Bobbin Head Loop

4 h 45 min to 5 h

12.7 km
circuit

↑ 435 m
↓ -435 m

Hard track
This great circuit walk enjoys a variety of landscapes in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park. The walk starts at the historic Sphinx war memorial and follows a series of popular walking tracks that loop around Bobbin Head, including historic Aboriginal engravings, temperate rainforest and a lookout. As the track passes through Bobbin Head, it provides a great opportunity to take a break and pick up a snack at the kiosk before continuing on the return leg. Let us begin by acknowledging the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we travel today, and pay our respects to their Elders past and present.
Show all
The Sphinx War Memorial. | Photo by admin, 2008.
Steps on Sphinx Walking track. | Photo by admin, 2009.
The Sphinx Track. | Photo by admin, 2009.
Bottom of Sphinx Walking track (Warrimoo Track). | Photo by admin, 2009.
Cowan Creek on Warrimoo track. | Photo by admin, 2008.
Heading through the bush. | Photo by admin, 2009.
Warrimoo Track and Cowan Creek. | Photo by admin, 2009.
The Warrimoo Track. | Photo by admin, 2009.
Rocky section on Warrimoo Track. | Photo by admin, 2009.
Boats on Cowan Creek. | Photo by admin, 2008.
Warrimoo track. | Photo by admin, 2008.
View on Empire Marina from Warrimoo Track. | Photo by admin, 2009.
Empire Marina from Warrimoo Track. | Photo by admin, 2009.
Cafe at Empire Marina. | Photo by admin, 2009.
Empire Marina. | Photo by admin, 2009.
Kiosk at Bobbin Head. | Photo by admin, 2009.
Following the edge of Cockle Creek. | Photo by admin, 2009.
Foot bridge at Bobbin Head. | Photo by admin, 2009.
Looking across the bridge to the viewing platform. | Photo by admin, 2009.
Up close to the Crabs and Magroves. | Photo by admin, 2009.
Gibbergong track using stone stairs near the end of the boardwalk. | Photo by admin, 2009.
Near Axe Groves site. | Photo by admin, 2009.
Axe groves site. | Photo by admin, 2009.
Bobbin Head Rainforest. | Photo by admin, 2009.
Creek and rainforest. | Photo by admin, 2009.
The Gibberagong Track. | Photo by admin, 2009.
Gibbergong track south of the Rainforest track. | Photo by admin, 2009.
Cockle Creek. | Photo by admin, 2007.
Following the bushtrack. | Photo by admin, 2009.
Sandstone overhang on Gibbergong track. | Photo by admin, 2009.
Gibbergong water hole viewing point on the track. | Photo by admin, 2009.
The Marrua Link Track. | Photo by admin, 2009.
Heading through the trees. | Photo by admin, 2009.
Heading up the rocky hill. | Photo by admin, 2009.
Following the trail. | Photo by admin, 2009.
Continuing through the bush. | Photo by admin, 2008.
Coming out to the end of Marrua Road. | Photo by admin, 2008.
The Sphinx Memorial gate. | Photo by admin, 2008.
Sphinx area. | Photo by admin, 2008.
Downloads GPX PDF

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Safer Bushwalks
Tips on staying safe on track
Before you start any bushwalk ensure you;
• Tell someone you trust where you are going and what to do if you are overdue
• Have adequate equipment, supplies, skills & knowledge for the whole journey
• Consider the impact of weather forecasts, park/track closures & fire dangers
• Can respond to emergencies & call for help at any point
• Are healthy and fit enough for this journey
If not, change plans and stay safe. It is okay to delay and ask people for help.
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Getting There
Transport options and directions
Start (-33.6888966,151.1557841)
Mode Bus Car (A park entry fee is required for driving into the park.)
DirectionsFrom Pacific Highway, A1, Pymble.
  • Turn on to Bobbin Head Road then drive for 800 m
  • Turn sharp right onto Rushall Street and drive for another 165 m
  • Turn left onto Bannockburn Road and drive for another 200 m
  • Turn right onto Bannockburn Road and drive for another 50 m
  • Turn left onto Bannockburn Road and drive for another 185 m
  • At roundabout, take exit 2 onto Bannockburn Road and drive for another 860 m
  • Turn left onto Bannockburn Road and drive for another 35 m
  • Turn right onto Bobbin Head Road and drive for another 2.9 km
  • At roundabout, take exit 3 onto Bobbin Head Road and drive for another 1.2 km
  • Turn right onto Memorial Road and drive for another 350 m
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Track Notes
Turn by turn instructions & maps
Getting started
From the 'Sphinx Memorial', this walk follows the asphalt footpath, behind the picnic tables gently downhill for about 50m to a T-intersection with the 'Sphinx Fire Trail'.....
Turn map Directions & comments
Start.
After another 30 m head down the surface|paving_stones steps
After another 25 m find the "Sphinx Memorial" (on your left).
Sphinx Memorial
Sphinx Memorial

Private Shirley spent one and a half years carving this monument whilst a patient of the Lady Davidson Convalescent Hospital. William Shirley was in hospital, being treated after serving in WW1. Shirley died in 1929, leaving this memorial to fallen A.I.F. comrades. "To my glorious comrades of the A.I.F by the late W. Shirley No 5756 Pte. 13th Battalion Died 27th August 1928"
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Private Shirley spent one and a half years carving this monument whilst a patient of the Lady Davidson Convalescent Hospital. William Shirley was in hospital, being treated after serving in WW1. Shirley died in 1929, leaving this memorial to fallen A.I.F. comrades. "To my glorious comrades of the A.I.F by the late W. Shirley No 5756 Pte. 13th Battalion Died 27th August 1928"

After another 20 m head through the bollard.
Then pass a seat (9 m on your left)., has a backrest.
Turn sharp right, to head along Sphinx Track.
After another 15 m head through the bollard.
Then pass the water tap (on your right).
After another 50 m (at the intersection of Sphinx Trail & Sphinx Track) veer right, to head along Sphinx Trail (a vehicle track).
After another 15 m (at the intersection of Sphinx Track & Sphinx Trail) veer left, to head along Sphinx Track (a walking track).
After another 105 m head down the 36 earthen steps (about 35 m long)
After another 15 m head down the 7 earthen steps (about 5 m long)
After another 120 m head down the 15 earthen steps (about 10 m long)
After another 80 m head down the 18 earthen steps (about 20 m long)
After another 70 m head down the 68 earthen steps (about 40 m long)
After another 20 m cross the ford.
Continue straight, to head along Sphinx Track.
After another 410 m head down the 89 earthen steps (about 60 m long)
After another 75 m (at the intersection of Warrimoo Track & Sphinx Track) turn left, to head along Warrimoo Track.
After another 1.5 km cross the ford.
Continue straight, to head along Warrimoo Track.
After another 530 m cross the bridge (about 4 m long)
After another 1.3 km cross the ford.
Continue straight, to head along Warrimoo Track.
After another 280 m cross the ford.
After another 6 m continue straight, to head along Warrimoo Track.
After another 165 m pass the "Galley Foods Eatery" (15 m on your right).
Then find the "Empire Marina - Galley Foods cafe" (15 m on your right).
Empire Marina - Galley Foods cafe
Empire Marina - Galley Foods cafe

Empire Marina, in Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park, provides facilities and services for people on boats and on foot. The marina is home to "Galley Foods" kiosk and restaurant. The kiosk provides a variety of food priced between $4-$16, and is open from 8:30am to 5pm seven days. The restaurant requires reservations, and is open for lunch Thurs-Mon, breakfast on the weekend, and in dinner on Fridays and Saturdays in summer. Phone 9457 0477
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Empire Marina, in Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park, provides facilities and services for people on boats and on foot. The marina is home to "Galley Foods" kiosk and restaurant. The kiosk provides a variety of food priced between $4-$16, and is open from 8:30am to 5pm seven days. The restaurant requires reservations, and is open for lunch Thurs-Mon, breakfast on the weekend, and in dinner on Fridays and Saturdays in summer. Phone 9457 0477

After another 20 m pass the toilet (10 m on your right).
After another 20 m turn sharp left.
After another 160 m head through/around the gate.
After another 5 m continue straight.
After another 60 m pass the pay phone (10 m on your left).
After another 8 m pass the shelter (10 m on your left).
After another 20 m pass the toilet (25 m on your left).
Turn right, to head along Bobbin Head Road.
After another 10 m cross the Bobbin Head Bridge (about 60 m long)
The starting point of an optional sidetrip. An optional side trip taking you to the Bobbin Head Inn. To start this optional side trip continue straight here. On returning from this side trip error >360 when you get back to this intersection. Details below.
After another 5 m turn left.
After another 25 m head through the bollard.
After another 120 m turn right.
After another 130 m pass a seat (8 m on your left).
Then pass the playground (15 m on your right).
After another 45 m turn left.
After another 20 m pass the toilet (35 m on your right).
After another 25 m continue straight.
After another 55 m pass the BBQ (20 m on your right).
After another 30 m turn left.
After another 7 m turn right.
After another 35 m find the "Picnic Table" (8 m on your right).
Picnic Table
Picnic Table

A series of 3 timber slat picnic tables and bench seats. The tables are 74cm high, 74cm deep and 2.9m wide. The seats are 40cm high, 23cm deep and 1.8m wide (no backrest). The tables are centred on 3.5x4.5m concrete slabs. Access over grass.
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A series of 3 timber slat picnic tables and bench seats. The tables are 74cm high, 74cm deep and 2.9m wide. The seats are 40cm high, 23cm deep and 1.8m wide (no backrest). The tables are centred on 3.5x4.5m concrete slabs. Access over grass.

Then find the "Picnic Table" (8 m on your right).
Picnic Table
Picnic Table

A timber slat picnic table and bench seat. The table is 74cm high, 74cm deep and 2.9m wide. The seats are 40cm high, 23cm deep and 1.8m wide (no backrest). The table is centered on a 3.5x4.5m concrete slab.
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A timber slat picnic table and bench seat. The table is 74cm high, 74cm deep and 2.9m wide. The seats are 40cm high, 23cm deep and 1.8m wide (no backrest). The table is centered on a 3.5x4.5m concrete slab.

After another 45 m pass the sign (on your right).
Then find the "Seat" (on your left).
Seat
Seat

A timber slat bench seat, 43cm high, 30cm deep and 1.6m wide with a 41cm high backrest. The seat is on concrete beside the track.
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A timber slat bench seat, 43cm high, 30cm deep and 1.6m wide with a 41cm high backrest. The seat is on concrete beside the track.

Then find the "Seat" (on your left).
Seat
Seat

A timber slat bench seat, 43cm high, 30cm deep and 1.6m wide with a 41cm high backrest. The seat is on conrete beside the track.
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A timber slat bench seat, 43cm high, 30cm deep and 1.6m wide with a 41cm high backrest. The seat is on conrete beside the track.

After another 25 m cross the bridge (about 50 m long)
After another 30 m find the "Cockle Creek viewing platform" (on your left).
Cockle Creek viewing platform
Cockle Creek viewing platform

Part way along the timber Bobbin Head boardwalk is a partially fenced timber viewing platform. There is a beautiful view over Cockle Creek and a 'Teeming with life' information sign to enjoy. The platform area is 7.3m deep and 3.9m wide.
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Part way along the timber Bobbin Head boardwalk is a partially fenced timber viewing platform. There is a beautiful view over Cockle Creek and a 'Teeming with life' information sign to enjoy. The platform area is 7.3m deep and 3.9m wide.

Continue straight, to head along Gibberagong Track.
Then find the "Trip Hazard" (on your left).
Trip Hazard
Trip Hazard

Approximately 120m of elevated timber boardwalk has no handrails, edge capping or markings - there is a risk of falling from the boardwalk. The board walk is 1.7m wide, with approximately 2cm gaps between boards.
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Approximately 120m of elevated timber boardwalk has no handrails, edge capping or markings - there is a risk of falling from the boardwalk. The board walk is 1.7m wide, with approximately 2cm gaps between boards.

After another 105 m find the "Trip Hazard" (on your left).
Trip Hazard
Trip Hazard

A section of board is missing leaving a 7cm gap in the boardwalk. Other gaps on this section of the walk may develop.
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A section of board is missing leaving a 7cm gap in the boardwalk. Other gaps on this section of the walk may develop.

After another 10 m head up the stone steps (about 45 m long)
After another 150 m head down the 24 earthen steps (about 25 m long)
After another 35 m head down the 4 earthen steps
After another 8 m head down the 5 earthen steps (about 6 m long)
After another 15 m head down the 6 earthen steps (about 5 m long)
After another 25 m continue straight, to head along Gibberagong Track.
After another 10 m find the "Aboriginal Axe Grindings" (6 m on your left).
Aboriginal Axe Grindings
Aboriginal Axe Grindings

This protected site clearly shows 23 oval-shaped grooves that were worn by Indigenous Australian people, making axe heads from hard rock. Using a blank axe head, the Aboriginal people would use this rock platform, with water from the nearby creek, to sharpen the stone into a useful tool. The rubbing ground the axe head to a sharp edge and left behind these tell-tale signs.
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This protected site clearly shows 23 oval-shaped grooves that were worn by Indigenous Australian people, making axe heads from hard rock. Using a blank axe head, the Aboriginal people would use this rock platform, with water from the nearby creek, to sharpen the stone into a useful tool. The rubbing ground the axe head to a sharp edge and left behind these tell-tale signs.

The starting point of an optional sidetrip. An optional side trip to Bobbin Head Rainforest. To start this optional side trip turn left here. On returning from this side trip turn left when you get back to this intersection. Details below.
After another 10 m (at the intersection of Gibberagong Track & Rainforest Track) continue straight, to head along Gibberagong Track.
After another 1.1 km head up the 9 earthen steps (about 10 m long)
After another 195 m cross the ford.
Veer right, to head along Gibberagong Track.
After another 680 m cross the ford.
Continue straight, to head along Gibberagong Track.
After another 1.2 km find the "Gibberagong waterhole" (on your right).
Gibberagong waterhole
Gibberagong waterhole

Gibberagong waterhole is an informal name for a wide section of Cockle Creek that run for over 150m north of the confluence with Lovers Jump creek. This secluded and shady spot is a great place to sit and enjoy the waterholes, cascading water and the view to the sandy banks on the other side. If you sit quietly enough you may see lyrebirds scratching through the bush by the creek.
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Gibberagong waterhole is an informal name for a wide section of Cockle Creek that run for over 150m north of the confluence with Lovers Jump creek. This secluded and shady spot is a great place to sit and enjoy the waterholes, cascading water and the view to the sandy banks on the other side. If you sit quietly enough you may see lyrebirds scratching through the bush by the creek.

After another 8 m come to the viewpoint (on your right).
After another 30 m cross the ford.
After another 10 m continue straight.
After another 460 m continue straight, to head along Murrua Side Trail.
After another 370 m (at the intersection of Murrua Trail & Murrua Side Trail) continue straight, to head along Murrua Trail.
After another 440 m continue straight, to head along Murrua Trail.
After another 165 m (at the intersection of Murrua Trail & Murrua Fire Trail) continue straight, to head along Murrua Trail.
After another 55 m head through/around the gate.
After another 10 m continue straight, to head along Murrua Road.
After another 100 m (at the intersection of McTaggart Road & Murrua Road) turn left, to head along McTaggart Road.
After another 65 m (at the intersection of Kirkpatrick Street & McTaggart Road) turn right, to head along Kirkpatrick Street.
After another 265 m pass a seat (15 m on your left)., has a backrest.
After another 20 m pass the "Sandakan Park" (8 m on your left).
After another 85 m (at the intersection of Du Faur Street & Kirkpatrick Street) turn right, to head along Du Faur Street.
After another 55 m veer left, to head along Du Faur Street.
After another 50 m (at the intersection of Bobbin Head Road & Du Faur Street) turn left, to head along Bobbin Head Road (a road).
After another 90 m continue straight, to head along Bobbin Head Road.
After another 120 m (at the intersection of Bobbin Head Road & Leura Crescent) continue straight, to head along Bobbin Head Road.
After another 20 m continue straight, to head along Bobbin Head Road.
After another 40 m continue straight, to head along Bobbin Head Road.
After another 60 m continue straight, to head along Bobbin Head Road.
After another 65 m continue straight, to head along Bobbin Head Road.
After another 145 m (at the intersection of Bobbin Head Road & Leura Crescent) continue straight, to head along Bobbin Head Road.
After another 30 m (at the intersection of Bobbin Head Road & Sir Frederick Scherger Drive) continue straight, to head along Bobbin Head Road.
After another 55 m (at the intersection of Memorial Road & Bobbin Head Road) turn right, to head along Memorial Road (a service road).
After another 70 m pass the water tap (6 m on your left).
Then head through/around the gate.

sunrise-sunset
After another 45 m continue straight, to head along Memorial Road.
After another 200 m (at the intersection of Memorial Road & Sphinx Track) continue straight, to head along Memorial Road.
After another 10 m pass the "Sphinx Track / Warrimoo Track" (4 m on your left).
After another 45 m come to the end.

An optional side trip to Bobbin Head Rainforest.
Turn map Directions & comments
At the intersection of Rainforest Track & Gibberagong Track Start heading along Rainforest Track (a walking track).
After another 205 m come to the end.
"Bobbin Head Rainforest".
Bobbin Head Rainforest
Bobbin Head Rainforest

A well-protected piece of rainforest is found just a short walk from the popular Bobbin Head picnic area in Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park. The rainforest is distinct when compared to much of the dry eucalypt forests that dominate the area. The rainforest is beside a small creek, just below Bobbin Head Road, and is a safe haven for many birds that frequent the area.
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A well-protected piece of rainforest is found just a short walk from the popular Bobbin Head picnic area in Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park. The rainforest is distinct when compared to much of the dry eucalypt forests that dominate the area. The rainforest is beside a small creek, just below Bobbin Head Road, and is a safe haven for many birds that frequent the area.

Turn around and retrace your steps back the 205 m to the main route.

An optional side trip taking you to the Bobbin Head Inn.
Turn map Directions & comments
Start heading along Ku-Ring-Gai Chase Road.
After 45 m pass the picnic table (15 m on your right).
After another 10 m find the "Bobbin Head" (20 m on your left).
Bobbin Head
Bobbin Head

Bobbin Head is a historic recreation area which is still popular today, suiting the needs of many people. At the center of the Bobbin Head area is the old 'Bobbin Inn', built in the 1930s - it is now the park information center and cafe. The area is popular with picnickers, boaters, walkers, canoeists, family groups and people who like to fish. Bobbin Head is roughly divided into three sections (north, south and east). Southern Bobbin Head is a popular picnic area for families and large groups. The area is surrounded by a car park and dotted with picnic tables, electric BBQs, shelters and a large playground. There are toilets nearby, and 'The Station' is a sheltered accessible area with BBQ and tables that can be booked NPWS. The northern Bobbin Head (Orchard Park) area is a more formal picnic area. There is a large picnic shelter, surrounded by 14 smaller octagonal shelters, each of these divided into 4 walled-off compartments, ideal for small groups. The eastern side of Bobbin Head is dominated by the Empire Marina and a public wharf. The marina is home to a nice restaurant and public toilets.
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Bobbin Head is a historic recreation area which is still popular today, suiting the needs of many people. At the center of the Bobbin Head area is the old 'Bobbin Inn', built in the 1930s - it is now the park information center and cafe. The area is popular with picnickers, boaters, walkers, canoeists, family groups and people who like to fish. Bobbin Head is roughly divided into three sections (north, south and east). Southern Bobbin Head is a popular picnic area for families and large groups. The area is surrounded by a car park and dotted with picnic tables, electric BBQs, shelters and a large playground. There are toilets nearby, and 'The Station' is a sheltered accessible area with BBQ and tables that can be booked NPWS. The northern Bobbin Head (Orchard Park) area is a more formal picnic area. There is a large picnic shelter, surrounded by 14 smaller octagonal shelters, each of these divided into 4 walled-off compartments, ideal for small groups. The eastern side of Bobbin Head is dominated by the Empire Marina and a public wharf. The marina is home to a nice restaurant and public toilets.

After another 25 m find the "Bobbin Inn Cafe" (30 m on your left).
Bobbin Inn Cafe
Bobbin Inn Cafe

At the centre of Bobbin Head picnic area, in the old 'Bobbin Inn' building, is a cafe offering inside and outdoor dining, and a range of foods and drinks. Food includes fish and chips, wraps, focaccia, sandwiches and snack foods. Tea, coffee and cold drinks are also on offer. Opening hours are 9 - 4pm Mon to Fri (closed Tuesdays) & 9 - 5pm weekends. For more information, phone the cafe on 9457 7170. The NPWS Bobbin Head Information Centre is open 7 days a week (closed Christmas Day) 10 - 4pm (closed 12 - 12:30pm lunch). Ramp access available on the southwestern corner of the building. Ramp access to the information centre through the cafe.
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At the centre of Bobbin Head picnic area, in the old 'Bobbin Inn' building, is a cafe offering inside and outdoor dining, and a range of foods and drinks. Food includes fish and chips, wraps, focaccia, sandwiches and snack foods. Tea, coffee and cold drinks are also on offer. Opening hours are 9 - 4pm Mon to Fri (closed Tuesdays) & 9 - 5pm weekends. For more information, phone the cafe on 9457 7170. The NPWS Bobbin Head Information Centre is open 7 days a week (closed Christmas Day) 10 - 4pm (closed 12 - 12:30pm lunch). Ramp access available on the southwestern corner of the building. Ramp access to the information centre through the cafe.

After another 25 m pass the "National Parks Information Centre" (9 m on your left).

Mo-Su 10:00-16:00
"Welcome to Cockle Creek Lookout Track".
About 60 m past the end is a toilet.
Continue another 0 m to find at the intersection of Ku-Ring-Gai Chase Road & Apple Tree Bay Road at the end.
Turn around and retrace your steps back the 105 m to the main route.
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Terrain
Know the Hills, grading & facilities

Bobbin Head Loop


Grading
Class 4/6
Hard track
Length 12.7 km
Time 4 h 45 min to 5 h
Quality of track Rough track, where fallen trees and other obstacles are likely (4/6)
Gradient Short steep hills (3/6)
Signage Directional signs along the way (3/6)
Infrastructure Limited facilities, not all cliffs are fenced (3/6)
Experience Required Some bushwalking experience recommended (3/6)
Weather Storms may impact on navigation and safety (3/6)

Some facilities on route
Shelter: There is one 5.2 km from the start.

Toilet: There are 4 on route, on average they are 2.6 km apart with the largest gap of 7 km.

Seat: There are 5 on route, on average they are 2.1 km apart with the largest gap of 5.7 km.


Order of key facilities on route
ItemFrom StartName & link to notes
Seat
75 m[seat]
Toilet
5 km[toilet]
Shelter
5.2 km[shelter]
Toilet
5.2 km[toilet]
Toilet
5.3 km + 120 m[toilet]
Seat
5.6 km[seat]
Toilet
5.7 km[toilet]
Seat
5.9 kmSeat
Seat
5.9 kmSeat
Seat
11.5 km[seat]
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