Great North Walk - Brooklyn to Somersby via Little Wobby

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Great North Walk - Brooklyn to Somersby via Little Wobby

Postby mashapeshkom » Wed 23 Feb, 2022 12:50 am

Completed the Brooklyn to Somersby section of the GNW this past weekend via Little Wobby. I benefited greatly from previous trip reports, so I thought I'd share my experiences.

Day 1 (~27km)
Brooklyn - Little Wobby: took the 7.30am ferry. Due to covid, you can now easily pay via card on board (no cash or opal). The ferry drops you off at a small wharf at Little Wobby.

Little Wobby - intersection with official GNW track: the official GNW track runs from Patonga to Somersby. We decided not to take this route as the ferry no longer goes there, we would have had to pay for an expensive water taxi, and the Little Wobby route is the original route apparently anyway.
After hopping off the ferry, we took a right and walked along past (and under) the houses. Happily, there was a nice local that confirmed that we were taking the right route. Eventually we came to a small grass clearing with power lines running up the hill. On the immediate right of the power lines there was a track. It wasn't too hard to find, but it was overgrown and a couple behind us struggled to find it, so be persistent if you're looking for it. The climb up is a bit hard going (possibly the hardest part of the whole trail) and somewhat technical.
Once we climbed up the hardest part of the hill, we continue along the trail and eventually intersected with another single-track trail. We followed this along for a good few kilometres before getting to Tanks Creek. At the creek we stopped for a drink, filtering it with a Katadyn filter.
Finding the path out from the creek was a bit tricky. We downloaded the Brooklyn-Int w GNW map section on our watches via this website which helped a lot: We also read this trip report which explains it very well: and I brought the 'Hawkesbury Track' section of the old 2008 Department of Lands set of maps which were handy.
We continued following this single track trail out until we intersected with a wide fire trail. We went straight ahead on the fire trail (not to the right) and continued on for some way until we intersected with the official GNW.

Int with GNW - Kariong Falls: signposts along this section were quite good, and we relied on the watch map linked above as confirmation. The number of people we saw increased a lot as we approach Kariong Falls, which is quite a popular wild swimming spot. We stopped here for lunch and a swim, again filling up with water from the falls (especially as we weren't sure what water access would be like from creeks further along).

Kariong Falls - Phil Houghton Bridge:
we hiked up from Kariong Falls for a few kms before coming to a fire trail. If you turn left you can get to Wondabyne Station from here. We met a few people that were doing day walks by using the station (e.g. Little Wobby to Wondabyne Station, Wondabyne Station to Kariong). We turned right, and from here to Old Mooney Mooney was one of our favourite sections. Lots of big rock plateaus covered in heather, great birds, big vistas, and a nice gully as you approach Phil Houghton Bridge. From here, we relied on this Wild Walks guide:

Phil Houghton Bridge - Mooney Mooney Campsite (North): After the bridge, we turned left and the walk was almost completely flat until we arrived at Old Mooney Mooney Bridge. We crossed the river via the bridge and continued along the river past some houses. Mooney Mooney Creek Campsite South was a field with long grass. There was a notice up stating that the govt/council were looking at developing campsites due to increased popularity of the trail, including adding drop toilets. I didn't get to read the whole sign as we were being swarmed by mozzies. The mozzies continued to follow us along the trail. After a few kms and crossing a small bridge over a side-creek, we soon arrived at Mooney Mooney Creek Campsite North. Not sure why they don't give the campsites different names, as they're a decent distance from each other. The northern campsite was much nicer than south, with large logs set out around a campfire. There was space behind the logs for a few tents. Mozzies were still vicious here so we quickly set up the tent and jumped inside. Having hiked 27kms, we were keen to rest rather than look further upstream for a less mozzie-heavy location. We relied on the water that we collected from Kariong Falls here, however there were a number of streams further up river that could be used. Internet was not available at the campsite, but we got both Telstra and Optus signal near the small bridge a few hundred metres south of the campsite.

Day 2 (~13km)
Mooney Mooney Campsite (North) - Lower Mooney Dam: mostly flat trail to start and trending upwards as we got closer to the dam. There were three or four streams that we crossed where we could have gotten water, but it has been a wet summer so I don't recommend relying on their presence all the time. We chose a stream a few hundred metres after crossing the Mooney Mooney creek. There were quite a few pretty camping spots along the river too. We stopped at Lower Mooney Dam for breakfast. There were some small leaches about.

Lower Mooney Dam - Quarry Camping Area: uphill for approximately 1.5kms. The path was quite wet from here to the end of the walk in Somersby - definitely worth having decent hiking boots. Quarry Camping Area was up on the ridge with no water nearby. Basic campsite with logs to sit on and a campfire, and not as pretty an area as the Mooney Mooney Campsite (North).

Quarry Camping Area - End of Robinson Road: quite a mix of random things on this last section of trail. It was quite wet, went past farms, between some large reservoirs, a short bit of casuarina forest, all sorts! Also we caught a leach each in our socks. Delightful. We were picked up at the end of Robinson Road, which we were thankful for. Our alternate plan was to see whether the bus was available (didn't seem like it) or to get a taxi or walk the 12kms to Gosford Station. When we drove past Somersby Store it looked closed, but it was a Sunday afternoon. There was also a notice up explaining that the Somersby Falls to GNW trail is no longer available. We had friends that were planning on joining us via this track, so we were lucky that they hiked south from Robinson Road instead!

Final thoughts - one of my favourite sections of GNW so far. Great views from Brooklyn to the intersection with GNW, and on sections between Kariong Falls and Phil Houghton Bridge.
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