Walk No. 16


Walk 16:- Cowan to Brooklyn (Hawkesbury River) At A Glance

Route Summary:- This is part of The Great North Walk, hence all on signposted track. From Cowan Station it goes for 5 km. along a walking track via Jerusalem Bay to a junction with a service road, then for about 2.6 km. along this service road to a narrow, partly hidden walking track for 0.3 km down to Brooklyn Dam and for another 250 m. on walking track behind the dam wall to re-join the service road and stay on it for the next 1.5 km where there is a choice to go 0.6 km down on walking track to Brooklyn edge or stay on wide service road to reach Brooklyn edge in about 0.8 km.

RQI:-   79

Highlights:- This is a very popular walk with a gentle descent to pristine Jerusalem Bay  followed by a steep climb, partly on steps; interesting rock formations; wildflowers and magnificent views over the Hawkesbury River; Brooklyn Dam camping area and a steep descent to Brooklyn

Negatives:- Approximately minimum 4 km. of this walk is along service roads

Length:- 11.2 km or 10.50 depending on descent track to Brooklyn Station

Grade:- Medium to hard; steep climb after Jerusalem Bay

Weather:_All weather; two minor creek crossings, more difficult after rain 

Continuous walking time with a few 3-4 min. stops:- 3 hrs, shorter option

Train Time from Central to Start :-. 0.52 mins. express via Strathfield 

Train Time from finish to Central:-. 1 hr 1 min.

Total Climb :- 405 meters 

Total Descent :- 595 meters 

Water:- Brooklyn and Cowan Stations 

Toilets:- Brooklyn 

Café/Kiosk :- Brooklyn

Published 1:25,000 Map :- Cowan

N.B. The locality of Brooklyn is also called Hawkesbury River

Walk 16 Track Notes Cowan to Brooklyn


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

0.00/0.00       Leave Cowan Station near the middle of the Sydney Bound platform at cream arrowed post; walk down steps and cross two railway siding tracks; turn left and walk along service road to the end of these tracks where there is a large signboard on the right.

0.11/0.02      At signboard:- ‘ Great North Walk’; ’Jerusalem Bay 2.5 km’; ‘Brooklyn 11km’; turn right and cross motorway on pedestrian bridge; continue on wide walking track

0.45/0.07       Prominent creek crossing on sandstone outcrop; creek now on right

2.31/0.34      At Jerusalem Bay; classic view right up the Bay; signboard:- ‘ Great North Walk’ in both directions; track now follows foreshore of Jerusalem Bay to another creek crossing

2.52/0.39       At creek crossing on outcrop; turn right after crossing and follow creek downstream to a smaller creek entering from left.

2.57/0.41       At smaller creek, turn left and follow track steeply up, initially on steps cut into sandstone in creek bed.

3.13/0.57       On rough part of track up:- unusual ironstone alteration of sandstone along joint; may be due to nearby igneous activity.

3.31/1.03      Track junction on top of ridge plateau and signboard:- ‘ Jerusalem Bay’ backtrack and ‘ Brooklyn’ straight on; at this point there are faint tracks to the left and right; right track goes to distant headland known as TaffysRock and Lookout; left track goes past Cambells volcanic crater to motorway; continue straight

3.95/1.15       Interesting tessellated outcrop formed by shrinkage of sandstone

4.04/1.18      Cambells Creek crossing.

5.05/1.41      Track T intersection with service road at signboard:- ‘ Jerusalem Bay 3.5 km’ and ‘Cowan 5 km’ back track;’ Brooklyn 6 km’ ;turn right and walk along service road for several kilometers; ignore any service tracks to left and right-these lead to power poles

7.19/2.07       Excellent view of Hawkesbury River system from prominent sandstone cliff to the left of track; good lunch spot.

7.71/2.14      Track junction; green arrowed post on right and signboard :- ‘ The Great North Walk’ on left of service road; turn hard right here, leaving the service road, and follow initially faint track downhill past a pile of old branches; within about 20 meters this track widens out to a former service road; this track is washed out and rough in places; note ironstone alteration and deep clay weathering along joints in sandstone similar to that noted above.; this is a short cut that cuts out a long section of a boring walk along service road

8.03/2.21       Walking track re-intersects service road with Brooklyn Dam ahead; signboard :- ‘Brooklyn Dam’; turn left here and follow the service road, with dam on right; about 20 meters after passing the dam wall on right at a green arrowed post, turn right off the service trail into a clearing with fire place; follow the walking track past the clearing to a creek crossing below the dam wall

8.17/2.24       At creek crossing downstream of dam wall; after crossing, track emerges at a large campsite on left and Brooklyn dam on right; walk past the campsite to re-join the service road, now on the other side of the dam.

8.27/2.26      At track junction with service road; turn left and follow service road uphill, again ignoring any service track to left and right- all doubtful intersections are marked with arrowed posts

9.67/2.44      Track junction on left and signboard on right:- ‘ Cowan 10.7 km’ back track and ‘Brooklyn Station 1.3 km’ straight on along the main service road.

There is a choice here:-

. The track straight ahead remains a clear service road and finishes with steep sections of concrete corduroy; it is also about 0.5 km longer

. The track to the left follows an old, now disused service track and walking pads down to Brooklyn; it is also 0.5 km shorter.

This walk follows the second option because it is more like proper bushwalking; ie turn left, leaving the main service road; old service road initially veers right to give a direct view of Brooklyn Railway Station straight ahead.

9.83/2.47       Track junction; take walking track on right under power lines to cut off a large loop in the old service road.

9.87/2.48       Walking pad re-joins old service road; turn right and resume on old road; take care with ball bearing pebbles on steep section down

10.12/2.52    Track junction at a kink to the left in power lines; leave the old service road here and take the initially faint walking track on left; within a few meters this track becomes clearer, with made steps etc.

10.27/2.56    Track intersects sealed public vehicular road; turn right and walk along footpath to a major road intersection at ‘The Anglers Rest’ Hotel.

10.43/2.58    At the road intersection, veer left along railway lines to Brooklyn Station

10.51/2.59    At Brooklyn Station

Route Quality Index

On public vehicular road:-               0.24 km/ 2%

On locked service/fire trail:-            4.17 km/ 39%

On walking track:-                             6.21 km/ 59%

RQI= 59+20+0= 79