Last weekend I was in a party that completed a section of the Great North Walk. This walk was organised by Helen from SUBW. The party was Helen, Kosta, Chantal, Laura, Luke and Mitch. We caught an early morning train to Brooklyn, arriving there before 8am and then setting off for our walk south.
I had not walked very much of this track before. Some parts I had visited by MTB. I was not sure what to expect.
The walk started off for us up a steep concrete road climbing up from the Hawkesbury River. The concrete soon gave way to a more traditional fire trail. We soon arrived at the attractive Brooklyn Dam, where we stopped for a short break.
Then some more climbing as the fire trail wound up towards the noisy motorway. We did manage to get some views of the Hawkesbury River along the way.
Our route then dived off into the bush on a track to Jerusalem Bay. This is a lovely sheltered inlet.
Another climb took us back up a creek towards the motorway once more. This time we crossed it and arrived at Cowan. Crossing the railway and old highway took us once more into the bush.
All the way through this section of the walk – we encountered lots of other walkers. Many of them decked out in flash new walking gear – skin tights, walking sticks etc. One walker was heard to exclaim that he was “hitting out” on the walk….
At about 3 pm we arrived at a very attractive campsite above Berowra Waters. It was too early to stop so we reluctantly descended to the small hamlet and stopped for a cool drink at the ferry. It was now about time to think about where we were going to camp, and the site we had just passed seemed pretty good. So we filled up our water containers and headed the short way back up the hill.
Our choice was a good one. It was a bit noisy from traffic and boats in the valley below but the fine views more than made up for this. A sunny rock platform was a good place to sit and enjoy some cheese, crackers and wine.
Next morning was cool. 2°C to be exact – quite cool for so close to the coast. A thick mist had rolled in and some of the party were reluctant to get up.
It was a late start, and we again stopped at the cafe near the ferry. This time for coffee. After that we had to walk fast to try and get to Gaston Gorge for lunch. We made good time and were soon at Crosslands – a large grassy picnic and camping area. Then more brisk walking took us to Galston Gorge. The chooks Helen had spoken about were present and so was a confused brush turkey. We crossed the bridge and climbed up a steep track to a nice platform above for lunch.
Then more walking took us to the historic Steele Bridge. We then considered our options. Our original intention was to walk to Thornleigh. But now Hornsby seemed a better choice and it was not far away. A track from the Fishponds took us almost all the way to Hornsby Station (and the nearby pub). A very pleasant two days walking close to Sydney.
More photos can be found on my website here.