Shepherds Gully
Darug & Darkinjung Country

1 h 45 min to 2 h

4.5 km
return

↑ 170 m
↓ -170 m

Moderate track
The long, gentle climb along Shepherd's Gully has some beautiful scenery and some historic remnants of the Old Great North Road. While the remnants of the road construction are not as impressive as those on the main Devines Hill ascent, they are still interesting. The optional side trip to Hangmans Rock takes you past an old convict stockade site and some of the construction remnants on the main Devines Hill ascent. Let us begin by acknowledging the Darug & Darkinjung 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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Near the start of the Shepherds Gully trail. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
A gate along Shepherds Gully. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Along the trail. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Nice boulder scenery. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Thick vegetation along the way. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Remnants of an old bridge in Shepherds Gully. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Nice scenery. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Big boulder scenery. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Beautiful and green. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Grasstrees in the gully. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
A retaining wall supporting Shepherd's Gully road. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
After the fire. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Burnt grasstrees. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Retaining wall near the top of Devines Hill. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Hangmans Rock. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
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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 At the intersection of Settlers Road & Shepherds Gully Road (-33.3550091,150.9824479)
Mode Bus Car (There is free parking available.) Special (Wisemans Ferry Dialacar provides a taxi style mini-bus service based in Wisemans Ferry. The cost is typically about $1 per km (ex Wisemans Ferry). They will pick-up and drop-off from Sydney or the Central Coast and will happily drop walkers off or pick them up from tracks in the area. The cost for a pick-up from Gosford and drop off near Wisemans Ferry would be approximately $150 (please call for up-to-date pricing) and the minivan can carry up to 13 passengers. Phone: 0448 122 374)
DirectionsFrom Pacific Motorway, M1
  • Turn on to Peats Ridge Road Offramp then drive for 3.8 km
  • Keep left onto Cooks Road and drive for another 2.8 km
  • Keep left and drive for another 1.4 km
  • Keep right and drive for another 410 m
  • Turn sharp left onto Popran Road and drive for another 6.4 km
  • Turn left onto Wisemans Ferry Road and drive for another 33.5 km
  • Continue onto Settlers Road and drive for another 8.7 km
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Track Notes
Turn by turn instructions & maps
Getting started
From the signposted track head on Settlers Rd, marked with a "Shepherd's Gully Road" Convict Trail signpost (about 9km from Wisemans Ferry crossing), the walk passes the 'Yengo National Park' signpost and follows the management trail gently up the hill. After a short distance the walk passes an information sign and goes around a gate. The walk then continues to wind up along the valley for a long while, initially through very moist forest but getting drier as it climbs. Keep an eye out on the other side of the gully for remnants of the rock retaining walls of the earlier lines of the road. There are also some areas of beautiful scenery with lots of boulders, ferns and grasstrees. The walk eventually arrives at a signposted intersection beside a gate.....
Turn map Directions & comments
At the intersection of Settlers Road & Shepherds Gully Road Start heading along Shepherds Gully Road (a vehicle track).
After 360 m head through/around the gate.
The starting point of an optional sidetrip. An optional side trip to Hangmans Rock. To start this optional side trip veer right here. On returning from this side trip veer right when you get back to this intersection. Details below.
Continue another 1.9 km to find the end. Then turn around here and retrace the main route for 2.2 km to get back to the start.
About 70 m past the end is "Devines Hill".
Devines Hill
Devines Hill

Devines Hill is a historically significant area on the Old Great North Road, near present day Wisemans Ferry, NSW. There are substantial remnants visible here, including cuttings, retaining walls and quarry sites. There were 3 main road lines built at different times to climb the hills just north of Wisemans Ferry, starting with Finchs Line to the east, followed by the Devines Hill ascent and then Shepherds Gully, to the west. Information signs in the area provide some interesting historical background and the 'Convict Trail Project' has an excellent website for further reading.
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Devines Hill is a historically significant area on the Old Great North Road, near present day Wisemans Ferry, NSW. There are substantial remnants visible here, including cuttings, retaining walls and quarry sites. There were 3 main road lines built at different times to climb the hills just north of Wisemans Ferry, starting with Finchs Line to the east, followed by the Devines Hill ascent and then Shepherds Gully, to the west. Information signs in the area provide some interesting historical background and the 'Convict Trail Project' has an excellent website for further reading.


An optional side trip to Hangmans Rock.
Turn map Directions & comments
At the intersection of Shepherds Gully Road & Old Great North Road Start heading along Old Great North Road (a vehicle track).
Find the gate at the start.
After another 335 m continue straight, to head along Old Great North Road.
After another 360 m come to the end.
"Hangmans Rock".
Hangmans Rock
Hangmans Rock

Hangmans Rock is beside the historic Old Great North Road, near Wisemans Ferry, NSW. This beautiful sandstone cave/overhang has some steps and a bench seat cut into it and is part of the history of the convict built OGNR. It is uncertain what purpose the spot served, but stories that convicts were hanged through the hole in the roof of the cave appear unlikely to be true, despite giving a name to the atmospheric spot.
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Hangmans Rock is beside the historic Old Great North Road, near Wisemans Ferry, NSW. This beautiful sandstone cave/overhang has some steps and a bench seat cut into it and is part of the history of the convict built OGNR. It is uncertain what purpose the spot served, but stories that convicts were hanged through the hole in the roof of the cave appear unlikely to be true, despite giving a name to the atmospheric spot.

Turn around and retrace your steps back the 710 m to the main route.
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Terrain
Know the Hills, grading & facilities

Shepherds Gully


Grading
Class 3/6
Moderate track
Length 4.5 km
Time 1 h 45 min to 2 h
Quality of track Formed track, with some branches and other obstacles (3/6)
Gradient Short steep hills (3/6)
Signage Clearly signposted (1/6)
Infrastructure Limited facilities, not all cliffs are fenced (3/6)
Experience Required No experience required (1/6)
Weather Weather generally has little impact on safety (1/6)
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