I’ve known about the partly off-track walk to Christies Pool for years, but have never ventured off the main trail to see if it’s as nice as it’s described… The route initially follows the Warrimoo Track, which I’ve taken down to Bobbin Head many times – it’s an easy-walking and fairly popular firetrail that starts at the end of Warrimoo Road in St Ives Chase.
Rather than following the firetrail to the end of the crest and then down to Cowan Creek, take the service trail that branches to the right (south-east) after 1.2km. This wide trail is pretty flat for about 400m, where it reaches the base of an electricity pylon.
The fun starts here, with a faint trail heading east down the hill from behind the pylon… While the path is fairly indistinct (or non-existent) at times, it is marked by regular orange string and rock cairns. There’s not much undergrowth, so apart from a bit of rock scrambling it’s not too challenging.
At the bottom is the destination of today’s walk: Christies Pool. Formed by the confluence of Ku-ring-gai Creek and Kierans Creek, it’s a fairly deep pool surrounded by ferns and trees. It would make a nice swimming spot on a hot day, although the sides of the pool are quite steep.
A short distance up Kierans Creek are some small cascades; the track, referred to as the Ryland Trail on some maps, continues to the east across the creek. It eventually meets the Calamine Trail (and it seems possible to extend this walk into a loop, returning via the St Ives Wildflower Garden).
Going downstream, it feels almost like being in a rainforest, with moss-covered rocks, ferns and coachwood trees lining both banks of fast-flowing creek.
(Another potential circuit, ideally in summer as its likely to involve wet feet, would be to follow the creek downstream to where it meets the Warrimoo Track.)
For today, it’s back the same way, following the cairns up the side of the valley and back up the Warrimoo Track.
There’s lots of potential to extend this walk, but even if you’re just visiting Christies Pool it’s a tranquil spot that feels far away from civilisation.
0.0km Start of Warrimoo Track (end of Warrimoo Road, St Ives Chase) 1.2km Turn right (south-east) onto service trail 1.6km Rough trail from below electricity pylon 2.0km Christies Pool 2.8km Warrimoo Track 4.0km End of Warrimoo Track