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NSW & ACT specific bushwalking discussion. Please avoid publishing details of access to sensitive areas with no tracks.
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Great North Walk - Water Sources

Fri 06 Apr, 2018 1:22 pm

Three of us completed all of the GNW early last week from Sydney to Newcastle. So for anyone planning to walk the GNW or large sections of it in the near future, here's an update on where to find water.

1. Hunters Hill to Lane Cove NP. Water is easy to find from local parks.

2. Lane Cove to Tunks Ridge Campsite. With the bypass in place at Fishponds because of the firing range we called in at the cafe at Mt Wilga Hospital (which the GNW now passes) to get water. Or you can ask to use one of their taps. Saves having to get polluted water out of Berowra Ck. Just have to carry it up the hill to Tunks Ridge.

3. Tunks Ridge to Cowan. Can get tap water at Crosslands and Berowra Waters. We also got tap water at Cowan Oval.

4. Cowan to Brooklyn. A short leg but if water needed on the way fill up from the Brooklyn Dam.

5. Brooklyn to South of Scopas Peak. We veered off the official route and went by ferry to Little Wobby and then followed the Highway Ridge Track to meet the GNW east of Mt Wondabyne. We filled up with water at the Tank Creek Ponds and Kariong Falls.

6. Scopas Peak to North Mooney Mooney Ck. We had a water drop where the old highway crosses Mooney Mooney Creek. Saved having to hunt for water beyond the tidal limit of the creek.

7. North Mooney Mooney to Palm Grove campsite - no water at Palm Grove so we carried water in from Somersby Store. There was also water from a creek just before you enter the Nature Reserve.

8. Palm Grove to Yarramalong. We stayed behind the store. On-route you can pick up water from Ourimbah Creek.

9. Palm Grove to Kingtree Ridge campsite. We originally planned to camp at the Basin but decided camp on a ridge top (Kingtree) because of wet weather. Kingtree has a tank. So does the Basin.

10. Kingtree Ridge to Watagan Creek campsite - water from Watagan Creek. There is also water en-route (Wollombi Brook).

11. Watagan Creek to Crawford Tank and Shed - water from the tank at Crawford. Say hello to the property owners if you see them. There is also water en-route at Flat Rock (tank).

12. Crawford Tank to Hunter Lookout - we camped at Hunter Lookout though its not an official campsite. It has a tank. There is water en-route at Barraba (tank). Watagan HQ is an official campsite but the tank is broken and the campsite is showing signs of overuse (rubbish and lack of toilet). Wouldn't recommend it.

13. From Hunter Lookout we went straight through to Teralba. There is camping allowed at Heaton Lookout but the tank is broken. You can pick up water en-route from the rainforest creeks. There is also water available from the servo at Heaton Gap. After that there is water from the amenities block at Wakefield. After than no water till Teralba.

14. Teralba to Newcastle. Back in the suburbs most of the way so pick up water from local parks or shops.

Note that creek water on the GNW should be regarded as potentially contaminated so should be treated (especially if it drains from farmland/urban areas). Also many of the tanks have wrigglers so we treated this water assuming it could have other things in it.

We had heavy rain halfway along so while this brought all the leeches out, it did have the benefit of topping up the creeks and tanks.

Re: Great North Walk - Water Sources

Tue 15 May, 2018 7:29 am

Coming this way in September, thanks for the info, much appreciated.

Re: Great North Walk - Water Sources

Wed 16 May, 2018 11:47 am

>> Also many of the tanks have wrigglers
Well, if the wrigglers are happy and thriving?


Re: Great North Walk - Water Sources

Thu 17 May, 2018 7:03 pm

A few fresh wrigglers makes a refreshing change from freeze-dri every day.

Re: Great North Walk - Water Sources

Mon 18 Jun, 2018 11:13 am

Thanks for the update.

I'm looking at finishing it off a bit later this year.

Re: Great North Walk - Water Sources

Fri 31 Aug, 2018 3:09 am

Absolutely great post. Really valuable information, will also be heading out to do the complete GNW in September, so this is very handy.

Re: Great North Walk - Water Sources

Mon 01 Oct, 2018 9:26 am

I just completed a 13 day solo north bound walk on the entire GNW, all I can add is that I picked up water at Somersby store, but the owner said that their tank water wasn't certified for drinking, so I filtered it just in case. Also after the Cedar Brush trackhead there are two tanks with water, one at Walker's Rest, and one at the following rest area, the name of which escapes me. Most of the time I got by with carrying around 2.8l litres, although I did have up to 4.8 litres of capacity if needed. Lots of the smaller creeks are dry, the one at Palm Grove was running strong, as was Wollombi creek. I used a Sawyer mini filter, using a gravity feed system for treating suspect water, and it worked fine.

Re: Great North Walk - Water Sources

Mon 29 Apr, 2019 1:13 pm

I completed Yarramalong to Newcastle over Easter 2019 (Temps were ~ 25-28°C)

1/ ~ 10 klm from Cedar Brush Trackhead - filtered water from the creek in between the fields. Wasn't keen but also wasn't sure about water further on.
2/ Filtered tank water from Walker's Rest Area.
3/ Filtered tank water from Flat Rock Rest Area.
4/ Filtered tank water from Crawfords Rest Area.
5/ Filtered tank water from Barraba Campsite (absolutely beautiful camp spot).
6/ Filtered tank water from Hunter Lookout.
7/ In between Hunter Lookout and Heaton Lookout there was a collectable flow off a overhang and also from a creek
8/ Filtered tank water from Heaton Lookout.

After that, you are at the servo and then into suburbia.

Hope this helps people.
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