Girrakool to Wondabyne station via Pindar Caves
Darkinjung & Guringai Country

6 h 30 min to 7 h 30 min

17.8 km
oneway

↑ 645 m
↓ -761 m

Very challenging
This walk starts from the Girrakool picnic area and winds south, following Piles creek into the Brisbane Waters National Park. The walk crosses over Scopas Peak and continues down to Pindar caves, passing the Pindar lookout and Pindar Pool on the way. From the caves the walk backtracks some distance, before winding down to the Wondabyne train station. Let us begin by acknowledging the Darkinjung & 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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Girracool Picnic Area. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Illoura Lookout view. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
waterfall at Piles Creek. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Piles Creek track. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Rat Gully Falls. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Rock Flats. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Twisted tree south of Scopas Peak. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2007.
Water glimpses. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2007.
Blandfordia nobilis (Christmas Bells). | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2007.
start of pindar track. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2007.
Mt Pindar Lookout. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2007.
Pindar Pool. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2007.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2007.
pindar cave. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2007.
path down to wondabyne. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2007.
Steps above Wondabyne. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2007.
steps leading up into the Brisbane Waters National Park. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2007.
Wondabyne Station. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2007.
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Warning
This journey requires significant bushwalking experience, specialised equipment and navigation skills.
Please ensure you and your group well prepared and equiped for this journey.

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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 (-33.4319388,151.2765593)
Mode Car (A park entry fee is required for driving into the park.)
DirectionsFrom Woy Woy Road
  • Turn on to Woy Woy Road then drive for 500 m
  • Turn left onto Central Coast Highway, A49 and drive for another 1.4 km
  • Turn right onto Wisemans Ferry Road, B83 and drive for another 810 m
  • At roundabout, take exit 1 onto Old Pacific Highway, B83 and drive for another 1.6 km
  • Turn left onto Quarry Road and drive for another 75 m
  • Keep left onto Girrakool Road and drive for another 650 m
Finish (-33.4920915,151.2569603)
Mode (end) Train  
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Track Notes
Turn by turn instructions & maps
Getting started
From the lower side of the car park, this walk follows the 'To The Great North Walk' sign down the path to the lower picnic area. The walk passes the toilet block (on the left) and comes to another picnic area. The path passes through this picnic area to turn right following the 'Piles Creek Loop Track' sign down the steps. The footpath then leads to an intersection with the Broula Lookout track (on the left) and a 'car park' sign pointing back up the hill.
From the intersection, this walk follows the 'Girrakool Loop' sign down along the stone path. The path soon heads down some steps and comes to a fenced and signposted 'Illoura Lookout'.....
Turn map Directions & comments
Start.
Find the car park at the start.
Girrakool Picnic Area (about 45 m back from the start).
Girrakool Picnic Area
Girrakool Picnic Area

Girrakool picnic area is a wonderful family destination, just 5 minutes' drive from Kariong. The picnic area provides all the necessary facilities for a full day's activities, including barbecues, tables, shelters, water and toilets. National Park fees apply. The main picnic area is on the eastern side of the car park, and smaller, older picnic area is at the north-eastern corner of the car park. The southern Girrakool picnic area is located near the toilets. The picnic area is dedicated to John 'Jack' Higgs, the first superintendent of Brisbane Water National Park, and Mrs Vera Murdoch, who provided the funds. 'Girrakool' is an Aboriginal word meaning 'place of still waters'.
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Girrakool picnic area is a wonderful family destination, just 5 minutes' drive from Kariong. The picnic area provides all the necessary facilities for a full day's activities, including barbecues, tables, shelters, water and toilets. National Park fees apply. The main picnic area is on the eastern side of the car park, and smaller, older picnic area is at the north-eastern corner of the car park. The southern Girrakool picnic area is located near the toilets. The picnic area is dedicated to John 'Jack' Higgs, the first superintendent of Brisbane Water National Park, and Mrs Vera Murdoch, who provided the funds. 'Girrakool' is an Aboriginal word meaning 'place of still waters'.

There is a sign (about 7 m back from the start).
After another 25 m pass the toilet (10 m on your left).
After another 60 m pass the BBQ (25 m on your left).
Continue straight.
After another 165 m continue straight, to head along Girrakool Loop Track.
After another 40 m (at the intersection of Girrakool Loop Track & Piles Creek Loop) turn left, to head along Piles Creek Loop.
After another 40 m find the "Illoura Lookout" (on your right).
Illoura Lookout
Illoura Lookout

Illoura Lookout, Brisbane Water National Park, can be found a short walk south-west of the Girrakool picnic area, following the Great North Walk sign. This lookout provides a filtered view up and down the Leask and Piles Creek junction. There is a view of a waterfall from Piles Creek. Illoura is an Aboriginal word referring to a pleasant or peaceful place.
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Illoura Lookout, Brisbane Water National Park, can be found a short walk south-west of the Girrakool picnic area, following the Great North Walk sign. This lookout provides a filtered view up and down the Leask and Piles Creek junction. There is a view of a waterfall from Piles Creek. Illoura is an Aboriginal word referring to a pleasant or peaceful place.

After another 7 m continue straight, to head along Piles Creek Loop.
After another 20 m find the "Piles Creek Waterfall" (on your right).
Piles Creek Waterfall
Piles Creek Waterfall

The large waterfall on Piles Creek is south of Girrakool Picnic Area in Brisbane Water National Park. At the Piles Creek Loop track crossing at the top of the falls, there is a large rock platform. The cliff edge is unfenced and would be dangerous to approach for the view. The water falls down the large drop, into a big pool below. The 'Bundilla Lookout' on the other side of the valley provides the only square view onto the falls, but even this only witnesses the top half.
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The large waterfall on Piles Creek is south of Girrakool Picnic Area in Brisbane Water National Park. At the Piles Creek Loop track crossing at the top of the falls, there is a large rock platform. The cliff edge is unfenced and would be dangerous to approach for the view. The water falls down the large drop, into a big pool below. The 'Bundilla Lookout' on the other side of the valley provides the only square view onto the falls, but even this only witnesses the top half.

After another 910 m continue straight, to head along Piles Creek Loop.
After another 135 m continue straight, to head along Piles Creek Loop.
After another 30 m find the "Piles Creek Lookout" (25 m on your right).
Piles Creek Lookout
Piles Creek Lookout

Piles Creek lookout (not formally named), Brisbane Water National Park, sits high on the ridge, east of Piles Creek and north of Rat Gully. This lookout provides views over the Piles Creek valley and can be enjoyed from behind a fence. The valley is surprisingly steep at this point and the views downstream are quite extensive.
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Piles Creek lookout (not formally named), Brisbane Water National Park, sits high on the ridge, east of Piles Creek and north of Rat Gully. This lookout provides views over the Piles Creek valley and can be enjoyed from behind a fence. The valley is surprisingly steep at this point and the views downstream are quite extensive.

After another 120 m find the "Monolith Cave" (on your left).
Monolith Cave
Monolith Cave

Monolith Cave is an informally named cave and interesting rock formation high on the ridge east of Piles Creek and North of Rat Gully in the Brisbane Water National Park. The cave is a fairly large sandstone overhang on the edge of the track. The cave provides shelter for walkers and is a great spot to rest and enjoy the area. This rock and the more Monolithic rock about 60m to the south are interesting to explore, and provide great views of the surrounding area. Take great care if exploring the rocks.
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Monolith Cave is an informally named cave and interesting rock formation high on the ridge east of Piles Creek and North of Rat Gully in the Brisbane Water National Park. The cave is a fairly large sandstone overhang on the edge of the track. The cave provides shelter for walkers and is a great spot to rest and enjoy the area. This rock and the more Monolithic rock about 60m to the south are interesting to explore, and provide great views of the surrounding area. Take great care if exploring the rocks.

After another 390 m turn left.
After another 1.3 km come to the viewpoint.
After another 305 m come to the viewpoint.
After another 1.4 km pass the "Scopas Peak" (25 m on your left).
After another 1.1 km veer right, to head along Rifle Range Firetrail.
After another 1.1 km come to the viewpoint.
After another 55 m continue straight, to head along Rifle Range Firetrail.
After another 30 m pass the sign (on your left).
After another 600 m (at the intersection of Rifle Range Firetrail & Pindar Walking Track) turn right, to head along Pindar Walking Track.
After another 2.2 km continue straight.
After another 10 m come to the "Mooney Mooney Creek Lookout" (9 m on your right).
After another 1.3 km find the "Mt Pindar lookout" (25 m on your left).
Mt Pindar lookout
Mt Pindar lookout

From the rocky perch of Mt Pindar, Brisbane Waters National Park, you can enjoy views over Mullet Creek, Dangar Island and the Hawkesbery River. This is an informal lookout, with no fencing or other facilities.
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From the rocky perch of Mt Pindar, Brisbane Waters National Park, you can enjoy views over Mullet Creek, Dangar Island and the Hawkesbery River. This is an informal lookout, with no fencing or other facilities.

After another 480 m find the "Pindar Pool" (15 m on your left).
Pindar Pool
Pindar Pool

The pool between Mt Pindar and Pindar Cave is an ephemeral (short-lived, unreliable) waterhole. The pool is a refreshing place for a swim when full, with many birds enjoying the area too. The pool is a 10m by 5m tub which is quite deep. Being ephemeral, it is not always full of water.
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The pool between Mt Pindar and Pindar Cave is an ephemeral (short-lived, unreliable) waterhole. The pool is a refreshing place for a swim when full, with many birds enjoying the area too. The pool is a 10m by 5m tub which is quite deep. Being ephemeral, it is not always full of water.

The starting point of an optional sidetrip. An optional side trip to Waterfall. To start this optional side trip veer right here. On returning from this side trip turn right when you get back to this intersection. Details below.
After another 250 m turn around.
After another 2 km continue straight.
After another 2.2 km (at the intersection of Rifle Range Firetrail & Pindar Walking Track) turn right, to head along Rifle Range Firetrail.
After another 960 m continue straight, to head along Rifle Range Firetrail.
After another 315 m head down the steps (about 30 m long)
After another 130 m continue straight.
About 65 m past the end is "Wondabyne".
Wondabyne
Wondabyne

Wondabyne is situated in Brisbane Waters National Park on the banks of Mullet River, which feeds into the Hawkesbury River north of Brooklyn. The area is defined by the National Park's flora and fauna, the quarry, railway station and a few houses sitting above the water around the river. The quarry produced sandstone building materials, used in the construction of the National War Memorial in Canberra. More recently, in 2000, the quarry was re-opened for restoration of St Mary's Cathedral spire in Sydney. Wondabyne Station, named after the nearby Mt Wondabyne, was built in 1889 and exclusively used for the quarry - it was then known as Mullet Creek Station. The station is one of the smallest on the line and one of very few railway stations in a NSW National Park. When you catch the train to Wondabyne, let the guard know you want to get off at Wondabyne Station, otherwise the train will not stop. Travel in the last carriage as the platform is very short. To catch the train from Wondabyne, wave to the driver.
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Wondabyne is situated in Brisbane Waters National Park on the banks of Mullet River, which feeds into the Hawkesbury River north of Brooklyn. The area is defined by the National Park's flora and fauna, the quarry, railway station and a few houses sitting above the water around the river. The quarry produced sandstone building materials, used in the construction of the National War Memorial in Canberra. More recently, in 2000, the quarry was re-opened for restoration of St Mary's Cathedral spire in Sydney. Wondabyne Station, named after the nearby Mt Wondabyne, was built in 1889 and exclusively used for the quarry - it was then known as Mullet Creek Station. The station is one of the smallest on the line and one of very few railway stations in a NSW National Park. When you catch the train to Wondabyne, let the guard know you want to get off at Wondabyne Station, otherwise the train will not stop. Travel in the last carriage as the platform is very short. To catch the train from Wondabyne, wave to the driver.

The end.

An optional side trip to Waterfall.
Turn map Directions & comments
Start.
After 50 m find the "Pindar Cave" (15 m on your left).
Pindar Cave
Pindar Cave

Pindar Cave, Brisbane Waters National Park, is a large expanse of overhanging rock. The cave is made by a sandstone overhang of 15m, which spans approximately 50m along the hillside. The floor of the cave is a good spot for a sleep, while the roof of the cave is black from many campfires. Access to water is relatively good, however the waterfall and nearby pool are ephemeral (transient) streams with irregular and unreliable water patterns.
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Pindar Cave, Brisbane Waters National Park, is a large expanse of overhanging rock. The cave is made by a sandstone overhang of 15m, which spans approximately 50m along the hillside. The floor of the cave is a good spot for a sleep, while the roof of the cave is black from many campfires. Access to water is relatively good, however the waterfall and nearby pool are ephemeral (transient) streams with irregular and unreliable water patterns.

After another 345 m turn left.
After another 50 m come to the end.
About 75 m past the end is "Pindar Falls".
Turn around and retrace your steps back the 440 m to the main route.
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Terrain
Know the Hills, grading & facilities

Girrakool to Wondabyne station via Pindar Caves


Grading
Class 5/6
Very challenging
Length 17.8 km
Time 6 h 30 min to 7 h 30 min
Quality of track Rough unclear track (5/6)
Gradient Very steep (4/6)
Signage No directional signs (5/6)
Infrastructure Limited facilities (such as cliffs not fenced, significant creeks not bridged) (4/6)
Experience Required Moderate level of bushwalking experience recommended (4/6)
Weather Storms may impact on navigation and safety (3/6)

Some facilities on route
Toilet: There is one 50 m from the start.


Order of key facilities on route
ItemFrom StartName & link to notes
Toilet
50 m[toilet]
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