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The Great North Walk is a 250km, multi-grade, one-way hike that stretches from Sydney to Newcastle in NSW. The hike should take approximately 15 days to complete.
The Great North Walk is a walking track which runs from Sydney to Newcastle in New South Wales, Australia. The main track, 250 kilometres in length, runs between the Obelisk in Macquarie Place in Sydney to Queens Wharf Tower in Bicentennial Park in Newcastle and is well sign-posted. There are many “side tracks” which link the track to populated areas along the length of the walk. The walk includes a huge variety of wildlife and scenery.
A 25-kilometre section at the northern, Newcastle end, is also known as the Yuelarbah Track. This section runs from the Teralba railway station to the Queens Wharf on Newcastle Harbour. At Kahibah Station, the Great North Walk uses a short section of The Fernleigh Track and passes along the northern side of Glenrock Lagoon to get to the coast.
After its official start in Macquarie Place, the walk continues through the suburb of Hunters Hill, where there are many heritage homes, then arrives at the Lane Cove River. It follows the river through the Lane Cove National Park to Thornleigh, then follows Berowra Creek. Further north, the track crosses over to the Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park before proceeding to Brooklyn, on the Hawkesbury River. The river can be crossed either by train or boat, after which the track proceeds north through Brisbane Water National Park and the Ourimbah Valley before reaching the Watagan State Forest. Further north, the track veers east in the vicinity of Brunkerville and follows the Myall Range for some distance before reaching Teralba, on the southern fringes of Newcastle. It then proceeds to its official finishing point in Newcastle.
In addition to the main track between Sydney and Newcastle, there is an extension that goes north to the Hunter Region. The extension departs from the main track in the vicinity of Brunkerville, and proceeds along a country road to the village of Paxton, passing abandoned coal mines along the way. From Paxton it proceeds north and follows the Mount View Range, where there are extensive views in the direction of Cessnock. The track then descends the northern end of the range before terminating in the wine-making area of Pokolbin.
The total walk from Sydney to Newcastle takes between 8 and 14 days to complete, with popular camp sites at designated spots along the way. Many of these sites are on ridge tops with no available water supply. Where natural standing water is available, it is not necessarily safe to drink and should be treated before use.
Good access exists to both ends of the track with regular public transport to Sydney and Newcastle.
- It is not necessary to do the walk in one go; individual sections can be completed easily as day walks.
- The track is often close to the railway line, providing convenient rail access at a number of points.
- Some early sections in Sydney are through local suburbs on sealed roads.
- There are more than a dozen ancient Aboriginal rock art sites along the route.
- The best time to take this walk is late autumn, winter and spring. Summer is extremely hot and should be avoided, particularly if bushfire risk is high.
For more information visit The Great North Walk website