Hi all, just a quick trip report for my recent thru-hike of the Great North Walk from Sydney to Newcastle.
I completed this in 11 days from September 11th to September 21st, 2018.
Small gallery of images here: https://imgur.com/gallery/xLWc3IU
Main gear: 3F UL Gear 3m*3m tarp, Groundsheet, Sea2Summit Nano Bugnet, Sea2Summit UL Pillow, Klymit Static V UL sleeping pad Large, Helinox Chair Zero, Granite Gear Crown2 X60, Black Diamond Trail Back poles. Then just clothes, food, and water.
Break down of my days (using data recorded on Backcountry Navigator app):
Day 1 - Wynyard to Baden Powell Scouts (Thornleigh) via Macquarie Place Obelisk - 30km, +883m
Day 2 - Baden Powell Scouts to Tunks Ridge Campsite - 16.3km, +576m
Day 3 - Tunks Ridge Campsite to Ridge Top Campsite - 18.3km, +923m
Day 4 - Ridge Top Campsite to Brooklyn Dam - 16.3km, +673m
Day 5 - Brooklyn Dam to Van Dahl's Rest Area - 19.1km, +523m
Day 6 - Van Dahl's to Quarry Campsite - 27.7km, +924m
Day 7 - Quarry to Archers Campsite - 23.5km, +848m
Day 8 - Archers to Mt Warrawolong Campsite - 35.6km, +1493m
Day 9 - Mt Warrawolong to Crawford Tank & Hut - 23.6km, +796m
Day 10 - Crawford Tank & Hut to Watagan Forest Hotel - 30.6km, +1218m
Day 11 - Watagan Forest Hotel to Queens Wharf - 43km, +806m
All the animals I saw! Wallabies, brushturkeys, snakes (including diamond pythons, red-bellies, and a huge brown!), kangaroos, wombat (although very bad mange), too many different birds to list,
Flowers were out and very stunning.
Didn't meet many other walkers (which surprised me) but the everyone I did meet were just amazing to chat with.
The Helinox Chair Zero was amazing! I thought I'd regret the extra weight but I fell in love with having a chair every day after walking.
A friend joined me for one of the weekends and almost got bitten by a large (~2m) brown snake. The snake reared up to about hip height and lunged as my friend approached. Luckily he was quick enough to jump (very high!) backwards and just miss the bite. What could have been though, scary. This was above Patonga in Brisbane Water NP.
The road walking, particularly Congewai, Wakefield, and the various dirt roads in the Watagans. Not too fun, but part of the experience I suppose.
Ended up hating my Sea2Summit UL pillow, just didn't find it comfortable at all.
I'm not a super fit hiker by any means, and I did find this walk very challenging. However, I could have dialled back the distances and made it a bit easier. The walk is pretty amazing though. I think if I had to choose I preferred the Sydney end of things, I noticed a substantial drop in wildlife sightings once further north and a big increase in road (dirt and bitumen) walking. But maybe I was just mentally and physically tired also. I noticed my fitness increased significantly, and I barely noticed the 15-20kg on my back after about 6-7 days. Water was tricky at times, but all tanks had water except for the Archers campsite. There is a great thread on here with a list of water sources which worked great for me.
All in all, I hated it occasionally, but loved it most of the time. I was lucky to not get rained on either.
Last edited by Mattystein
on Fri 12 Oct, 2018 12:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.