Walk No. 12A


Walk 12 A:- Berowra to Thornleigh At A Glance

Route Summary :- This walk is all on track and almost entirely along The Great North Walk. The first 0.7 km. is along Berowra Streets to the Benowie Track head, then about 0.7 km along this to a fire trail, about 1 km. along this to a junction with a walking track down to Sam’s Creek. The next 10 km are on walking track via Sam’s Creek, Calna Creek and Crosslands to Galston Gorge and a vehicular bridge over Berowra Creek, then for 0.3 km. very steeply up on track to a service road. The service road is followed for 3 km. via Tunks Ridge down to ‘Steele’ Bridge over Berowra Creek, then on walking tracks for about 8 km via Fish Ponds and The Jungo to Thornleigh houses with the final 0.9 km along Thornleigh street

RQI:- 77

Highlights:- Good diverse walk, mostly following the Great North Walk along Berowra Creek from tidal to rapids; Crosslands Recreation Area; Galston Gorge 

Negatives:- Extra 1.7 km walking and 110 meter climb to avoid minimal risk from Rifle Range

Length:- 26.0 km

Grade:- Hard; length and steep undulation in parts

Weather:_All weather except when creeks in flood.

Time :- with several 3-5 min. stops and 20 mins. Lunch:- 7 hrs 40 mins.

Train Time from Central to Start :-. 47 min. via Strathfield; express or 1 hr 6 mins. via T1 Line 

Train Time from Finish to Central:-. 51 min. T1 Line

Total Climb :- 560 meters

Total Descent :- 570 meters 

Water:- At Berowra Station and Crosslands Recreation Area

Toilets:- At Crosslands and Tunks Ridge 

Café/Kiosk :- At start and finish only 

Published 1:25,000 Map :- Hornsby, Cowan


Walk 12A Berowra to Thornleigh

With new Great North walk deviation around Rifle Range


Walk times are based on continuous walking with several 3-4 min stops

This is now the official Great North Walk due a to more than zero risk from activities of the Hornsby Rifle Range and the subsequent closure of a section of the original Bicentenary Heritage walk along Berowra Creek between Fishponds and Steele Bridge. The deviation adds 1.70 km. in length and 38 minutes in walk time with most of the deviation along residential streets and an additional 110 meter ascent and descent.

If ‘zero risk’ applies to Rifle Range activities, then the Range itself needs to close. There is no ‘zero risk’ in life

Most of this walk is on The Great North Walk and along Berowra Creek valley      from tidal to rapids .


Km/Hrs.min.                                               Kilometers in bold are shown on map

0.00/0.00      Leave Berowra Station ; cross Old Pacific Highway on pedestrian lights, then turn left and follow the Highway to the next traffic lights.

0.25/0.04      At traffic lights, turn right into Berowra Waters Road and follow this for about 400 meters past one roundabout and oval on right to a second roundabout.

0.65/0.09      At second roundabout, go left into Crowley Road and immediately cross this to the start of the Benowie Walking Track and signboard

0.66/0.10      At signboard:-‘ Great North Walk’; ‘Berowra Station 750 meters’ back track and ‘Crosslands 5.8 km’; follow walking track downhill.

1.55/0.26      Walking track intersects service road; veer right and now walk along service road

1.64/0.28      Track T junction on right and signboard on left:- ‘ Crosslands 3.8 km’ straight on and ‘ Berowra Station 1.5 km’ back track; the paved service road on right goes to Berowra houses and is a shortcut back to Berowra Station; continue straight.

2.56/0.40      Track T junction on left and signboardson right and left:- ‘ Berowra Station 2km’ back track and ‘ Berowra Waters 3.4 km’ straight on, and on left ‘ Crosslands 3.7 km’; turn left on walking track down towards Crosslands

2.89/0.51      Walking track at Sams Creek crossings; there are two crossings within a few meters; veer left and cross on boulders; note red arrow shield on boulder at crossing; then go straight and slightly right to second crossing on bouders at edge of tidal zone

2.93/0.53      After second crossing, signboardon left:- ‘Berowra Waters 4.5 km’ back track and ‘ Crosslands 2.6 km’ forward; track turns right at signboard and follows left bank of Sams Creek.

3.38/1.01      Top of pleasant headland with large boulders on right; faint track flagged with bunting goes up the ridge on left; this headland is the junction of Sams and Berowra Creeks; continue straight down, then along left bank of Berowra creek

4.48 /1.17     After board walk over grass, track junction and signboardnext to tidal Calna Creek :-‘ Berowra Waters 5.8 km’ back track and ‘ Mt. Kuring-gai 4.4 km’ link track on left; turn right, cross bridge over Calna Creek and turn and follow track right uphill

4.55/1.22      Track junction on top of ridge between Calna and Berowra Creeks; ignore lesser track on left and continue straight downhill, then along bank of Berowra Creek with boardwalk near the end to Crosslands Reserve.

5.40/1.36      At northern end of Crosslands Reserve and signboard;’ Berowra Station 5.2 km’ and ‘ Sam’s Creek 2.7 km’ both backtrack;turn left and walk through Crosslands reserve to its southern end with Berowra Creek on right.

5.64/1.39      Large signboard on leftnear middle of reserve:- ‘ Galston Gorge 7 km.’ straight on and ‘ Berowra Waters 7 km.’ backtrack; continue straight on.

6.18/1.46      At southern end of Crosslands Reserve with toilet block and drinking water on left; continue straight on wide walking track

6.60/1.54      Large open camping area next to Berowra Creek

9.10/2.33      Start of steady climb; track washed out in parts but easy to follow by man-made steps and sporadic arrowed posts.

9.44/2.47      On plateau; metal meshed fence at cliff edge and dramatic view across Berowra Creek.

10.45/3.01    Track undulates more or less on contour, still high above Berowra Creek

10.54/3.02    Start of track descent down to Berowra Creek.

10.60/3.04    Track crosses prominent boulder tributary creek joining from left.

10.74/3.08    Constructed stone steps down cleft in cliff.

10.87/3.11    Track on contour along open valley side about 25 m. above B. Creek

11.75/3.25    At Galston Gorge with public vehicular road over two bridges and signboard:-‘Crosslands 6.8 km’ backtrack; turn right and walk over this narrow vehicular bridge taking great care with abundant traffic.

11.84/3.27    Immediately after crossing the first bridge, take constructed track up cliff, initially marked by arrowed post; the track up has metal and stone steps.

12.15/3.40    On top of ridge walking track makes T junction with service road; good view over Galston Gorge;signboard:-‘ Great North Walk’ and ‘ Galston Gorge 500 m.’ back track down; take either side of this service trail loop;

12.40/3.42    Service trail loop joins; continue straight

13.46/3.57    At Tunks Ridge; large open area with toilets, sevice trail junction and signboards:- ‘Galston Gorge 1.9 km’ and ‘Crosslands Reserve 8.1 km’ bothback track; go left downhill to another signboard on right.

13.57/3.59    At signboard:-‘Rosemead Track Head 4.7 km’ down on service road ( the sign does not say so, but Rosemead Track Head is the Hornsby Station exit); continue in parts steeply down along service road with concrete ripple surface in steeper sections.

15.10/4.19    Service road at ‘Steele’ Army bridge over Berowra Creek in minor gorge; signboard:-‘ Crosslands 10.5 km’ and ‘ Galston Gorge 3.8 km’ both back track up on service road; cross the bridge to another signboard:-  ‘ Thornleigh Station 8 km !!.’and Rifle Range Track Closed’ for walking track on right; go straight along service road.

15.42/4.25    Track junction with walking track on left with signage:-‘G.N.Walk Fishponds’ walking track on left and ‘Tunks Ridge 2.1 km.’backtrack; the service road is closed ‘Rifle Range’; go left along walking track.

15.81/4.40    Track junction with service road after continuous climb on good walking track;arrowedgreen post; turn right and follow service road gently downhill.

16.37/4.48    Service road Y junction; road on left goes to gate after about 50 m. with cars visible; arrowed green post- veer right .

16.42/4.49    Service road crosses gully on solid sandstone outcrop, then goes steeply up

16.52/4.51    Service road T junction with arrowed green post; turn right and follow service road

16.79/4.54    Service road at gate and turning circle for public vehicular road with houses- Clarinda Street’; signage ‘Clarinda Wetland’ andarrowed cream postindicates to walk along Clarinda Street

17.09/5.01    Road junction Rosemond/Clarinda Streets with arrowed cream post;turn right and follow Rosemond Street

17.33/5.04    Road junction with Stewart Street on right and arrowed cream post; continue along Rosemond Street.

17.58/5.07    Road junction with Watson Street on left and large historic house on right; no signage!;continue on what is now Manor Road as it curves right

18.06/5.13    Road junction with Arrionga Place on right ; arrowed cream post; continue along Manor Road

18.40/5.18    Road and Track junction with Dilkera Close on right and turning circle; Manor Road continues downhill on left; arrowed cream postto walking track steeply downhill; take the walking track down.

18.63/5.27    Major walking track junction with signage:- ‘ G.N.Walk; Fishponds 300 m. Thornleigh 8 km’ track on right and ‘G.N.Walk Galston Gorge 7.7 km.’ backtrack; go right towards Fishponds

18.93/5.33    At Fishponds; major track junction with signboards:-‘Galston Gorge 5.8 km’ back track; ‘ The Jungo 5.3 km’ and ‘ Thornleigh Station 7.7 km’ both straight on; ‘Rosemead  Track Head1.2 km.’ veering left gently up; go left towards Thornleigh.

19.24/5.39    Track on rock outcrop follows Waitara Creek upstream, Creek on right, then crosses Waitara Creek on pot-holed outcrop; Waitara Creek is a tributary of Berowra Creek; after crossing, track  goes fairly steeply up.

19.66/5.51    Top of ridge.

19.96/5.57    Major track junction with signboard:-Great North Walk ‘  and ‘ The Jungo 4.3 km’ track down on right; ‘ Fishponds 1 km.’ back track and ‘The Blue Gum Walk’ arrowed post straight ahead; go right towards The Jungo.

20.33/6.05    Track junction; ignore minor track on left; continue on main track more or less on contour.

20.46/6.07    Track X junction with signboard:-‘ Quarter Sessions Rd. 250 m.’ track on left and minor unmarked track down to Berowra Creek on right; continue straight gently down.

20.59/6.13    Cross tributary creek joining from left.

20.70/6.15    Cross minor gully on timber bridge, still well above B. Creek.

21.44/6.26    Cross tributary creek joining from left.

20.82/6.32    Cross tributary creek on timber bridge; B. Creek here just 5-6 m. below on right.

21.88/6.33    Cross another tributary creek on timber bridge, almost level with B. Creek; track them makes a long climb up to plateau.

22.29/6.43    Top of plateau; track goes along edge of cliff, more or less on contour.

22.39/6.45    Track junction at fenced area next to cliff with signboard:-‘ Great North Walk’ in both directions and ‘ Westleigh 350 m.’ track on left; continue straight on.

22.55/6.47    Second fenced area at cliff edge; immediately after the fence, the track is a little unclear; it goes down on steps in front of cliff; track then winds down on boulder outcrop with sporadic arrowed posts and steps.

22.84/6.53    Cross tributary creek almost level with B. Creek on right.

23.01/6.56    Cross minor gully on short timber bridge, then continue next to B. Creek.

23.27/7.00    Track T junction next to Berowra Creek with two arrowed posts marking Great North Walk; unknown track straight on, but turn right here and cross Berowra Creek on outcrop, then follow track steeply up for a short distance to a junction with a service road.

23.39/7.03    At T junction with service road and signboards:-‘ Great North Walk’ back track and ‘ Cherrybrook Lakes 1.5 km’ to the right along service road; go left and follow concrete paved service road steeply down to re-cross Berowra Creek on a concrete culvert with signboards straight in front after crossing;

23.45/7.05    At The Jungo andsignboards; ’Great North Walk’ and  ‘Fishponds 5.3 km’ backtrack; the signage is somewhat confusing here, as no sign points to Thornleigh Station; the service road bends to the right, but go left on a walking track along Zigzag Creek, with creek on left; about 10 m. along this track you will see an arrowed post indicating that you are on the Great North Walk.

24.15/7.18    Cross tributary creek joining from right on bridge

24.82/7.27    Track T junction with paved service road an substantial bridge on left  and signboard‘Great North Walk’ on right; go right and walk along paved service road for about 100 m. to another track junction and signboard.

24.97/7.31    Track junction and signboard:- ‘The Jungo 1.6 km’ backtrack and ‘Thornleigh Oval 1.8 km.’ along walking track on left ; go left on initially less distinct walking track that still follows Zigzag Cree, with creek on left and behind some houses on the right.

25.11/7.36    Walking track veers right between two houses to emerge at Morgan Street.

25.15/7.37    At Morgan Street, turn left at cream red arrowed post and follow Morgan St. to its end at a T junction;

25.40/7.40    At end of Morgan St., turn left at cream red arrowed post into Tillock St. and after about 30 m., turn right into Wells St.; follow Wells St. uphill, through a nature strip that closes it to through traffic to a T intersection with traffic lights at The Esplanade.

25.87/7.47    At The Esplanade, turn left and walk along The Esplanade to a pedestrian crossing with traffic lights

26.03/7.49    Cross at the lights to Thornleigh Station right in front

Route Quality Index

On public vehicular road:-                3.15 km / 12%

On locked service/fire trail:-            6.10 km /23%

On walking track:-                             16.78 km /65%

RQI= 12+65=77