A pleasant bushwalk that follows Cowan Creek for most of the way, with views on the descent from Mt Ku-ring-gai and the remains of a metal boat hull at Waratah Bay.
This is a really nice walk, and one I’ve done many times; it’s also the first “real” bushwalk I took my daughter on, many years ago…
The walk works equally well in either direction, with similar elevation gain – but the track up/down from Berowra is steeper than the track from Mt Ku-ring-gai. Starting at Mt-Ku-ring-gai (about 400m from the railway station if you’re going by train) the track starts as a wide and sandy fire trail that’s fairly flat for almost a kilometre.
It then gets narrower as it starts descending towards Cowan Creek; near the start of the descent is an unmarked trail to the left (north) that leads to Firefighters Rest, a memorial to four National Parks and Wildlife Service officers who lost their lives in a backburning operation at Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park in 2000.
The track then gets a bit steeper as it descends the ridge, with stone steps in a couple of sections.
As the track gets closer to the water, there are filtered views of Cowan Creek from the track, and not far from the track a rocky outcrop offers great views over Cowan Creek.
The Ku-ring-gai track meets the Berowra Track at the bottom; if you turn right (upstream) it’s a fairly short walk to Bobbin Head and then onwards to St Ives via the Warrimoo Track. Turning left takes you up the Berowra Track, along Cowan Creek and up to Berowra Station.
The Berowra Track follows the shoreline of Cowan Creek fairly closely.
After about 500m Cowan Creek View there’s a timber platform and boardwalk over Cowan Creek, with the track staying very close to the shoreline as it goes around the Lords Bay headland.
The track then skirts around an unnamed bay and crosses a small creek, before continuing along the next headland. Just before crossing Winson Gully Bay (the second bay), there’s a sandstone ledge with great views down Cowan Creek.
The third bay or inlet is Lords Bay, which (like most of the bays) has a small creek running through a densely forested gully – on a warm day, you can feel the distinctively cooler temperature as the track crosses the gully. There’s now a long section along the coastline before the track follows the last headland around to Waratah Bay.
The largest bay on this walk, Waratah Bay is the location of a rusting metal boat hull that was once the home of Edward Windybank and his family. Initally living in a cave, Windybank acquired a life-long lease to use the bay and built his home, boat shed and boat-building here. He’s also been credited with introducing houseboats to NSW, and at one stage had 11 houseboats that he hired out.
The track ascends from Waratah Bay up to Berowra, at first through dense and very shaded forest as it follows Waratah Creek up the gully. After crossing the sandstone creek bed at the site of an old bridge, the track zig-zags up through tall casuarina and eucalypts and a section of grass tree forest. The track finishes at a footbridge over the F3 freeway, with Berowra station just on the other side. (There’s also a few restaurants and shops in easy walking distance, which is another advantage of doing the walk in this direction!)
0.0km End of Harwood Ave (0.4km from Mt Ku-ring-gai station) 0.9km Track to Firefighters Rest 2.5km Ku-ring-Track meets Berowra Track 3.2km Apex of first bay 4.1km Apex of second bay (Winson Gully Bay) 5.0km Apex of third bay (Lords Bay) 6.7km Remains of boat hull in Waratah Bay 8.9km Berowra Station
|Location||Start/finish at end of Harwood Avenue (walk from Mt Ku-ring-gai station) or Berowra station.|
|Grade||Moderate. Total ascent is 260m.|
|Map/s||Interactive topographical map [AllTrails]
9130-4N Cowan (1:25K) Buy / Download
|GPS Route||Gaia GPS route with option to download GPX / KML files|