Following the Great North Walk, and the upper reaches of the Lane Cove River South, this walk explores dense bushland surrounding the river. You will experience a variety of trails along this walk, from steep bush tracks to wide biketrails. The common feature, however, is how well managed these trails are. The section just south of Thornleigh is the highlight of the walk as the bushtrail winds its way around the hill.
(open in app)
Cross sectional view of the Thornleigh to Marsfield bushwalking track
Analysis and summary of the altitude variation on the Thornleigh to Marsfield 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.
2 hrs 30 mins
Very steep (4/6)
Quality of track
Formed track, with some branches and other obstacles (3/6)
Directional signs along the way (3/6)
Some bushwalking experience recommended (3/6)
Storms may impact on navigation and safety (3/6)
Limited facilities, not all cliffs are fenced (3/6)
*This summary of grading information is new and still in testing
Some more detail of this walks Grading
Here is a bit more details explaining the grading looking at sections of the walk. Gradient
3.5km of this walk has gentle hills with occasional steps and another 1.3km has short steep hills. Whilst another 1.1km is flat with no steps and the remaining 230m is very steep.
Quality of track
3.5km of this walk follows a clear and well formed track or trail and another 1.7km follows a smooth and hardened path. The remaining (860m) follows a formed track, with some branches and other obstacles.
Around 5km of this walk is clearly signposted, whilst the remaining 660m has directional signs at most intersection.
Around 3.6km of this walk requires no previous bushwalking experience, whilst the remaining 2.5km requires some bushwalking experience.
Around 3.5km of this walk is not usually affected by severe weather events (that would unexpectedly impact safety and navigation), whilst the remaining 2.5km is affected by storms that may impact your navigation and safety.
Around 3.4km of this walk is close to useful facilities (such as fenced cliffs and seats), whilst the remaining 2.7km has limited facilities (such as not all cliffs fenced).
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Thornleigh Train Station
Int of Handley and Ferguson Avenues Walk: Easy - footpath
Length = 923 m
Time = 16 mins
Climb = 5 m
Descent = -19 m
From the the top of the bridge over 'Thornleigh' Train Station, this walk heads towards the Pennant Hills Rd, keeping the main building of the station to your left. The walk soon heads down some steps and turns left, following a 'The Great North Walk' sign down along the pedestrian alley for about 60m to come to 'Railway Parade'. Here the walk crosses the road to find a GNW arrow post at the bottom of the pedestrian overpass bridge. Veer right: From the intersection, this walk follows the GNW arrow post up the concrete steps (or ramp) to cross Pennant Hills Rd using the overpass. On the other side of the road, this walk follows 'Station St' down away from the main road. Just over 200m along this footpath, this walk continues straight across 'Wood St' (you can get to Parkway Plaza if you turn left here) and, just under 200m further along 'Station St', crosses 'Orchard St' to continue (almost) straight ahead beside 'Handley Avenue'. After about 250m, the walk cross Clifford Ave then about 130m later, crosses the intersection of 'Handley' and 'Ferguson' Avenues to find the signposted gate at the front of 'Thornleigh Oval'.
Alt = 155 m
Thornleigh Oval is found at the intersection of Handley and Ferguson Avenues, Thornleigh. There is a large playing field, tap water, public toilets and some shelter in the awning of the club house. The oval has a car park, and a number io signs for the Great North walk and other local tracks.
Int of Handley and Ferguson Avenues
Int of GNW and BP scout camp tracks Track: Moderate - bushtrack
Length = 353 m
Time = 7 mins
Climb = 0 m
Descent = -16 m
Continue straight: From the intersection, this walk heads around the gate towards 'Thornleigh Oval' to follow the 'Sydney Cove' sign in front of the clubhouse (there are toilets and a water tap on your left). Here the walk follows the fence line around the oval, keeping the oval to your right, for 100m to come to an intersection with a track (on your left, at the south-east corner of the oval) marked with a large 'Lane Cove National Park' sign. Turn left: From the intersection, this walk follows the GNW arrow post, downhill past the 'Lane Cove National Park' signpost and heading into the bush. The rocky track leads downhill for about 40m before bending right (ignoring a faint track on your left) and heading down the side of the hill for another 150m to three-way intersection, where a 'Thornleigh Station' sign points back up along the track.
Int of GNW and BP scout camp tracks
Int of the GNW and Lorna Pass tracks Track: Hard - bushtrack
Length = 228 m
Time = 7 mins
Climb = 0 m
Descent = -34 m
Veer left: From the intersection, the walk follows the GNW arrow post and the stone 'Lorna Pass' arrow downhill along the track. The track leads fairly gently down at first, but soon leads moderately steeply down a series of timber steps, becoming less steep again to come to an intersection with a track (on your right), marked with a GNW arrow post and a 'Thornleigh' sign pointing back up the track.
Int of the GNW and Lorna Pass tracks
Conscript Pass Track: Moderate - bushtrack
Length = 104 m
Time = 3 mins
Climb = 0 m
Descent = -19 m
Veer right: From the intersection, this walk follows the GNW arrow post directly down the stone steps. The walk leads fairly steeply down the steps for about 100m, then flattens out for a few meters and heads down a set of stone steps through a cleft in the rock, to find a metal metal hand rail and the pass marked with 'Conscript Pass' and 'B Stevens' engravings.
Alt = 85 m
Conscript Pass is a small sandstone pass between the Lane Cove River and Thornleigh, on the Great North Walk. During the 1930s, some stone steps were built through a cleft in the rock as part of a public works program, in response to the depression. The pass has two main engravings. Firstly 'Conscript Pass' is followed with a downwards pointing arrow and a series of initials and numbers. On another wall (that you face when walking up) is engraved 'B Stevens' followed a surprisingly good caricature of the then Premier of NSW, Bertram Stevens. Stevens (later knighted) replaced Jack Lang in 1932 as Premier of NSW, when Lang was dismissed by the Governor (just two months Lang after opening the Sydney Harbour Bridge).
Int of the GNW and the Morona Ave trail Track: Moderate - bushtrack
Length = 329 m
Time = 8 mins
Climb = 8 m
Descent = -24 m
Continue straight: From 'Conscript Pass', this walk heads downhill along the rocky track as it zigzags down for about 30m to a GNW registration box (damaged at time of writing). Here, the track bends sharply left and continues downhill for about 40m to then follow the 'Browns Waterhole' sign across the Lane Cove River using the concrete stepping stones (this crossing may become impassable after heavy or prolonged rain). On the other side of the river, this walk turns right, following the GNW arrow post along the track (with the river just to your right) for about 150m to come to a Y-intersection with the sealed Morona Ave trail (on your left), marked with a 'Lane Cove Valley' map/sign and a GNW arrow post.
Int of the GNW and the Morona Ave trail
Int of GNW and the Pennant Hills Park track Track: Moderate - servicetrail
Length = 1.17 km
Time = 21 mins
Climb = 15 m
Descent = -29 m
Veer right: From the intersection, the walk follows the GNW arrow post along the mostly flat trail, keeping the river a short distance to your right. The trail leads along the valley floor for about 150m to cross Lane Cove River at a rocky ford, then continues along the valley floor among the fern trees (and concrete pipe access points) for about 900m to cross the Lane Cove River again at another rocky ford. Here the trail bends left (keeping the river on your left) and leads along the valley for about 60m to come to an intersection with a faint track (on your right, that leads up towards Pennant Hills Park).
Int of GNW and the Pennant Hills Park track
Int of GNW and Whale Rock trail Track: Moderate - servicetrail
Length = 957 m
Time = 17 mins
Climb = 8 m
Descent = -25 m
Continue straight: From the intersection, this walk follows the mostly flat management trail down through the valley, keeping the river a short distance to your left. After about 400m, the trail crosses the Lane Cove River at a rocky ford (This crossing may become impassable after heavy or prolonged rain) then continues through the valley for another 500m to come to a three-way intersection. This intersection is just past a 'Lane Cove Valley' map, and above a concrete ford (on your right) and has a 'Thornleigh station' sign pointing back along the trail.
Int of GNW and Whale Rock trail
Int of GNW and the STEP track (east) Walk: Easy - servicetrail
Length = 655 m
Time = 11 mins
Climb = 9 m
Descent = -8 m
Veer left: From the intersection, this walk follows the 'Lane Cove River Park' sign, gently uphill along the management trail, keeping the river to your right. After about 80m, the trail leads to a Y-intersection with sealed management trail (on the left), marked with a STEP Track map/sign. Veer right: From the intersection, this walk follows the 'The Great North Walk' sign along the mostly flat management trail, initially keeping the sealed 'Canoon Rd' trail up to your left. The trail undulates through the tall forest and valley (weedy in places), keeping the river to your right, for just shy of 600m to come to an intersection marked with a 'STEP track' sign (on your left).
Int of GNW and the STEP track (east)
Browns Waterhole int Walk: Easy - servicetrail
Length = 573 m
Time = 12 mins
Climb = 14 m
Descent = -24 m
Continue straight: From the intersection, this walk follows GNW arrow post down the short, fairly steep hill, following the management trail over a small culverted creek. The walk then heads gently uphill for about 30m to come to a clear three-way intersection, marked with a GNW arrow post. Veer right: From the intersection, this walk follows the GNW arrow post south-east, gently up along the wide trail, keeping the main valley to your right. The trail leads gently up through the valley for about 400m, then under some high tension power lines, where there is a mostly clear view over the river (to your right). Here the trail continues for another 80m to come to an intersection with a wide concrete path (just past the 'Caution' sign), beside the Lane Cove River crossing (on your right), marked with a 'The Great North Walk' sign.
Browns Waterhole int
Browns Waterhole Track: Moderate - footpath
Length = 90 m
Time = 2 mins
Climb = 5 m
Descent = -1 m
Veer right: From the intersection, this walk crosses the the causeway of Browns Waterhole. (Caution is needed during and after rain, may become impassable) From here the track continues up the hill on the other side until reaching a small picnic area signposted as 'Browns Waterhole'.
Alt = 31 m
Browns Waterhole is a wide, shallow section of the Lane Cove River, downstream of a concrete weir. There is a concrete shared cycle/footpath crossing over the top of the weir, linking Kissing Point Road, South Turramurra to Vimiera Rd, Macquarie Park. On the western side of the waterhole, there is a picnic table and small clearing with a view over this section of the river.
Int of Terry's Creek Walking Track and Brown's Waterhole Servicetrail Path: Easy - Wheelchair accessible - footpath
Length = 40 m
Time = 1 mins
Climb = 3 m
Descent = 0 m
Continue straight: From Browns Waterhole, at the picnic tables, this walk follows the concrete management trail away from the river, up the gentle hill until reaching the large green 'Terrys Creek Walking Track' sign.
Int of Terry's Creek Walking Track and Brown's Waterhole Servicetrail
End of Vimiera Rd Track: Moderate - footpath
Length = 634 m
Time = 14 mins
Climb = 39 m
Descent = -6 m
Continue straight: From the intersection, this walk heads south up the concrete track. The track soon starts to zigzag up the side of the valley and past a 'Lane Cove National Park' sign, just before the tunnel under the M2. The track the heads through the tunnel and follows the foot path to the end of Vimiera Road, Epping.
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.
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.
Lane Cove National ParkLink to official closures and fire bans page This small but picturesque city park is a haven of peaceful bushland along the winding Lane Cove River. Home to the Kukundi Wildlife Shelter and 27 km of the Great North Walk, you can also hire a boat, take a stroll or enjoy a picnic by the weir. Region: Sydney & Surrounds Park feesCampingFacilities Current Park Closure information for Lane Cove National Park Closure information last downloaded Sunday 27th of September 2015 07:00 AM Closed areas: Terrys Creek walking track maintenance Some areas of this park will experience temporary disruptions and delays due to walking track maintenance, unless the closure is otherwise extended or removed. Closed areas are:
Bradley Reserve Bradley Reserve is a large natural bushland area owned and managed by Ku-ring-gai council. The reserve extends from Lane Cove River to the end of Kissing Point Road north to George Christie playing fields. The reserve is home to the locally well know STEP track, and is cared for by the STEP inc, the "South Turramurra Environment Protection". The Great north walk also heads through this reserve, and is also home to Browns water hole. Region: I am not aware of any closures in this park at the moment.