Enjoy the Great North Walk this autumn

As the beautiful autumn days get cooler, now is a great time of year to go for a bush walk. The benefits of walking in nature are well-known, and it’s a great opportunity to remember what makes living here so special. So get your hiking boots on, pack a thermos and snack, and take in some of the natural beauty of Sydney’s northern districts.

The Great North Walk starts in central Sydney and extends all the way up to the city of Newcastle in the Hunter Valley. Not for the faint-hearted, it takes around 16 days to complete from start to finish, with approximately 250km of walking.

Fortunately for us, the Great North Walk goes through my main selling suburb of Thornleigh so you can start here. The section from here to Hornsby makes a wonderful day hike.

The Great North Walk: Where to start

The walk begins in the heart of Sydney at Macquarie Park by the Obelisk. It winds north through Hunters Hill and on to Lane Cove River. Then it passes through Thornleigh, following Berowra Creek.

The walk has numerous campsites, although you are advised to bring your own water and only attempt the walk in the cooler months. Most people don’t do the entire journey in one go, but break it up to complete over weekends. Many of the sections, including Thornleigh to Hornsby, start and end at train stations. This means you can catch a train to and from your start and finish points.

Bushwalking from Thornleigh to Hornsby

The Thornleigh to Hornsby section is known as the Benowie Track. It’s a beautiful part of the walk and can be completed in around four hours. You’ll set off at Thornleigh train station, with a stroll along suburban streets to start. It then turns into a more traditional bush walk at the southern end of Berowra Valley Regional Park.

Soon you’ll pass the historic Zig Zag Railway, which was constructed in the 1880s and ran from the main rail line to a quarry. You’ll then walk through the Berowra Creek Valley. Much of the track follows the creek and the untouched bushland. The beautiful fern forests, eucalypt trees, casuarina and grass trees make it easy to forget where you are.

Highlights include an Indigenous engraving of two wallabies on a sandstone block, evidence of the area’s traditional owners, the Darug and Garungai people. You’ll also pass Fishponds, a beautiful waterhole, although swimming is not recommended. If you want to stay the night, there’s a very basic campsite at a spot called Jungo. This is a simple clearing with a creek (you’ll need to treat the water) but no other facilities.

Towards the end of the walk is a picnic area with a free barbecue, shaded by eucalyptus trees. You’ll be able to enjoy a rest here before tackling the final half kilometre, which finishes with a climb up Depression-era stone steps to Hornsby train station.

If this has left you inspired and you’re keen to take on this challenge this autumn, Wild Walks has an information sheet and downloadable guide to take with you. Always remember to let someone know where you are going and when you plan to be back. And let me know how you get on if I see you at an open home this winter!

Talk to me

As a local agent who lives and works in Thornleigh, it’s easy for me to talk to buyers about what makes this part of Sydney so special, particularly for families.

Please give me a call if you are thinking of selling your home in Thornleigh, Westleigh, Normanhurst or Pennant Hills. I will be happy to talk to you about the current market and what buyers are looking for.


Karen Page
Friendly, caring and attentive, Karen Page is a customer focused professional with a genuine passion for helping people transition through the different stages of their life.