Hornsby Station to Crosslands

6 h to 6 h 45 min

16.1 km
oneway

↑ 681 m
↓ -863 m

Hard track
This section of the Great North Walk starts from Hornsby train station and winds down along the Blue Gum Walk into Fishponds. Enjoy the wonderful water hole at fishponds before continuing along Berowra Creek, passing through the Tunks Ridge Reserve and into Galston Gorge. From the Gorge the track keeps following the Berowra Creek past a waterfall to the Crosslands Campsite. People can drive down to Crosslands to pick you up at the end of the walk, or organise a taxi. Check the info at the end of the walk for crosslands closing times. Note this walk was re-routed in early 2016 to go via the streets of Hornsby Heights. This re-route is due to the multi-agency decision to close the Fishponds to Steele Bridge section of the Benowie Track. This decision has upset many people and the protest continues. 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.
Show all
Quarry road Great North Walk Track intersection. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2007.
track down to Rosemead Rd park. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2007.
Rosemead Park. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2007.
Management trail north of Rosemead Rd. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2007.
Fishponds Lookout. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
winding back up the ridge. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
view from bridge crossing berowra creek. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
climbing down into Galston Gorge. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2007.
Galston Gorge. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2007.
waterfall on path to Crosslands. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2007.
Berowra creek. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2007.
small Great North Walk campsite. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2007.
Crosslands Reserve. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2007.
creekside campsite. | 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 (-33.7032196,151.0982643)
Mode Bus Car (There is free parking available.) Train
Finish (-33.6287773,151.1091593)
Mode (end) Car Shuttle   Car   (There is free parking available.)
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Track Notes
Turn by turn instructions & maps
Getting started
From the western side of Hornsby Railway Station, this walk first crosses the bus lane, then follows the large 'To the Great North Walk' sign across the Station St pedestrian crossing, and then across the Pacific Highway at the traffic lights. Here the walk turns right and follows the footpath (across 'Dural Lane') past some shops to cross 'Dural St'. The walk then turns left and follows the footpath down along 'Dural St', past a few more shops. Continuing past the units, this walk then turns right onto 'Quarry Rd' and follows the road down the gently hill for about 180m to an intersection with 'Old Mans Valley' management trail and locked gate (on your right).
From the intersection, this walk follows Quarry Road down the gentle hill, leaving the houses behind to come to an intersection with a track, signposted with a 'Great North Walk' sign (on your left).....
Turn map Directions & comments
Start.
Then head up the steps (about 10 m long)
Find the shelter at the start.
Find the car park at the start.
Turn right.
After another 15 m turn right.
After another 10 m pass the toilet (20 m on your left).
After another 10 m pass the cafe (200 m on your left).
After another 10 m pass the car park (40 m on your left).
Then pass the "Oliver Brown" (160 m on your left).
W:www.oliverbrown.com.au T:+61 2 9482 9819
Mo-Su 08:00-23:00
Continue straight.
After another 35 m pass the water tap (10 m on your left).
After another 15 m pass the shelter (60 m on your left).
After another 8 m pass the shelter (8 m on your left).
Then pass a seat (90 m on your left).
After another 6 m pass the park (70 m on your left).
Continue straight.
Then pass a seat (90 m on your left).
After another 15 m pass the "Cenotaph Park" (15 m on your left).
After another 3 m turn left.
After another 20 m pass a seat (20 m on your left).
After another 210 m pass the "Hornsby Park" (230 m on your right).
Then pass a seat (30 m on your left).
After another 5 m turn right.
After another 15 m turn left.
After another 70 m continue straight.
After another 105 m pass the "Thai Tables" (35 m on your right).
After another 130 m pass the park (235 m on your left).
Turn right.
After another 60 m turn left.
After another 80 m pass the "Refinery Espresso" (70 m on your right).
W:refineryespresso.wordpress.com
Mo-Fr 05:30-16:00
Sa 06:00-14:00
Then pass the "Bee's Knees Cafe" (80 m on your right).
Continue straight.
After another 15 m pass the restaurant (10 m on your right).
After another 125 m continue straight.
After another 15 m veer right.
After another 315 m pass the playground (265 m on your right).
Then pass the "Old Mans Valley Park (proposed)" (190 m on your right).
Continue straight.
After another 85 m continue straight.
After another 55 m continue straight.
After another 35 m continue straight.
After another 40 m pass the "Mount Errington" (200 m on your left).
After another 40 m pass the sign (9 m on your right).
After another 125 m veer right.
After another 9 m head up the steps (about 85 m long)
Then pass the park (155 m on your left).
After another 185 m pass the "Hornsby Park" (210 m on your left).
Veer left.
After another 70 m head up the steps (about 130 m long)
After another 10 m veer left.
After another 25 m pass the shelter (15 m on your right).
Fishponds
After another 30 m by following the "Fishponds" sign turn right.
Then pass the BBQ (on your right).
After another 100 m find the "Berowra Valley Bushland Park" (on your left).
Berowra Valley Bushland Park
Berowra Valley Bushland Park

'Berowra Valley Bushland Park' is also known as Rosemead Rd Park and is found at the bottom end of Rosemead Rd, Hornsby. This is an open area park surrounded by shady eucalyptus trees, making a pleasant spot to rest on a walk. It has a picnic table with bench seats, and a sheltered free electric BBQ. There is a water tap in the park, near the road. There is also a 'Welcome to Old Mans Valley' information sign with information about the traditional country of the Darug and Guringai peoples.
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'Berowra Valley Bushland Park' is also known as Rosemead Rd Park and is found at the bottom end of Rosemead Rd, Hornsby. This is an open area park surrounded by shady eucalyptus trees, making a pleasant spot to rest on a walk. It has a picnic table with bench seats, and a sheltered free electric BBQ. There is a water tap in the park, near the road. There is also a 'Welcome to Old Mans Valley' information sign with information about the traditional country of the Darug and Guringai peoples.

Then pass the water tap (on your right).
After another 70 m cross the ford.
After another 325 m veer left.
The starting point of an optional sidetrip. An optional side trip to Fishponds crossing. To start this optional side trip continue straight here. On returning from this side trip turn around when you get back to this intersection. Details below.
After another 410 m continue straight.
After another 6 m head down the steps (about 20 m long)
Galston Gorge
After another 5 m by following the "Galston Gorge" sign turn right.
After another 10 m come to the viewpoint (185 m on your left).
After another 15 m pass the "Signposts" (on your left).
After another 180 m head up the metal steps (about 45 m long)
After another 35 m veer left.
After another 350 m continue straight.
After another 600 m continue straight.
After another 90 m continue straight.
After another 295 m turn left.
After another 140 m continue straight.
After another 190 m head through/around the gate.
After another 420 m continue straight.
After another 120 m pass the water tap (175 m on your right).
After another 25 m pass the "Hopeville Park" (145 m on your right).
After another 550 m pass the "Hopeville Park" (130 m on your right).
Turn left.
After another 235 m head up the steps (about 170 m long)
After another 15 m find the "Unnamed waterfall" (on your left).
Unnamed waterfall
Unnamed waterfall

This waterfall is about 3 meters tall, with a square black face. The water cascades down to a rock platform and into the sandy creek. The waterfall is active after recent rain, and may offer a trickle at other times. At this section of the creek, the gully is quite steep, creating a wonderful environment for the green moss and ferns to grow. A great spot to rest and enjoy the cool on hot days.
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This waterfall is about 3 meters tall, with a square black face. The water cascades down to a rock platform and into the sandy creek. The waterfall is active after recent rain, and may offer a trickle at other times. At this section of the creek, the gully is quite steep, creating a wonderful environment for the green moss and ferns to grow. A great spot to rest and enjoy the cool on hot days.

After another 75 m turn right.
After another 370 m veer right.
After another 9 m cross the bridge (about 15 m long)
After another 20 m find the "Historic Military 'Steele' Bridge" (8 m on your right).
Historic Military 'Steele' Bridge
Historic Military 'Steele' Bridge

This large steel and timber bridge spans Berowra Creek north of Fishponds. The creek is fairly wide at this point and the bridge provides a great view of the sandstone overhangs along the creek's edge. The bridge was commissioned in 1965 to allow access for fire trucks. The bridge was designed by Major General Sir Clive Steele in 1942. Bridges of this type were critical during the WWII South West Pacific campaigns. The bridge is designed on the Warren truss style and is one of only 4 'Steele' bridges still in use in NSW.
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This large steel and timber bridge spans Berowra Creek north of Fishponds. The creek is fairly wide at this point and the bridge provides a great view of the sandstone overhangs along the creek's edge. The bridge was commissioned in 1965 to allow access for fire trucks. The bridge was designed by Major General Sir Clive Steele in 1942. Bridges of this type were critical during the WWII South West Pacific campaigns. The bridge is designed on the Warren truss style and is one of only 4 'Steele' bridges still in use in NSW.

After another 770 m continue straight.
After another 50 m pass the cave (175 m on your right).
After another 890 m turn right.
After another 25 m come to the "Tunks Ridge Camping Area" (15 m on your left).
This is a free campsite.
Then pass the toilet (30 m on your left).
After another 8 m find the "Tunks Ridge Rest Area" (15 m on your left).
Tunks Ridge Rest Area
Tunks Ridge Rest Area

Tunks Ridge Rest Area is a large, shady and gently sloping campsite at the junction of three management trails. There is no water or other facilities (you will need to carry your own in). A sign at the top of the campsite reminds campers that there is a one night limit and that it is a fuel stove only area (no campfires). Please note that the composting toilet has been removed and no longer available.
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Tunks Ridge Rest Area is a large, shady and gently sloping campsite at the junction of three management trails. There is no water or other facilities (you will need to carry your own in). A sign at the top of the campsite reminds campers that there is a one night limit and that it is a fuel stove only area (no campfires). Please note that the composting toilet has been removed and no longer available.

After another 690 m come to the viewpoint (60 m on your left).
Continue straight.
After another 400 m continue straight.
After another 310 m find the "Top of Galston Gorge Campsite" (20 m on your left).
Top of Galston Gorge Campsite
Top of Galston Gorge Campsite

This campsite can be found on the Great North Walk, off the service trail just before it descends into Galston Gorge (when coming from the south). There is plenty of room for a group of tents, however there is no available water or facilities. Although this is an official campsite for the Great North Walk, there are some threatened species in the area, therefore Tunks Ridge Reserve (1.4km South) would make a better alternative, with better facilities.
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This campsite can be found on the Great North Walk, off the service trail just before it descends into Galston Gorge (when coming from the south). There is plenty of room for a group of tents, however there is no available water or facilities. Although this is an official campsite for the Great North Walk, there are some threatened species in the area, therefore Tunks Ridge Reserve (1.4km South) would make a better alternative, with better facilities.

Turn right.
After another 490 m veer right.
After another 6 m continue straight.
After another 8 m cross the stepping stones (about 15 m long)
After another 20 m turn sharp left.
After another 30 m head down the 21 rock steps (about 25 m long)
Then find the "Galston Gorge track head" (15 m on your right).
Galston Gorge track head
Galston Gorge track head

Galston Gorge track head is located at a small car park on the eastern side of Berowra Creek, near the bottom of the gorge on Galston Road. This track head is a good access point for those wanting to do sections of the Great North Walk and is well signposted. Keep an eye open for the local chickens.
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Galston Gorge track head is located at a small car park on the eastern side of Berowra Creek, near the bottom of the gorge on Galston Road. This track head is a good access point for those wanting to do sections of the Great North Walk and is well signposted. Keep an eye open for the local chickens.

Turn right.
Then head down the 14 rock steps (about 15 m long)
Veer left.
After another 5 m turn sharp left.
After another 2 m veer right.
Then head up the 32 earthen steps (about 20 m long)
After another 1.3 km find the "Gulley Creek Falls" (20 m on your right).
Gulley Creek Falls
Gulley Creek Falls

This is a nice little creek crossing on the Great North Walk in Galston Gorge. The small falls flow just upstream of the track, even after a small amount of rain. Enjoy the cool shade of the trees at the creek crossing from the track.
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This is a nice little creek crossing on the Great North Walk in Galston Gorge. The small falls flow just upstream of the track, even after a small amount of rain. Enjoy the cool shade of the trees at the creek crossing from the track.

After another 1.1 km continue straight.
After another 1.1 km cross the bridge (about 10 m long)
After another 130 m cross the bridge (about 20 m long)
After another 200 m continue straight.
After another 7 m cross the bridge (about 2 m long)
After another 90 m continue straight.
After another 730 m find the "Berowra Creek campsite" (20 m on your right).
Berowra Creek campsite
Berowra Creek campsite

This shady campsite is located on the Benowie Track a short distance back from Berowra Creek, south of the Crosslands Reserve. Providing plenty of tree cover, flat ground and an established fire scar, this campsite is a great spot for those walkers who want a quiet night's sleep away from the more popular Crosslands Reserve. The creek water is brackish at this point, so it is not drinkable (except after heavy rain and lower tide, but then the water is more polluted) - best to bring your own water.
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This shady campsite is located on the Benowie Track a short distance back from Berowra Creek, south of the Crosslands Reserve. Providing plenty of tree cover, flat ground and an established fire scar, this campsite is a great spot for those walkers who want a quiet night's sleep away from the more popular Crosslands Reserve. The creek water is brackish at this point, so it is not drinkable (except after heavy rain and lower tide, but then the water is more polluted) - best to bring your own water.

After another 570 m cross the bridge (about 8 m long)
After another 45 m continue straight.
After another 100 m turn right.
Then cross the bridge (about 7 m long)
After another 520 m pass the toilet (10 m on your right).
This toilet is wheelchair accessible.
After another 10 m pass the water tap (15 m on your right).
Continue straight.
After another 8 m find the "Toilet Accessible" (25 m on your right).
Toilet Accessible
Toilet Accessible

Seperate male/female wheelchair accessible toilets. Entrance is 83cm wide (with no step), hand basin 80cm high, toilet seat 47cm high with a handrail. Toilet is located at the far southern end of the reserve, just over 300m along concrete and compressed dirt path. Potable water and other toilets also available.
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Seperate male/female wheelchair accessible toilets. Entrance is 83cm wide (with no step), hand basin 80cm high, toilet seat 47cm high with a handrail. Toilet is located at the far southern end of the reserve, just over 300m along concrete and compressed dirt path. Potable water and other toilets also available.

Continue straight.
After another 20 m find the "Crosslands Campsite" (20 m on your right).
Crosslands Campsite
Crosslands Campsite

On the far southern end of Crosslands Reserve is a toilet block and campsite. The campsite is well set up and managed by Hornsby Council. There are picnic tables, electric barbecues, toilets, a children's playground, garbage bins and town water. There is a large flat grassy areas to camp and a single authorised fire pit. The campsite must be booked and fees apply - $9 per night for adults and $6 for children (infants under 4 are free). The gate at the top of the hill is locked at 5.30pm EST and 7.30pm (daylight savings time). A pleasant and well established campsite beside the river.
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On the far southern end of Crosslands Reserve is a toilet block and campsite. The campsite is well set up and managed by Hornsby Council. There are picnic tables, electric barbecues, toilets, a children's playground, garbage bins and town water. There is a large flat grassy areas to camp and a single authorised fire pit. The campsite must be booked and fees apply - $9 per night for adults and $6 for children (infants under 4 are free). The gate at the top of the hill is locked at 5.30pm EST and 7.30pm (daylight savings time). A pleasant and well established campsite beside the river.

After another 55 m continue straight.
After another 115 m come to the "Viewing Platform" (25 m on your left).
This viewpoint is wheelchair accessible.
After another 5 m continue straight.
After another 25 m continue straight.
After another 50 m come to the "Viewing Platform" (9 m on your left).
This viewpoint is wheelchair accessible.
About 95 m past the end is "Crosslands Youth & Convention Centre".
Crosslands Youth & Convention Centre
Crosslands Youth & Convention Centre

Crosslands Youth & Convention Centre is a wonderful facility run by the Seventh-day Adventist Church. The centre provides a large tent-based campsite ($12 pp/pn), large group dorm-style and unit-style accommodation. The units have 5 beds (plus sofa bed) and cost $36 a night per person. The units are equipped with a kitchen, TV, blankets, supplies for hot drinks, pillows, blankets and a balcony with views over Berowra Creek. You will need your own sheets, pillow cases and towels. Meal packs range from $5-$10 per person per meal. Breakfast includes juice, fresh fruit, cereal, toast and optional hash browns, eggs and sausages. Dinner includes juice, dinner rolls, salad, pie or sausage (or optional steak) and desert. No cigarettes, alcohol or other drugs are allowed on site. For more information, call your hosts John & Margaret on (02) 9653 1041.
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Crosslands Youth & Convention Centre is a wonderful facility run by the Seventh-day Adventist Church. The centre provides a large tent-based campsite ($12 pp/pn), large group dorm-style and unit-style accommodation. The units have 5 beds (plus sofa bed) and cost $36 a night per person. The units are equipped with a kitchen, TV, blankets, supplies for hot drinks, pillows, blankets and a balcony with views over Berowra Creek. You will need your own sheets, pillow cases and towels. Meal packs range from $5-$10 per person per meal. Breakfast includes juice, fresh fruit, cereal, toast and optional hash browns, eggs and sausages. Dinner includes juice, dinner rolls, salad, pie or sausage (or optional steak) and desert. No cigarettes, alcohol or other drugs are allowed on site. For more information, call your hosts John & Margaret on (02) 9653 1041.

Continue straight.
About 185 m past the end is "Windeyer Scout Camp".
Then head through the bollard.
Then pass the car park (on your right).
Then come to "Crosslands".
Crosslands
Crosslands

Crosslands Reserve is lovely and long mixed use picnic area, spanning along the edge of Berowra Creek. There are picnic tables, electric barbecues, toilets, car parking, a children's playground, garbage bins, camping area, toilets and town water. The southern part of Crosslands is managed by Hornsby Council and the northern half by the NPWS within the Berowra Valley National Park. The first inhabitants of this area were a subgroup of the Dharug people who enjoyed the sandstone caves, fish and abundant plant life in the area. It is now managed by Hornsby Shire Council, but in 1856 Matthew Charlton asked Burton Crossland to be caretaker on this area. Burton built a house and made a living by harvesting timber, growing fruit, fishing and boat-building.
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Crosslands Reserve is lovely and long mixed use picnic area, spanning along the edge of Berowra Creek. There are picnic tables, electric barbecues, toilets, car parking, a children's playground, garbage bins, camping area, toilets and town water. The southern part of Crosslands is managed by Hornsby Council and the northern half by the NPWS within the Berowra Valley National Park. The first inhabitants of this area were a subgroup of the Dharug people who enjoyed the sandstone caves, fish and abundant plant life in the area. It is now managed by Hornsby Shire Council, but in 1856 Matthew Charlton asked Burton Crossland to be caretaker on this area. Burton built a house and made a living by harvesting timber, growing fruit, fishing and boat-building.

A gate.
A sign.
The end.
About 40 m past the end is a car park.

An optional side trip to Fishponds crossing.
Turn map Directions & comments
Start.
After another 6 m head down the steps (about 20 m long)
Fishponds
After another 5 m by following the "Fishponds" sign continue straight.
After another 9 m pass the "Signposts" (on your right).
After another 8 m head down the steps (about 10 m long)
After another 155 m come to the viewpoint (50 m on your left).
Continue straight.
Then cross the bridge (about 7 m long)
Dural
After another 65 m by following the "Dural" sign turn right.
After another 15 m find the "Fishponds Lookout" (6 m on your left).
Fishponds Lookout
Fishponds Lookout

Fishponds Lookout is a fenced rock platform at the intersection of the Benowie walking track and the Rosemead trackhead. It is marked with a number of Great North Walk signs. This informally named lookout has good views down over Fishponds, a large waterhole on Berowra Creek. Looking north across the creek, there are views to the upper waterhole and the cliffs on the other side.
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Fishponds Lookout is a fenced rock platform at the intersection of the Benowie walking track and the Rosemead trackhead. It is marked with a number of Great North Walk signs. This informally named lookout has good views down over Fishponds, a large waterhole on Berowra Creek. Looking north across the creek, there are views to the upper waterhole and the cliffs on the other side.

After another 5 m pass the "Signposts" (on your right).
After another 35 m cross the stepping stones
About 35 m past the end is "Fishponds".
Fishponds
Fishponds

Fishponds is a long waterhole on Berowra Creek in Berowra Valley Regional Park. The waterhole is lined with tall cliffs and a few sandstone caves. At the southern end, there are stepping stones to help cross the creek, and a small timber bridge at the northern end. This is a beautiful spot and a worthy place to rest and enjoy the water passing by. The waterhole is fairly popular with local teens in summer, cooling off. Swimming and jumping at the Fishponds waterhole has resulted in fatalities - please heed the signs and Cora's parents' plea and enjoy the water from the edge.
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Fishponds is a long waterhole on Berowra Creek in Berowra Valley Regional Park. The waterhole is lined with tall cliffs and a few sandstone caves. At the southern end, there are stepping stones to help cross the creek, and a small timber bridge at the northern end. This is a beautiful spot and a worthy place to rest and enjoy the water passing by. The waterhole is fairly popular with local teens in summer, cooling off. Swimming and jumping at the Fishponds waterhole has resulted in fatalities - please heed the signs and Cora's parents' plea and enjoy the water from the edge.

The end.
Turn around and retrace your steps back the 350 m to the main route.
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Terrain
Know the Hills, grading & facilities

Hornsby Station to Crosslands


Grading
Class 4/6
Hard track
Length 16.1 km
Time 6 h to 6 h 45 min
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 Some bushwalking experience recommended (3/6)
Weather Weather generally has little impact on safety (1/6)

Some facilities on route
Campsite: There are 6 on route, on average they are 2.3 km apart with the largest gap of 8 km.

Shelter: There are 4 on route, on average they are 3.2 km apart with the largest gap of 14.8 km.

Toilet: There are 3 on route, on average they are 4 km apart with the largest gap of 7.9 km.

Seat: There are 4 on route, on average they are 3.2 km apart with the largest gap of 16 km.


Order of key facilities on route
ItemFrom StartName & link to notes
Shelter
20 m[shelter]
Toilet
60 m[toilet]
Shelter
125 m[shelter]
Shelter
130 m[shelter]
Shelter
1.4 km[shelter]
Camp site
8 kmTunks Ridge Camping Area
Toilet
8 km[toilet]
Campsite
8 kmTunks Ridge Rest Area
Campsite
9.3 kmTop of Galston Gorge Campsite
Campsite
14.6 kmBerowra Creek campsite
Campsite
15.8 kmCrosslands Campsite
Toilet
15.8 km[toilet]
Campsite
16.2 kmCrosslands Youth & Convention Centre
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