Mt Kuring-gai to Cowan (via Berowra Waters)

6 h, 9 h to 2 days
3 h 30 min to 5 h

17 km
oneway

↑ 944 m
↓ -970 m

Hard track
Ridge tops, grasslands, creek crossings and spectacular views are all part of this walk as it ventures from the ridge above Berowra Creek down to water level and back up again. Take the short and free ferry ride across the creek to get lunch at Berowra Waters. Conserve your energy for the steep sections between Berowra Waters and Cowan. Let us begin by acknowledging the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we travel today, and pay our respects to their Elders past and present.
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Benowie Walking Track Mt Ku-ring-gai. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2007.
Pink Boronia in flower. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Mt Kuring Gai link track. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
rock overhangs. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
wandering through the bush. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Mt Kuring Gai link track. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Great North Walk boardwalk. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
steps up out of valley. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Naa Badu Lookout. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
following the Great North Walk. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2007.
Rest spot on the way down to Berowra Waters. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
walking around the ridge. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2007.
Berowra Waters. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2007.
Berowra Waters Garden House restaurant. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
path winding around Berowra creek. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
steps up onto the ridge. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
First Hill Looking Down at Berowra Waters. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2007.
winding across the ridge tops. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
crossing Joe Crafts creek. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
lookout point. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
typical bushland found in the area. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Winding around to Cowan. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2007.
Great North Walk Cowan track head. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Cowan train station. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2007.
Downloads GPX PDF

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Safer Bushwalks
Tips on staying safe on track
Before you start any bushwalk ensure you;
• Tell someone you trust where you are going and what to do if you are overdue
• Have adequate equipment, supplies, skills & knowledge for the whole journey
• Consider the impact of weather forecasts, park/track closures & fire dangers
• Can respond to emergencies & call for help at any point
• Are healthy and fit enough for this journey
If not, change plans and stay safe. It is okay to delay and ask people for help.
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Getting There
Transport options and directions
Start (-33.6538131,151.1367936)
Mode Bus Car (There is free parking available.) Train
DirectionsFrom Pacific Highway, A1
  • Turn on to Pacific Motorway Onramp, M1 then drive for 30 m
  • Continue onto Pacific Motorway Onramp, M1 and drive for another 4.2 km
  • Keep left onto Ku-Ring-Gai Chase Road Offramp and drive for another 530 m
  • Keep left onto Ku-Ring-Gai Chase Road Offramp and drive for another 650 m
  • Turn right onto Belmont Parade and drive for another 210 m
  • Turn left onto Royston Parade and drive for another 75 m
  • Turn right onto Pacific Highway, B83 and drive for another 3.6 km
  • Turn sharp right onto Pacific Highway, B83 and drive for another 65 m
Finish (-33.5937073,151.1713612)
Mode (end) Car Shuttle   Bus   Car   (There is free parking available.) Train  
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Track Notes
Turn by turn instructions & maps
Getting started
From the middle of the tunnel at the bottom of the stairs at Mt Kuring-gai railway station, this walk follows the 'To the Great North Walk' sign through the tunnel to the Pacific Hwy. Here the walk turns left and follows the footpath between the highway and train line for about 200m to pass the traffic lights at Glenview Rd. The walk then continues straight up the ramp for another 100m and turns right onto the pedestrian bridge. Here the walk crosses the Pacific Hwy on the footbridge, then follows the concrete ramp as it zigzags back down to the ground. This ramp ends just near the Aldi shopping complex.From the bottom of the footbridge near the Aldi shopping complex, this walk follows the footpath alongside the Pacific Hwy, under the footbridge and away from the shops. Keeping the highway to your right for 100m, this walk then crosses 'Glenview Rd' (at the intersection with the Pacific Hwy) to find the top of 'Lyrebird Gully track', marked with a locked green metal gate.....
Turn map Directions & comments
Start.
Then head through the tunnel (about 25 m long)
After another 310 m turn right.
Then cross the bridge (about 30 m long)
Turn right.
Then head down the steps (about 15 m long)
After another 70 m veer left.
After another 35 m head through/around the gate.
After another 1.9 km find the "Lyrebird waterfall" (7 m on your left).
Lyrebird waterfall
Lyrebird waterfall

This informally named waterfall is found on Lyrebird Gully creek about 300m upstream of its confluence with Calna Creek. The top of the fall is partially fenced with a timber handrail where the water flows over the solid rock platform, with naturally carved holes, to fall about 8m to the shallow pool and boulders below. The track passes the top of the fall and does not provide a good view of the face of the fall, but it is still a very pleasant spot.
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This informally named waterfall is found on Lyrebird Gully creek about 300m upstream of its confluence with Calna Creek. The top of the fall is partially fenced with a timber handrail where the water flows over the solid rock platform, with naturally carved holes, to fall about 8m to the shallow pool and boulders below. The track passes the top of the fall and does not provide a good view of the face of the fall, but it is still a very pleasant spot.

After another 200 m find the "Lyrebird Caves" (20 m on your right).
Lyrebird Caves
Lyrebird Caves

The Lyrebird caves are a series of notable sandstone overhangs on the eastern side of Lyrebird Gully. There are 3 main overhangs, with the larger (more northern) one providing significant shelter. The larger cave has a fairly flat base in the centre and provides a pleasant place to rest on a hot or rainy day.
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The Lyrebird caves are a series of notable sandstone overhangs on the eastern side of Lyrebird Gully. There are 3 main overhangs, with the larger (more northern) one providing significant shelter. The larger cave has a fairly flat base in the centre and provides a pleasant place to rest on a hot or rainy day.

After another 480 m continue straight.
After another 1.1 km find the "Calna Creek Campsite (south)" (15 m on your right).
Calna Creek Campsite (south)
Calna Creek Campsite (south)

This small signposted campsite sits on a flat grassy clearing in a small casuarina forest which provides plenty of shade. There is a small fireplace set up. This creek-side campsite is a good spot for those wanting to get the most out of a relaxing, overnight camp, just a short stroll to Berowra Creek and the main spine of the Great North Walk. Bring your own water, as the creek water is not suitable for drinking.
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This small signposted campsite sits on a flat grassy clearing in a small casuarina forest which provides plenty of shade. There is a small fireplace set up. This creek-side campsite is a good spot for those wanting to get the most out of a relaxing, overnight camp, just a short stroll to Berowra Creek and the main spine of the Great North Walk. Bring your own water, as the creek water is not suitable for drinking.

After another 460 m find the "Calna Creek Campsite (north)" (on your right).
Calna Creek Campsite (north)
Calna Creek Campsite (north)

This is a quaint little campsite, located on the Mt Kuring-gai access track to the Great North Walk, on the banks of Calna Creek. This campsite provides plenty of room for a few tents, and also a fire scar with logs for seating. Carry in your own water as the salty creek water is not suitable for drinking.
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This is a quaint little campsite, located on the Mt Kuring-gai access track to the Great North Walk, on the banks of Calna Creek. This campsite provides plenty of room for a few tents, and also a fire scar with logs for seating. Carry in your own water as the salty creek water is not suitable for drinking.

After another 5 m turn sharp right.
After another 1.7 km turn left.
After another 550 m continue straight.
After another 240 m continue straight.
After another 65 m find the "Naa Badu Lookout" (on your left).
Naa Badu Lookout
Naa Badu Lookout

Naa Badu Lookout offers magnificent views south over Berowra Creek as well as over Sams and Calna Creeks. Naa Badu means 'See water' in the Aboriginal tribal language of the Dharug people. It is believed that Berowra Creek was the boundary between the Dharug and Guringai Aboriginal peoples. The lookout is fenced, has a bench seat, picnic table and a fair amount of natural shade.
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Naa Badu Lookout offers magnificent views south over Berowra Creek as well as over Sams and Calna Creeks. Naa Badu means 'See water' in the Aboriginal tribal language of the Dharug people. It is believed that Berowra Creek was the boundary between the Dharug and Guringai Aboriginal peoples. The lookout is fenced, has a bench seat, picnic table and a fair amount of natural shade.

After another 500 m turn left.
After another 45 m cross the bridge (about 15 m long)
After another 460 m veer left.
After another 235 m come to the viewpoint (8 m on your left).
After another 870 m come to the viewpoint (on your left).
After another 480 m pass the "Berowra Waters Garden House - closed" (15 m on your left).
After another 25 m pass the "A Chef Secrets" (35 m on your left).
Turn sharp left.
After another 6 m turn sharp right.
After another 55 m pass the water tap (15 m on your right).
Then pass the toilet (15 m on your right).
After another 1.1 km veer left.
After another 25 m come to the viewpoint (35 m on your right).
After another 400 m cross the ford.
After another 325 m pass a "The Roland Murray Bench" (on your left)., has no backrest.
After another 420 m continue straight.
After another 10 m continue straight.
After another 205 m turn left.
After another 220 m find the "Ridge Top Campground" (8 m on your right).
Ridge Top Campground
Ridge Top Campground

About 800m from Turners Rd, Berowra Heights lies this pleasant ridge top campsite. This is a fairly popular campsite on the Great North Walk, providing a flat area with plenty of shade. There are no facilities (or water) at this large campsite. A faint track leads west from the campsite to an unfenced cliff with great views over the Berowra Waters Valley.
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About 800m from Turners Rd, Berowra Heights lies this pleasant ridge top campsite. This is a fairly popular campsite on the Great North Walk, providing a flat area with plenty of shade. There are no facilities (or water) at this large campsite. A faint track leads west from the campsite to an unfenced cliff with great views over the Berowra Waters Valley.

Continue straight.
After another 140 m veer left.
After another 150 m pass the "GNW Visitor Book" (15 m on your right).
After another 140 m come to the viewpoint (20 m on your left).
After another 50 m continue straight.
After another 1.5 km pass a seat (10 m on your right).
After another 225 m come to the viewpoint (7 m on your right).
After another 520 m turn left.
After another 40 m turn right.
After another 295 m continue straight.
After another 880 m continue straight.
After another 490 m come to a gate.
Continue straight.
After another 45 m come to a car park.
The end.
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Terrain
Know the Hills, grading & facilities

Mt Kuring-gai to Cowan (via Berowra Waters)


Grading
Class 4/6
Hard track
Length 17 km
Time 6 h, 9 h to 2 days
Quality of track Rough track, where fallen trees and other obstacles are likely (4/6)
Gradient Very steep (4/6)
Signage Directional signs along the way (3/6)
Infrastructure Limited facilities, not all cliffs are fenced (3/6)
Experience Required Moderate level of bushwalking experience recommended (4/6)
Weather Foretasted & unexpected storms and severe weather may impact on navigation and safety (4/6)

Some facilities on route
Campsite: There are 3 on route, on average they are 4.2 km apart with the largest gap of 7.9 km.

Toilet: There is one 9.9 km from the start.

Seat: There are 2 on route, on average they are 5.7 km apart with the largest gap of 11.7 km.


Order of key facilities on route
ItemFrom StartName & link to notes
Campsite
4.2 kmCalna Creek Campsite (south)
Campsite
4.7 kmCalna Creek Campsite (north)
Toilet
9.9 km[toilet]
Campsite
12.5 kmRidge Top Campground
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