St. John's Uniting Church Wahroonga
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Cowan Station to Hawkesbury River (Brooklyn) Station, Saturday, 29th July, 2017

Brooklyn Dam

This walk had to be deferred due to bad weather in May.  It follows a popular section of the Great North Walk from Cowan Station to Brooklyn Station, with scenery ranging from foreshore to ridge top lookouts.

The first 2.5 km, from Cowan Station to Jerusalem Bay, is mostly easy and is suitable for kids.  The scenery at Jerusalem Bay is worthy of a postcard and is one of the most iconic views along the Great North Walk.  Those with children or who don’t feel up to doing the whole walk could turn around here.

From Jerusalem Bay the track is very steep and rough as the walk climbs up over a series of ridges before descending into Brooklyn. Although it is a lovely 12.5km section, with water views and a circumnavigation of Brooklyn Dam, it’s rated hard and isn’t suitable for the very young, very old or unfit.

We’ll meet in the car park at Cowan Station at 10.30am on Saturday, 29th July. The walk will 4-5 hours.  We’ll have lunch on the knoll overlooking Jerusalem Bay, then continue on to Brooklyn. We’ll have a debrief at The Anglers Rest Hotel in Brooklyn before catching the train back to cars.  Hopefully, anyone who turns back at Jerusalem Bay can join us for the debrief.

Sunday trains from Hawkesbury River station to Cowan station leave just after half past the hour on Sundays.  The trip takes 9 minutes.  If we catch the 4.37pm train we’ll be back at the cars by 4.46pm.

There is no water available at Jerusalem Bay or along the way, so you will need to carry at least a litre of drinking water. Kit will carry a first aid kit. Given how variable the weather has been I suggest walkers carry wet weather gear.  The track is well-defined with rock steps on most steep sections, but you should wear boots or stout walking shoes ― the creek crossings can be very slippery.  Bring a camera to preserve the memories, money for the debrief and your Opal card for the train trip.

For more information see 2017 Walk 3 rescheduled (Cowan-Brooklyn) flyer

To register for the walk contact Kit Craig at or on  0411 507 422.

Manly to North Head Walk Saturday 17th June, 2017

Our June day walk features the famous Corso, Manly Beach, Shelly Beach, Sydney Harbour National Park, the former School of Artillery and Fairfax Lookout on North Head, which offers extraordinary views of Sydney Harbour. It passes the former Quarantine station (now the Q station) and Manly Cove before returning to Manly wharf.

We’ll be in the middle of the humpback whale migration north along the coast, so there’s a chance we’ll be able to spot some offshore. You should carry binoculars just in case.

The walk is rated moderate and is mostly flat or gentle inclines on paved footpaths and park paths.  The 11km walk will take about 5 hours.

We’ll meet at Circular Quay at 9.15am at the end of Wharf 3 and catch the 9.30am ferry to Manly Wharf.  We’ll start walking at about 10.00am.  The 8.21am train from Wahroonga (8.25am from Turramurra) will get you to Wynyard Station in time to walk to Circular Quay for the rendezvous. DON’T FORGET YOUR OPAL CARD.

We’ll stop for lunch at the North Fort Cafe at about 12.30.  You can buy lunch there or bring your own.  After we finish the walk we’ll retire to the Steyne Hotel to discuss the days activities.

Wear a hat and carry at least a litre of drinking water. To cover all contingencies please also bring sun block and a rain coat.  The weather looks rainy!  Kit will carry a first aid kit. Wear walking shoes, cross trainers or similar – thongs or crocs aren’t really suitable.  Bring money for lunch and the post-walk discussion and a camera to preserve the memories.

You can access the flyer here 2017 Walk 5 (North Head) flyer

To register for the walk, or to get more information, contact Kit Craig at or on
0411 507 422.

A weekend in the Blue Mountains, Queen’s Birthday Weekend, 10th – 12th June, 2017


Following the success of last year’s long weekend on the south coast, this year the Cartophiles bushwalking club will spend the Queen’s Birthday long weekend in the Blue Mountains to take on three fun, moderate-rated day walks.

If you don’t feel up to all three walks, drive up or catch the train for just one or two.  If you want to stay overnight, book your accommodation NOW!

Saturday, 10th June, Mount York Walking Trail

Right on the western edge of the Blue Mountains, this 13km walk explores the historic and natural features the first road across the Blue Mountains (Cox’s Road, 1813) and its replacement (Lawsons Long Alley Road, 1822-1823).

Meet in the car park of the New Ivanhoe Hotel, Blackheath, at 10.00 am for the 15 minute drive to the start of the walk. The walk will take about 5 hours, followed by a debrief at the New Ivanhoe. Bring your lunch, or we can try the food at the Comet Inn, Hartley Vale.



Sunday, 11th June, Grand Canyon Track

This 6.3km adventurous track has been trodden by walkers since 1907. The intimate and awesome Grand Canyon track will take us into the heart of the Blue Mountains’ World Heritage-listed landscape with great sandstone walls, ever-present waterfalls and abundant native plants.

Meet at the Evans Head lookout, Blackheath, at 10.00am.  The walk will take about 4 hours, after which we’ll take time to fossick through the Blackheath shops and galleries.  You definitely need to carry your lunch!

We’ll organise a dinner that night at one of the excellent local restaurants.




Monday, 12th June, Fortress Ridge Trail

This fantastic 7.4km return walk follows the Fortress Ridge out to the cliffs above the Grose Valley. The views from the lookout and along the trail are superb, with the sheer cliffs and a deep valley to put it all in perspective.

Meet in the car park of the New Ivanhoe Hotel, Blackheath, at 9.30 am for the 10 minute drive to the start of the walk.

This walk will take about 3 hours, after which we’ll drive to the Lawson Hotel for a late lunch and debrief before braving the traffic back to Sydney.





Travel and Accommodation

You’ll need to seek your own accommodation, but luckily, there are lots of accommodation choices in the Blue Mountains from B&Bs to the 3½ star old world charm of The Hotel Imperial, Mount Victoria; the 5 star luxury of Lilianfels in Katoomba or the not a lot of stars but 1930’s architecture at the New Ivanhoe Hotel, Blackheath.

What to Wear and Carry

Kit will carry a first aid kit and personal locator beacon. You will need to carry at least a litre of drinking water, your lunch, something warm to put on during stops and wet weather gear. The tracks are all well-defined and often are fire trails or roads, but you should wear boots or stout walking shoes – the Grand Canyon particularly can be very slippery.

Bring a camera to preserve the memories, some nice clothes for the non-walking times and money for the debriefs!

Click here for a copy of the 2017 Walk 4 (Blue Mountains weekend) flyer

To register for the walk, or to get more information, contact Kit Craig at or on 0411 507 422.

First walk for the year – 18th February

As we did last year, the Cartophiles will kick off the new year exploring some of the interesting bush and sights on the western side of the Pacific Highway.  For more information see 2017 Walk 1 (Turramurra-Pymble) flyer

After the walk attendees are invited to the Craigs’ house for a BBQ and, if you want, a swim.  BYOG.

To register for the walk, or to get more information, contact Kit Craig at
or on 0411 507 422.

Metrogaine “LaneCoveRivergaine2”, Saturday 27th February, 2016

The Cartophiles’ second activity for the year is to enter teams in the NSW Rogaining Association’s (NSWRA) annual Metrograine. Last year this event started from the source of the Lane Cove River in Pennant Hills and travelled as far as De Burghs Bridge at West Pymble. This year it continues the journey down the river from De Burghs Bridge as far as Stringybark Creek in Lane Cove.


Rogaining is a team activity for people of all ages and levels of fitness. Everyone from elite athletes to families with young children can enjoy rogaining. The parts of the course you visit are entirely up to you – there are no set routes and you don’t have to spend the whole time on the course. The satisfaction comes in finding your way around the course according to the route you have chosen and navigating back to the finish within the time limit. Last year the Cartophiles only entered one team (read about it here), this year we plan to have our own internal competition!

This event is run by the NSWRA and entry close at midnight on 22nd February.  

To register for the walk, or to get more information, go to the NSWRA site at

or contact Kit Craig at
or on 0411 507 422


Turramurra/ Wahroonga Circuit, Saturday 20th February, 2016

The route

The route

The Cartophiles’ first day walk for 2016 explores some of the lesser known areas of bushland on the western side of the Pacific Highway. Using fire trails and well-defined walking tracks we travel through:

  • The Wahroonga Estate Environmental Conservation Zone
    Privately owned by the Seventh-day Adventist Church but open to the public, it includes remnants of Sydney Blue Gum High Forest.
  • Browns Field
    Named after John Brown, a merchant and timber-getter, who cleared the land of timber and planted orchards, it’s a small bushland area in the flat valley floor of a small volcanic diatreme, probably early Jurassic age. Rainforest trees, shrubs and ferns are found at Browns Field but nowhere else in the Lane Cove Valley.
  • Twin Creek Reserve
    Named for the creek in the upper reaches of Lane Cove River that forks near its head. The track follows the lower creek line through rainforest to tall Eucalypt forest. It returns along the ridge top where there are some rare species of Eucalyptus characteristic of the dry Sydney sandstone.
  • The Broadway Bushland Reserve
    A pretty little spot that conserves remnants of the 1924 plan by Ku-ring-gai shire president Christopher Bowes-Thistlethwayte and harbour bridge engineer John Bradfield for the Western Arterial Roadway as an alternative route from the North Shore to the bridge.
  • Bradley Reserve
    Named for the Bradley sisters, Eileen and Joan, pioneers of bush regeneration in the 1960s it is part of the Fox Valley Creek wildlife corridor. It shows the dry sclerophyll forest typical of the ridgelines in the area.

We’ll meet at the entrance to Howson Oval, opposite 22 Howson Avenue, Turramurra, at 9.30am on Saturday, 20th February. The walk will take 2½ – 3 hours, after which you’re invited to the Craigs’ house for a BBQ.

For more details see 2016 Walk 1 (Turramurra-Sth Wahroonga) flyer

Burrawang Walk & Cape Baily Track, Kamay Botany Bay National Park, Saturday 20th June, 2015

IMG_0308The Cartophiles’ sixth day walk of the year takes us back to the National Heritage listed Kamay Botany Bay National Park, rich in both Aboriginal and European history to repeat a walk we did last June.

We start and finish at the Kurnell Visitor Centre and cover two walks.  First is the very easy Burrawang Walk which passes several of the area’s historic sites, including Captain Cook’s Landing Place, and includes many interpretive signs outlining the park’s cultural and natural history.

After that we’ll explore the heath and the great views along the moderate-rated Cape Baily Track between the Visitor Center and the Cape Baily Lighthouse. This walk follows a mixture of service trails, bush tracks, rock platforms and sand dunes. Hopefully we’ll once again see some migrating whales offshore.

For more information see 2015 Walk 6 (Burrawang walk & Cape Baily Track) flyer.

To register for the walk, or to get more information, contact Kit Craig at or on
0411 507 422.

Overnight walk in June: Govett’s Leap to Mt Victoria, Queen’s Birthday Weekend

The Cartophiles’ second overnight walk of the year is a three day trek over the Queen’s Birthday Weekend, 6th – 8th June.

We start at Govetts Leap on Saturday morning, pass Bridal Falls then drop into the Grose Valley and follow the river to the Acacia Flats campsite. On Sunday we walk through the Blue Gum Forest and continue to explore the valley to the Burra Korain Flat Camping Area. On Monday it’s a short walk but a very steep climb of about 430m to Mt Victoria past the spectacular Victoria Falls and the smaller Victoria Cascades.

The distance each day allows time to stop, explore and enjoy the fantastic scenery and we should be finished by midday on Monday to allow time to get home.

For more information see 2015 Overnight Walk 2 (Govetts Leap to Mt Victoria) flyer.

You must register for this walk by Monday 29th May. For more information contact Kit Craig on 0411 507 422 or email

Berowra Station to Berowra Waters and return, Saturday 14th March, 2015

The next day walk for the Cartophiles bushwalking club revisits one of the very earliest walks the club ever did: 5½ km from Berowra Station down to Berowra Waters for lunch, then return to the station.

We’ll meet at the Berowra Station car park at 10.00am on Saturday, 14th March. The walking is on fire trails and well formed tracks, and all the steep sections have formed steps, but because a couple of the climbs are steep it’s rated moderate to hard.

For more information see 2015 Walk 3 (Berowra to Berowra Waters) flyer.

To register for the walk, or to get more information, contact Kit Craig at
or on 0411 507 422.

Newnes to Rocky Creek, Wollemi National Park Weekend 21st/22nd March, 2015

Wolgan Valley imageThe first overnight walk of the year takes the Cartophiles to the Wolgan Valley, one of the most impressive gorges in NSW. The Wolgan River rises in the Newnes State Forest and is rimmed by massive cliffs for nearly 30km downstream to where it meets the Capertee River to form the Colo River.

This walk starts at the Newnes Campsite, roughly halfway between Lithgow and Mudgee, and heads about 12km down the river on the old fire trail to the junction with Rocky Creek. The second day is a return walk.

The walk is along fire trails past refinery ruins, fenced off mine shafts and old farm sites running to nature. It is mostly pleasant, undulating walking except for one steep uphil climb about 4km in where a section of the track along the river was washed away by a massive flood in 1978 at a place known as the Devils Pinch.

For more information see 2015 Overnight Walk 1 (Newnes to Rocky Creek) flyer

You must register for this walk by Monday 9th March. For more information contact Kit Craig on 0411 507 422 or email

Wondabyne Station to Kariong Brook waterfall Saturday 23rd August, 2014

Sadly, we have to cancel this walk in May because track work prevented us getting to the start point at Wondabyne railway station, the only railway station in Australia which has no road access. This time for sure!

The tranquil and beautiful Kariong Brook falls and waterhole are a wonderful surprise for walkers along the Great North Walk in  the Brisbane Waters National Park.  This 8.1km walk is rated hard and should take 3-3½ hrs. The initial climb out of Wondabyne Station is quite steep as is the descent to the falls, and there is the occasional short steep hill along the rest of the route. However, it’s suitable for novice walkers of reasonable fitness.

For more details see 2014 Walk 7 (Wondabyne to Kariong Brook Falls) flyer.

To register for the walk, or to get more information, contact Kit Craig at or on 0411 507 422.

Kalkari & Birrawanna Loop Track, Saturday 16th August, 2014

The very first Cartophiles’ bushwalk was along the 5.1 km Kalkari and Birrawanna Loop Tracks circuit in the Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park in April, 2010.  It’s been far too long, so we’ll repeat it as the Cartophiles’ next day walk.

This is an easy walk although there is a short but steep climb up from Bobbin Head.   However,  we’ve allowed time for lots of stops as well as lunch at the picnic area at Bobbin Head.   This walk is suitable for novices and children.

For more details see 2014 Walk 6 (Kalkari & Birrawanna Loop flyer).

To register for the walk, or to get more information, contact Kit Craig at or on 0411 507 422.

Marramarra Creek Campground and Return, Saturday 15th February, 2014

Our second walk for 2014 is in the Marramarra National Park, to a location the Cartophiles were supposed to go to last April, but we were temporarily geographically embarrassed.  This time, we’ll get it right!

Set among the trees and by tranquil waters Mmarramarra-creek-campground-01.ashxarramarra Creek campground can only accessed by water or by foot, making it a peaceful retreat away from the crowds.  We will follow the easy 3.5km walk along Marramarra Ridge management trail to the campsite, have lunch there and then return to the cars.

For more detail see 2014 Walk 2 (Marramarra Creek Campground) flyer

To register for the walk, or to get more information, contact Kit Craig at or on
0411 507 422.

The Manly Scenic Walkway, Saturday 7th December, 2013

The last walk for 2013 for the Cartophiles bushwalking club is another that has become a regular part of our annual program: the iconic Spit Bridge to Manly walk, one of Australia’s top ten day walks.  This beautiful and varied 9km walk follows the Manly Scenic Walkway.  It is rated as moderate and we have previously walked it with children.

For more information see 2013 Walk 11 (Spit to Manly) flyer

To register for the walk, or to get more information, contact Kit Craig at
or on 0411 507 422.