Walk No. 24


Walk 24:- Otford to Helensburgh   At A Glance

Route Summary:- This walks climbs steeply from Otford Station on fire trail and public road to the start of the Coast Track on Lady Wakehurst Drive, then follows the Coast Track via Palm Jungle to Burning Palms, then along Burgh Track via Garawarra Farm across the Hacking River to Helensburgh;

RQI:- 84

Highlights:- Palm Jungle; Burning Palms and beach; coastal views; pristine bush; Hacking River valley and crossing

Negatives :- Trains to Otford only every 2 hours; about 3 km along service road at Helensburgh end; former rubbish dump on left near Helensburgh

Length:- 13.3 km.

Grade:- Medium

Weather:_All weather except when Hacking River crossing is in flood

Continuous walking time with a few 3-4 min. stops:- 3 hrs 40 mins. 

Train Time from Central to Start :-. 1 hr. 0 mins.; trains every 2 hours 

Train Time from finish to Central:-. 54 minutes; approximately every hour

Total Climb :- 470 meters

Total Descent :- 445 meters 

Water:- Otford Station; Helensburgh Station

Toilets:- Helensburgh Station; Otford Station may be locked 

Café/Kiosk :- Nil

Published 1:25,000 Map :- Otford and Appin


Walk 24 Track Notes  Otford to Helensburgh


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

0.00/0.00      Leave Otford Station via southern stairs up to a track junction at fence with gate; ignore track on right along fence, but continue up steeply on bitumen track to a service road junction with signage:-‘ Station Road Fire trail’; turn left and follow this now less steeply up to a right hand bend where it becomes Fanshawe Road

0.72/0.12       Fanshawe Road makes T intersection with Lady Wakehurst Drive; turn left here and follow Lady Wakehurst Drive for about 120 meters to a large sign board on the right

0.88/0.13      At signboard:- ‘ Coast Track’; ‘Bundeena 26 km’ ; turn right and follow Coast Track uphill, initially on steps, then along fenced area with spectacular view points

1.07/0.17       Track junction and signage; track on right goes down to Werong Beach; veer left along Coast Track.

1.75/0.30       Walking track merges with Garawarra Farm fire trail; continue along this

2.65/0.39      Track junction and signage on right:- ‘ North Era’ and ‘Garie’; leave the service road here and turn right along Coast Track towards North Era and Garie

3.29/0.49       Track junction; faint track on right goes to Werong Beach; go left on arrowed post on good track

5.42/1.20       New duck board track construction under way, just south of Burning Palms

6.08/1.29      Burning Palms Club House

6.40/1.35      Track junction on ridge just north of Burning Palms; Coast Track continues straight, but leave this here and turn left and follow The Burgh Track up along grassy ridge

6.61/1.39       Sign board facing back indicating acute track junction to Burning Palms and North Era

7.29/1.53       Track Y junction; ignore track on left; go right

7.52/1.57      Track junction with Garawarra Farm service road and gate at Garawarra Farm with car park; drink stop

7.52/2.01       Resumed walking; cross car park diagonally veering right to a sign board

7.62/2.02       At signboard:-Lady Wakehurst Drive 2.0 km’ and ‘ Helensburgh Station 6.4 km’; follow this track at or near fence line to next track junction; track faint in places- crosses small creek on stepping stones, then blocked by fallen tree near fence.

7.91/2.06      Major 4 way track junction; end of fence line; Bola Heights fire trail crosses the Burgh Track at right angles; no signage; continue straight on good walking track.

9.22/2.28      Track junction with Lady Wakehurst Drive and signboard :- ‘ Garawarra Farm 1.6 km’ back track; cross Lady Wakehurst Drive at right angles; walking track resumes on other side.

9.31/2.30       Track intersects Hacking River; cross River on rocks at right angles to a clear walking track with steps on the other side; track follows River downstream for about 25 meters, then makes a U turn up the river bank; track then slightly obscured by leaves but sporadic bunting on trees; follow track to a track T junction with two signboards at right angles; there is a fallen tree that partly obscures these signs.

9.45/2.37       At track T junction with wider walking trail and two signboards at right angles:- ‘ Garawarra Farm’ back track and ‘Helensburgh’ left uphill on good track.

9.70/2.39      Track T junction with service road; green NPWS post on right; turn right and follow service road

11.15/3.03    Good walking track on right; ignore this, continue uphill on service road

11.75/3.10    Service road T junction on right and 10m further along on left; ignore these- they are access tracks to railway tunnel portals; continue straight

11.83/3.11    High tension power lines above; continue along service road past a short metal fence and open gate.

12.12/3.17    Trail T junction; go right towards metal fence and gate; just before gate, turn right and follow deeply rutted but wide walking track uphill along fence line , fence on left.

12.38/3.22    Good walking pad leaves track on right; ignore this; continue straight along fence.

12.71/3.26    Track junction with walking pad on right; take this track to the right, leaving the wider track that follows fence.

12.77/ 3.27   Walking track intersects service road; take this to the right

12.80/3.28    Sealed public road on left; ignore this; continue straight along service road.

12.86/3.31    Service road junction on right with rear of house on left; continue slightly left downhill; service road then veers harder left under power lines, then rear of several houses on left.

13.04/3.33    Service road makes T intersection with Parkes St, a sealed public road; turn right and follow Parkes St. for about 30 m to an intersection with Wilson Road on the right; turn right into Wilson road and follow it for about 40 m to a set of stairs on the left just before the railway overpass; take the stairs down to Helensburgh Station

13.32/3.40    Helensburgh Station

Route Quality Index

On public vehicular road:-               0.44 km/ 3%

On locked service/fire trail:-            4.31 km/ 37%

On walking track:-                             8.57km/ 65%

RQI= 65+19+0=84