Patonga to Wondabyne Station via Pindar Caves
Darkinjung & Guringai Country

10 h to 2 days

27.8 km
oneway

↑ 1013 m
↓ -1007 m

Very challenging
This overnight hike starts from Patonga beach and winds along a section of the Great North Walk, into the Brisbane Waters National Park. The walk climbs up and around the Warra reserve headland, continuing to Wondabyne station via Pindar Caves. The overnight stay is at the Mt Wondabyne campsite. There is no water available at the campsite so you will nee to carry sufficient supplies for both days. Let us begin by acknowledging the Darkinjung & Guringai people, Traditional Custodians of the land on which we travel today, and pay our respects to their Elders past and present. 
Show all
across form Patonga boat ramp. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Near the bottom of Patonga Track. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
View of Barrenjoey Lighthouse from Warrah Lookout. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
path down towards headland. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Int of Great North Walk and Patonga Drive. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
its a birdy. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
path across rock flats. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Mt Wondabyne Camping area. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Track to Mt Wondabyne peak. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Mt Wondabyne. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Kariong Brook Water fall. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Blandfordia nobilis (Christmas Bells). | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2007.
Mt Pindar Lookout. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2007.
Pindar Pool. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2007.
pindar cave. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2007.
Track high above Wondabyne station. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2007.
tree grabbing rock or rock grabbing tree?. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2007.
Wondabyne Station. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2007.
Downloads GPX PDF


Warning
This journey requires significant bushwalking experience, specialised equipment and navigation skills.
Please ensure you and your group well prepared and equiped for this journey.

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Safer Bushwalks
Tips on staying safe on track
Before you start any bushwalk ensure you;
• Tell someone you trust where you are going and what to do if you are overdue
• Have adequate equipment, supplies, skills & knowledge for the whole journey
• Consider the impact of weather forecasts, park/track closures & fire dangers
• Can respond to emergencies & call for help at any point
• Are healthy and fit enough for this journey
If not, change plans and stay safe. It is okay to delay and ask people for help.
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Getting There
Transport options and directions
Start (-33.5504173,151.2745435)
Mode Bus Car (There is free parking available.) Ferry Special (There is no regular ferry service between Patonga and Brooklyn any more. You can easily grab a water taxi (about $80+). If you are part of a large group they can also organise a larger boat carrying 35 passengers (about $16 pp). Phone 0410 554 777 to book. Enjoy the boat ride.)
DirectionsFrom Pacific Motorway, M1
  • Turn on to Central Coast Highway, A49 then drive for 2.5 km
  • Turn right onto Woy Woy Road and drive for another 480 m
  • At roundabout, take exit 2 onto Woy Woy Road and drive for another 9.6 km
  • Turn right onto Railway Street and drive for another 580 m
  • Turn right onto Hillview Street and drive for another 950 m
  • Turn left onto Veron Road and drive for another 390 m
  • Turn right onto Carpenter Street and drive for another 420 m
  • At roundabout, take exit 2 onto Carpenter Street and drive for another 550 m
  • Turn right onto Bapaume Avenue and drive for another 175 m
  • Turn left and drive for another 190 m
  • Turn right onto Rabaul Avenue and drive for another 165 m
  • At roundabout, take exit 2 onto Rabaul Avenue and drive for another 220 m
  • At roundabout, take exit 2 onto Rabaul Avenue and drive for another 325 m
  • At roundabout, take exit 2 onto Perth Street and drive for another 275 m
  • Turn right onto Hobart Avenue and drive for another 1.1 km
  • At roundabout, take exit 1 onto Mount Ettalong Road and drive for another 6.9 km
Finish (-33.4921757,151.2568953)
Mode (end) Train  
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Track Notes
Turn by turn instructions & maps
Getting started
From the car park at Patonga wharf, this walk follows the footpath beside Patonga Drive, keeping the water on the right. The road leads out of town passing beside 'Eve Williams Memorial Oval' for 70m to find a large 'The Great North Walk' sign opposite the toilet block. Soon after this sign, this walk turns right following the 'Boat Ramp' sign and GNW arrow post down along a side road for 220m to find a parking area beside Patonga's boat ramp. (Alternatively it is possible to walk along the sandy beach from the wharf to the boat ramp.)
From the boat ramp, this walk follows the power lines across the car park, keeping the water to the right. The walk heads around the gate and continues to follow the power lines across the sand, coming to the eastern end of Patonga Beach and the 'Brisbane Water National Park' sign. This area of the beach is also know as 'Dark Corner'.
From the eastern end of Patonga beach, this walk follows the 'Warrah Trig 1.7km' sign up the steps. The track winds up the side on the hill, turning left and following the ridge line uphill. Soon after passing up some stairs between the rock, the track comes to a lovely view across the water. Here, the track turns left and climbs up more steps before flattening out and passing a few more GNW arrows. Just after passing two GNW arrows next to each other (at the end of a large crack in the rock), the track passes a few large Sydney Red Gums and comes to an unfenced rock platform on the right - Broken Bay view.....
Turn map Directions & comments
Start heading along Patonga Drive.
There is a artwork (about 80 m back from the start).
Patonga Village (about 5 m back from the start).
Patonga Village
Patonga Village

Patonga Village is a lovely small township on the Hawkesbury River. Just near the ferry wharf are a few helpful facilities: The Eve Williams Memorial Oval, where you will find a large pavilion, drinking water and public toilets. A fish and chips shop (and general store) is open reasonable hours, where you can buy lunch, a coffee and basic supplies (fishing needs, milk, canned food). Patonga Beach Hotel is available for a cold drink at the bar or a meal on the deck, or even overnight accommodation (from $242 a couple) ph: 02 4379 1111.
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Patonga Village is a lovely small township on the Hawkesbury River. Just near the ferry wharf are a few helpful facilities: The Eve Williams Memorial Oval, where you will find a large pavilion, drinking water and public toilets. A fish and chips shop (and general store) is open reasonable hours, where you can buy lunch, a coffee and basic supplies (fishing needs, milk, canned food). Patonga Beach Hotel is available for a cold drink at the bar or a meal on the deck, or even overnight accommodation (from $242 a couple) ph: 02 4379 1111.

After another 5 m to find the car park.
After another 15 m pass the sign (15 m on your left).
After another 20 m pass the park (10 m on your right).
After another 40 m pass the shelter (15 m on your left).
After another 60 m pass the picnic table (25 m on your right).
Continue straight, to head along Patonga Drive.
After another 10 m pass the toilet (15 m on your left).
After another 10 m turn sharp right.
After another 190 m continue straight.
After another 80 m continue straight.
After another 135 m head up the steps (about 15 m long)
After another 430 m veer left.
After another 55 m come to the viewpoint (25 m on your right).
After another 45 m continue straight.
After another 260 m find the "Broken Bay View" (30 m on your right).
Broken Bay View
Broken Bay View

Broken Bay View is an informal, unnamed and unfenced vantage point at the top of the cliffs, east of Patonga. The large rock platform has a number of large Sydney Red Gums, providing some shade. There are great views across the Hawkesbury River, along Cowan Creek and to West Head. The views to the left extend past Lion Island to Barrenjoey Head and out to the Pacific Ocean.
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Broken Bay View is an informal, unnamed and unfenced vantage point at the top of the cliffs, east of Patonga. The large rock platform has a number of large Sydney Red Gums, providing some shade. There are great views across the Hawkesbury River, along Cowan Creek and to West Head. The views to the left extend past Lion Island to Barrenjoey Head and out to the Pacific Ocean.

After another 80 m continue straight, to head along Pearl Beach Patonga Firetrail.
The starting point of an optional sidetrip. An optional side trip to Warrah Lookout. To start this optional side trip turn right here. On returning from this side trip veer right when you get back to this intersection. Details below.
After another 350 m (at the intersection of Pearl Beach Patonga Firetrail & Tony Doyle Track) turn left, to head along Tony Doyle Track (a footpath).
After another 30 m pass the sign (on your right).
After another 300 m find the "Warrah Trig Station" (on your left).
Warrah Trig Station
Warrah Trig Station

Warrah Trig Station is part of a national geodetic survey established during the 1970's. The 'Triangulation station' (aka trigonometrical or trig station) is a distinct marker once clear of trees, and would have been visible for many kilometers in the area. There are many such trig stations around Australia, which were used to help in surveying. Each station has a know position and altitude, which allows surveyors to use triangulation and determine another point's location. With advances in technology, these trig stations have been abandoned and superseded. The trig station is now surrounded by trees, with some filtered views along the Hawkesbury River. The area is rich with wildflowers in spring.
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Warrah Trig Station is part of a national geodetic survey established during the 1970's. The 'Triangulation station' (aka trigonometrical or trig station) is a distinct marker once clear of trees, and would have been visible for many kilometers in the area. There are many such trig stations around Australia, which were used to help in surveying. Each station has a know position and altitude, which allows surveyors to use triangulation and determine another point's location. With advances in technology, these trig stations have been abandoned and superseded. The trig station is now surrounded by trees, with some filtered views along the Hawkesbury River. The area is rich with wildflowers in spring.

After another 55 m pass the sign (5 m on your right).
After another 90 m continue straight, to head along Warrah Trig Road.
After another 1.1 km veer right.
After another 235 m turn left.
After another 15 m (at the intersection of Patonga Drive & Warrah Patch Firetrail) continue straight, to head along Warrah Patch Firetrail (a vehicle track).
After another 20 m pass the "Waratah" (on your left).
After another 6 m head through/around the gate.
After another 100 m veer right, to head along Warrah Patch Firetrail.
After another 280 m (at the intersection of PMG Firetrail & Warrah Patch Firetrail) turn right, to head along Warrah Patch Firetrail.
After another 270 m (at the intersection of Van Dahls Firetrail & Warrah Patch Firetrail) turn left, to head along Van Dahls Firetrail.
After another 200 m turn right, to head along Van Dahls Firetrail.
After another 1.1 km (at the intersection of Sani Depot Trail & Van Dahls Firetrail) continue straight, to head along Van Dahls Firetrail.
After another 730 m continue straight, to head along Van Dahls Firetrail.
After another 1.1 km (at the intersection of Van Dahls Firetrail & Dillons Trail) veer left, to head along Dillons Trail (a walking track).
After another 2 km come to the viewpoint (5 m on your right).
After another 260 m (at the intersection of Dillons Firetrail & Dillons Trail) continue straight, to head along Dillons Trail.
After another 25 m (at the intersection of Tunnel Trail & Dillons Trail) turn right, to head along Tunnel Trail (a vehicle track).
After another 150 m (at the intersection of Tunnel Trail & Rocky Ponds Trail) continue straight, to head along Tunnel Trail.
After another 470 m (at the intersection of Tunnel Trail & Mount Wondabyne Trig Firetrail) turn left, to head along Mount Wondabyne Trig Firetrail.
After another 760 m come to the "Mt Wondabyne Campsite".
Mt Wondabyne Campsite
Mt Wondabyne Campsite

This basic campsite is found at the end of a management trail, near the base of Mt Wondabyne. The campsite is at the bottom of a small (east facing) rock wall and has trees surrounding much of the area, providing some shelter. There is an established fire circle and a basic seat. There is no water or other facilities. (There is also small cave suitable for sleeping a few people about half way up Mount Wondabyne).
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This basic campsite is found at the end of a management trail, near the base of Mt Wondabyne. The campsite is at the bottom of a small (east facing) rock wall and has trees surrounding much of the area, providing some shelter. There is an established fire circle and a basic seat. There is no water or other facilities. (There is also small cave suitable for sleeping a few people about half way up Mount Wondabyne).

The starting point of an optional sidetrip. An optional side trip to Mt Wondabyne Peak. To start this optional side trip turn right here. On returning from this side trip turn right when you get back to this intersection. Details below.
After another 85 m continue straight.
After another 940 m turn right, to head along Mullet Creek Firetrail.
After another 215 m turn left.
After another 810 m continue straight, to head along Thommos Loop.
After another 1.5 km veer left.
After another 25 m pass the "The Great North Walk" (on your right).
After another 610 m continue straight.
After another 20 m find the "Kariong Brook Falls" (on your left).
Kariong Brook Falls
Kariong Brook Falls

This tranquil spot of the Great North Walk is home to some lovely falls and a water hole. The eastern side of the creek has a tall sandstone cave and wall. After rain these falls can become very spectacular, other times is a cool place to rest. A great spot to stop for a snack.
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This tranquil spot of the Great North Walk is home to some lovely falls and a water hole. The eastern side of the creek has a tall sandstone cave and wall. After rain these falls can become very spectacular, other times is a cool place to rest. A great spot to stop for a snack.

After another 15 m continue straight.
After another 1.9 km turn left, to head along Rifle Range Firetrail.
After another 20 m pass the sign (on your left).
After another 610 m (at the intersection of Rifle Range Firetrail & Pindar Walking Track) turn right, to head along Pindar Walking Track.
After another 2.2 km continue straight.
After another 10 m come to the "Mooney Mooney Creek Lookout" (9 m on your right).
After another 1.3 km find the "Mt Pindar lookout" (25 m on your left).
Mt Pindar lookout
Mt Pindar lookout

From the rocky perch of Mt Pindar, Brisbane Waters National Park, you can enjoy views over Mullet Creek, Dangar Island and the Hawkesbery River. This is an informal lookout, with no fencing or other facilities.
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From the rocky perch of Mt Pindar, Brisbane Waters National Park, you can enjoy views over Mullet Creek, Dangar Island and the Hawkesbery River. This is an informal lookout, with no fencing or other facilities.

After another 480 m find the "Pindar Pool" (15 m on your left).
Pindar Pool
Pindar Pool

The pool between Mt Pindar and Pindar Cave is an ephemeral (short-lived, unreliable) waterhole. The pool is a refreshing place for a swim when full, with many birds enjoying the area too. The pool is a 10m by 5m tub which is quite deep. Being ephemeral, it is not always full of water.
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The pool between Mt Pindar and Pindar Cave is an ephemeral (short-lived, unreliable) waterhole. The pool is a refreshing place for a swim when full, with many birds enjoying the area too. The pool is a 10m by 5m tub which is quite deep. Being ephemeral, it is not always full of water.

The starting point of an optional sidetrip. An optional side trip to Waterfall. To start this optional side trip veer right here. On returning from this side trip turn right when you get back to this intersection. Details below.
After another 250 m turn around.
After another 20 m find the "Pindar Cave" (30 m on your right).
Pindar Cave
Pindar Cave

Pindar Cave, Brisbane Waters National Park, is a large expanse of overhanging rock. The cave is made by a sandstone overhang of 15m, which spans approximately 50m along the hillside. The floor of the cave is a good spot for a sleep, while the roof of the cave is black from many campfires. Access to water is relatively good, however the waterfall and nearby pool are ephemeral (transient) streams with irregular and unreliable water patterns.
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Pindar Cave, Brisbane Waters National Park, is a large expanse of overhanging rock. The cave is made by a sandstone overhang of 15m, which spans approximately 50m along the hillside. The floor of the cave is a good spot for a sleep, while the roof of the cave is black from many campfires. Access to water is relatively good, however the waterfall and nearby pool are ephemeral (transient) streams with irregular and unreliable water patterns.

After another 2 km continue straight.
After another 2.2 km (at the intersection of Rifle Range Firetrail & Pindar Walking Track) turn right, to head along Rifle Range Firetrail.
After another 960 m continue straight, to head along Rifle Range Firetrail.
After another 315 m head down the steps (about 30 m long)
After another 130 m come to the end.
About 75 m past the end is "Wondabyne".
Wondabyne
Wondabyne

Wondabyne is situated in Brisbane Waters National Park on the banks of Mullet River, which feeds into the Hawkesbury River north of Brooklyn. The area is defined by the National Park's flora and fauna, the quarry, railway station and a few houses sitting above the water around the river. The quarry produced sandstone building materials, used in the construction of the National War Memorial in Canberra. More recently, in 2000, the quarry was re-opened for restoration of St Mary's Cathedral spire in Sydney. Wondabyne Station, named after the nearby Mt Wondabyne, was built in 1889 and exclusively used for the quarry - it was then known as Mullet Creek Station. The station is one of the smallest on the line and one of very few railway stations in a NSW National Park. When you catch the train to Wondabyne, let the guard know you want to get off at Wondabyne Station, otherwise the train will not stop. Travel in the last carriage as the platform is very short. To catch the train from Wondabyne, wave to the driver.
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Wondabyne is situated in Brisbane Waters National Park on the banks of Mullet River, which feeds into the Hawkesbury River north of Brooklyn. The area is defined by the National Park's flora and fauna, the quarry, railway station and a few houses sitting above the water around the river. The quarry produced sandstone building materials, used in the construction of the National War Memorial in Canberra. More recently, in 2000, the quarry was re-opened for restoration of St Mary's Cathedral spire in Sydney. Wondabyne Station, named after the nearby Mt Wondabyne, was built in 1889 and exclusively used for the quarry - it was then known as Mullet Creek Station. The station is one of the smallest on the line and one of very few railway stations in a NSW National Park. When you catch the train to Wondabyne, let the guard know you want to get off at Wondabyne Station, otherwise the train will not stop. Travel in the last carriage as the platform is very short. To catch the train from Wondabyne, wave to the driver.


An optional side trip to Warrah Lookout.
Turn map Directions & comments
Start.
Continue another 70 m to find Warrah Lookout at the end.
"Warrah Lookout".
Warrah Lookout
Warrah Lookout

Warrah Lookout is a mostly fenced lookout on a large sandstone platform. The lookout provides fantastic views across the Hawkesbury River. From left to right, you can see along the escarpment which forms the southern boundary of Brisbane Water National Park, out to the Pacific Ocean, Barrenjoey Headland, West Head, along Cowan Creek, Juno Point and along the escarpment to Patonga. This is a great place to spend some time soaking up the views.
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Warrah Lookout is a mostly fenced lookout on a large sandstone platform. The lookout provides fantastic views across the Hawkesbury River. From left to right, you can see along the escarpment which forms the southern boundary of Brisbane Water National Park, out to the Pacific Ocean, Barrenjoey Headland, West Head, along Cowan Creek, Juno Point and along the escarpment to Patonga. This is a great place to spend some time soaking up the views.

"Warrah Lookout".
Turn around and retrace your steps back the 70 m to the main route.

An optional side trip to Mt Wondabyne Peak.
Turn map Directions & comments
Start.
After 195 m find the "Mt Wondabyne" (5 m on your left).
Mt Wondabyne
Mt Wondabyne

Mount Wondabyne is one of the most prominent peaks in Brisbane Water National Park. The long cone-shaped hill has a rocky top and is home to a trig station. Walkers can enjoy full 360-degree panoramic views from the top. To the east are good views over the Brisbane Water, Woy Woy and other central coast suburbs. West, down next to Mullet Creek, you can see some buildings near Wondabyne Station and the train line. Otherwise, most of the expansive views are over much of Brisbane Water National Park. There are some small trees providing limited shade, a great place to soak up the views.
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Mount Wondabyne is one of the most prominent peaks in Brisbane Water National Park. The long cone-shaped hill has a rocky top and is home to a trig station. Walkers can enjoy full 360-degree panoramic views from the top. To the east are good views over the Brisbane Water, Woy Woy and other central coast suburbs. West, down next to Mullet Creek, you can see some buildings near Wondabyne Station and the train line. Otherwise, most of the expansive views are over much of Brisbane Water National Park. There are some small trees providing limited shade, a great place to soak up the views.

After another 20 m come to the end.
"Mount Wondabyne".
Turn around and retrace your steps back the 215 m to the main route.

An optional side trip to Waterfall.
Turn map Directions & comments
Start.
After 50 m find the "Pindar Cave" (15 m on your left).
Pindar Cave
Pindar Cave

Pindar Cave, Brisbane Waters National Park, is a large expanse of overhanging rock. The cave is made by a sandstone overhang of 15m, which spans approximately 50m along the hillside. The floor of the cave is a good spot for a sleep, while the roof of the cave is black from many campfires. Access to water is relatively good, however the waterfall and nearby pool are ephemeral (transient) streams with irregular and unreliable water patterns.
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Pindar Cave, Brisbane Waters National Park, is a large expanse of overhanging rock. The cave is made by a sandstone overhang of 15m, which spans approximately 50m along the hillside. The floor of the cave is a good spot for a sleep, while the roof of the cave is black from many campfires. Access to water is relatively good, however the waterfall and nearby pool are ephemeral (transient) streams with irregular and unreliable water patterns.

After another 345 m turn left.
After another 50 m come to the end.
About 75 m past the end is "Pindar Falls".
Turn around and retrace your steps back the 440 m to the main route.
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Terrain
Know the Hills, grading & facilities

Patonga to Wondabyne Station via Pindar Caves


Grading
Class 5/6
Very challenging
Length 27.8 km
Time 10 h to 2 days
Quality of track Rough unclear track (5/6)
Gradient Very steep (4/6)
Signage No directional signs (5/6)
Infrastructure Limited facilities (such as cliffs not fenced, significant creeks not bridged) (4/6)
Experience Required Moderate level of bushwalking experience recommended (4/6)
Weather Storms may impact on navigation and safety (3/6)

Some facilities on route
Campsite: There is one 11 km from the start.

Shelter: There is one 95 m from the start.

Toilet: There is one 125 m from the start.


Order of key facilities on route
ItemFrom StartName & link to notes
Shelter
95 m[shelter]
Toilet
125 m[toilet]
Campsite
11 kmMt Wondabyne Campsite
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