Great North Walk: Somersby Store to Ourimbah Valley Trackhead

2 h 15 min to 2 h 30 min

5.7 km
oneway

↑ 157 m
↓ -409 m

Hard track
Starting with a walk through the streets of urban Somerbsy, you soon leave the farms and head into Palm Grove Nature Reserve. First you will follow the signposted track down the open dry ridge to the dense rainforest. In this valley you can explores the moist rainforest with towering Eucalypts, Strangler Fig trees, Cabbage Palms and a tangle of vines. From here walk up the rocky track to another dry ridge, where you can follow a side trip to a flat clearing and designated campsite. From near the campsite the track winds down through another moist forest and past more Cabbage Palms before coming to the signposted Ourimbah Valley Trackhead on Ourimbah Creek Road. 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.
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Somersby Store. | Photo by admin, 2010.
Sitting area at Somersby Store. | Photo by admin, 2010.
Breakfast at Somersby Store (Yum but I could only fit half in). | Photo by admin, 2010.
Toilets at Somersby Store. | Photo by admin, 2010.
Bridge over Peats Ridge Road. | Photo by admin, 2010.
Walking along Wisemans Ferry Road. | Photo by admin, 2010.
Intersection of Wisemans Ferry and Dog Trap Roads. | Photo by admin, 2010.
Intersection of Dog Trap and Kilkenny Roads. | Photo by admin, 2010.
Walking past the farms on Kilkenny Road. | Photo by admin, 2010.
Intersection with driveway just south of Bumbles Creek. | Photo by admin, 2010.
Crossing the slippery Bumbles Creek on Kilkenny Road. | Photo by admin, 2010.
The end of Kilkenny Road. | Photo by admin, 2010.
Walking beside farmland north of Kilkenny Road. | Photo by admin, 2010.
Track behind the farms near Kilkenny Road. | Photo by admin, 2010.
Open ferny forest near Kilkenny Road. | Photo by admin, 2010.
Plesent morning light north of Kilkenny Road. | Photo by admin, 2010.
Flower in the morning light. | Photo by admin, 2010.
Steps on the south side of Palm Grove Nature Reserve . | Photo by admin, 2010.
Enjoining the tall forest on the south side of Palm Grove Nature Reserve. | Photo by admin, 2010.
Cabbage Palm (Livistona Australis). | Photo by admin, 2010.
Well signposted GNW track in Palm Grove Nature Reserve. | Photo by admin, 2010.
Birds Nest fern (Asplenium) in Palm Grove Nature Reserve. | Photo by admin, 2010.
Birds nest fern (Asplenium) growing on a mossy rock. | Photo by admin, 2010.
Crossing a small creek in Palm Grove Nature Reserve. | Photo by admin, 2010.
Tall eucalypts and Cabbage palms. | Photo by admin, 2010.
Walking through Palm Grove Nature Reserve. | Photo by admin, 2010.
The morning light filtering through the vines. | Photo by admin, 2010.
Walking along a mossy rock wall in Palm Grove NR. | Photo by admin, 2010.
South side of the ridge in Palm Grove NR. | Photo by admin, 2010.
Walkers Registration tube in the Palm Grove NR. | Photo by admin, 2010.
Tall open forest on the ridge in Palm Grove NR. | Photo by admin, 2010.
Sunrise at the campsite in Palm Grove NR. | Photo by admin, 2010.
The track on the north side of the ridge in Palm Grove NR. | Photo by admin, 2010.
Rock steps in Palm Grove NR. | Photo by admin, 2010.
Rocky track winding through the Palm Grove NR. | Photo by admin, 2010.
Strangler fig (Ficus obliqua) on mossy rocks in the Palm Grove NR. | Photo by admin, 2010.
Mossy and cool environement on the north side of Palm Grove NR. | Photo by admin, 2010.
Tall forest in Palm Grove Nature Reserve. | Photo by admin, 2010.
Large clump of Cabbage Palm (Livistona Australis) on the north side of Palm Grove NR. | Photo by admin, 2010.
Tall young forest near Ourimbah Creek Road . | Photo by admin, 2010.
Just south of Ourimbah Creek Road. | Photo by admin, 2010.
Ourimbah Valley Trackhead sign on the north side of Palm Grove NR. | Photo by admin, 2010.
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 At the intersection of Wisemans Ferry Road & Smiths Road (-33.3580778,151.2902824)
Mode Bus Car (There is free parking available.) Special (A bus service runs along Wisemans Ferry Rd passing Somersby store. The service runs between Gosford and Spencer only a few times a day. Please check timetable for more info or Phone Busway on (02) 4368 2277. The bus only picks passengers up from Somersby to head to Gosford on the morning runs. More info)
DirectionsFrom Pacific Motorway, M1
  • Turn on to Peats Ridge Road Offramp then drive for 2.2 km
  • Keep left onto Wisemans Ferry Road Offramp and drive for another 190 m
  • Keep left onto Wisemans Ferry Road Offramp and drive for another 120 m
Finish (-33.3174483,151.2999462)
Mode (end) Car Shuttle   Car   (There is free parking available.)
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Track Notes
Turn by turn instructions & maps
Getting started
From the Somersby Store, this walk heads north, gently downhill along the side of 'Wisemans Ferry Rd', past the public toilet. After about 120m, this walk crosses an on-ramp then heads over the bridge crossing Peats Ridge Road, then past another on-ramp. The walk continues along Wisemans Ferry Rd for about 700m to then turn sharp right at the three-way intersection, onto 'Dog Trap Rd'. Just over 100m along Dog Trap Rd, this walk turns left into 'Kilkenny Rd'. The walk follows Kilkenny Rd past the rural properties for about 1.2km, where the walk continues along the now dirt road. About 50m after becoming dirt, the road leads across a rock ford that can be extremely slippery when wet. The walk continues up along the dirt road for another 300m to come to the end of the road and a 'Great North Walk' sign, beside 'Illawong' (farm).....
Turn map Directions & comments
At the intersection of Wisemans Ferry Road & Smiths Road Start heading along Wisemans Ferry Road (a road).
Somersby Store (about 45 m back from the start).
Somersby Store
Somersby Store

Somersby Store offers a good place to have lunch or pick up the basic food supplies. The store serves hot food including burgers, chips, pies etc and cold drinks. Opening hours are 6am - 6pm Monday to Friday and 6.30am to 4pm on Saturdays (closed Sundays). There is a pay phone and a bus stop however services are limited to two buses a day. Contact details are (02)4372 1269, at 841 Wisemans Ferry Road Somersby, NSW 2250. The store owners are happy for you to phone ahead. If you are a large group you can order ahead to save the stress. I always encourage people to use local stores like this on track, but since it is a small store it is worth phoning ahead to see what they have what you want in stock.
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Somersby Store offers a good place to have lunch or pick up the basic food supplies. The store serves hot food including burgers, chips, pies etc and cold drinks. Opening hours are 6am - 6pm Monday to Friday and 6.30am to 4pm on Saturdays (closed Sundays). There is a pay phone and a bus stop however services are limited to two buses a day. Contact details are (02)4372 1269, at 841 Wisemans Ferry Road Somersby, NSW 2250. The store owners are happy for you to phone ahead. If you are a large group you can order ahead to save the stress. I always encourage people to use local stores like this on track, but since it is a small store it is worth phoning ahead to see what they have what you want in stock.

After 105 m pass the car park (20 m on your left).
After another 25 m pass the toilet (20 m on your left).
After another 75 m cross the bridge (about 20 m long)
After another 750 m (at the intersection of Dog Trap Road & Wisemans Ferry Road) turn right, to head along Dog Trap Road (a residential road).
After another 105 m (at the intersection of Dog Trap Road & Kilkenny Road) turn left, to head along Kilkenny Road (a vehicle track).
After another 910 m continue straight, to head along Kilkenny Road.
After another 330 m cross the ford.
After another 3.1 km come to the camp site (50 m on your left).
After another 265 m come to "Great North Walk".
The end.
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Terrain
Know the Hills, grading & facilities

Great North Walk: Somersby Store to Ourimbah Valley Trackhead


Grading
Class 4/6
Hard track
Length 5.7 km
Time 2 h 15 min to 2 h 30 min
Quality of track Rough track, where fallen trees and other obstacles are likely (4/6)
Gradient Very steep (4/6)
Signage Minimal directional signs (4/6)
Infrastructure Limited facilities (such as cliffs not fenced, significant creeks not bridged) (4/6)
Experience Required Moderate level of bushwalking experience recommended (4/6)
Weather Storms may impact on navigation and safety (3/6)

Some facilities on route
Camp site: There is one 5.4 km from the start.

Toilet: There is one 80 m from the start.


Order of key facilities on route
ItemFrom StartName & link to notes
Toilet
80 m[toilet]
Camp site
5.4 km[camp site]
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