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Girrakool to Wondabyne Station
Darkinjung & Guringai country

3 h 45 min to 4 h

9.3 km
oneway

↑ 360 m
↓ -478 m

Hard track
This walk starts from the Girrakool picnic area and winds south, through the Brisbane Waters National Park. The walk crosses some long rock flats and climbs to the top of Scopas Peak, providing views spanning right across the park. The walk then continues down to Wondabyne station, and provides an optional side trip to the Kariong Brook falls. 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. 
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Girracool Picnic Area. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Illoura Lookout view. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
waterfall at Piles Creek. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Piles Creek track. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Piles Creek lookout. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Rat Gully Falls. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Rock Flats. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Twisted tree south of Scopas Peak. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2007.
view of mooney mooney creek. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2007.
Int of GNW and Wondabyne trail. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Kariong Brook Water fall. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Water glimpses. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2007.
Steps above Wondabyne. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2007.
looking out to Mullet creek. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2007.
Wondabyne Station. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2007.
Downloads GPX PDF



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.

Getting There
Start (-33.4317118,151.2766347)
Mode Car (A park entry fee is required for driving into the park.)
DirectionsFrom Old Pacific Highway, B83
  • Turn on to Quarry Road then drive for 75 m
  • Keep left onto Girrakool Road and drive for another 640 m
Finish (-33.491972,151.2570896)
Mode (end) Train  

Track Notes

Getting started
From the lower side of the car park, this walk follows the 'To The Great North Walk' sign down the path to the lower picnic area. The walk passes the toilet block (on the left) and comes to another picnic area. The path passes through this picnic area to turn right following the 'Piles Creek Loop Track' sign down the steps. The footpath then leads to an intersection with the Broula Lookout track (on the left) and a 'car park' sign pointing back up the hill.
From the intersection, this walk follows the 'Girrakool Loop' sign down along the stone path. The path soon heads down some steps and comes to a fenced and signposted 'Illoura Lookout'.....
Turn map Directions & comments
Start
Start heading along Girrakool Road.
Find the car park at the start.
Continue straight
After another 10 m continue straight.
Girrakool Picnic Area (about 20 m back from the start).
Girrakool Picnic Area
Girrakool Picnic Area

Girrakool picnic area is a wonderful family destination, just 5 minutes' drive from Kariong. The picnic area provides all the necessary facilities for a full day's activities, including barbecues, tables, shelters, water and toilets. National Park fees apply. The main picnic area is on the eastern side of the car park, and smaller, older picnic area is at the north-eastern corner of the car park. The southern Girrakool picnic area is located near the toilets. The picnic area is dedicated to John 'Jack' Higgs, the first superintendent of Brisbane Water National Park, and Mrs Vera Murdoch, who provided the funds. 'Girrakool' is an Aboriginal word meaning 'place of still waters'.
Girrakool picnic area is a wonderful family destination, just 5 minutes' drive from Kariong. The picnic area provides all the necessary facilities for a full day's activities, including barbecues, tables, shelters, water and toilets. National Park fees apply. The main picnic area is on the eastern side of the car park, and smaller, older picnic area is at the north-eastern corner of the car park. The southern Girrakool picnic area is located near the toilets. The picnic area is dedicated to John 'Jack' Higgs, the first superintendent of Brisbane Water National Park, and Mrs Vera Murdoch, who provided the funds. 'Girrakool' is an Aboriginal word meaning 'place of still waters'.

After 70 m pass the sign (on your right).
Then pass the toilet (10 m on your left).
After another 60 m pass the BBQ (25 m on your left).
Continue straight
After another 100 m continue straight, to head along Girrakool Loop Track.
After another 15 m find the "Broula Lookout" (40 m on your left).
Broula Lookout
Broula Lookout

Broula Lookout is fenced and a fairly short walk down from the Girrakool picnic area. Over time, the trees in the area have grown, filtering what would otherwise be a great vantage point for the Piles Creek waterfall. Broula is an Aboriginal word referring to a place of trickling water.
Broula Lookout is fenced and a fairly short walk down from the Girrakool picnic area. Over time, the trees in the area have grown, filtering what would otherwise be a great vantage point for the Piles Creek waterfall. Broula is an Aboriginal word referring to a place of trickling water.

Turn left
After another 25 m (at the intersection of Girrakool Loop Track & Piles Creek Loop) turn left, to head along Piles Creek Loop.
After another 40 m find the "Illoura Lookout" (on your right).
Illoura Lookout
Illoura Lookout

Illoura Lookout, Brisbane Water National Park, can be found a short walk south-west of the Girrakool picnic area, following the Great North Walk sign. This lookout provides a filtered view up and down the Leask and Piles Creek junction. There is a view of a waterfall from Piles Creek. Illoura is an Aboriginal word referring to a pleasant or peaceful place.
Illoura Lookout, Brisbane Water National Park, can be found a short walk south-west of the Girrakool picnic area, following the Great North Walk sign. This lookout provides a filtered view up and down the Leask and Piles Creek junction. There is a view of a waterfall from Piles Creek. Illoura is an Aboriginal word referring to a pleasant or peaceful place.

After another 7 m continue straight, to head along Piles Creek Loop.
After another 20 m find the "Piles Creek Waterfall" (on your right).
Piles Creek Waterfall
Piles Creek Waterfall

The large waterfall on Piles Creek is south of Girrakool Picnic Area in Brisbane Water National Park. At the Piles Creek Loop track crossing at the top of the falls, there is a large rock platform. The cliff edge is unfenced and would be dangerous to approach for the view. The water falls down the large drop, into a big pool below. The 'Bundilla Lookout' on the other side of the valley provides the only square view onto the falls, but even this only witnesses the top half.
The large waterfall on Piles Creek is south of Girrakool Picnic Area in Brisbane Water National Park. At the Piles Creek Loop track crossing at the top of the falls, there is a large rock platform. The cliff edge is unfenced and would be dangerous to approach for the view. The water falls down the large drop, into a big pool below. The 'Bundilla Lookout' on the other side of the valley provides the only square view onto the falls, but even this only witnesses the top half.

Continue straight
After another 910 m continue straight, to head along Piles Creek Loop.
An optional side trip to Piles Ck Lookout. Details below.
Continue straight
After another 135 m continue straight, to head along Piles Creek Loop.
After another 150 m find the "Monolith Cave" (on your left).
Monolith Cave
Monolith Cave

Monolith Cave is an informally named cave and interesting rock formation high on the ridge east of Piles Creek and North of Rat Gully in the Brisbane Water National Park. The cave is a fairly large sandstone overhang on the edge of the track. The cave provides shelter for walkers and is a great spot to rest and enjoy the area. This rock and the more Monolithic rock about 60m to the south are interesting to explore, and provide great views of the surrounding area. Take great care if exploring the rocks.
Monolith Cave is an informally named cave and interesting rock formation high on the ridge east of Piles Creek and North of Rat Gully in the Brisbane Water National Park. The cave is a fairly large sandstone overhang on the edge of the track. The cave provides shelter for walkers and is a great spot to rest and enjoy the area. This rock and the more Monolithic rock about 60m to the south are interesting to explore, and provide great views of the surrounding area. Take great care if exploring the rocks.

Turn left
After another 390 m turn left.
After another 1.3 km come to the viewpoint.
After another 305 m come to the viewpoint.
After another 1.4 km pass the "Scopas Peak" (25 m on your left).
Veer right
After another 1.1 km veer right, to head along Rifle Range Firetrail.
After another 1.1 km come to the viewpoint.
Continue straight
After another 55 m continue straight, to head along Rifle Range Firetrail.
After another 30 m pass the sign (on your left).
Continue straight
After another 600 m (at the intersection of Rifle Range Firetrail & Pindar Walking Track) continue straight, 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 165 m come to "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.
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.

The end
The end.

An optional side trip to Piles Ck Lookout.
Turn map Directions & comments
Start
Start.
After another 25 m come to "Piles Creek Lookout".
Piles Creek Lookout
Piles Creek Lookout

Piles Creek lookout (not formally named), Brisbane Water National Park, sits high on the ridge, east of Piles Creek and north of Rat Gully. This lookout provides views over the Piles Creek valley and can be enjoyed from behind a fence. The valley is surprisingly steep at this point and the views downstream are quite extensive.
Piles Creek lookout (not formally named), Brisbane Water National Park, sits high on the ridge, east of Piles Creek and north of Rat Gully. This lookout provides views over the Piles Creek valley and can be enjoyed from behind a fence. The valley is surprisingly steep at this point and the views downstream are quite extensive.

The end
Continue another 0 m to find Piles Creek Lookout at the end.
Turn around and retrace your steps back the 25 m to the main route.

Turn map Directions & comments
Start
Start.
Turn around
After another 10 m turn around.
After another 20 m pass the sign (on your left).
After another 8 m come to the viewpoint (100 m on your right).
Turn left
After another 1.9 km turn left.
After another 20 m find the "Kariong Brook Falls" (25 m on your right).
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.
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.

The end
After another 1 m come to the end.
About 10 m past the end is "Kariong Brook Falls".
Turn around and retrace your steps back the 1.9 km to the main route.
Terrain

Girrakool to Wondabyne Station


AS 2156.1-2001 - Walking tracks Classification
Class 4/6
Hard track
Length 9.3 km
Time 3 h 45 min to 4 h
Quality of track Rough track, where fallen trees and other obstacles are likely (4/6)
Gradient Very steep (4/6)
Signage Minimal directional signs (4/6)
Infrastructure Limited facilities, not all cliffs are fenced (3/6)
Experience Required Some bushwalking experience recommended (3/6)
Weather Storms may impact on navigation and safety (3/6)

Some facilities on route
Toilet: There is one 80 m from the start.


Order of key facilities on route
ItemFrom StartName & link to notes
Toilet
80 m
Girrakool Picnic Area
Girrakool picnic area is a wonderful family destination, just 5 minutes' drive from Kariong. The picnic area provides all the necessary facilities for a full day's activities, including barbecues, tables, shelters, water and toilets. National Park fees apply. The main picnic area is on the eastern side of the car park, and smaller, older picnic area is at the north-eastern corner of the car park. The southern Girrakool picnic area is located near the toilets. The picnic area is dedicated to John 'Jack' Higgs, the first superintendent of Brisbane Water National Park, and Mrs Vera Murdoch, who provided the funds. 'Girrakool' is an Aboriginal word meaning 'place of still waters'.
Illoura Lookout
Illoura Lookout, Brisbane Water National Park, can be found a short walk south-west of the Girrakool picnic area, following the Great North Walk sign. This lookout provides a filtered view up and down the Leask and Piles Creek junction. There is a view of a waterfall from Piles Creek. Illoura is an Aboriginal word referring to a pleasant or peaceful place.
Piles Creek Lookout
Piles Creek lookout (not formally named), Brisbane Water National Park, sits high on the ridge, east of Piles Creek and north of Rat Gully. This lookout provides views over the Piles Creek valley and can be enjoyed from behind a fence. The valley is surprisingly steep at this point and the views downstream are quite extensive.
Monolith Cave
Monolith Cave is an informally named cave and interesting rock formation high on the ridge east of Piles Creek and North of Rat Gully in the Brisbane Water National Park. The cave is a fairly large sandstone overhang on the edge of the track. The cave provides shelter for walkers and is a great spot to rest and enjoy the area. This rock and the more Monolithic rock about 60m to the south are interesting to explore, and provide great views of the surrounding area. Take great care if exploring the rocks.
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.
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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