Blue Gum Walk (Joe's Mountain Circuit)
Darug and Guringai Country

1 h 45 min to 2 h

4.1 km
circuit

↑ 169 m
↓ -169 m

Hard track
This is an enjoyable circuit walk that allows you to explore this rare pocket of Sydney Blue Gum forest. You will follow a signposted track across a few creeks and alongside Waitara Creek, with a few cascades. There are many small sandstone caves and a great diversity in plant life along the way. Sit quietly on the bank of Waitara Creek and you may see a water dragon, or get going early and listen for the Lyrebirds. Let us begin by acknowledging the Darug and Guringai people, Traditional Custodians of the land on which we travel today, and pay our respects to their Elders past and present. 
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Berowra Valley Bushland Park. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Signposted track head at end of Rosemead Rd. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Track just north of Berowra Valley Bushland Park. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Stepping stones at Old man's Valley Creek. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2007.
Sassafras stand on Rosemead trail. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Pea flower in bloom. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Trunk of gum tree. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2007.
Hornsby's high Blue gum forest. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Turpentine Forest. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Rock formation in Turpentine forest. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Int of Blue Gum walk and Rosemead Trail. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2007.
Looking down steps south of Fishponds. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Walking along the edge of the gully south of Fishponds. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Small bridge crossing south of Fishponds. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Patersonia sericea. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Fishponds Lookout. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Crossing Berowra Creek at Fishponds. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Small beach at Fishponds. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Signposted intersection above Fishponds. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Crossing a small gully near Fishponds. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Track passing an overhand near Berowra Creek. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Berowra Creek upstream of Fishponds. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Walking alongside Waitara Creek. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Water hole below 'the Spa' on Waitara Creek. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
'The Spa' on Waitara Creek. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Waitara Creek Crossing. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Track on west side of Waitara Creek. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Couch in overhang on the western side of the Spa. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Steep track on western side of Waitara Creek. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Steps on the track on the Quarter Sessions Road ridge. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Int of the Great North Walk and the Blue Gum Walk (SW). | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Walking alongside the ridge below Westleigh. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2007.
Large cliffs and homes above. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Walking through the mixed forest below Westleigh. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Walking through the open forest. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Intersection with steps on concreted trail. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Blue gums beside the management trail. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Blue Gum arrow post beside the trail. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Waitara Creek sign. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Waitara Creek Crossing near Valley Road. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Ginger Meggs Park. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Valley Rd. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Int of Valley and Rosemead Rd. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Rosemead Rd. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
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 At the intersection of Rosemead Road & Lockinvar Place (-33.7007565,151.0864611)
Mode Bus Car (There is free parking available.)
DirectionsFrom Pacific Highway, B83, Hornsby.
  • Turn on to Peats Ferry Road then drive for 160 m
  • Turn left onto William Street and drive for another 245 m
  • At roundabout, take exit 2 onto William Street and drive for another 520 m
  • Turn left onto Rosemead Road and drive for another 1.1 km
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Track Notes
Turn by turn instructions & maps
Getting started
From the lower side of Berowra Valley Bushland Park (at the end of Rosemead Rd, Hornsby), this walk follows the 'Fishponds 1.2km' arrow on the large sign, down the track for approximately 30m, to the intersection with the Rosemead management trail, marked with a Great North Walk arrow.
From the intersection, this walk heads downhill along the wide rocky management trail as it bends left (and passing some houses off to the left). The trail then bends right and leads across Old Mans Creek using some concrete stepping stones. The walk then continues by heading up the moderately steep hill and then through a thick blue gum and bracken fern forest. The wide trail leads to the top of the hill then bends left, (ignoring the track on the right) to pass over a saddle. Here the trail leads down the gentle hill, through the turpentine forest for just over 300m to find an intersection with narrower track on the right, marked with arrow posts.....
Turn map Directions & comments
Rosemead Trail
At the intersection of Rosemead Road & Lockinvar Place by following the "Rosemead Trail" sign Start heading along Rosemead Road (a residential road).
Find the Hornsby Park at the start.
Find the gate at the start.
Fishponds
After another 5 m (at the intersection of Hornsby Heritage Steps & Rosemead Firetrail - Hornsby Park) by following the "Fishponds" sign continue straight, to head along Rosemead Firetrail - Blue Gum Walk.
Then pass the BBQ (65 m on your right).
Then pass the water tap (15 m on your right).
After 40 m find the "Berowra Valley Bushland Park" (40 m on your right).
After another 125 m cross the stepping stones (about 8 m long)
After another 330 m veer left, to head along Rosemead Firetrail - Blue Gum Walk.
After another 400 m (at the intersection of Blue Gum Walk & Rosemead Firetrail - Blue Gum Walk) veer right, to head along Blue Gum Walk (a walking track).
After another 5 m head down the 22 surface|compacted steps (about 30 m long)
Fishponds
After another 3 m (at the intersection of The Great North Walk & Blue Gum Walk) by following the "Fishponds" sign continue straight, to head along Blue Gum Walk.
Then pass the "Signposts" (on your right).
After another 15 m head down the steps (about 10 m long)
After another 145 m cross the bridge (about 3 m long)
After another 95 m find the "Fishponds Lookout" (on your right).
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 8 m pass the "Signposts" (10 m on your right).
Then come to the "Fishponds Lookout" (7 m on your right).
Then find the "Fishponds" (95 m on your right).
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 starting point of an optional sidetrip. An optional side trip to Fishponds crossing. To start this optional side trip veer right here. On returning from this side trip continue straight when you get back to this intersection. Details below.
Thornleigh Station
At the intersection of Great North Walk & Blue Gum Walk by following the "Thornleigh Station" sign turn sharp left, to head along Blue Gum Walk.
After another 15 m head down the 13 earthen steps (about 7 m long)
Then cross the bridge (about 3 m long)
After another 295 m head up the rock steps (about 4 m long)
After another 50 m cross the ford.
This is flood prone; never cross flooded waterways.
After another 25 m pass the cave (on your left).
After another 20 m head up the rock steps (about 8 m long)
After another 65 m head up the stone steps (about 9 m long)
After another 230 m head up the 22 stone steps (about 10 m long)
Blue Gum Walk
After another 230 m (at the intersection of The Great North Walk & Blue Gum Walk) by following the "Blue Gum Walk" sign continue straight, to head along Blue Gum Walk.
Then pass the sign (on your right).
After another 550 m head into the "Dog Pound Creek Conservation Reserve".
After another 250 m head down the 16 earthen steps (about 3 m long)
At the intersection of Ginger Meggs Fire Trail & Blue Gum Walk turn left, to head along Ginger Meggs Trail (a vehicle track).
After another 90 m continue straight.
After another 185 m continue straight, to head along Valley Sewage Line South Firetrail.
After another 225 m (at the intersection of Ginger Meggs Trail & Valley Sewage Line South Firetrail) continue straight, to head along Ginger Meggs Trail.
After another 20 m cross the ford.
After another 60 m head through/around the gate.
Then pass the "Ginger Meggs Park" (5 m on your left).
After another 25 m (at the intersection of Valley Road & Ginger Meggs Trail) turn left, to head along Valley Road (a residential road).
After another 30 m find the "Ginger Meggs Park" (15 m on your left).
Ginger Meggs Park
Ginger Meggs Park

Ginger Meggs Park is a large fenced grassy area with childrens play equipment. The park is found on Valley Rd, Hornsby (opposite Lochness Pl). There are two picnic tables (with shelter), a garbage bin and a drinking fountain. The park was named in July 1997, for the comic character Ginger Meggs, created by Jimmy Bancks. Bancks (1889-1952) grew up in the local area, and the creek south of the park is also named in his honour.
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Ginger Meggs Park is a large fenced grassy area with childrens play equipment. The park is found on Valley Rd, Hornsby (opposite Lochness Pl). There are two picnic tables (with shelter), a garbage bin and a drinking fountain. The park was named in July 1997, for the comic character Ginger Meggs, created by Jimmy Bancks. Bancks (1889-1952) grew up in the local area, and the creek south of the park is also named in his honour.

After another 6 m pass the playground (45 m on your left).
After another 25 m pass the shelter (30 m on your left).
Then pass the picnic table (30 m on your left).
After another 55 m continue straight, to head along Valley Road.
After another 215 m (at the intersection of Rosemead Road & Valley Road) turn left, to head along Rosemead Road.
After another 205 m come to the end.

An optional side trip to Fishponds crossing.
Turn map Directions & comments
Dural
At the intersection of Great North Walk & Blue Gum Walk by following the "Dural" sign Start heading along Great North Walk (a walking track).
Fishponds Lookout (about 10 m back from the start).
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 60 m come to "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 50 m to the main route.
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Terrain
Know the Hills, grading & facilities

Blue Gum Walk (Joe's Mountain Circuit)


Grading
Class 4/6
Hard track
Length 4.1 km
Time 1 h 45 min to 2 h
Quality of track Formed track, with some branches and other obstacles (3/6)
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 Storms may impact on navigation and safety (3/6)

Some facilities on route
Shelter: There is one 3.6 km from the start.


Order of key facilities on route
ItemFrom StartName & link to notes
Shelter
3.6 km[shelter]
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