Shepherds Gully and Devines Hill
Dharug Country

1 h 45 min to 2 h

4 km
oneway

↑ 192 m
↓ -181 m

Moderate track
A great one-way walk which offers some beautiful scenery in the moist and shaded parts of Shepherds Gully, some bigger views on Devines Hill and plenty of Old Great North Road history. There are plenty of information signs along the way giving some good background on the convict build roads, making the walking more interesting. A short walk along Wisemans Ferry Rd from the end of the walk will also get you to the Thomas James Bridge, the oldest in-use bridge on mainland Australia. Let us begin by acknowledging the Dharug 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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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.
Grasstrees in the gully. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
A retaining wall supporting Shepherd's Gully road. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Beautiful and green. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Burnt grasstrees. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
After the fire. | 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.
Old quarry site on the Old Great North Road. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Curved retaining wall. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Convict Rock graffiti. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Stonework on the Old Great North Road. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Old rock drill marks on the Old Great North Road. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
High retaining wall on the Devines Hill ascent.. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
A rock cutting on the OGNR. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Downloads GPX PDF

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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 8.6 km
Finish (-33.375265,150.9849863)
Mode (end) Car Shuttle   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 near Wisemans Ferry and drop off at Gosford would be approximately $150 (please call for up-to-date pricing) and the minivan can carry up to 13 passengers. Phone: 0448 122 374)
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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.
After another 1.9 km (at the intersection of Old Great North Road & Shepherds Gully Road) veer right, to head along Old Great North Road.
After another 15 m head through/around the gate.
After another 335 m continue straight, to head along Old Great North Road.
After another 360 m continue straight, to head along Old Great North Road.
Then find the "Hangmans Rock" (on your left).
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.

After another 1.1 km head through/around the gate.
At the intersection of Settlers Road & Old Great North Road veer left, to head along Settlers Road (a highway|tertiary).
After another 10 m find the "Old Great North Road" (on your right).
Old Great North Road
Old Great North Road

The historic Great North Road was built using convict labour between 1826 and 1836 (this section south of Wollombi was completed in 1832). The road formed a link between Sydney and the Hunter Valley, including Newcastle. There are visible remnants of the original work in bridges, retaining walls and other structures along the way. The 'Convict Trail Project' has member groups involved in the conservation of historical remnants along the road. The Convict Trail Project and the NPWS have erected information signs at various points to illustrate the history. The Convict Trail Project has an excellent website for further reading.
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The historic Great North Road was built using convict labour between 1826 and 1836 (this section south of Wollombi was completed in 1832). The road formed a link between Sydney and the Hunter Valley, including Newcastle. There are visible remnants of the original work in bridges, retaining walls and other structures along the way. The 'Convict Trail Project' has member groups involved in the conservation of historical remnants along the road. The Convict Trail Project and the NPWS have erected information signs at various points to illustrate the history. The Convict Trail Project has an excellent website for further reading.

After another 2 m come to the end.
About 25 m past the end is a car park.
About 90 m past the end is "Thomas James Bridge".
Thomas James Bridge
Thomas James Bridge

The historic Thomas James Bridge is on Wisemans Ferry Rd, NSW. This is the oldest in-use bridge on mainland Australia (Tasmania has older bridges) and is one of several convict built bridges along the Old Great North Road. The bridge was built during 1830 (the timber deck is more recent) and was named after the overseer of 'Road Party 25' which built the bridge.
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The historic Thomas James Bridge is on Wisemans Ferry Rd, NSW. This is the oldest in-use bridge on mainland Australia (Tasmania has older bridges) and is one of several convict built bridges along the Old Great North Road. The bridge was built during 1830 (the timber deck is more recent) and was named after the overseer of 'Road Party 25' which built the bridge.

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Terrain
Know the Hills, grading & facilities

Shepherds Gully and Devines Hill


Grading
Class 3/6
Moderate track
Length 4 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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