Great North walk - Berowra Valley National Park

Berowra Valley National Park

Overview

Also known as Benowie walking track, this section of the iconic Great North walk between Sydney and Newcastle makes a great overnight hike or day walk. Camp out the night for an unforgettable bushland adventure.

Where
Berowra Valley National Park
Accessibility
No wheelchair access
Distance
27km one-way
Time suggested
3 - 4 days
Grade
Grade 5
Trip Intention Form

It's a good idea to let someone know where you're going. Fill in a trip intention form to send important details about your trip to your emergency contact.

Price
Free
Please note
  • There's no access through Hornsby Rifle Range, between Quarry trail and Tunks Ridge. For your safety, please respect 'no through' access and follow the Great North walk signs to Manor Road and Simon trail.
  • Make sure you prepare well if you’re planning to walk overnight. Bring weather-appropriate gear, sunscreen and let someone know where you are going.
  • Berowra creek is susceptible to pollution. Swimming should be avoided for three days after heavy rainfall or if the water is discoloured.

Also known as Benowie walking track, this beautiful bushland walk through Berowra Valley National Park follows Berowra Creek for 27km of the iconic Great North walk between Sydney and Newcastle.

This section of the walk, from Pennant Hills to Berowra Waters, takes about 2 to 3 days to walk, with several places to camp along the way. If you’d prefer a shorter walk, you can always break the trail up into more manageable sections, especially if you're taking the kids out for the day.

Join the walk from Pennant Hills, Westleigh, Hornsby, Galston Gorge picnic area or Berowra Waters, and head out into the bush for an adventure. There's no public access through Hornsby Rifle Range, between Quarry trail and Tunks Ridge, or from Stewart Avenue park entrance. Please follow the signs to continue Great North walk via Manor Road in Hornsby and Simon trail.

For a longer walk extend your trip south along the Great North walk - Lane Cove National Park or link up with the Great North walk – Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park and continue north towards Newcastle.

For directions, safety and practical information, see visitor info

Current alerts in this area

There are no current alerts in this area.

Local alerts

For the latest updates on fires, closures and other alerts in this area, see https://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/things-to-do/walking-tracks/great-north-walk-berowra-valley-national-park/local-alerts

Park info

  • in Berowra Valley National Park in the Sydney and surrounds region
    • Berowra Valley National Park is always open but may have to close at times due to poor weather or fire danger
    • Crosslands Reserve is open 8am to 7.30pm during daylight savings and 9am to 5pm the rest of the year
    • Barnetts Road Reserve and the lookout is closed from sunset to sunrise
See more visitor info

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about Great North walk - Berowra Valley National Park.

Track grading

Grade 5

Learn more about the grading system Features of this track
  • Time

    3 - 4 days

  • Quality of markings

    No directional signage

  • Gradient

    Very steep and difficult

  • Distance

    27km one-way

  • Steps

    Many steps

  • Quality of path

    Formed track, some obstacles

  • Experience required

    Very experienced bushwalkers

Getting there and parking

Get driving directions

Get directions

    Great North walk – Berowra Valley National Park is in Berowra Valley National Park. To get there:

    • From the M2 Motorway, take the Pennant Hills Road exit and head north.
    • Turn left at Observatory Park to stay on Pennant Hills Road
    • Turn left onto Boundary Road in Pennant Hills
    • Turn right onto Bellamy Street and follow all the way to the end of the road, where the track begins

    You can also join the walk from:

    • Quarter Sessions Road, Westleigh.
    • Manor Road, Hornsby.
    • Galston Gorge picnic area on Galston Road
    • Near Dusthole Bay in Berowra Waters

    Alternatively, if taking public transport:

    • The track is about 1km from either Hornsby or Pennant Hills train stations

    Check out the Transport Info website for more information.

    Park entry points

    Parking

    Parking is available at the end of Bellamy Street, Pennant Hills, and on other residential streets in Hornsby and Westleigh, with limited spaces at Galston Gorge picnic area.

    Best times to visit

    There are lots of great things waiting for you in Berowra Valley National Park. Here are some of the highlights.

    Spring

    Enjoy the spring wildflowers and take on the challenge of the Great North walk before the weather gets too warm

    Summer

    Swim in Berowra creek in the warmer months - remember safety precautions around waterways

    Winter

    Winter is generally great for bushwalking in the Sydney region but bring warm gear if youre camping - nights can be cold in the bush

    Facilities

    Visitors are encouraged to bring gas or fuel stoves, especially in summer during the fire season.

    Maps and downloads

    Safety messages

    For your safety, there's no public access through Hornsby Rifle Range along sections of Quarry fire trail near Pogsons Trig and Tunks Ridge, and northwest of the Stewart Avenue entrance to Berowra Valley National Park.

    Bushwalking safety

    If you're keen to head out on a longer walk or a backpack camp, always be prepared. Read these bushwalking safety tips before you set off on a walking adventure in national parks.

    Mobile safety

    Dial Triple Zero (000) in an emergency. Download the Emergency + app before you visit, it helps emergency services locate you using your smartphone's GPS. Please note there is limited mobile phone reception in this park and you’ll need mobile reception to call Triple Zero (000).

    River and lake safety

    The aquatic environment around rivers, lakes and lagoons can be unpredictable. If you're visiting these areas, take note of these river and lake safety tips.

    Accessibility

    Disability access level - no wheelchair access

    Prohibited

    Under the Firearms Act 1996 it's prohibited for the public to walk through Hornsby Rifle Range without permission. Walk leaders can contact the rifle range to pre-arrange access along Quarry fire trail, when the range is not in use.

    Pets

    Pets and domestic animals (other than certified assistance animals) are not permitted. Find out which regional parks allow dog walking and see the pets in parks policy for more information.

    Smoking

    NSW national parks are no smoking areas.

    Nearby towns

    Hornsby (8 km)

    A suburb in Sydney's upper north shore, Hornsby is conveniently located for easy access to Lane Cove National Park, Berowra Valley Regional Park, and the heritage-listed Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park - Australia's second-oldest national park. Explore walking and cycling tracks and Aboriginal sites, as well as marinas, cafes and picnic areas.

    www.hornsby.nsw.gov.au

    Sydney City Centre (42 km)

    No trip to Sydney is complete without spending some time in the city’s beautiful parks. Whether it’s in central areas like Hyde Park or the Royal Botanic Gardens or further out in Centennial Parklands, there’s plenty of green space to go out and enjoy.

    www.sydney.com

    Learn more

    Great North walk - Berowra Valley National Park is in Berowra Valley National Park. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:

    Aboriginal importance

    Barnetts lookout, Berowra Valley National Park. Photo: John Yurasek

    Berowra Valley National Park is within the traditional Country of the Guringai People to the east of Berowra Creek and the Dharug People to the west. It contains a number of significant Aboriginal heritage sites, including artefacts, middens and campfire sites. This special area, with its land and waterways, plants and animals, features in all facets of Aboriginal culture and continues to be of great significance to Aboriginal people today.

    Bush in the 'burbs

    Berowra Valley National Park. Photo: Nick Cubbin

    Eucalypt forests, delightful birdlife and all manner of creatures occupy this very beautiful bush valley stretching from the suburbs out towards the Hawkesbury river. While you're in the park, keep your eye out for a powerful owl, sea eagle, wedgetail, or listen for the call of a red crown toadlet.

    Making tracks

    Great North walk, Berowra Valley National Park. Photo: Nick Cubbin

    Great North walk is an iconic track that stretches 250km from Sydney to Newcastle. Constructed in 1988 as part of the Australian Bicentenary, the walk takes in diverse landscapes and a lot of Australian history. Part of the walk travels through Berowra Valley National Park along the Benowie walking track.

    • Bellamy fire trail Bellamy fire trail is a northern Sydney secret. This short walk through Berowra Valley Regional Park connects Pennant Hills and Thornleigh along a dog-friendly bushland trail.

    Wonderful waterways

    Barnetts lookout, Berowra Valley National Park. Photo: John Yurasek

    Berowra Creek is a hidden waterway perfect for canoeing, boating and fishing. Escape the noise and traffic of the city and come and while away a few hours in the perfect serenity of this lovely little spot. Load up your pack with sandwiches and hats and take the family for a wander along the trails or laze under a tree at Crosslands Reserve while the kids play.

    Plants and animals you may see

    Animals

    • Grey headed flying fox hanging from a tree branch. Photo: Shane Ruming/OEH

      Grey-headed flying fox (Pteropus poliocephalus)

      The grey-headed flying fox is one of several threatened Australian animals and the largest Australian native bat, with a wingspan that extends up to 1m. Known to inhabit woodlands, rainforests and urban regions, these fascinating nocturnal mammals congregate in large roost sites along the east coast of NSW.

    • Closeup of a laughing kookaburra's head and body. Photo: Rosie Nicolai/OEH

      Kookaburra (Dacelo novaeguineae)

      Of the 2 species of kookaburra found in Australia, the laughing kookaburra is the best-known and the largest of the native kingfishers. With its distinctive riotous call, the laughing kookaburra is commonly heard in open woodlands and forests throughout NSW national parks, making these ideal spots for bird watching.

    •  Superb lyrebird, Minnamurra Rainforest, Budderoo National Park. Photo: David Finnegan

      Superb lyrebird (Menura novaehollandiae)

      With a complex mimicking call and an elaborate courtship dance to match, the superb lyrebird is one of the most spectacular Australian animals. A bird watching must-see, the superb lyrebird can be found in rainforests and wet woodlands across eastern NSW and Victoria.

    • Swamp wallaby in Murramarang National Park. Photo: David Finnegan

      Swamp wallaby (Wallabia bicolor)

      The swamp wallaby, also known as the black wallaby or black pademelon, lives in the dense understorey of rainforests, woodlands and dry sclerophyll forest along eastern Australia. This unique Australian macropod has a dark black-grey coat with a distinctive light-coloured cheek stripe.

    Plants

    • Old man banksia, Moreton National Park. Photo: John Yurasek

      Old man banksia (Banksia serrata)

      Hardy Australian native plants, old man banksias can be found along the coast, and in the dry sclerophyll forests and sandstone mountain ranges of NSW. With roughened bark and gnarled limbs, they produce a distinctive cylindrical yellow-green banksia flower which blossoms from summer to early autumn.

    Environments in this park

    Education resources (1)

    View of Berowra Valley creek. Photo: John Yurasek