Walk No. 12B


Walk 12 B :- Thornleigh to Berowra At A Glance

Route Summary:- The first 0.9 km. is along Thornleigh Streets followed by good walking tracks for the next 8 km. to Steele bridge over Berowra Creek, then 3 km. on fire trail via Tunks Ridge and for 0.3 km. steeply down on walking track to Galston Gorge and another bridge over Berowra Creek. Then for the next 10 km on good walking track via Crosslands and Sam’s Creek to a T junction with a fire trail. The next 1 km. is on fire trail followed by 0.7 km. on the Benowie Track up to Berowra Streets. The final 0.7 km to Berowra Station is on Berowra Streets

RQI:- 77

Highlights:- Good diverse walk along Berowra Creek from tidal to rapids; Crosslands Recreation Area; Galston Gorge; Calna Creek and Bridge; grasslands; aboriginal middens; Sam’s Creek

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

Length:- 26.0 km

Grade:- Hard; length and steep undulation in parts; slightly more difficult than this walk in reverse due to long steep climb up from Sams Creek near the end.

Weather:_All weather except when creeks in flood. 

Time continuous walking with a few 3-5 min. stops:- 7 hrs 43 mins

Train Time from Central to Start :-. 51min. T1 Line via Macquarie Park

Train Time from Finish to Central:-. 57 mins. Via Central Coast Express, 1 hr. 6 min. via T1 Line

Total Climb :- 670 meters

Total Descent :- 680 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 No12B Track Notes  Thornleigh to Berowra

30/12/12 updated 18/09/18

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

This is now the official Great North Walk due 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

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

 0.00/0.00      At Thornleigh Railway Station, turn righton pedestrian bridge above Station; cross The Esplenade and turn left; walk along The Esplenade for about 80 m to Wells St .

0.14/0.04      Turn rightat Wells St.; walk down Wells St, through its partial closure to the end of Wells St.

0.58/0.09      At the end of Wells St., turn leftinto Tillock St. and immediately rightinto Morgan St, following the red arrow on cream coloured post; walk past Sturt Close on the right to the turning circle at the end of Morgan St.

0.79 /0.13     At the start of the turning circle at end of Morgan St. look for a cream post with red arrow on your right, between road and footpath; turn hard rightand follow walking pad past ‘Ellura Bushland’sign; initially the track is on a block of land between two houses, but turns hard left just before Zig Zag Creek and then follows the Creek with house fences on left and Creek on right

1.01/0.15      Houses on left end; single pad walking track; Creek on right

1.10 /0.16     Walking track intersect concrete paved service road with signage:- ‘Great NorthWalk’and  ‘The Jungo 1.6 km’on right and ‘Thornleigh Oval 1.8 km’back track; turn hard rightto The Jungo; walk on the concrete paved service road for about 130 m to just before the foot bridge over Zig Zag Creek

1.19/0.18      Just before footbridge, signage on left :- ‘Great North Walk’on walking track hard left; ‘Historic Quarry’ over footbridge straight on; turn hard leftand follow walking track with Zig Zag Creek on right

2.53/0.34      The Jungo; track junction; walking pad intersects service road, clearing and signage:-‘Great North Walk’, ‘Fish Ponds 5.3 km’  on right; turn rightand follow the service road, crossing Zig Zag Creek on a concrete culvert and then steeply up hill.

2.65/0.36      At the top of the climb, leave the service road and turn hard rightat the arrowed green post and follow the footpad steeply downhill, partly over rocks, to cross Berowra Creek

2.70/0.38      At Berowra Creek crossing on sandstone outcrop; track turns hard left after crossing on arrowed post and follow Berowra Creek downstream, with Creek on left.

2.99/0.43      On clear walking track; Berowra Creek now some distance below on left

3.07/0.44      Back down almost at Creek level; Creek 10-15 m on left and about 10 m below track; track then leaves Berowra Creek and zig-zags fairly steeply uphill with regular arrowed posts

3.28/0.47      On plateau above cliff, Berowra Creek well below; track then fairly flat along top        of cliff with two sections of mesh metal safety fencing on left

3.50/0.53      Track junction at second section of fencing; track joins acutely from the right and signage:-  ‘Great North Walk’straight in both directions and ‘Westleigh 350 m’acutely on right; go straight

3.87/0.58      Track now winds steeply down.

4.09/1.03      Tributary creek enters from right, crossing on rocks then short timber bridge; good track

4.15/1.05      Another trib. Creek enters from right, crossing on timber bridge- confluence with Berowra Creek about 20 m on left;  good track then steeply uphill

4.51/1.11      Minor gully/creek enters from right; now narrower but clear undulating track

4.65/1.13      Track on open valley side with about 1 m high unusual grassy undergrowth

5.07/1.20      Track on contour high above Berowra Creek on left; valley side now steeper

5.27/1.23      Track on timber bridge crosses gully entering from right

5.48/1.28      Track junction; 4-way intersection with signage:-  ‘Quarter Sessions Road 240m’       track on right; ignore prominent track on left with bunting on tree but go straight and a little uphilltowards low cliff line on a less obvious track- track soon becomes clearer; track on left probably goes down to a pool in Berowra Creek; there are no arrowed posts for some distance

5.56/1.30      Now high on right valley wall, Berowra Creek well down on left; track starts descent

5.94/1.37      Track now behind Westleigh houses, fences about 10 m above track; track crosses gully/creek entering from right

6.14/1.40      Track junction with signage:-  ‘Great North Walk’and  ‘Fishponds 1 km’straight on, veering slightly to left; backtrack is ‘The Jungo 4.3 km’; unsignposted track joins acutely on right;  take Fishponds track, initially over large sandstone outcrops; drink stop

6.14/1.43      Resume walking

6.25/1.44      Track junction; level track straight ahead is blocked with timber debris; turn hardright, steeply downhill

6.62/1.52      Track drops steeply here between large rocks, then turns right under overhang to follow Waitara Creek upstream for a few meters, then crosses it on prominent pot holed sandstone outcrop; this is a pleasant valley with large angophera trees and a substantial cliff on right

6.69/1.54      At Waitara Creek crossing on potholed sandstone; turn hard left after crossingand follow creek downstream on solid sandstone outcrop, with creek and pool on left

6.73/1.55      Track leaves solid rock outcrop

6.96/2.00      Track crosses tributary gully/creek entering from right on timber bridge –this creek joins Berowra Creek about 25 m downstream; walk 30 m further uphill to   major track junction

7.00/2.02      At major track T intersection at Fishponds and signage:-track on right to ‘ Galston GorgeAlternative 8 km’and ‘ Rosemead Track Head 1.2 km’track on left goes to ‘Galston Gorge 5.8 km ‘past Rifle Range’  and back track to ‘ Thornleigh Station7.7 km’; turn right to Rosemead Rd. Track Headfollowing good track gently uphill

7.04/2.03      Re-crossing last gully/creek on timber bridge, now entering from left

7.21/2.07      Major walking track junction with signage:- ‘Great North Walk’ straight on and on right ‘Fishponds; Thornleigh Station 8 km’ straight on and ‘Galston Gorge 7.7 km’ steeply up on right; go right

7.46/2.19      After long climb on average track it emerges at Dilkera Place, a public road with turning circle and Manor Road uphill straight on; cream arrowed post to follow manor Road.

7.83/2.24      Arrionga Place on left; cream arrowed poston left- continue along Manor Road

8.13/2.29      Mt. Wilga historic house and private hospital on left

8.28/2.31      Manor Road now Rosemont Street; continue straight

8.74/2.37      Road junction Rosemont Street/ Clarinda Street and cream arrowed post.

Go left and follow Clarinda Road to its end.

9.03/2.42      End of Clarinda Street with gated service road on right and signage:- ‘Clarinda Wetland’ cream arrowed post to follow service road past gate

9.27/2.46      Service Road junction; green arrowed post to take poor service road on left steeply downhill

9.36/2.48      Cross small creek on solid sandstone outcrop

9.49/2.49      Service road Y junction; on right goes to gate after about 50 m. and public road; veer left still along service road

9.97/2.56      Track junction with walking track on left and signage ‘Great North Walk’ go left downhill now on walking track

10.30/3.06    After long descent, cross gully and continue up on steps

10.38/3.08    Walking track T junction with service road and signage:-‘ Great North Walk; Tunks Ridge 2.1 km; Galston Gorge 4 km’ all along service road downhill on right; go right

10.68/3.18    Major track junction with Steele Bridge over Berowra Creek in front and original G.N.Walk track on left with signage ‘ Track Closed Rifle Range’ ‘Thornleigh Station 8 km !!!!’ backtrack ; cross bridge to another signboard.

10.70/3.19    At sign board:- ‘Galston Gorge 3.8 km’ ; Crosslands 10.5 km’both on right; turn           right and follow service road uphill

12.33/3.40    At Tunks Ridge Rest Area within Berowra valley Regional Park; major service road junction, clearing and toilet facilities; sign board:- ‘Rosemead Road Track HeadHornsby 4.7 km’back track; ‘Galston Gorge 1.9 km’and ‘Crosslands Reserve 8.1 km’both along service road on right; go right

13.41/3.55    Service road junction with green arrowed post on right; this is a loop road but go left- slightly shorter

13.63/3.58    Track T junction with walking track on left and signboard:‘Galston Gorge 500m’and ‘Crosslands 7.0 km’  both along walking track on left; take this track steeply down over rocks with care

13.96/4.07    Track joins vehicular sealed road and bridge at Galston Gorge; turn right and cross Berowra Creek on bridge, taking great care with traffic; turn left after crossing and walk through a small parking area , past tables to a sign boardabout 20 m on:- ‘Crosslands 6.8 km’

13.99/4.08    Take the Crosslands track on right uphill on steps; follow this track that goes along the right valley and side of Berowra Creek for the next 5.5 km; there are several pristine tributary creek crossings on rocks (care when wet), excellent view points across the Berowra Valley and in the second half, a serene and peaceful environment along Berowra Creek; there is only one track, with many arrowed posts to guide

19.51/5.38    Track emerges at southern end of Crosslands Reserve; toilets; drinking water refill; walk along the full length of Crosslands Reserve to within 200 meters of its northern end on the right hand edge away from Berowra Creek

20.28/5.48    At 200 m. from northern end of Crosslands Reserve and sign board:- ‘Mt Kuring-gai Station5.5 km’;‘Sam’s Creek 2.7 km’and ‘Berowra Station 5.2 km’all on right along board walk over wetlands; take this

21.18/6.06    Cross Calna Creek on new bridge to a track junction and sign boardon the     other side:- ‘Mt Kuring-gai 4.4 km’link track on right and ‘Berowra Waters 5.8km’, track on left over another board walk; go left onto board walk

22.33/6.26    Track at prominent headland with aboriginal shell middens and impressive bouldery rock formations; faint track on right follows ridge up; go straight on main track steeply down

22.76/6.34    At Sam’s Creek  crossing on rocks; after crossing, it is very easy to lose the track         here; do not go straight on to a small clearing with minor tracks to left and right, but veer left immediately after crossing and within 30 m, make another crossing on rocks of a tributary creek to an arrowed post on the other side; a clear track uphill then resumes

23.31/7.02    Track joins service road with sign board:- ‘Berowra Waters 3.4 km’on left and ‘Berowra Station 2.0 km’on right; go right along service road

24.22/7.13    Service road T junction; alternative easier exit on left; sign board:- ‘BerowraStation 1.5 km’  straight on; go straight

See details below for alternative, easier, exit

24.48/7.16    Track Y junction with Benowie Walking Track on left; go left, leaving service road

25.17/7.34    Track ends at sealed vehicular road and sign board :- ‘Berowra Station 750m’and ‘Crosslands 5.8 km’back track; veer left towards roundabout and take the first exit on right ( Berowra Waters Road) downhill towards the old Pacific Highway past another roundabout

25.63/7.41    At intersection of old Pacific Highway and Berowra Waters Road; turn left and           walk uphill along Pacific Highway to a pedestrian crossing with lights and Berowra Station on the other side.

25.86/7.43    At Berowra Station; end of walk


Alternative Exit

At 24.22 km above, turn left and follow the concrete paved service steeply up to its end at a gate and public road with houses.(Joalah Road)

Turn right and follow Joalah Road for about 40 meters to an intersection with Holliday Avenue on left.

Turn left and follow Holliday Avenue up, past a turning circle on left where the road bends right to an intersection with Creole Street on left,

Go left and follow Creole St steeply up to a T intersection with Arcadia Crescent.

Go right and follow Arcadia Crescent to a T intersection with busy Berowra Waters Road.

Cross Berowra Waters Road with care to a footpath and turn right, then follow Berowra Waters Road past Hillcrest Road on entering from left towards a large water tower where Berowra Waters Road bends to the right and High Street enters from left.

Go left along High Street to Boundary Street on right, then turn right into Boundary Street and follow this past a Kindergarten on left  to a sharp turn to the right, where Boundary Street becomes King Street.

Turn left just before the bend and follow a wide concrete footpath down on steps to a car parking area.

Walk through parking area with Community Hall on left and oval on right to a T intersection with fern Gully Road.

Cross Fern Gully Road and take either of the narrow ramp roads up past the Berowra RSL to the Pacific Highway and Berowra Railway Station on the other side.

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