Shepherds Gully circuit
Yengo National Park
Step back in time on Shepherds Gully circuit. A short loop, it's ideal for bushwalkers looking for a quick adventure in Yengo National Park.
- No wheelchair access
- 3.1km loop
- Time suggested
- 1 - 2hrs
- Grade 4
- What to
- Drinking water, sturdy shoes, hat, raincoat, suitable clothing, clothes for all weather conditions, sunscreen, snacks, first aid kit
Combining two trails, Shepherds Gully Road and Sternbecks Line, Shepherds Gully circuit offers a gentle loop walk through scenic rainforest. Following historic roads dating from as far back as 1841, you'll have the opportunity to see original sandstone work, retaining walls and the remnants of a bridge.
Starting from Shepherds Gully Road you'll enter the rainforest of Yengo National Park and begin a gradual climb, following a creek. You'll then reach an intersection, with Sternbecks Line branching off as a new trail. From here you can head straight onto Sternbecks Line, or keep following Shepherds Gully Road and join Sternbecks Line at the other end, completing the loop in either direction.
As you walk enjoy the sights and sounds of nature, including striking water gums, grey gums, lilly pillies and grass trees. And keep an eye out for the interpretation signs along the trail that provide a window into the stories and backgrounds of these historic roads.
As a short walk, Shepherds Gully circuit is a great option for families looking for a quick outing. It's also an ideal side track for cyclists, though mountain bikes can only be ridden on Shepherds Gully Road.
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/shepherds-gully-circuit/local-alerts
- National Parks Contact Centre
- 7am to 7pm daily
- 1300 072 757 (13000 PARKS) for the cost of a local call within Australia excluding mobiles
- in Yengo National Park in the Sydney and surrounds and North Coast regions
Yengo National Park is always open, but may have to close at times due to poor weather or fire danger.
The Big Yango precinct of the park is within locked gates and requires a permit to enter.
All the practical information you need to know about Shepherds Gully circuit.
Features of this track
1 - 2hrs
Quality of markings
Some bushwalking experience recommended
Short steep hills
Quality of path
Rough track, many obstacles
Getting there and parking
Shepherds Gully circuit is in the Lower Macdonald area of Yengo National Park. To get there:
From St Albans:
- Follow Settlers Road for 12km south toward Wisemans Ferry.
- The parking area for Shepherds Gully circuit is on your left.
- Follow Wisemans Ferry Road for 26km, past the ferry, and continue on Settlers Road for 8.7km.
- The parking area for Shepherds Gully circuit is on your right.
From Wisemans Ferry:
- Catch the ferry across the Hawkesbury River (operates 24/7 free of charge).
- Turn left off the ferry.
- Follow Wisemans Ferry Road for 500m, then continue on Settlers Road for 8.7km.
- The parking area for Shepherds Gully circuit is on your right.
- Mixture of sealed and unsealed roads
- No vehicle access
Limited parking is available at the bottom of Shepherds Gully Road.
Bike access is available, but mountain bikes are only allowed on the Shepherds Gully Road section of the walk and not Sternbecks Line.
- There are no bins so you’ll need to take all rubbish away with you.
- There are no toilets. The nearest public toilets are available at Wisemans Ferry.
Maps and downloads
Disability access level - no wheelchair access
Cycling and mountain biking is permitted on the Shepherds Gully Road section of the walk only. Cycling is not allowed on Sternbecks Line.
Motorbikes, trail bikes and off-road vehicles are not permitted on this trail.
NSW national parks are no smoking areas.
Shepherds Gully circuit is in Yengo National Park. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:
Amazing animal and birdlife
Yengo is home to a great diversity of wildlife, including around 50 species of mammals such as wombats, wallaroos, koalas and gliding possums, and over 200 species of birds. Watch out for the gang gang, yellow-tailed and glossy black cockatoos gliding between the treetops, or see if you can spot a lyrebird darting across bush tracks. Look closely at the steep rugged cliff faces found in the park as you might catch a glimpse of the endangered brush-tailed rock-wallaby.
- Yango walking track Yango walking track in Yengo National Park takes hikers through pristine wilderness, including rainforest, and offers outstanding views.
Ancient Aboriginal culture
Yengo National Park and the surrounding areas have been an important spiritual and cultural place for the Darkinjung and Wonnarua People for thousands of years. No wonder there are over 640 recorded Aboriginal cultural sites in the park and nearby areas. Creation stories recount that Biamie, the ancestral being, stepped off the flat top of Mount Yengo into the sky when he finished his creation. Today, Aboriginal stories and rock engravings connect us with the rich culture of this ancient land and its people.
- Finchley cultural walk An astonishing wealth of ancient Aboriginal rock art, as well as great insights into Aboriginal history, draws visitors to the Finchley cultural walk.
- Finchley lookout Finchley lookout offers spectacular views over this remote wilderness area and an insight into the Aboriginal cultural heritage of Yengo National Park.
- Wollombi Aboriginal culture tours and camps Immerse yourself in the world’s oldest living culture and visit important spiritual and cultural sites in and around Yengo National Park on tours with Wollombi Aboriginal Cultural Experiences and Consultancy.
Remote wilderness to discover
Yengo offers a range of activities and options for all ages. Unsealed tracks through remote valleys provide opportunities to explore the park on mountain bike or by 4WD. For bushwalkers, there are many options to experience the rugged beauty of the park on foot, with both short walks and overnight walks. In the Big Yango precinct, there are even opportunities for horse riding adventures.
- Big Yango loop trail Big Yango loop trail is a great activity for 4WD touring and mountain biking when staying at Blue Gums campground, Mountain Arm campground or Big Yango House in Yengo National Park.
- Howes trail Drive through open forests along Howes trail, a must-do 4WD touring route in Yengo National Park.
World Heritage wonders
Yengo National Park is one of the eight conservation areas that make up the massive Greater Blue Mountains Area World Heritage Property. Covering one million hectares, it was included in the World Heritage list in December 2000 for its remarkable geographic, botanic and cultural values. There are more than 90 different eucalypt species found here - some 13 per cent of all eucalypt species in the world.