From the ridges above Cowan Creek, this walk takes in some great lookouts (especially around Mt Kuring-gai) as well as enjoying an extremely pleasant bush track along the creek. Easily accessible by public transport, this track gives walkers a good taste of what Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park has to offer. Be sure to spare some time for a dawdle around the bays on Cowan Creek.
(open in app)
Cross sectional view of the Berowra to Mt Kuring-gai bushwalking track
Analysis and summary of the altitude variation on the Berowra to Mt Kuring-gai 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 30 mins
Very steep (4/6)
Quality of track
Rough track, where fallen trees and other obstacles are likely (4/6)
Directional signs along the way (3/6)
Some bushwalking experience recommended (3/6)
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
4.8km of this walk has short steep hills and another 3.1km is very steep. Whilst another 990m has gentle hills with occasional steps and the remaining 600m is flat with no steps.
Quality of track
6km of this walk follows a formed track, with some branches and other obstacles and another 1.9km follows a rough track, where fallen trees and other obstacles are likely. Whilst another 850m follows a clear and well formed track or trail and the remaining 400m follows a smooth and hardened path.
Around 8km of this walk has directional signs at most intersection, whilst the remaining 1.3km is clearly signposted.
Around 7km of this walk requires some bushwalking experience, whilst the remaining 2.3km requires no previous bushwalking experience.
Around 5km of this walk is affected by storms that may impact your navigation and safety, whilst the remaining 4.3km is not usually affected by severe weather events (that would unexpectedly impact safety and navigation).
6km of this walk has limited facilities (such as not all cliffs fenced) and another 1.9km has limited facilities (such as cliffs not fenced, significant creeks not bridged). The remaining (1.6km) is close to useful facilities (such as fenced cliffs and seats).
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Berowra Railway Station
End of the old Berowra Parade Walk: Easy - footpath
Length = 196 m
Time = 3 mins
Climb = 2 m
Descent = -5 m
From the front of Berowra Station, this walk follows the footpath between the Pacific Highway and railway line, whilst keeping the highway to your left. After about 50m this walk comes to 'Berowra Parade' marked with a large 'Harbour to Hawkesbury' information sign and map. Here the walk turns right and follows the little used road down over railway bridge then around the green metal gate to cross over the F3 on a large concrete bridge. On the other side of the freeway this walk comes to a small clearing marked with a large 'Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park - Berowra Track' sign.
End of the old Berowra Parade
Waratah Gully Crossing Track: Hard - bushtrack
Length = 1.15 km
Time = 29 mins
Climb = 31 m
Descent = -167 m
Veer right: From the clearing, this walk follows the track beside the large 'Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park - Berowra Track' sign heading directly away from the freeway. The track is initially slightly overgrown and leads over a series of concrete drains. The track then leads gently down through a tall casuarina and eucalypt stand for about 30m to come to the edge of an unfenced cliff, with filtered valley views. Here the walk turns left and leads gently down along the clear track and beside a long rock wall (on your left) for about 150m to a sharp right hand bend. From here the track becomes a little steeper and continues through a series of 9 more hairpin bends for 800m becoming moderately steep and passing through a grass tree forest to come beside Waratah Gully creek. Here the track flattens out and heads down through the canyon like gully for 100m then down some stone steps to the Waratah Gully creek crossing. The walk crosses the slippery sandstone creek bed at the site of an old bridge to find a small constructed sandstone buttress on the far side. This creek may become impassable after heavy or prolonged rain.
Waratah Gully Crossing
Waratah Bay Track: Moderate - bushtrack
Length = 759 m
Time = 15 mins
Climb = 2 m
Descent = -64 m
Continue straight: From the sandstone buttress on the south side of Waratah Creek, this walk follows the clear and mostly flat track down through the steep sided canyon like gully, keeping the creek steeply below and to your left. After passing through the dense moist forest for about 500m the rocky track leads over an exposed section of old pipes then 70m later the track comes to the start of Waratah Bay. Here the rocky track continues to lead beside the bay, keeping the water to your left for 80m to pass a 'No Camping' and a 'Gas fires only' sign. The walk now climbs up and over a short rocky rise for about 35m to come back to the waters edge beside the rusted steel skeleton of a boat.
Alt = 10 m
Waratah Bay sits on the eastern extent of Cowan Waters east of Berowra. The bay is home to a rusting metal boat hull, this boat marks the spot where the Edward Windybank and his family once worked and lived. Edward Windybank worked on the construction nearby railway line from 1886 to 87. Windybank also named the bay and acquired a life-long lease to use it. It seems that he built a small home, boat shed and a narrow road up the hill. Windybank operate a boat building a hire business on site
Lords Bay headland Track: Moderate - bushtrack
Length = 2.08 km
Time = 53 mins
Climb = 143 m
Descent = -150 m
Continue straight: From beside the rusty remnants of Windybank boat, this walk follows the track along the foreshore keeping the water to your left. The track leads over a small rise for about 120m to come to a set of old peers that once supported the Windybank's boat shed. There are other remnant of their home in the area. The rocky track continues to undulate along the southern shoreline of Waratah Bay for about 400m passing some large boulders to where the track bends right, following the shoreline, to come alongside Cowan Creek. This walk follows the rocky track as it leads upstream along the western shore of Cowan Creek for about 50m to pass a deep but short sandstone overhang (on your right). Continuing to undulating along the rocky shoreline, this walk heads through the bracken ferns and tall forest for 500m to cross a shallow rocky gully. About 180m later this walk veers right to follow the formal track up the timber steps, over a rise to continue long the shoreline over a few more rises for 300m before crossing a deep moist gully just beyond a large sandstone cave, just inside the northern headland of Lords Bay. The walk now leads along the northern shore into Lords bay for 250m to cross the usually small creek and densely forest gully at the apex of Lords Bay. About 60m later the track crosses another usually small creek on the slippery sandstone rocks to then follow the clear track along the southern shoreline of Lords bay for 200m to a small rock platform on the southern headland of Lords Bay.
Lords Bay headland
Cowan Creek View Track: Hard - bushtrack
Length = 1.93 km
Time = 49 mins
Climb = 132 m
Descent = -130 m
Continue straight: From the small rock platform on the southern headland of Lords Bay, this walk follows the track along foreshore keeping the water to your left for 350m to then head alongside a natural rock wall (on your right) and a shorter wall (on your left). From here the walk continues along the foreshore for 400m to cross the rocky apex of Winson Gully bay then along the southern foreshore of this bay for just shy of 200m to an unfenced flat rock with great views down Cowan Creek. This walk now continues to follow the track for 200m past a small cave to the where the track bends right at the southern headland of Winson Gully bay to continue along side Cowan Creek for 250m to pass a section of track where large sandstone boulders have been placed to stabilise the shoreline. The track then bends right to follow the shoreline into another bay then along north shore of this bay for 300m to cross the usually shallow but wide (unnamed) creek flowing over sandstone platform and around boulders. Now this walk follows the track out of the bay along the southern shoreline past a section where more large rocks have been placed to protect the track then up a few steps to a timber boardwalk and viewing platform on Cowan Creek.
Cowan Creek View
Alt = 7 m
Cowan Creek View, is a timber platform lookout on Cowan Creek. The lookout is on the northern side of a headland and provide great views down along Cowan Creek. This is a great place to rest and enjoy the water views.
Cowan Creek View
Int of Berowra and Mt Kuring-gai Tracks Track: Moderate - bushtrack
Length = 333 m
Time = 8 mins
Climb = 27 m
Descent = -7 m
Continue straight: From the viewing platform, this walk heads along the timber boardwalk keeping Cowan Creek to your left. The boardwalk bends right where the walk then heads up some steps and follows the rocky track as it undulates along the shoreline for 150m to pass close to a green channel marker. From here the walk continues along shoreline for just over 160m to then head up some timber steps and come to a signposted intersection at the bottom of the the signposted 'Mt Ku-ring-gai Track' (up to your right).
Int of Mt Kuring-gai and Berowra Tracks
Apple Tree Bay Optional sidetrip: Track: Moderate - bushtrack
Length = 936 m
Time = 26 mins
Climb = 66 m
Descent = -82 m
Continue straight: From the intersection, this walk follows the clear track along the shoreline, keeping the water to your left. After about 40m this walk comes to a constructed stone wall and series of disused stone steps (on your right). This is the site of the Woodnutts Boatshed that was built in 1910. The rusting water tank and a few other relics remain.
From here this walk continues along the shore line for just over 300m veering right a few times to pass over small rises using some timber steps to then cross two small rock gully and grove of sassafras. From this second gully the walk continues for 200m along side Cowan creek to here the now mostly flat track tends right (still on the shoreline) and into Apple Tree Bay. The track then becomes rocky and leads up and down a series of stone steps for about 100m to find small fenced clearing and picnic area where a sign points back along the 'Berowra Track'. Here the walk turns left and crosses Apple Tree Creek on the timber bridge to find a sheltered 'Information' sign on the other side. Now the walk leads past the top of the boat ramp and wanders across the car park just shy of 100m to find the kiosk at and 'Welcome to Apple Tree Bay' sign at the main entrance to the parking area. (Retrace your steps back to the main track, then turn left to continue along this walk.)
Apple Tree Bay
Alt = 8 m
Apple Tree Bay, in Ku-Ring-Gai Chase national park, has a popular boat ramp for accessing Cowan creek and plenty of parking. The area has kiosk, electric BBQ's, picnic benches, toilets, drinking water, garbage facilities, and shade provided by trees. If you are after a quiet spot, head to the western end (away from the boat ramp, past the BBQ's), just beyond the car park, to a lovely clearing by the water. The area is closed between sunset and sunrise.
The kiosk/cafe is open on weekend and services hot and cold drinks, ice creams and some hot food.
Int of Mt Kuring-gai and Berowra Tracks
Int of Lookout and Mt Kuring-gai Tracks Track: Hard - bushtrack
Length = 1.93 km
Time = 49 mins
Climb = 190 m
Descent = -13 m
Turn right: From the intersection, this walk follows the 'MT Ku-ring-gai Track' sign up the rock and timber steps and past the small overhang. The track leads fairly steeply up for 80m to then bend sharply right and continue fairly steeply for another 200m to pass a natural rock wall (on your left). Just 20m past this wall the track comes to a small flat area with good views over Cowan Creek. Here the walk continues more gently uphill along the rocky ridge line for 300m where the track completely flattens out to pass along the side of a small hill (on your left). Over the next 600m the track leads down across a saddle then up along the ridge to bend right onto an exposed rock platform. From there the sandy track soon bends left again to follow the ridge uphill for 100m to pass a small sandstone overhang then continue up a long set of stone steps where the sandy track mostly flattens out again. Soon the track starts heading up more stone steps  for about 400m to pass between a large boulder (on your left) and along rock wall (on your right). At the end of this rock wall the track bends right and leads up the stone steps through the cleft in the rock where the then mostly flat wide sandy track leads gently uphill for 250m to find a three-way intersection
marked with a NPWS arrow post.
Int of viewpoint and Mt Kuring-gai Tracks
Apple Tree Bay Viewpoint Optional sidetrip: Track: Moderate - bushtrack
Length = 107 m
Time = 2 mins
Climb = 0 m
Descent = -14 m
Turn left : From the intersection, the walk heads east away from the main trail to follow the wide sandy track gently downhill. The track begins to narrow and after about 100m the now rocky track comes to an unfenced rock platform with good views down over Apple Tree Bay and down along Cowan Creek valley. (Retrace your steps back to the main track, then veer left to continue along this walk.)
Int of Lookout and Mt Kuringai Tracks
Corner of Harwood Avenue and Young Street Walk: Easy - servicetrail
Length = 653 m
Time = 11 mins
Climb = 5 m
Descent = -12 m
Continue straight: From the intersection, this walk heads away from the face of the face of the NPWS arrow post to head south west over a small rise and along the sandy management trail. The trail passes through open wooded forest for just over 600m to pass a 'Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park - Mt Kuring gai Track' sign as the trail bends right where this walk heads around the green metal National Park gate. Here the walk heads past a few houses to find the intersection of 'Harwood Ave' and 'Young St' (Mt Kuring-gai).
Corner of Harwood Avenue and Young Street
Mt Kuring-gai Railway Station Walk: Easy - footpath
Length = 402 m
Time = 8 mins
Climb = 19 m
Descent = -1 m
Continue straight: From the corner of Harwood Avenue and Young Street, this walk follows Harwood Ave downhill along the footpath. The footpath then leads up past a 'Seaview St' and across 'Low St' to continue to the end of Harwood Ave to find a footbridge. Here the walk crosses the the F3 freeway using the caged foot bridge to head down the steps into a concrete tunnel. Part way through the tunnel this walk comes to an intersection at the bottom of the steps at Mt Kuring-gai Railway Station. Here there is a sign that points back to 'Mt Ku-ring-gai Walking Track'
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 7 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.
Ku-ring-gai Chase National ParkLink to official closures and fire bans page A largely untouched wilderness on the northern boundary of Sydney, Ku-ring-gai Chase NP is one of Australia's oldest national parks. Here at the head of the Hawkesbury River, you'll find Aboriginal engravings and sites, as well as sandstone escarpments, Region: Sydney & Surrounds Park feesCampingFacilities I am not aware of any closures in this park at the moment.
Berowra Valley National ParkLink to official closures and fire bans page Following the Berowra Creek the Berowra Valley National Park is located on the Hornsby Plateau and is made up of typical Hawkesbury Sandstone. The great North walk, Benowie walking track, and many other great walks stretch spann this park. The area has varied vegetation including many different sorts of Eucalyptus and plenty of native animals, includingl swamp wallibies, water dragons, bandicoots, Lyre Birds, and bush turkeys. There are several campsites within the Park, and Crosslands Reserve is also a popular spot near the middle of the park. Region: Sydney & Surrounds Park feesCamping Current Park Closure information for Berowra Valley National Park Closure information last downloaded Sunday 27th of September 2015 07:00 AM Safety alerts: Quarry trail and Benowie walking track restricted access Access restrictions are in place along trails that traverse the land managed by the Hornsby Rifle Range. Restricted areas include:
an 800m section of trail, 2km in from the Quarry Road entrance at Dural
an 800m section of trail, 300m in from the Stewart Avenue entrance at Hornsby
a 750m section of the Benowie walking track between Steele Bridge and Fishponds Waterholes.
Shooting times are between 9am and 4.30pm, 7 days a week. All visitors wishing to access the restricted sections of trail during these times must request prior authorisation by contacting the Hornsby Rifle Range on their 24 hour contact number 0417 201 606. Consult the map on Page vii of the Berowra Valley National Park Draft Plan of Management to plan alternative routes during these hours. Visit the website for further information about the Hornsby Rifle Range.