|Maps:||LPI Hornsby 9130-4S 1:25000|
The Great North Walk runs 240km from Sydney to Newcastle. While this section runs closer to suburbia than some of the ones further north, it still feels quite remote as it passes through rugged bushland close to the upper reaches of Berowra Creek. Like most of the sections, it passes through a variety of landscapes, with a mix of creek walking, ridges and slopes. There are a number of small ups and downs to contend with.
The Great North Walk is marked along its length by a couple of different sorts of markers. The old style markers are white or beige round topped wooden posts, about 1m high, with arrows engraved in them. These point out the track in both directions. More recently these are being superseded by red square markers with a white walker on them, typically on green wooden posts with arrows pointing out the track. The track is usually marked only where necessary - at junctions, turns, or where the route is less clear.
The walk is best accessed by train. It starts at Hornsby Station and finishes at Thornleigh Station.
You can also leave a car at one end and catch the train between those stations.
From 27 Aug 2016, last checked 27 Aug 2016
Head out of Hornsby Station on the west side, crossing two pedestrian crossings and then the Pacific Highway at the traffic lights. You'll see the first of the old style Great North Walk markers. Turn right following the marker, and then first left into Dural St. After 200m turn right into Quarry St. Just opposite the sign for the entry to the Hornsby Mountain Bike Trail, turn left on to a foot track that leads into the bush. This crosses over a fire trail, and descends the Hornsby Heritage Steps, built during the Depression, down to a clearing in the Berowra Valley Bushland Park at the end of Rosemead Rd.
Follow the Blue Gum Track out the other side of the clearing, cross the small creek, and then left on to another fire trail at a T-junction. This takes you up the hill, and past a lovely stand of Blue Gums and then casuarinas.
Down the hill, veer right off the fire trail on to a foot track, and continue down the hill past a detour on the right to a track junction just above Fishponds Waterholes. It is a short, pleasant detour down to the waterholes themselves.
Turn left at the junction and head upstream along a rough track near the creek. Near a short scramble up a large boulder and tree, there is a pretty set of cascades. Just past this, the track crosses the creek - this is the side creek, Waitara Creek - on slabs.
Climb up to the top of the ridge where there are some views down to the junction of the two creeks. The track follows the ridge for about 10 minutes to a track junction with the Blue Gum Walk. Take the right branch, which contours around the north side of the ridge, high above Berowra Creek. It passes through a variety of different vegetation types, including a grassy clearing amongst casuarinas.
After about 40 minutes, the track descends back to follow Berowra Creek for a short way, before crossing over two smaller side creeks in quick succession. There is a short steep climb up to the ridge top, and then a scenic section along the cliff top above Berowra Creek, which is fenced off in places. The track then descends back to the creek, before crossing over and climbing shortly up to a fire trail. Turn left and follow the fire trail back down the hill and across the creek again to a clearing. This is the Jungo Rest Area, though there are no facilities.
From the rest area, take the left hand branch, which follows the pretty Zig Zag Creek upstream, through a forest of Sydney Red Gums and Sydney Peppermint. There is a bridge crossing over Tedbury Creek after about 15 minutes, and then after a similar time the track emerges at a fire trail junction at a large road bridge across the creek.
Turn right on to the fire trail as it heads up the hill, and then left on to a foot track after 150m. This heads back to the creek and around the back of some houses, before emerging between some houses at the end of a cul-de-sac, Morgan St.
Follow this to a T-junction, turn left on to Tillock St, and then right at the end of the road on to Eddy St. This leads up to Thornleigh Station after about 5 minutes.