Walk 27:- Helensburgh to Waterfall via Bola Heights
At A Glance
Route Summary:- This walk starts on public roads behind Helensburgh Station, then follows the Burgh Track across the Hacking River Valley and crossing on rocks and up to Bola Heights, then leaves the Burgh Track and goes along the Bola Heights fire trail for several kilometers, followed by an off track section to Bertram Stevens Drive and Forest Path, then to a second crossing of the Hacking River to the Couranga Track that climbs up to the Uloola Track, then Waterfall;
Highlights:- Diverse scenery, ecology and rock formations
Negatives :- Past disused rubbish tip at Helensburgh; Burgh Track follows about 3 km. of service road at Helensburgh end
Length:- 14.3 km
Weather:_All weather excepting when Hacking River is in flood- this must be crossed twice on possibly slippery rocks
Continuous walking time with a few 3-4 min. stops:- 3 hrs 45 mins.
Train Time from Central to Start :-. 54 minutes; approximately every hour via South Coast Express
Train Time from finish to Central:-. 1 hr 0 mins. T4 Line; every 30 mins.
Total Climb :- 365 meters
Total Descent :- 300 meters
Water:- Helensburgh and Waterfall Stations
Toilets:- Helensburgh and Waterfall Stations
Café/Kiosk :- Single shop at Waterfall
Published 1:25,000 Map :- Appin and Otford
Walk No 27 Track Notes
Helensburgh to Waterfall via Bola Heights
Sunday 26th August 2012
Km./Hrs.min Kilometers in bold are shown on map
0.00/0.00 Leave Helensburgh Station ; at car park next to station, turn left and walk up stairs to reach a railway overpass sealed road (Wilson Creek Road); turn right and follow this sealed road for about 30 meters to a T road junction; turn left into Parkes St. and follow this for about 30 meters to a service road on left; take this up hill.
0.28/0.07 On service road with houses on the right and railway line in cutting on left; track veers right under power lines.
0.46/0.09 Service road Y junction; take right branch up hill.
0.52/0.12 Public vehicular road ends on right; ignore this; continue straight for 10-15 meters to walking track on left
0.55/0.13 Walking track on left; leave service road here and take walking track
0.61/0.14 Walking track reaches wider track along fenced off area (former rubbish tip); turn left and follow wider track along fence
0.94/0.18 Foot track enters on left; ignore this, continue along fence
0.95/0.19 Track now adjacent to fenced off sports field on right.
1.07/0.21 End of fenced area; graveled clearing with service roads in several directions; take left service road down hill
1.23/0.24 Foot track splits off on right; ignore this
1.44/0.27 On service track under high tension power lines after fence with open gate and above railway tunnel.
1.53/0.28 Service road steeply down on right; about 10 meters further, NPWS green post and service road steeply down on left; continue straight on service road
1.95/0.33 Small clearing; service track veers left with walking track on right; continue along service track.
2.05/ 0.35 Foot track on left; continue along service track
3.28/0.52 Service track crosses minor creek
3.43/0.54 Green NPWS post with faded arrows at foot track on left; leave service track here and follow good foot track down hill.
3.62/0.59 Two sign boards at right angles about 25 up hill from creek crossing beyond signs; turn right at signs and follow faint track marked by trodden leaves and faded bunting on trees; track on left bank of Hacking River
3.75/1.01 Track improves, with formed steps leading down to Hacking River
3.76/1.02 Middle of Hacking River; easy crossing on rocks; follow well constructed track up bank to Lady Wakehurst Drive; cross this at right angles to sign board:- ‘Burgh Track’ and ‘Garawarra Farm 1.6 km’ ; follow this well made track uphill through scenic terrain .
5.20/1.29 Burgh Track X intersection with service road; turn left here and follow service road; this area is known as Bola Heights.
5.96/1.37 A service road splits off on right; ignore this, go straight .
6.65/1.45 A service road splits off on left; ignore- continue straight.
7.66/1.58 End of service road at small turning circle and clearing; leave clearing slightly to the right of final track direction to find and follow a foot pad marked regularly with fading red bunting; the foot track follows the ridge line down.
7.81/2.02 At this point red bunting markers head sharply down hill on left; do not follow bunting trail from here but continue to follow the ridge line down; there is no clear track, but foot pad will be found sporadically.
8.13/2.09 Sharp spine of sandstone ridge; scenic location for a pause; then continue to follow ridge now more steeply down.
8.30/2.13 Ridge becomes saddle (col) at the same level as adjacent Sir Bertram Stevens Drive located about 15 meters to the right; go to Sir Bertram Stevens Drive and turn left, following it downhill on the left hand side; take care with traffic, especially on a Sunday.
Comment on off track section:- I have walked this section several times in the last couple of years. Each time the sporadic foot pads are a little clearer and more continuous, suggesting more regular use.
9.22/2.22 Where disused quarry on left , cross Sir Bertram Stevens Drive to parking area on right and gated service road with signboard :- ‘Forest Path along Lady Carrington Drive’. Ignore this but walk 25 meters further on to another gate and signboard:- ‘Forest Path’ and ‘Couranga Track 0.8 km’; take this wide walking track/ service road
9.84/2.32 Track on left leaves Forest Path; signage:- ‘Waterfall 3.5 km’; take this track on left and follow it down to Hacking River.
10.02/2.35 Hacking River crossing on rocks; cross quickly here (leeches) but with care on slippery rocks and proceed about 15 meters up river bank on track to a T intersection with the Couranga Track; signboard:- ‘Car Park 1 km’ back track; turn right and follow Couranga Track; do not cross when river is in flood
13.08/3.25 T interesection of Couranga Track with Uloola Service road; new sign board :- ‘Audley 14 km’ to the right and ‘Waterfall 1 km’ to the left; turn left and follow Uloola service road
14.05/3.40 Foot pad on right leads to Kangaroo Creek
14.09/3.41 Edge of Waterfall Station car park with new information sign
14.23/3.44 Waterfall Station; end of Walk
Route Quality Index
On public vehicular roads:- 1.34km/ 9%
On locked service/fire trail:- 6.47km/ 46%
On walking track:- 6.42km / 45%
RQI= 45+23+0= 68
Note:- The 2.5 km section of the walk along the Bola Heights Fire Trail is counted as such, but this is actually more like a wide grassy walking track not used by a vehicle for a long time