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NSW & ACT specific bushwalking discussion.

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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

Sat 17 Oct, 2009 3:17 pm

The best Australian bushwalk I've found is the 250 km Great North Walk. I wonder why nobody is discussing it here. It's from Sydney to Newcastle and has so many varied ecosystems, plants, animals etc. etc. I highly recommend it. BTW It's 21 this year!

Re: Great North Walk

Sat 17 Oct, 2009 3:34 pm

I suspect no-one here is discussing it because no-one here is aware of it.
Thanks for the link.
Can you tell us anything else about it? The map seems to show the track in the heart of where there have been a lot of bushfires, would that be right?
I suppose the forest up that way is more accustomed to recovering well, how did it appear to you?

What makes it such a great walk? Have you done any Tassie walks to compare it to? I'm not doubting you, just curious as to what it compares to.

Re: Great North Walk

Sat 17 Oct, 2009 4:11 pm

Hi Chris, I have walked a few sections of the GNW as day walks. It is a great experience and while not a remote wilderness it offers plenty of challenges. Lots of spectacular scenery on the Hornsby - Broken Bay section (and lots of up and down) As soon as I work out how I will post some pictures. There have been a few areas affected by bushfires a couple of years ago, but recovery is well on the way. Hazard reduction burning was taking place near the Berowra - Cowan section when I was there a couple of weeks ago. The log book on top of the ridge south of Joe Crafts Creek had a few entrys noting the amount of smoke from the burnoff, but this had cleared when I came by a couple of days later.

Re: Great North Walk

Sat 17 Oct, 2009 7:19 pm

Hi Chris. Likewise I have walked a number of the southern sections of the Great North Walk as day trips. Tasadam, it's hard to compare the GNW with most of Tassie as both the terrain and climate are quite different. GNW runs close to civilisation in many places, particularly in the south, which is basically through the northern outskirts of Sydney. It possibly compares with the Wellington Range area behind Hobart in some respects, but the GNW has nothing remotely alpine-like. The terrain is a bit more like what you find at Freycinet or Douglas-Apsley NPs.

It's generally on well defined and managed tracks but there are side trips that are less so, for example, the Taffys Rock walk that I've done, which branches off above Jerusalem Bay. Legend has it that Taffy (Townsend?) died from a tiger snake bite while walking the Overland Track during a visit to Tasmania many years ago. There is supposed to be a memorial plaque at the base of the rock put there by her bushwalking club. I couldn't find it, but the rock is a big lump so the plaque could be anywhere and I didn't have time that day to circumnavigate the whole thing.

I'm happy to discuss and swap notes about the GNW as I venture there every now and then. Last visit was in May this year when we walked the Berowra to Cowan section. Here's a photo from that trip (you can see in the centre distance that they were doing a controlled burn in the area that day):

Berowra Creek GNW.jpg
The fjiord-like Berowra Creek from the Great North Walk
Berowra Creek GNW.jpg (101.25 KiB) Viewed 10109 times

Re: Great North Walk

Sun 18 Oct, 2009 1:04 pm

Hi John, Excellent photo. From Naa Badu lookout is it not? Here is one of the locals catching some sun near Crosslands camping area.
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GNW Lizard
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Re: Great North Walk

Mon 19 Oct, 2009 11:19 am

Yes excellent walking track with public transport handy. Good to do sections. Just about covered it all now. Only the bit from Teralba to Newcastle to go.

Re: Great North Walk

Mon 19 Oct, 2009 2:57 pm

Glad to see all the interest and participation. I've done the whole of the GNW and in the Victorian Alps - nothing serious in Tas yet but it's on my list of things to do. I also found lots of information relevant to the GNW in the book "The Great North Walk Companion" - a fun read.

Re: Great North Walk

Mon 19 Oct, 2009 11:58 pm

Lindsay wrote:Excellent photo. From Naa Badu lookout is it not?

Hi Lindsay. No, it was taken from further north, shortly before the descent into Berowra Waters. Not a formal lookout, it was just a nice view I spotted and from memory had to scramble a little down from the track for that shot. I agree that parts of the GNW can be moderately challenging, Berowra Waters to Cowan comes to mind with quite a bit of steep up and down through several gullies, foot spikes aiding climbing in places.

Nice shot of yours of the Eastern Water Dragon. Cheeky, prehistoric-looking things, I've had them try and join me for lunch occasionally during warm weather. If you sit still they'll happily leap all around you. This shot is from Naa Badu lookout:

Naa Badu Lookout GNW.jpg
Berowra Creek from Naa Badu lookout
Naa Badu Lookout GNW.jpg (80.7 KiB) Viewed 10036 times

So far I've walked Fullers Bridge to De Burghs Bridge in Lane Cover River NP, Berowra to Cowan, Cowan to Brooklyn and Cowan to Taffys Rock (side trip). At this stage I have informal plans to tackle Mt Kuringai to Berowra, more of the Lane Cove River Valley, and some of the sections around the lower Central Coast.

Some other things came to mind about the Great North Walk:

If you were to follow it to its ultimate northwesternmost point instead of Newcastle, you'll land in the middle of the vineyards of the Hunter Valley. Nice alternate way to finish an epic trip?

Parts of the GNW are used as the principal route for the annual 100km Oxfam Trailwalker event. A work colleague completed this a couple of years ago with a group of friends. I think they took about 32 hours. He invited me to join a team that he was putting together for this years event. Unfortunately it didn't go ahead; he destroyed his right achilles tendon playing squash and hadn't recovered in time following surgery. I've indicated my tentative availability for next year.

The Wild Walks site has a lot of detailed track notes with maps covering parts of the GNW in sections that can be done as short one or two-day walks:
http://www.wildwalks.com/bushwalking/general/list-of-walks.html?groupid=56
http://www.wildwalks.com/bushwalking/general/list-of-walks.html?groupid=55

Just wondering of those who've completed the entire distance over a period, did you do it all as day trips? Or were some of them overnight or longer? And how was the camping? Anyone done the whole thing as a single trip?

Lindsay wrote:...The log book on top of the ridge south of Joe Crafts Creek...
I was surprised to find this log book in the middle of nowhere but I guess it's less likely to be vandalised or stolen there.

Re: Great North Walk

Tue 24 Aug, 2010 12:49 am

I've posted a trip report with photos from this past Saturday, on the Mt Kuring-Gai to Berowra section of the GNW. It's here:
http://bushwalk.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=36&t=4674

Re: Great North Walk

Mon 31 Jan, 2011 5:43 am

There is supposed to be a memorial plaque at the base of the rock put there by her bushwalking club. I couldn't find it, but the rock is a big lump so the plaque could be anywhere and I didn't have time that day to circumnavigate the whole thing

I was there 2 days ago, my third visit to the rock. The plaque is on the eastern side (i.e. looking towards Lion Island) of the rock close to where the track meets it. The plaque is on a section of the rock that is so steep that, to read it, if you're shorter than Michael Jordan you'll need somebody to hold you up. Obviously placed to protect it from idiots.

Re: Great North Walk

Tue 01 Feb, 2011 7:22 pm

grm79 wrote:
There is supposed to be a memorial plaque at the base of the rock put there by her bushwalking club. I couldn't find it, but the rock is a big lump so the plaque could be anywhere and I didn't have time that day to circumnavigate the whole thing

I was there 2 days ago, my third visit to the rock. The plaque is on the eastern side (i.e. looking towards Lion Island) of the rock close to where the track meets it. The plaque is on a section of the rock that is so steep that, to read it, if you're shorter than Michael Jordan you'll need somebody to hold you up. Obviously placed to protect it from idiots.

Thanks for that, probably walked right past it. I'll have to do a return trip at some point. I'm definitely shorter than Michael Jordan, probably by 2 feet plus, so I'd better take a companion, or a ladder :roll:.

Re: Great North Walk

Tue 01 Feb, 2011 9:52 pm

...and this is what it looks like at Lake Macquarie and Newcastle
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Lake Macquarie sunset Dec 10 overlap.jpg
From Speers Point
Lake Macquarie sunset Dec 10 overlap.jpg (93.92 KiB) Viewed 8189 times
Cloud formations - Lake Macquaire (15).jpg
Looking south
Sunset 10th Dec 2010.jpg
Looking west
Merewether sunrise (3)sp.jpg
Merewether Beach sunrise
Susan Gilmour project 1.jpg
Susan Gilmour beach

Re: Great North Walk

Fri 04 Feb, 2011 6:41 pm

GNW is great - Love doing sections as a day walk or overnighter. The link is one adventure.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h3m6Mbjka1A

Re: Great North Walk

Fri 11 Mar, 2011 2:00 pm

This walk is amazing!!!!
I have done it but only parts at a time with school groups. We offer the duke of Ed medallions for high schools students. This walk cover all three bronze, silver and gold depending on how long you do it for. I've covered all along the hawksbury, Cowan, Jerusalem bay, berowra and Brooklyn.
Around berowra is quite hilly and the kids with 17kg packs on their back complain like there is no tmrw!!!

Re: Great North Walk

Mon 23 May, 2011 2:26 pm

Hi All
Shameless plug for a fly over style video of the whole Great North Walk. Next time I think I should write script before doing a commentary, but hey you will get the idea.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uZHH3ifw4lQ
Matt :)

Re: Great North Walk

Tue 24 May, 2011 10:47 pm

Excellent video Matt! Re-inspired me to get a group sorted out to walk this.

The commentary was fine, it helped remind me that there was plenty of places to 'stop and fill my belly'. :lol:

Looking forward to seeing more of this kind of thing!

Pok

Re: Great North Walk

Tue 02 Jul, 2019 10:49 pm

Just finished a detailed guide of overnight walks around Sydney - including the GNW - https://hikingtheworld.blog/index-of-hi ... ydney/#GNW.

One thing to note, which I've tried to capture via colour codes on the topographical map I created of the route, is there are a number of sections either along public roads, or service trails. This takes away a bit from the walk.
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