|Maps:||LPI Cowan 9130-4N 1:25000|
|LPI Hornsby 9130-4S 1:25000|
The walk from Cowan to Mt Kuring-gai via the Great North Walk is one of the best sections of the track. It has an excellent mix of scenery, from open ridge tops to foreshore, and a long section of creek walking up Lyrebird Gully to finish. The walk is good all year round, though probably better in the cooler months.
It does have three 200m plus climbs, so should not be underestimated from a fitness point of view.
From Naa Badu Lookout, it is possible to take a shorter route out to Berowra, which would cut the walk by about 5km, one big downhill and uphill, and 1.5-2 hours.
The walk is best accessed by train. It starts at Cowan Station and finishes at Mt Kuring-gai Station.
You can also leave a car at one end and catch the train between those stations.
From 13 Jun 2016, last checked 13 Jun 2016
Pick up the track directly across the road from Cowan Station. This winds its way through the bush, crossing Glenview Road and doing a dog leg under the power lines, before reaching a bit of a lookout above Joe Crafts Creek after about half an hour.
It is a steep descent from there to the creek, where you might get wet feet crossing if there has been recent rain. The climb up the other side is initially steep, but quickly becomes a more steady incline, leading to the top of the ridge and a four way intersection with an old fire trail. Cross over the fire trail, and after another 200m or so, veer right on to another fire trail. A further 200m on, keep straight ahead, ignoring tracks off to the left and the right.
After crossing Deep Bay Creek, there is a short steep climb up to the saddle. A lookout just off to the left provides great views of Berowra Waters. From there it is a steep series of hairpins to reach the water, and then a flat walk of 10 minutes to the end of the road at Berowra Waters. Another 300m brings you to the toilets on your left, and just past this, the start of the track to depart on. If you have time you can take a trip across on the ferry to the marina and cafe on the other side.
Otherwise head out of Berowra Waters on the track, which follows the foreshore for a bit before climbing up to the ridge through a couple of small cliff lines. There is a spot or two where it is easy to lose the track so watch carefully.
Ignore a minor track off to the left at a right hand turn at the top of the ridge, and descend to cross Banggarai Creek and then up to the fire trail. Turn right on the fire trail and follow this around to the spectacular Naa Badu Lookout, looking up the Berowra Creek Valley.
300m beyond the lookout, turn right off the fire trail and descend a series of steep switchbacks to the Sams Creek crossing at the head of the estuary. Cross both branches of the creek and follow the track alongside the foreshore, which eventually leads around to the salt marsh at the outlet of Calna Creek. Cross the salt marsh on the boardwalk, and then turn left just before the footbridge. A track leads all the way up Calna Creek, and then Lyrebird Gully, with a couple of creek crossings.
After emerging out of the bush, there is a short section of fire trail, and then a final steep asphalt section to Glenview Rd just where it meets the Pacific Highway. Cross the road at the lights and turn left to get to Mt Kuring-gai Station.