clearing with great views on the left, Georges Road rest area[31][32].

Georges Road Rest Area Alt = 501 m
This campsite is located above Wallaby Gully, off Georges Road. The clearing has a scattering of trees[33], and has awesome views of Wallaby Gully[34]. There is room for a few tents and small campfire[35].

(4.12 km) Georges Rd rest area to Barraba Campsite
Track: Moderate - servicetrail
Length = 316 m Time = 6 mins
Climb = 13 m Descent = -3 m
Continue straight: From Georges Road rest area[36], this walk follows the dirt road gently uphill[37], initially keeping the rest area on your left. The walk continues for about 200m until coming to a three-way intersection[38], marked with a GNW arrow marker.
Continue straight: From the intersection[39], this walk follows the 'Barraba Trig Rest Area' sign[40] north-east, gently uphill along the trail[41]. Following a few GNW arrow markers over about 90m, this trail then comes to a large flat clearing[42][43] signposted as 'Barraba campsite'[44], with some lovely large grass trees[45].

Barraba Campsite Alt = 511 m
Barraba campsite[46], near Georges Road on the Great North Walk, is quiet rest area where campers can stay the night and set up a campfire[47]. The small, semi-secluded campsite is surrounded by lovely large grass trees[48]. The campsite has a 'Walker register' book so you can note your intentions. The campsite has no facilities or water.

(4.43 km) Barraba Campsite to Saddle Rest Area
Track: Hard - servicetrail
Length = 1.81 km Time = 43 mins
Climb = 78 m Descent = -164 m
Continue straight: From the Barraba campsite, this walk follows the 'Newcastle' sign[49] east, downhill along the grassy trail. After about 220m, the walk heads past the 'Barraba Trig Rest Area' sign[50] (pointing back uphill) to then climb the fence using the stile[51] (beside the gate[52]).
Continue straight: From the locked gate[53], this walk heads downhill along the wide dirt trail, directly away from the 'Barraba Trig' sign[54]. The trail leads down for about 400m, moderately steeply for a while. As the trail mostly flattens out, the walk climbs over another fence beside a locked gate[55] using the stile[56]. The walk continues down along this trail for almost 200m to pass 'The Barbara Lowes Conservation area' sign[57]. Here, the walk climbs over the fence using the stile[58] beside the vehicular gate[59]. There are filtered valley views to your left[60].
Continue straight: From the locked gate[61], this walk follows the trail gently downhill[62], while keeping the views on your left (and ignoring the trail on your left). This walk undulates gently up and down the side of the hill for about 1 km, until coming to a saddle[63], with views on the left and dam[64] on the right.

Saddle Rest Area Alt = 427 m
This rest area consists of a clearing[65] on a saddle, with a small dam nearby[66]. There is space for a number of tents and access to water after rain (treat before use).

(6.25 km) Saddle Rest Area to Int of Georges Rd AND Watagans National Park boundary gate
Track: Moderate - servicetrail
Length = 732 m Time = 17 mins
Climb = 36 m Descent = -57 m
Continue straight: From the saddle, this walk follows the trail gently uphill, initially keeping the views on your left and fire dam on your right. The walk continues with the cliffs[67] on your right for just shy of 300m then after another 400m, just past the 'Private Property/Walkers Only' sign[68], this walk heads over the fence using a stile[69] beside the gate. There are wide valley views[70] from here, and a clearing on the left[71].

Great North Walk Rest Area Alt = 401 m
Located on George Road, this rest area is situated by a steep, unfenced drop[72] with spectacular views[73]. There is space for a few tents and a small campfire[74], there are no facilities or water here.

(6.98 km) Int of Georges Rd AND Watagans National Park boundary gate to Top of the 125r Lookout trail
Track: Hard - servicetrail
Length = 1.34 km Time = 33 mins
Climb = 99 m Descent = -53 m
Continue straight: From the locked gate[75], this walk follows the dirt Georges Road moderately steeply downhill[76] at first, keeping the views[77] on your left. The walk undulates, moderately steeply in a couple of places, winding around the side of a few hills for about 1km, and then heads around a sharp left-hand bend (passing a faint roadside clearing[78], on the right). The walk continues for another 500m along the dirt road to come to a three-way intersection, with 125r trail and '125r Lookout' sign[79] (on the right).

(8.31 km) Top of the 125r Lookout trail to 125r Lookout Rest Area
Optional sidetrip: Track: Moderate - servicetrail
Length = 860 m Time = 17 mins
Climb = 15 m Descent = -50 m
Veer right: From the intersection[80], this walk follows the '125r Lookout' sign[81] south gently downhill[82] along the grassy trail. The walk continues through forest[83] for about 900m, until coming to the end of the road[84] and an unfenced lookout with wide valley views[85].
(Retrace your steps back to the main track, then turn right to continue along this walk.)

125r Lookout Alt = 418 m
The 125r Lookout, in the Watagan National Park, is located on a track off Georges Road[86]. This unfenced clearing[87] is on a cliff edge and has broad views o over the surrounding valleys[88][89]. This small clearing has been used as a campsite[90].

(8.31 km) Top of the 125r Lookout trail to Northern rest area
Track: Moderate - servicetrail
Length = 1.32 km Time = 31 mins
Climb = 76 m Descent = -68 m
Veer left: From the intersection[91], this walk follows the GNW arrow marker east along Georges Road as it first bends left, initially keeping the 125r Lookout track on your right. After about 400m, the road leads down and across a flat saddle, then leads moderately steeply up[92] for about 400m, where the trail mostly flattens out then comes to the top of the hill. There are views[93] from the unfenced cliff here, on the left.

Great North Walk Rest Area Alt = 460 m
This is a small rest area on the side of Georges Road, providing room to rest up and for a small campfire. There are also some nice views through the trees but be careful as this rest area is near a steep drop.

(9.63 km) Northern rest area to Narrow Place Lookout
Track: Moderate - servicetrail
Length = 1.51 km Time = 33 mins
Climb = 57 m Descent = -90 m
Continue straight: From the rest area, this walk follows the dirt George Road east, initially keeping the views on your left. The road gently undulates along the ridge for about 1.5km, coming to the unsignposted Narrow Place Lookout[94], where there is a short metal post fence[95] and wide valley (on the left).

Narrow Place Lookout Alt = 429 m
Narrow Place Lookout is perched high on an partially-fenced[96] cliff and provides great views north over the farmland and bush towards Cessnock[97]. The lookout is beside a dirt road and a fairly large clearing[98].

(11.15 km) Narrow Place Lookout to Int of Georges Road & Congewai Creek track
Track: Moderate - servicetrail
Length = 1.88 km Time = 37 mins
Climb = 67 m Descent = -53 m
Continue straight: From the Narrow Place lookout[99], this walk follows Georges Road east gently downhill[100], initially keeping the views to your left. The road leads through forest for about 1.8km, ignoring a few smaller side trails until coming to a three-way intersection[101] (with the Congewai Creek track, on the right), marked with a GNW arrow post[102].

(13.02 km) Int of Georges Road AND Congewai Creek track to Int of Georges AND Heaton Rds
Track: Moderate - servicetrail
Length = 2.89 km Time = 55 mins
Climb = 67 m Descent = -100 m
Continue straight: From the intersection[103][104], this walk follows the GNW arrow post east along the dirt Georges Road as it leads gently downhill[105], initially keeping the main valley to your left. The road leads along the ridge among the tall trees, past a few small clearings and side tracks for about 2.2km to pass a gate and timber fence[106] (on your left). The walk continues along this main road for another 600m, coming to a T-intersection[107] with the dirt Heaton Road, marked with a 'Watagans National Park' sign[108].

(15.92 km) Int of Georges & Heaton Rds to Forestry H.Q campsite
Track: Moderate - road
Length = 1.24 km Time = 25 mins
Climb = 60 m Descent = -7 m
Veer right: From the intersection[109], this walk follows the 'The Great North Walk' sign gently uphill along the dirt Heaton Rd[110]. The road leads up along the ridge through the tall forest for about 1.1km, until coming to a Y-intersection[111] with Bakers Rd and a large sign with many names[112].
Veer left: From the intersection[113], this walk follows the 'Hunters Lookout' sign[114] gently uphill along Bakers Road[115]. The walk continues along this road for a bit over 150m, coming to a three-way intersection[116], just in front of the signposted 'Watagan Headquarters' campsite[117].

Watagan Headquarters Alt = 0 m
Watagan Headsquarters campsite[118] (aka Forestry HQ) is located in the Heaton State Forest, beside Bakers Rd, near Heaton Rd. This campsite has wood fired barbecues[119], picnic tables[120] and a garbage bin[121]. The large, flat, cleared area[122] allows plenty of room to pitch a tent. In 2010, a series of vandalism attacks occurred on the water tank, so there is no longer water available.

Overnight stay Goto day 2 notes

Day 2


(17.15 km) Forestry H.Q campsite to Hunter Lookout picnic area
Track: Moderate - road,bushtrack
Length = 1.62 km Time = 27 mins
Climb = 21 m Descent = -38 m
Turn left : From the intersection (Forestry H.Q. campsite)[123], this walk follows Bakers Road gently downhill[124], while keeping the GNW arrow marker on your right[125] and the large 'Great North Walk' sign[126] on your left. The walk continues, undulating gently for about 900m until coming to a three-way intersection with Rocky Creek Road[127] (on the right).
Continue straight: From the intersection[128], this walk follows Bakers Road north and gently uphill, while keeping Rocky Creek Road (no signpost) on your right. The walk continues, undulating gently for about 400m until coming to a three-way intersection with Glen Road[129] (on the right).
Continue straight: From the intersection[130], this walk follows Bakers Road gently uphill[131], while keeping Glen Road on your right. The walk continues, undulating gently for about 250m until coming to Hunter Lookout picnic area[132] (on the left).
Veer left: From the intersection, this walk heads off the road and up the hill following the Hunter Lookout picnic area sign, past the wooden gate and the public toilet, to the picnic area area and the lookout.

Hunter Lookout Alt = 435 m
Hunter Lookout[133] can be found on Bakers Road, along the Great North Walk. This fenced lookout has everything you will need snack-stop, including toilets[134], picnic tables, chairs and wood-fired barbecues[135]. This lookout has fantastic views[136] over much of the Hunter region[137]. In 2010, a series of vandalism attacks occurred on the water tank, so water is no longer available at Hunter Lookout.

(18.77 km) Hunter Lookout picnic area to Macleans Lookout
Track: Moderate - bushtrack,road,road
Length = 703 m Time = 16 mins
Climb = 39 m Descent = -38 m
Continue straight: From the picnic area, this walk heads north, past the metal gate to the intersection of Bakers Road.
Veer left: From the Hunter Lookout picnic area[138] (on Bakers Road), this walk follows Bakers Road north and gently downhill[139], while keeping Hunter Lookout on your left. The walk continues for about 400m until coming to a Y-intersection[140] (Bakers Road loop).
Continue straight: From the intersection[141] (Bakers Road Loop), this walk follows the track gently uphill[142], while keeping the other end of Bakers Road Loop to your right, gently downhill. The walk follows the road for about 130m until coming to Macleans Lookout[143].

Mcleans Lookout Alt = 445 m
McLeans Lookout[144] offers magnificent views of the valleys[145] in Heaton State Forest. Located on Bakers Road, this fenced lookout also has picnic facilities including tables with seats[146] and open grassy areas.

(19.47 km) Maclean Lookout to Int of GNW track & a wide track
Track: Hard - road,servicetrail
Length = 494 m Time = 12 mins
Climb = 7 m Descent = -74 m
Veer right: From Mcleans Lookout[147], this walk follows Bakers Road gently downhill, while keeping Macleans Lookout behind you on your left. The walk continues for about 80m until coming to a three-way intersection[148] with a wide track and GNW arrow marker (on the left).
Continue straight: From the intersection[149], this walk follows the trail gently downhill[150], while keeping the 'Heaton Lookout' sign on your right. The walk continues (becoming moderately steep downhill) for about 280m until coming to a three-way intersection[151] with a track on the left.

(19.97 km) Int of GNW track AND a wide track to Int of GNW track AND Glen Road
Track: Hard - bushtrack
Length = 174 m Time = 5 mins
Climb = 19 m Descent = -12 m
Turn sharp right: From the intersection[152], this walk follows the track moderately steeply downhill[153], while keeping the GNW arrow marker on your left. The walk continues (descending moderately steeply into[154] and out[155] of a gully) for about 150m, until coming to a three-way intersection, Glen Road[156].

(20.14 km) Int of GNW track & Glen Road to Int of GNW track & a wide bushtrack
Track: Hard - servicetrail
Length = 133 m Time = 4 mins
Climb = 12 m Descent = -8 m
Turn left: From the intersection[157], this walk follows the track gently downhill[158], while keeping the 'Glenn Rd' sign[159] on your right. The walk continues through forest[160] for about 120m, until coming to a three-way intersection[161] with a track and GNW arrow marker (on the left).

(20.28 km) Int of GNW track & a wide bushtrack to Int of GNW track & a narrow road
Track: Hard - bushtrack
Length = 723 m Time = 21 mins
Climb = 75 m Descent = -59 m
Turn left : From the intersection[162], this walk follows the GNW arrow marker[163] moderately steeply down along the track[164]. The walk continues for about 100m, to find a forested mossy creek[165] where the track bend right and continues close to the creek[166] for about 70m to then bend left and crossing the creek. The walk now follows the track undulating gently for about 280m before finding a large rock overhang[167]. The walk then continues moderately steeply uphill[168] for about 200m until coming to a T-intersection[169] with a wide trail and GNW arrow marker[170].

(21 km) Int of GNW track & a wide track to Int of GNW track and Fosters Road south
Track: Moderate - servicetrail
Length = 340 m Time = 8 mins
Climb = 30 m Descent = -17 m
Turn right: From the intersection[171], this walk follows 'Watagan Forest Road' sign[172] uphill[173] along the trail for about 200m to a three-way intersection[174], with another 'Watagan Forest Road' sign[175] (on your left).
Continue straight: From the intersection[176], this walk follows the wide track gently downhill, while keeping the 'Macleans Lookout 2km' sign[177] on your right. The walk continues for about 140m to a three-way intersection[178], with Fosters Road on your right and 'Fosters Road' sign[179] on your left.

(21.34 km) Int of GNW track and Fosters Road south to Int of GNW track and Wallis Creek
Track: Hard - bushtrack
Length = 1.88 km Time = 1 Hr
Climb = 172 m Descent = -282 m
Continue straight: From the intersection[180], this walk follows the GNW arrow post down along the wide old trail[181], passing the 'Fosters Road' sign[182] on your left. The walk continues for about 100m, where the wide track then leads moderately steeply downhill[183] for about 150m more. The walk then crosses a gully[184] and heads up[185] over another rise for about 70m to where the track narrows then bends left at a GNW arrow post. About 180m past the post, the walk crosses a gully[186] then heads up the other side, past a termite mound[187] to an unfenced cliff with distance valley views[188]. Here the track bends right and leads up a short distance to a dirt road[189]. The walk turns left and follows the road down for just a few metres to the 'Hammonds Road' sign, where the 'MacLean Lookout' arrow[190] points back along the road.
Continue straight: From the intersection[191], this walk follows the 'Heaton Lookout' sign[192] downhill along the road a few metres, then veers left to follow the GNW arrow down the old trail[193]. The walk leads fairly steeply down for about 180m then passes around a timber barrier[194]. Here the track narrows and continues more steeply downhill[195] through forest for about 250m to a gully and creek crossing[196] (with many fallen dead trees[197]).
Continue straight: This walk crosses the creek[198] and follows the track, while keeping the valley on your left. The walk follows the track steeply up for a short distance, then follows along the base of a cliff[199] for about 120m to pass through a long sandstone cave[200]. The rocky track leads steeply down through the dense rainforest for 700m, following a series of GNW arrow posts to the bottom of the gully beside Wallis Creek[201].

(23.22 km) Int of GNW track and Wallis Creek to Int of GNW track and Heaton Lookout
Track: Hard - bushtrack
Length = 2.21 km Time = 59 mins
Climb = 201 m Descent = -115 m
Continue straight: From here, the walk crosses Wallis Creek[202], and follows the GNW arrows south gently uphill along the track. The walk continues (crossing over a tree trunk[203] with carved steps) and after about 500m, comes to a creek and a tree trunk with a directional arrow carving[204]. Then the walk follows the track[205] for about 130m (crossing the creek a number[206] of times) to find the track leaving the creek[207]. The track is followed moderately steeply uphill[208] through forest for about 400m, until coming to a level four-way intersection[209] with a 'Barniers Road/Mt Faulk Road' sign on your right.
Continue straight: From the intersection[210], this walk follows the GNW arrow east, directly away from the face of the 'Barniers Road' sign[211]. The walk continues along the old trail for about 450m to find an intersection[212] with a track (on the right). Here the walk turns right, following the 'The Great North Walk' sign[213] moderately steeply down the narrow track[214] for about 220m and then crosses a creek[215]. The walk continues moderately steeply uphill[216] around another gully and after about 500m, comes to a T-intersection[217] with Heaton trail and Heaton Lookout[218] directly ahead.

Heaton Lookout Alt = 379 m
Heaton Lookout[219] is one of the larger lookouts located on Heaton Road. This fenced lookout faces south-east. There are wood fired barbecues[220], picnic tables[221] and a pit toilet[222]. Heaton Lookout is a great place to stop for a snack, and the amazing view[223] feels like a bonus. This lookout was named after Richard Heaton, a timber cutter who came to Australia as a convict[224]. There is a water tank here, due to vandalism in the area this is not a reliable water source.

(25.43 km) Heaton Lookout. to Heaton Communications Tower
Track: Moderate - road
Length = 2.43 km Time = 54 mins
Climb = 144 m Descent = -54 m
Turn left: From 'Heaton Lookout'[225], this walk follows the 'Heaton Gap' sign[226] gently uphill along the dirt Heaton Rd[227], past the toilet[228]. After about 250m, the road leads past the 'Heaton Loop Trail' side track[229], then about 250m later (staying left at the Y-intersection) the road passes another section of the same signposted track[230] as the road bends left, enjoying the views over the clearing (on your right). The road now leads gently uphill[231] for about 1.7km, ignoring a series of side tracks until coming to a clear three-way intersection[232] just past the brick building[233] and fenced communication tower[234] (on the right, and a small dam on the left).

(27.86 km) Heaton Communications Tower to Heaton Gap Lookout
Track: Moderate - servicetrail
Length = 621 m Time = 13 mins
Climb = 3 m Descent = -69 m
Turn right: From the intersection[235], this walk follows the GNW arrow marker[236] off the main road, heading east along the wide trail, initially keeping the fenced tower[237] on your right. The trail follows the power lines[ref img=359237 for about 600m and then bends right, coming to the Heaton Gap Lookout[238]. The unsignposted and unfenced clearing[239] has wide, uninterrupted views to the south.

Heaton Gap Lookout Alt = 415 m
Heaton Gap lookout is a fantastic spot to stop and catch your breath in Heaton State Forest. This unfenced lookout[240] offers exhilarating views over the valleys towards Tuggerah Lake and Lake Macquarie[241]. this unsignposted view, as with many features in the area, was named after Richard Heaton, a timber cutter who came to Australia as a convict[242]. More info

(28.48 km) Heaton Gap Lookout to Heaton Gap Track Head
Track: Hard - bushtrack
Length = 1.22 km Time = 32 mins
Climb = 6 m Descent = -272 m
Continue straight: From Heaton Gap Lookout[243], this walk follows the track east, moderately steeply downhill, initially keeping the view from Heaton Gap Lookout[244] on your right. After about 60m, the track leads to a timber platform with more views[245], underneath the power lines. The walk continues past some handrailing for about 20m to come to the 'Great North Walk Walker Register' post[246]. After noting your intentions, the walk continues steeply downhill[247] with stone and timber steps[248] and sections for handrail for about 200m, past the rock boulders and grass trees where the track widens into a narrow grassy trail. Here the walk follows this trail and the power lines downhill, steeply[249] in places, for about 600m, until coming to a level unsignposted three-way intersection[250] with the Freemans Drive trail[251] (on the right).
Veer left: From the intersection[252], this walk follows the GNW arrow post and power lines[253] steeply downhill[254] along the trail. The walk continues for about 180m to find a three-way intersection[255], with a GNW arrow marker on the right (where the power line trail bends left). The walk turns right, leaving the power lines and following the GNW arrow marker steeply down a narrower forested track[256]. The track winds down some timber steps, towards the sound of traffic for about 160m then down a timber staircase[257] to the edge of Freemans Drive. Here the walk crosses Freemans Drive[258] (busy road, please be careful to look and listen for traffic) and comes to the Watagan Forest Motel[259], petrol station (on the left), picnic area[260] and signposted 'Heaton Gap Track Head'[261] (on the right).

Watagan Forest Motel Alt = 145 m
Watagan Forest Motel[262] is located on Branxton-Toronto Road. This retro-style motel is located right on the Great North Walk. The motel offers six rooms[263] for around $99 per night - each with a double bed[264] (four rooms also have twin singles), a television[265], bathroom with shower[266], air conditioning[267], and breakfast included. Room service is available. Adjoining the motel is a service station[268], which also offers dining room meals as well as a small grocery selection (bread, milk, bottled water, rice, pasta, etc), open until 8:30pm daily. A rest area is situated next to the motel, with covered picnic tables and garbage bins[269]. For further information, phone (02)4938 0149.

Drive from Heaton Gap Track Head
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.
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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

Driving Directions
Map Car Shuffle
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Near by


Campsites in the park
Bangalow camping ground
Gap Creek camping ground


Nearest know Outdoor Stores near the start of this walk
Store Address Phone Distance (straight line)
Carneys Sport & Leisure 137 Vincent St , Cessnock (02) 4991 2208 18.4 km
Lake Macquarie Kayaks & Camping Unit 1 61 Alliance Ave, Morisset (02) 4973 2028 20.9 km
Central Coast Canvas 33 Holloway Drv, Jilliby (02) 4353 9885 28.8 km
Camping World Cnr Hillsborough & Macquarie Rds, Warners Bay (02) 4956 6183 33.1 km
East Lake Refrigeration 511 Lake Rd , Argenton (02) 4958 6255 31.5 km


A list of the nearest UHF CB repeaters I found to Congewai East Track Head to Watagan Forest Motel via Forestry HQ Campsite.
Channel Call sign
(more info)
Site Distance and dir from Congewai East Track Head to Watagan Forest Motel via Forestry HQ Campsite
Click to re-center search
6 NEW06 Gencom Site 1 Sugarloaf Range via NEWCASTLE 21 km (to the ENE)
2 VMB4 Auzcom Communications Site 1 Sugarloaf Range Via NEWCASTLE 22 km (to the ENE)
1 CHT01 Our Town Repeater Group 244 Pacific Highway CHARLESTOWN 37 km (to the E)
5 CHN05 Our Town Repeater Group 244 Pacific Highway CHARLESTOWN
Emergency use only
37 km (to the E)
3 VMB2 Tower Street BATEAU BAY 46 km (to the SSE)

Weather and Park info

Fire Danger
This walk passes Greater Hunter 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 wx61242
°C (feels like °)
km/h from the
% humidity     (as at )
A graph displaying the average daily temperature range for the year

Watagans National Park Link to official closures and fire bans page

Region: Hunter & Mid North Coast
Park fees Camping Facilities
Current Park Closure information for Watagans National Park
Closure information last downloaded Sunday 27th of September 2015 07:00 AM
Closed areas: Click Creek fire trail and Slippery Rock Road
Click Creek fire trail is closed due to extensive storm damage. The trail will remain closed until maintenance works can be completed. Slippery Rock Road is closed due to eroded surfaces making conditions unsafe. The road will reopen, subject to conditions, once maintenance work is completed. Penalties apply for non-compliance For more information, please contact the NPWS Lakes area office on (02) 4972 9000 or visit the NSW National Parks safety page for park safety guidelines.

Safety alerts: Access to park during inclement weather
Roads in Watagans National Park are unsealed, and accessible by 2WD in dry conditions only. 4WD's should be used at all other times. Gates and roads may be temporarily closed to prevent damage when wet. Please contact the NPWS Lake Munmorah office on (02) 4972 9000 for more information.



Heaton State Forest Boardering Watagan national Park, Heaton State forest is home to many great lookouts. There sre many highpoints with cliff edges giving great views across the Hunter valley and Lake Macquarie.
Region:
I am not aware of any closures in this park at the moment.


Awaba State Forest A large parcel of land west of the northern end of lake Macquarie, Awaba state forest lines the side of part of the Sydney - newcastle freeway. The park is home to mostly native forest
Region:
I am not aware of any closures in this park at the moment.

Walker Feedback

Comments
Add NewSearch
sue booth IP:120.153.37.xxx | 2010-03-14 10:06:35
although both wild walks and the GNW map say there is water available at Forestry campsite , hunter lookout and heaton lookout, this is not always true. this weekend, taps were missing from forestry and heaton and there was barely any water at hunter. there are creeks along the way and this is the best source of water other than carrying it in.
admin - re: water in the Watagans Super Administrator | 2010-03-14 22:16:13
sue booth wrote:
taps were missing from forestry and heaton and there was barely any water at hunter.

Hi Sue
Thanks for letting me know. I spoke with the GNW coordinator this morning and he was saying there has been some ongoing issues particularly with vandalism in the area (but there was water at Forestry last week). I have updated our notes to make this clear not to rely on the water tanks.
Thanks for taking the time to let us know.
Matt :)
Barry O'Malley - re: re: water in the Watagans IP:203.24.1.xxx | 2010-04-06 00:11:32
admin wrote:
sue booth wrote:
taps were missing from forestry and heaton and there was barely any water at hunter.

Hi Sue
Thanks for letting me know. I spoke with the GNW coordinator this morning and he was saying there has been some ongoing issues particularly with vandalism in the area (but there was water at Forestry last week). I have updated our notes to make this clear not to rely on the water tanks.
Thanks for taking the time to let us know.
Matt :)


Hi Matt

I've walked the region numerous times recently, including Easter (just gone)..no water that I have seen at Forestery Headquarters for quite sometime.

Otherwise the section from Watagan Creek road to Watagan Motel, via Beraba Trig is all pretty good. Wateri n Creeks if needed towards Heaton Lookout. And they have replaced the sign at Heaton's Lookout..someone used it fr fire wood last year!

cheers
schooley - Special Permit IP:203.13.128.xxx | 2011-09-14 01:29:16
Shall be walking from Congewei Comms Tower to Watagan Forest Motel. Forestry says I need a permit. $110 + $4.40 per person.
Anyone else encountered this ?
admin - re: Special Permit Super Administrator | 2011-09-14 20:36:35
schooley wrote:
Shall be walking from Congewei Comms Tower to Watagan Forest Motel. Forestry says I need a permit. $110 + $4.40 per person.
Anyone else encountered this ?

I have not heard anything for this specific area, but I have heard similar for people taking commercial or larger organised group. If you are walking with a bunch of friends, then there are no permits. Can I suggest you call Peter Corrigan, GNW coordinator M: 0428 601 203 and chat about it with him.
Please let us know what you find out.
Matt :)
Peter Markowsky - Water taps all good :) IP:110.143.35.xxx | 2013-01-05 10:03:22
Just did this walk and all taps bar 1 were working. I tried 3. Both hunter lookout and Heaton were good.
Peter - Guns in the park IP:110.143.35.xxx | 2013-01-06 07:13:20
I also came across a hunter whilst I was on the walk. I just signed this as I found it appalling. http://nohunting.wildwalks.com
admin - re: Guns in the park Super Administrator | 2013-01-06 21:56:20
Peter wrote:
I also came across a hunter whilst I was on the walk. I just signed this as I found it appalling. http://nohunting.wildwalks.com

Hi Peter - sure is - this walk passes through a state forest so recreational hunting is allowed in this area - although they should not be hunting near the walking tracks or roads. But lets keep letting keep encouraging people to remind our Government that hunting in National Parks is a bad idea.
Steven - water source IP:123.243.12.xxx | 2014-09-23 09:04:07
I will try GNW next week. Just wandering, is there any reliable water in the Hunter lookout and Heaton lookout?
Or is there any alternative way to get water?
Thank you.
Melissa - Water IP:110.20.231.xxx | 2014-09-30 03:09:58
In case it helps, Steven, there was water in the tank at Hunter Lookout 2 weekends ago. Hopefully no one has left the tap open in the meantime! I didn't check the tank at the Heaton lookout. There was a bit of water in the creek between these two lookouts, but you'd obviously need to filter it. There's a petrol station at heaton Gap, so easy to fill up there! Enjoy your walk :)
Michael - Water IP:27.32.76.xxx | 2015-03-29 02:25:58
Hi guys,

My girlfriend and I are looking at walking from Watagan Creek Road to Teralba Station over the Easter long weekend.

The only part I'm worried about is water between Congewai and Heaton Gap Trackhead.

Does anyone have an update on whether the water tanks are currently working?

Otherwise, does anyone know whether there are frequent creeks along the way??

I will update with my own findings after next weekend!

Thankyou,
Michael
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