This section of the Great North Walk starts from the Somersby General Store and winds north, through the Jilliby State Conservation Area, and finishes at the corner of Greta Road and Cherry Lane. At just under 20km, this full day walk explores the Palm Grove, Hidden Valley and Ourimba Creek tracks, winding around the Tuggerah Lake field archery range and following the outside edge of a farming property.
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There are closures in Jilliby State Conservation Area Today's Fire rating LOW MODERATE (No fire ban)
Cross sectional view of the Somersby Store to Greta Road bushwalking track
Analysis and summary of the altitude variation on the Somersby Store to Greta Road bushwalking track
Overview of this walks Grading - Based on the AS 2156.1 - 2001
These details are new. This new feature still requires more testing and refining. Please use the 'Walker Feedback' for report specific issues. Please e-mail Matt if you have any general comments. Hope you find it helpful.
Under this standard, a walk is graded based on the most difficult section of the walk.
Very steep (4/6)
Quality of track
Rough track, where fallen trees and other obstacles are likely (4/6)
Minimal directional signs (4/6)
Moderate level of bushwalking experience recommended (4/6)
Forecast, unforecast storms and severe weather may impact on navigation and safety (4/6)
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
10km of this walk has gentle hills with occasional steps and another 9km is very steep. The remaining (1.5km) has short steep hills.
Quality of track
8km of this walk follows a clear and well formed track or trail and another 4.4km follows a smooth and hardened path. Whilst another 4.4km follows a formed track, with some branches and other obstacles and the remaining 4.3km follows a rough track, where fallen trees and other obstacles are likely.
10km of this walk has directional signs at most intersection and another 6km is clearly signposted. The remaining (4.3km) has minimal directional signs.
10km of this walk requires no previous bushwalking experience and another 6km requires some bushwalking experience. The remaining (4.8km) requires a leader a with moderate level of bushwalking experience.
17km of this walk is not usually affected by severe weather events (that would unexpectedly impact safety and navigation) and another 2.6km is affected by storms that may impact your navigation and safety. The remaining (1.9km) is affected by forecast, unforecast storms and severe weather events that may impact on navigation and safety.
12km of this walk is close to useful facilities (such as fenced cliffs and seats) and another 6km has limited facilities (such as not all cliffs fenced). The remaining (3.3km) has limited facilities (such as cliffs not fenced, significant creeks not bridged).
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Catch the bus to Somersby Store
A bus service runs along Wisemans Ferry Rd passing Somersby store. The service runs between Gosford and Spencer only a few times a day. Please check timetable for more info or Phone Busway on (02) 4368 2277. The bus only picks passengers up from Somersby to head to Gosford on the morning runs. Timetable
Somersby Store offers a good place to have lunch or pick up the basic food supplies. The store serves hot food including burgers, chips, pies etc and cold drinks. Opening hours are 6am - 6pm Monday to Friday and 6.30am to 4pm on Saturdays (closed Sundays). There is a pay phone and a bus stop however services are limited to two buses a day. Contact details are (02)4372 1269, at 841 Wisemans Ferry Road Somersby, NSW 2250. The store owners are happy for you to phone ahead. If you are a large group you can order ahead to save the stress. I always encourage people to use local stores like this on track, but since it is a small store it is worth phoning ahead to see what they have what you want in stock.
End of Kilkenny Road Track: Moderate - road
Length = 2.63 km
Time = 48 mins
Climb = 54 m
Descent = -69 m
From the Somersby Store, this walk heads north, gently downhill along the side of 'Wisemans Ferry Rd', past the public toilet. After about 120m, this walk crosses an on-ramp then heads over the bridge crossing Peats Ridge Road, then past another on-ramp. The walk continues along Wisemans Ferry Rd for about 700m to then turn sharp right at the three-way intersection, onto 'Dog Trap Rd'. Just over 100m along Dog Trap Rd, this walk turns left into 'Kilkenny Rd'. The walk follows Kilkenny Rd past the rural properties for about 1.2km, where the walk continues along the now dirt road. About 50m after becoming dirt, the road leads across a rock ford that can be extremely slippery when wet. The walk continues up along the dirt road for another 300m to come to the end of the road and a 'Great North Walk' sign, beside 'Illawong' (farm).
End of Kilkenny Road
creek crossing Track: Hard - bushtrack
Length = 1.38 km
Time = 32 mins
Climb = 11 m
Descent = -207 m
Continue straight: From the northern end of Kilkenny Road next to 'Illawong' (farm), this walk follows the 'The Great North Walk' sign along the management trail, between the two farms. After about 300m, the trail leads to a clearing, where this walk turns right to follow the GNW arrow post along track beside the fence line (keeping the paddock on your right) for about 70m. The walk then turns left and follows the 'The Great North Walk' sign down the hill. The track leads steeply at first and become progressively less steep as the walk heads down the ridge line, until almost flattening out about 400m after leaving the farm. The track then bends left and winds steeply down the side of the ridge, down a series of rock steps for about 600m, leading into a dense moist rain forest. The track passes some wonderful examples of bird's nest ferns (Asplenium australasicum) before the last little walk down to the rocky intermittent creek. This walk then crosses the creek in the mossy, cool and moist valley.
Palm Grove Campsite intersection Track: Hard - bushtrack
Length = 1.05 km
Time = 28 mins
Climb = 114 m
Descent = -25 m
Continue straight: From beside the creek, this walk follows the GNW arrow post uphill, using the series of rock steps. The track leads uphill, passing some notably large trees over about 120m to then turn right onto a leafy trail. Here the walk crosses an ephemeral creek then continues along the leafy trail in the shaded rainforest. After about 250m, the walk turns left, following the 'Great North Walk' sign gently up along a narrow track for about 60m to pass a large strangler fig tree. Just past the fig, this track begins to climb steeply up a series of rock steps and switch-backs for about 100m to pass along side a rock wall (on your right). Just past the rock wall, this walk ducks under a fallen tree then continues steeply (into the more open forest) up more rock steps and switchback for another 250m, where the track flattens out and comes to the signposted 'Walker Register' tube. After leaving your comments, and having a bit of a read of other people's adventures, this walk turns right and follows the GNW arrow post along the top of the ridge, through a clearing. Here the walk start to lead down along the top of the ridge for about 150m to come to a three-way intersection, marked with a couple of GNW arrow posts (just before a campsite, ahead).
Palm Grove Campsite intersection
Ourimbah Valley Trackhead Track: Hard - bushtrack
Length = 987 m
Time = 24 mins
Climb = 15 m
Descent = -143 m
Turn left: From the intersection, this walk follows the GNW arrow post north-west, gently down off the side of the ridge (initially keeping the campsite track down to your right). The track leads down along the side of the ridge for about 150m before leading much more steeply down a series of rock steps for about 200m. The track mostly flatten out just before passing a tall fig growing over a large boulder (on your right). Here the track winds more gently downhill for about 150m to pass a couple cabbage palms (Livistona australis), then continues to wind fairly steeply down for another 400m where the track mostly flattens out again. Near the end of this 400m, the track leads through a short weedy section before heading down a short embankment to a T-intersection with the dirt Ourimbah Creek Rd, marked with a large 'Ourimbah Valley Trackhead' sign.
Ourimbah Valley Trackhead
Int of Platypus Creek La and Ourimbah Creek Rd Walk: Easy - road
Length = 1.85 km
Time = 32 mins
Climb = 30 m
Descent = -25 m
Turn sharp left: From the 'Ourimbah Valley Trackhead' (on Ourimbah Creek Rd), this walk follows the 'Newcastle' sign downhill along the dirt road. The road soon leads down and across a flat timber vehicle bridge then the road mostly flattens out, winding among the rural properties for almost 300m to pass a 'Palm Grove Nature Reserve' sign and a few 'Hidden Valley' signs. The walk continues along the road for about 700m then comes to the intersection in front of the Hidden Valley property (on your left, not far before another road bridge).
This walk continues straight, gently downhill along the wide dirt road to almost immediately pass 'Wombats End' (private road) then cross the flat timber road bridge. After about 400m, the road leads under some high tension power lines then after another 150m of winding past the rural properties, this walk passes a timber 'Hidden Valley' private property shelter and water tank (on your right). A further 100m along the road past this shelter, the walk veers left (ignoring 'Platypus Creek La') to come to a locked gate with a 'Road Closed' sign.
Int of Platypus Creek La and Ourimbah Creek Rd
Forty Acres Track: Moderate - servicetrail
Length = 1.98 km
Time = 36 mins
Climb = 39 m
Descent = -43 m
Continue straight: From the gate (near the intersection of Ourimbah Creek Road and Platypus Creek La), this walk heads up around the locked gate and follows the Ourimbah Creek Rd trail along the side of the valley for about 800m, where it crosses a culverted creek. From here, the walk continues along the clear trail as it gently undulates alongside Ourimbah Creek (which is down the steep bank on your right) for about 1.2km until coming to a three-way intersection, marked with a 'Great North Walk' sign, just before the gates of 'Forty Acres' property.
Stringy Bark Point Track: Moderate - servicetrail
Length = 1.82 km
Time = 33 mins
Climb = 43 m
Descent = -33 m
Turn left: From the intersection, this walk follows the 'Great North Walk' sign north-east along the clear trail. This trail gently undulates along the side of Ourimbah Creek (which is down the steep bank on your right) for about 1.6km, then passes a campsite with a metal fireplace (on your right). Here the walk continues along the trail for about 100m to head past a track (on your right, that leads down to the sandy creek) and continues along the main trail for another 150m to come to large clearing and campsite, Stringy Bark Point at the end of the trail (marked with a timber and metal footbridge on the right).
Stringy Bark Point
Alt = 46 m
This campsite is in a small clearing at Stringy Bark Point, just on the southern side of the bridge. This campsite provides room for a small campfire and a few tents. Water is usually available from the creek running by the campsite, please treat before drinking.
Stringy Bark Point
Int of Great North Walk and Tooheys Road south Track: Hard - bushtrack
Length = 1.83 km
Time = 53 mins
Climb = 237 m
Descent = -42 m
Veer right: From Stringy Bark Point campsite, this walk heads across the timber and metal footbridge (with a small mossy canyon on your right). Once on the other side of the bridge, the old trail gently undulates west through the bush for about 300m where this walk turns right following a GNW arrow post down a few rock steps. The distinct track leads fairly steeply down to find, then cross, the perennial Ourimbah Creek. This creek may become impassable after heavy or prolonged rain.
On the other side, the track leads up the bank then gently up through the dense, leafy forest for about 50m, following a series of GNW arrow posts. The track then starts to lead steeply uphill for about 100m and leaves the dense forest, climbing up onto the more open ridge. Here the track mostly flattens out, leading over a rocky area to then come to a large ant hill. The track now leads uphill for about 250m to pass some cabbage palms (Livistona australis). The track starts to climb steeply again for about 150m, up some stone steps (and past a rock with a view) to where the track mostly flattens out again for about 60m, coming to a three-way intersection that is marked with a GNW arrow post. Here the walk veers left and follows this old trail steeply uphill for about 130m, before turning left at another GNW arrow post. This track soon bends sharp right and leads up some stone steps then comes to an intersection (with the same old trail). Here the walk leads gently uphill for about 30m, over the a rise (ignoring the faint track on your right), after which the track leads gently down through the tall forest for about 300m and comes to an T-intersection with the dirt Tooheys Rd, marked with a 'The Great North Walk' signpost.
Int of Great North Walk and Tooheys Road south
Int of Great North Walk and Tooheys Road north Track: Hard - servicetrail
Length = 2.3 km
Time = 52 mins
Climb = 139 m
Descent = -67 m
Turn left: From the intersection, this walk follows the 'Camping Area' sign north, down along the wide dirt road. The road soon crosses a saddle and starts to lead uphill, then meanders (quite steeply in places) along the ridge and through a variety of forests for about 2.2km, before passing a 'Caution Archery In Progress At Any Time - Keep to the Main Track' sign. Just over 100m past this sign, the road leads up to an intersection marked with a GNW arrow post, and the signposted GNW track (on your left)
Int of Old GNW track and Tooheys Rd
Archers Campsite Optional sidetrip: Track: Moderate - servicetrail
Length = 157 m
Time = 3 mins
Climb = 1 m
Descent = -3 m
Continue straight: From the intersection, this walk follows the GNW arrow post uphill along the wide dirt road. After about 30m, the road bends right (ignoring the trail on the left) and leads gently up for about 150m to pass below the campsite, then come to the signposted intersection with the 'Camping Area' (on your left) (Retrace your steps back to the main track, then veer right to continue along this walk.)
Alt = 311 m
This informally named campsite is found in Jilliby State Conservation Area, and is used regularly by members of the Tuggerah Lake Field Archers club. This is a basic campsite with a water tank and shed used for hanging shower water bags. The large open camping area has a few existing fire scars and a few flat grassy areas. (There are other facilities 150m further north along the dirt trail at the club house.)
Int of GNW and Tooheys Road north
Powerline tower west of Dead Horse Creek Track: Hard - bushtrack
Length = 1.9 km
Time = 48 mins
Climb = 106 m
Descent = -174 m
Turn sharp left: From the intersection, this walk follows the 'Yarramalong' sign along the narrow track (away from the dirt road) following a small ridge. After about 50m this walk turns right, following a GNW arrow post off the side of the ridge. The track now leads down along the side of the hill through the wooded forest mostly fairly gently downhill for 500m to cross a small (usually dry) gully. The track continues a little steeper down the hill among the gymea Lilie and eucalypt forest for just over 150m to pass a notable termite mound. About 150m past this mound the track starts to zig zag and head more steeply downhill for yet another 150m to come to the cool and mossy Dead Horse Creek.
Here the walk crosses Dead Horse Creek (this creek may become impassable after prolonged or heavy rain), then follows the GNW arrow post  up the side of the hill. The track initially zig zags steeply
then more gently up as it generally contours north along the side of the hill for about 250m to cross a small gully and often dry side creek. The track continues along the side of the main valley through the cool and dense wooded forest for just over 250m (where there are a few sections of faint track). Here the track starts to veer left and climb the side, of the valley quiet steeply at times for around 400m, where the forest becomes dryer and more open until the track leads to the side of a large high tension power-line tower.
Powerline tower west of Dead Horse Creek
Int of GNW and Cherry Lane Track: Moderate - bushtrack
Length = 1.55 km
Time = 30 mins
Climb = 53 m
Descent = -26 m
Continue straight: From the high tension powerline tower, this walk heads uphill along the widening track, initially keeping the tower on your left. After 200m this walk turns left at an intersection marked with a "private Property" sign, following a GNW arrow post. This walk continues along the track through the scribbly gum forest for about 70m to then continue straight ahead at four-way intersection (with a wider trail). From here this walk continues through the wooded forest for another 400m to where the view open up as the track passes through a 150m section of heath (ignoring a few fainter side tracks). Now the track leads back through a lightly wooded forest for another 250m to come to a clear intersection with a wider management trail, at the corner of a fence.
From here, this walk continue straight, following the track along the side of the fence (keeping the fence to your right) for 400m where the track leads under a set of high tension power lines, beside some farm land. Continuing along the fence line the track soon leads across a section of timber duckboard then after another 100m crosses a small flat timber bridge (over a small sandy creek). Just another 80m later the track leads
up to a locked gate and to a T-intersection with Cherry Lane, marked with a few GNW arrows.
Int of Great North Walk and Cherry Lane
Int of Greta Road and Cherry Lane Walk: Easy - road
Length = 1.39 km
Time = 27 mins
Climb = 54 m
Descent = -15 m
Turn right: From the intersection, this walk follows the GNW arrow post gently uphill along Cherry Lane, a gravel road. After 800m this walk continues straight ahead passing an intersection at the top of the hill. From here the road leads downhill for about 400m to pass a notable dam close to the road (on your right). Now the walk leads gently up along the gravel road for another 250m to a T-intersection with the sealed 'Greta Rd'
marked with a 'The Great North Walk' signpost (on your right).
Int of Greta Road and Cherry Lane
Int of Greta Road and power line service trail Walk: Easy - bushtrack
Length = 430 m
Time = 9 mins
Climb = 29 m
Descent = 0 m
Turn right: From the intersection, this walk follows the 'The Great North Walk' sign gently uphill along the grassy verge (under the power lines) keeping Greta Road just to your left. After 120m this walk crosses a driveway and continues along side the road for almost 250m to near the top of the hill, just before the high tension power lines. Here the walk turns left to cross the road to find a 'Great North Walk' signposted intersection beside a locked gate and style.
Drive from Int of Greta Road and power line service trail
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
Catch a bus to Somersby A bus service runs along Wisemans Ferry Rd passing Somersby store. The service runs between Gosford and Spencer only a few times a day. Please check timetable for more info or Phone Busway on (02) 4368 2277. The bus only picks passengers up from Somersby to head to Gosford on the morning runs. Get Timetable
From the end of the walk
Sorry there are no public transport options from the end of this walk
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.
Region: Park fees Current Park Closure information for Jilliby State Conservation Area Closure information last downloaded Sunday 27th of September 2015 07:00 AM Safety alerts: Road access within Jilliby SCA Roads in Jilliby State Conservation Area are unsealed, and accessible by 2WD in dry conditions only. 4WD's should be used at all other times. Gates may be temporarily closed on some roads, for roadworks, to prevent damage when wet.
Closed areas: Lemon Tree Forest Road Lemon Tree Forest Road, between Prickly Ridge Road and Yambo Forest Road, in Jilliby SCA is closed to vehicles until further notice, due to severe erosion. This closure will remain in place indefinitely. Penalties apply for non-compliance. For more information, please contact NPWS Lakes area office on (02) 4972 9000 or visit the NSW National Parks safety page for park safety guidelines.
Ourimbah State Forest Ourimbah State Forest is a small parcel of land west of Wyong on the NSW central Coast. The forest in on the southern boarder of Jilliby State forest and is home to a small section of the Great North Walk Region: I am not aware of any closures in this park at the moment.