Great North Walk, Sydney, Australia

Sydney's longest bush walk - 89 km, 7 half days

Jerusalem Bay on the Great North WalkTHE GREAT NORTH WALK is the longest popular trail that stretches between historic Macquarie Place in Sydney’s CBD and Newcastle’s Queen’s Wharf Tower.

OUR WALK: The 89 km walk between Sydney Harbour and Brooklyn on the Hawkesbury River is split into 7 easy half-day sections, all easily reached by public transport along the North Shore railway line.

HISTORY:The Great North Walk was initiated by Gary McDougall and Leigh Shearer-Heriot. They both planned and marked the original route from Sydney to Newcastle, with access to many linking tracks. The name 'the Great North Walk' was derived from the first road from the Hunter Valley to Sydney, called the 'Great North Road'. The track began construction in 1987 and was completed less than a year later in early 1988, in time for the bicentennial celebration year. Asian workers from several countries including China, Thailand and Vietnam were hired by the N.S.W. State Government to complete the track by 1988.
THE TRACK was eventually finished but was of very poor quality. Eventually control was handed over to national Parks and Wildlife Service which upgraded the track to its current well maintained standard.

The full route of the Great North Walk from Sydney to Newcastle

THE 89 km WALK between Sydney Harbour and Brooklyn on the Hawkesbury River is split into 7 easy half-day sections, all easily reached by public transport along the North Shore railway line.
1. Sydney to Roseville 15.5 km
2. Roseville to Gordon 11 km
3. Gordon to Thornleigh 14.5 km
4. Thornleigh to Hornsby 11.5 km
5. Hornsby to Berowra 21 km
6. Berowra to Cowan 12 km
7. Cowan to Brooklyn 11 km

Map of walking Route from Sydney to Brooklyn on the Great North Walk

ITINERARY for Great North Walk (Sydney - Brooklyn) - 89 km

  • WHERE TO START: Macquarie Place near Sydney's Circular Quay.
  • HOW TO GET THERE: Bus, train or ferry to Circular Quay. Public transport to all seven sections of this part of the walk it is easily available.
  • WHEN TO GO: We recommend March to November. Summer can just get too hot in the Berowra valley. It’s worth taking a small container of salt, just in case of leeches.
  • FACILITIES: Toilets are available at most railway stations. Cafes and food shops at some stations or shops nearby. Don’t drink water from the streams. On the longest stretch (section 5) there is water available at the Crosslands Park, and also if you’ve had enough you can call for a taxi to take you back to Hornsby station.
  • FOOD & WATER: Take at least two litres per person on the longest stretch (section 5) and some snacks in case you get hungry.
  • WALKING GEAR: Weather: can change at anytime, so pack appropriate wet weather gear, sun hat and glasses.
  • THE WALK: 89 kms of varied walk along the Lane Cove River Valley and the Berowra River Valley.
  • Day 1. 15.5 km. 4.5 hrs Macquarie Place – Roseville Station (490m/390m) (ascent/descent) Ferry Circular Quay (Wharf 5): to Woolwich Wharf: Weekdays: 08.30am (takes 22 mins) Weekends: 08.25am, 09.25am (takes 22 mins)
  • Day 2. 11 km. 3.5 hrs Roseville Station to Gordon Station (260m/260m)
  • Day 3. 14.5 km. 3.5 hrs Gordon Station to Thornleigh Station (298m/246m)
  • Day 4. 11.5 km. 3.5 hrs Thornleigh Station to Hornsby Station (400m/386m)
  • Day 5. 21 km. 5-7 hrs (16km to Crosslands) Hornsby Station to Berowra Station (994m/994m). A Big Day .
  • Day 6. 12 km. 5 hrs Berowra Station to Cowan Station 5 hrs (728m/728m)
  • Day 7. 11 km. 4 hrs Cowan Station to Hawkesbury River Station (Brooklyn) (520m/700m)
Our Take:
For a world class walk, the Great north Walk is Sydney’s most accessible over 7 days to Brooklyn using the rail system. You will see an aspect of Sydney’s wilderness and realise that walking along a river valley is not a piece of cake. But so rewarding!