This section of the Great North Walk start from grand views at Heaton Lookout in Heaton state forest and leads to the picnic area and motel at Heaton Gap. The first section of this walk follows the dirt road to a communication tower before passing another lookout and expansive valley views. Here you start the steep decent along a rocky track and passing a lovely grove of grass trees. From here you follow a grassy trail and powerlines before the narrow track leads down and across the road at Heaton Gap.
(open in app)
Cross sectional view of the Heaton Lookout to Heaton Gap bushwalking track
Analysis and summary of the altitude variation on the Heaton Lookout to Heaton Gap 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)
Directional signs along the way (3/6)
Some bushwalking experience recommended (3/6)
Weather generally has little impact on safety (1/6)
Generally useful facilities (such as fenced cliffs and seats) (1/6)
*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
Around 3.1km of this walk has short steep hills, whilst the remaining 1.2km is very steep.
Quality of track
2.4km of this walk follows a clear and well formed track or trail and another 980m follows a formed track, with some branches and other obstacles. The remaining (860m) follows a rough track, where fallen trees and other obstacles are likely.
This whole walk, 4.3km has directional signs at most intersection.
This whole walk, 4.3km requires some bushwalking experience.
This whole walk, 4.3km is not usually affected by severe weather events (that would unexpectedly impact safety and navigation).
This whole walk, 4.3km is close to useful facilities (such as fenced cliffs and seats).
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Heaton Lookout is one of the larger lookouts located on Heaton Road. This fenced lookout faces south-east. There are wood fired barbecues, picnic tables and a pit toilet. Heaton Lookout is a great place to stop for a snack, and the amazing view feels like a bonus. This lookout was named after Richard Heaton, a timber cutter who came to Australia as a convict. There is a water tank here, due to vandalism in the area this is not a reliable water source.
Heaton Communications Tower Track: Moderate - road
Length = 2.43 km
Time = 54 mins
Climb = 144 m
Descent = -54 m
From 'Heaton Lookout', this walk follows the 'Heaton Gap' sign gently uphill along the dirt Heaton Rd, past the toilet. After about 250m, the road leads past the 'Heaton Loop Trail' side track, then about 250m later (staying left at the Y-intersection) the road passes another section of the same signposted track as the road bends left, enjoying the views over the clearing (on your right). The road now leads gently uphill for about 1.7km, ignoring a series of side tracks until coming to a clear three-way intersection just past the brick building and fenced communication tower (on the right, and a small dam on the left).
Heaton Communications Tower
Heaton Gap Lookout Track: Moderate - servicetrail
Length = 621 m
Time = 13 mins
Climb = 3 m
Descent = -69 m
Turn right: From the intersection, this walk follows the GNW arrow marker off the main road, heading east along the wide trail, initially keeping the fenced tower 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. The unsignposted and unfenced clearing 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 offers exhilarating views over the valleys towards Tuggerah Lake and Lake Macquarie. 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. More info
Heaton Gap Lookout
Int of GNW and Freemans Drive tracks Track: Hard - bushtrack
Length = 856 m
Time = 22 mins
Climb = 1 m
Descent = -190 m
Continue straight: From Heaton Gap Lookout, this walk follows the track east, moderately steeply downhill, initially keeping the view from Heaton Gap Lookout on your right. After about 60m, the track leads to a timber platform with more views, underneath the power lines. The walk continues past some handrailing for about 20m to come to the 'Great North Walk Walker Register' post. After noting your intentions, the walk continues steeply downhill with stone and timber steps 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 in places, for about 600m, until coming to a level unsignposted three-way intersection with the Freemans Drive trail (on the right).
Int of GNW track and Freemans Drive trail
Heaton Gap Track Head Track: Hard - bushtrack
Length = 363 m
Time = 10 mins
Climb = 5 m
Descent = -82 m
Veer left: From the intersection, this walk follows the GNW arrow post and power lines steeply downhill along the trail. The walk continues for about 180m to find a three-way intersection, 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. The track winds down some timber steps, towards the sound of traffic for about 160m then down a timber staircase to the edge of Freemans Drive. Here the walk crosses Freemans Drive (busy road, please be careful to look and listen for traffic) and comes to the Watagan Forest Motel, petrol station (on the left), picnic area and signposted 'Heaton Gap Track Head' (on the right).
Watagan Forest Motel
Alt = 145 m
Watagan Forest Motel is located on Branxton-Toronto Road. This retro-style motel is located right on the Great North Walk. The motel offers six rooms for around $99 per night - each with a double bed (four rooms also have twin singles), a television, bathroom with shower, air conditioning, and breakfast included. Room service is available. Adjoining the motel is a service station, 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. For further information, phone (02)4938 0149.
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
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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.
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.