Congewai Valley East Trackhead to Heaton Gap

9 h to 2 days

27.2 km
oneway

↑ 1270 m
↓ -1259 m

Moderate track
This full day walk starts from the Congewai valley trackhead (east) and follows the Great North Walk up into the Watagan National Park. Winding east along Georges road for the most part, this walk also passes many great lookouts and gives the option of a side trip down to the 125r lookout, which provides a great view to the south and nice spot for lunch. Another lunch spot is Watagan Headquarters campsite, which has a fire place and a picnic table. Then follow the dirt road past Hunter and MacLean’s Lookout, before descending into the Wallis Creek catchment. Here the walk traverses underneath many cliffs before crossing Wallis Creek and arriving at Heaton Lookout. From grand views at Heaton Lookout in Heaton state forest walk past the picnic area and motel at Heaton Gap. Walk follows the dirt road to a communication tower before passing another lookout and expansive valley views. Here you start the steep decent along a rocky track and passing a lovely grove of grass trees. From here you follow a grassy trail and powerlines before the narrow track leads down and across the road at Heaton Gap. 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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crossing paddock. | Photo by admin, 2008.
Photo by admin, 2011.
Photo by admin, 2011.
Photo by admin, 2008.
Photo by admin, 2010.
Photo by admin, 2008.
Congewai Valley East Track head. | Photo by admin, 2010.
Photo by admin, 2010.
Great North Walk Path in Congewai Valley . | Photo by admin, 2010.
Photo by admin, 2011.
Photo by admin, 2010.
Photo by admin, 2010.
Photo by admin, 2010.
Photo by admin, 2011.
Photo by admin, 2011.
Photo by admin, 2010.
Photo by admin, 2010.
Photo by admin, 2008.
Photo by admin, 2010.
Photo by admin, 2008.
Photo by admin, 2010.
Photo by admin, 2008.
Photo by admin, 2010.
Photo by admin, 2008.
Photo by admin, 2008.
Photo by admin, 2008.
Old Loggers Hut. | Photo by admin, 2008.
Photo by admin, 2008.
Photo by admin, 2008.
Photo by admin, 2010.
Barbara Lowers Private Property Gate. | Photo by admin, 2010.
Photo by admin, 2010.
Photo by admin, 2008.
Walking Track on Georges Road. | Photo by admin, 2010.
Cliff side in Congewai Valley. | Photo by admin, 2010.
Photo by admin, 2008.
Photo by admin, 2008.
Photo by admin, 2008.
View from the Great North Walk Rest Area. | Photo by admin, 2010.
Photo by admin, 2010.
Photo by admin, 2010.
Photo by admin, 2010.
Photo by admin, 2008.
Photo by admin, 2010.
georges road. | Photo by admin, 2008.
125r lookout track intersection. | Photo by admin, 2008.
Photo by admin, 2008.
Photo by admin, 2008.
Photo by admin, 2010.
Georges road rest area. | Photo by admin, 2008.
Photo by admin, 2008.
dry weather roads only!. | Photo by admin, 2008.
lookout on side of road. | Photo by admin, 2008.
Photo by admin, 2010.
GNW Pano. | Photo by admin, 2008.
Photo by admin, 2008.
Photo by admin, 2011.
Photo by admin, 2010.
Photo by admin, 2008.
Photo by admin, 2010.
Photo by admin, 2008.
Photo by admin, 2010.
Photo by admin, 2011.
Photo by admin, 2011.
Photo by admin, 2008.
Photo by admin, 2008.
Photo by admin, 2011.
Photo by admin, 2011.
Photo by admin, 2010.
Photo by admin, 2008.
Photo by admin, 2008.
Photo by admin, 2010.
Photo by admin, 2008.
Photo by admin, 2008.
Photo by admin, 2008.
Photo by admin, 2010.
Photo by admin, 2010.
Photo by admin, 2011.
Photo by admin, 2011.
Photo by admin, 2008.
Photo by admin, 2008.
Photo by admin, 2008.
View from the end of Hammonds Road. | Photo by admin, 2010.
Photo by admin, 2008.
end of Hammonds road. | Photo by admin, 2008.
Photo by admin, 2010.
Photo by admin, 2008.
Photo by admin, 2008.
Track on Fosters Road. | Photo by admin, 2010.
Clearing near the end of Hammond Rd. | Photo by admin, 2010.
Plesent timber gate on the narrowing trail. | Photo by admin, 2010.
Photo by admin, 2008.
Photo by admin, 2010.
Photo by admin, 2010.
Walking along the base of the cliff on the Great North Walk. | Photo by admin, 2010.
Photo by admin, 2008.
Cave on the Great North Walk north of Wallis Creek. | Photo by admin, 2010.
Interesting rocks on The Great North Walk. | Photo by admin, 2010.
Photo by admin, 2008.
Photo by admin, 2010.
Photo by admin, 2010.
Photo by admin, 2008.
Photo by admin, 2010.
Photo by admin, 2010.
Hollow tree on the Great North Walk. | Photo by admin, 2010.
Photo by admin, 2010.
GNW arrow post in Wallis Creek Valley. | Photo by admin, 2010.
Photo by admin, 2010.
Wallis Creek. | Photo by admin, 2010.
Trail On the Great North Walk. | Photo by admin, 2010.
Photo by admin, 2010.
Steps over fallen tree near Wallis Creek. | Photo by admin, 2010.
Fallen Tree on Barniers Road. | Photo by admin, 2010.
Photo by admin, 2010.
Photo by admin, 2010.
Photo by admin, 2010.
Following arroes along the GNW. | Photo by admin, 2010.
Photo by admin, 2010.
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 (-32.9950781,151.3000086)
Mode Car
DirectionsFrom Hunter Expressway, M15, Buchanan.
  • Turn on to Hart Road Offramp then drive for 510 m
  • Keep left onto Hart Road Offramp and drive for another 790 m
  • Keep left onto Hart Road and drive for another 175 m
  • Turn slight left onto Sawyers Gully Road and drive for another 1.9 km
  • Continue onto Cessnock Road, B68 and drive for another 10.8 km
  • Continue onto Wollombi Road and drive for another 360 m
  • At roundabout, take exit 2 onto Wollombi Road and drive for another 6.7 km
  • Turn left onto Middle Road and drive for another 4 km
  • Turn slight left onto Congewai Road and drive for another 12.5 km
Finish (-32.9652881,151.4793367)
Mode (end) Car Shuttle   Car  
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Track Notes
Turn by turn instructions & maps
Turn map Directions & comments
Start heading along Congewai Road.
After another 40 m turn left.
After another 9 m pass the "Great North Walk" (on your right).
After another 1 km pass the toilet (80 m on your right)., not equiped with Handwashing basin.
Continue straight.
After another 2.9 km veer right.
After another 105 m find the "Old Loggers Hut" (45 m on your left).
Old Loggers Hut
Old Loggers Hut

This Old Hut found beside Georges Rd, is in a state of disrepair. The corrugated iron and wooden hut has a dirt floor and a simple fire place. The hut's condition is poor and would not provide suitable shelter. Just south of the hut is a small dam. The hut was once used by loggers harvesting timber from these hills
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This Old Hut found beside Georges Rd, is in a state of disrepair. The corrugated iron and wooden hut has a dirt floor and a simple fire place. The hut's condition is poor and would not provide suitable shelter. Just south of the hut is a small dam. The hut was once used by loggers harvesting timber from these hills

After another 105 m turn left.
After another 470 m veer left.
After another 400 m continue straight.
After another 20 m veer right.
After another 1.1 km find the "Saddle Rest Area" (7 m on your right).
Saddle Rest Area
Saddle Rest Area

This rest area consists of a clearing on a saddle, with a small dam nearby. There is space for a number of tents and access to water after rain (treat before use).
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This rest area consists of a clearing on a saddle, with a small dam nearby. There is space for a number of tents and access to water after rain (treat before use).

After another 830 m climb over the stile.
Then find the "Great North Walk Rest Area" (8 m on your left).
Great North Walk Rest Area
Great North Walk Rest Area

Located on George Road, this rest area is situated by a steep, unfenced drop with spectacular views. There is space for a few tents and a small campfire, there are no facilities or water here.
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Located on George Road, this rest area is situated by a steep, unfenced drop with spectacular views. There is space for a few tents and a small campfire, there are no facilities or water here.

The starting point of an optional sidetrip. Side trip to 125r Lookout, which is located on a track off Georges Road. This unfenced clearing is on a cliff edge and has broad views over the surrounding valleys. This small clearing has been used as a campsite. To start this optional side trip continue straight here. On returning from this side trip turn right when you get back to this intersection. Details below.
After another 1.3 km turn left.
After another 1.4 km find the "Great North Walk Rest Area" (9 m on your right).
Great North Walk Rest Area
Great North Walk Rest Area

This is a small rest area on the side of Georges Road, providing room to rest up and for a small campfire. There are also some nice views through the trees but be careful as this rest area is near a steep drop.
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This is a small rest area on the side of Georges Road, providing room to rest up and for a small campfire. There are also some nice views through the trees but be careful as this rest area is near a steep drop.

After another 1.6 km find the "Narrow Place Lookout" (20 m on your right).
Narrow Place Lookout
Narrow Place Lookout

Narrow Place Lookout is perched high on an partially-fenced cliff and provides great views north over the farmland and bush towards Cessnock. The lookout is beside a dirt road and a fairly large clearing.
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Narrow Place Lookout is perched high on an partially-fenced cliff and provides great views north over the farmland and bush towards Cessnock. The lookout is beside a dirt road and a fairly large clearing.

After another 1.6 km veer right, to head along Georges Road.
After another 275 m continue straight, to head along Georges Road.
After another 2.2 km continue straight, to head along Georges Road.
After another 80 m continue straight, to head along Georges Road.
After another 610 m (at the intersection of Watagan Forest Road & Georges Road) continue straight, to head along Watagan Forest Road (a vehicle track).
After another 1 km (at the intersection of Watagan Forest Road & Bakers Road) continue straight, to head along Watagan Forest Road.
After another 430 m find the "Watagan Headquarters" (30 m on your left).
Watagan Headquarters
Watagan Headquarters

Watagan Headsquarters campsite (aka Forestry HQ) is located in the Heaton State Forest, beside Bakers Rd, near Heaton Rd. This campsite has wood fired barbecues, picnic tables and a garbage bin. The large, flat, cleared area allows plenty of room to pitch a tent. In 2010, a series of vandalism attacks occurred on the water tank, so there is no longer water available.
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Watagan Headsquarters campsite (aka Forestry HQ) is located in the Heaton State Forest, beside Bakers Rd, near Heaton Rd. This campsite has wood fired barbecues, picnic tables and a garbage bin. The large, flat, cleared area allows plenty of room to pitch a tent. In 2010, a series of vandalism attacks occurred on the water tank, so there is no longer water available.

After another 25 m pass the picnic table (20 m on your left).
At the intersection of Watagan Forest Road & Turners Road continue straight, to head along Watagan Forest Road.
After another 550 m (at the intersection of Hammonds Road & Watagan Forest Road) turn left, to head along Hammonds Road (a vehicle track).
After another 185 m (at the intersection of Hammonds Road & Hickory Road) turn left, to head along Hammonds Road.
After another 50 m veer left, to head along Hammonds Road.
After another 530 m continue straight, to head along Hammonds Road.
After another 450 m (at the intersection of Hammonds Road & Rockey Point Road) continue straight, to head along Hammonds Road.
After another 195 m (at the intersection of Hammonds Road & Hermitts Road) continue straight, to head along Hammonds Road.
After another 400 m (at the intersection of Hammonds Road & Foresters Road) veer right, to head along Hammonds Road.
After another 400 m (at the intersection of Great North Walk & Hammonds Road) turn sharp right, to head along Great North Walk (a walking track).
After another 1.4 km cross the ford.
After another 15 m continue straight, to head along Great North Walk.
After another 290 m cross the ford.
Then pass the sign.
After another 760 m (at the intersection of Great North Walk & Barniers Road) continue straight, to head along Great North Walk.
After another 1.2 km pass the picnic table (60 m on your right).
After another 25 m pass the picnic table (20 m on your right).
At the intersection of Heaton Road & Great North Walk turn left, to head along Heaton Road (a vehicle track).
After another 35 m find the "Heaton Lookout" (20 m on your right).
Heaton Lookout
Heaton Lookout

Heaton Lookout is one of the larger lookouts located on Heaton Road. This fenced lookout faces south-east. There are wood fired barbecues, picnic tables and a pit toilet. Heaton Lookout is a great place to stop for a snack, and the amazing view feels like a bonus. This lookout was named after Richard Heaton, a timber cutter who came to Australia as a convict. There is a water tank here, due to vandalism in the area this is not a reliable water source.
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Heaton Lookout is one of the larger lookouts located on Heaton Road. This fenced lookout faces south-east. There are wood fired barbecues, picnic tables and a pit toilet. Heaton Lookout is a great place to stop for a snack, and the amazing view feels like a bonus. This lookout was named after Richard Heaton, a timber cutter who came to Australia as a convict. There is a water tank here, due to vandalism in the area this is not a reliable water source.

After another 55 m pass the toilet (7 m on your right).
Continue straight.
After another 25 m continue straight.
After another 55 m head through/around the gate.
After another 100 m pass the car park (40 m on your left).
After another 85 m veer right.
After another 15 m continue straight, to head along Heaton Loop Trail.
After another 205 m (at the intersection of Heaton Road & Heaton Loop Trail) veer right, to head along Heaton Road (a vehicle track).
After another 1.8 km (at the intersection of Heaton Road & Murrells Road) turn sharp right.
After another 670 m find the "Heaton Gap Lookout" (10 m on your right).
Heaton Gap Lookout
Heaton Gap Lookout

Heaton Gap lookout is a fantastic spot to stop and catch your breath in Heaton State Forest. This unfenced lookout offers exhilarating views over the valleys towards Tuggerah Lake and Lake Macquarie. this unsignposted view, as with many features in the area, was named after Richard Heaton, a timber cutter who came to Australia as a convict.
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Heaton Gap lookout is a fantastic spot to stop and catch your breath in Heaton State Forest. This unfenced lookout offers exhilarating views over the valleys towards Tuggerah Lake and Lake Macquarie. this unsignposted view, as with many features in the area, was named after Richard Heaton, a timber cutter who came to Australia as a convict.

After another 920 m come to the viewpoint.
After another 130 m come to "Watagan Forest Motel".
Watagan Forest Motel
Watagan Forest Motel

Watagan Forest Motel is located on Branxton-Toronto Road. This retro-style motel is located right on the Great North Walk. The motel offers six rooms for around $99 per night - each with a double bed (four rooms also have twin singles), a television, bathroom with shower, air conditioning, and breakfast included. Room service is available. Adjoining the motel is a service station, which also offers dining room meals as well as a small grocery selection (bread, milk, bottled water, rice, pasta, etc), open until 8:30pm daily. A rest area is situated next to the motel, with covered picnic tables and garbage bins. For further information, phone (02)4938 0149.
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Watagan Forest Motel is located on Branxton-Toronto Road. This retro-style motel is located right on the Great North Walk. The motel offers six rooms for around $99 per night - each with a double bed (four rooms also have twin singles), a television, bathroom with shower, air conditioning, and breakfast included. Room service is available. Adjoining the motel is a service station, which also offers dining room meals as well as a small grocery selection (bread, milk, bottled water, rice, pasta, etc), open until 8:30pm daily. A rest area is situated next to the motel, with covered picnic tables and garbage bins. For further information, phone (02)4938 0149.

About 30 m past the end is a picnic table.
The end.

Side trip to 125r Lookout, which is located on a track off Georges Road. This unfenced clearing is on a cliff edge and has broad views over the surrounding valleys. This small clearing has been used as a campsite.
Turn map Directions & comments
Start heading along Lookout Trail.
After 870 m find the "125r Lookout" (8 m on your left).
125r Lookout
125r Lookout

The 125r Lookout, in the Watagan National Park, is located on a track off Georges Road. This unfenced clearing is on a cliff edge and has broad views o over the surrounding valleys. This small clearing has been used as a campsite.
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The 125r Lookout, in the Watagan National Park, is located on a track off Georges Road. This unfenced clearing is on a cliff edge and has broad views o over the surrounding valleys. This small clearing has been used as a campsite.

Continue another 20 m to find 125r Lookout at the end.
Turn around and retrace your steps back the 890 m to the main route.
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Terrain
Know the Hills, grading & facilities

Congewai Valley East Trackhead to Heaton Gap


Grading
Class 3/6
Moderate track
Length 27.2 km
Time 9 h to 2 days
Quality of track Formed track, with some branches and other obstacles (3/6)
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
Campsite: There are 2 on route, on average they are 9.1 km apart with the largest gap of 11.2 km.

Toilet: There are 2 on route, on average they are 9.1 km apart with the largest gap of 22.1 km.


Order of key facilities on route
ItemFrom StartName & link to notes
Toilet
1.1 km[toilet]
Entity|rest area
5.9 kmSaddle Rest Area
Campsite
17 kmWatagan Headquarters
Toilet
23.2 km[toilet]
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