I’m unsure what to expect from today’s walk, which starts in the Wahroonga Reserve. Will the tracks be all firetrails, or more interesting bushwalking tracks, and how busy will this area be…? I end up doing combining two loops, with most of the route in interesting tracks that avoid the more popular firetrails.
My bushwalk starts at the end of Lister Street in Wahroonga, with a service trail (the Frog Hollow Fire Trail) continuing down the hill parallel to Frasers Brook.
After 500m there’s a junction with another service trail that crosses Frasers Brook. While the creek looks like nice, there was a slight whiff of sewage further up the trail and a sign here warning that the area may be affected by sewage overflow.
I continue down the Frog Hollow Fire Trail, soon reaching another intersection which is not on my map… but it’s going in roughly the right direction so I continue down the narrow bushwalking trail. (There is a sign – below left – that doesn’t make a lot of sense as no track from here goes to Grosvenor Street, and as I soon find out there is also no lookout…)
The way I’m taking is the direction denoted as “Lookout” on the sign; there’s no-one else on this pleasant bushwalking track which rises above Frasers Brook. There are a few rock platforms, but none of them could be called lookouts and they require a short “scrub-bash” from the trail to get to them.
The trail then descends to Frasers Brook, reaching a broad and open rock platform above the creek.
It’s a nice spot here, with a small cascade above the track and a waterfall downstream.
I’m now on the “Cliff Connection” track, which is on my map. It ascends fairly steeply from Frasers Brook up to the Gibberagong Track, past a number of sandstone overhangs and rock formations. While the track is fairly distinct, a number of pink and white tapes mark the route.
At the top of the ridge there’s a nice view across the valley; someone has lugged two cane chairs a fairly long way get there here. Shame the cafe here is closed today 😉
I surprise a few people as I emerge onto the popular Gibberagong Track from the Cliff Connection track, which has no signage and is not very obvious. I’m on the wide Gibberagong Track for only 200m, before taking another (unnamed) track off to the left.
This next track is also easy walking, as it passes some sandstone rock formations.
It’s quite a short bushwalking track, which soon meets a wide service trail.
A suburban-style street sign denotes the junction with the Frog Hollow Fire Trail, which brings me to the junction I passed near the start of the walk.
Although I’ve pretty much completed the bushwalk I’d planned, there’s still an hour or so before it gets dark. Rather than walking back up to the top of the Frog Hollow Fire Trail, I figure I can do another loop to return via the Peninsula Track. (There’s just a small gap between two tracks near the end, which I figure I can somehow connect.) A firetrail continues up the ridge, above the bushwalking track I took previously.
Just above the firetrail is a huge rock platform with a view back over the valley to the Gibberagong Track. I have a quick look for Aboriginal engravings, but don’t find any; there’s just a rather modern teepee made of branches and bark.
There seems to be a medley of tracks around here; I follow one track to the south for a short distance, before deciding I don’t really have enough time for exploring every possible trail before it gets dark. The track I want is the Peninsula Track, which heads to the top of a wide and rocky ridge.
From the top of the ridge, there ae sweeping views to the east and west, with the setting sun giving a warm glow to the gum trees.
The Peninsula Track (or tracks, as there again seems to be multiple trails heading in roughly the same direction) continues along the top of the ridge.
There’s a sheer drop on the right (west) side with multiple rock outcrops that provide the perfect vantage point to catch the sunset.
After taking a few photos, it’s back to reality when I emerge onto Cliff Oval and am treated to a “harvest moon” rising over the oval.
From here I have to find a way to join the last section of bushwalking track to get back to the car.
Perhaps the name “Cliff Oval” should have been a hint… I discover there is in fact a cliff between me and the track I need. Not a huge cliff. But I’ll need to find a way down before it gets dark. I scout around the top of the cliff, before finding a way to the bottom. Not far from the base of the cliffs is a rough bushwalking track that joins the Frog Hollow Fire Trail just before the end, completing my second “loop”.
North Loop 0.0km Start of Frog Hollow Fire Trail (end of Lister Street) 0.5km Continue straight ahead (trail crosses creek) 0.6km Continue straight ahead along walking track to "Lookout" 1.5km Bushwalking track (Cliff Connection) crosses Frasers Brook 2.3km CLiff Connection track reaches Gibberagong Track 2.5km Turn off Gibberagong Track onto bushwalking track 2.8km Bushwalking track meets fire trail (turn left) 3.4km Junction with Frog Hollow Fire Trail (0.5km back to start) South Loop 4.4km Junction with Peninsula Track 5.0km Lookout (rock platform) 5.5km Cliff Oval 5.8km Top of Cliff below Cliff Oval 6.0km Base of cliffs 6.4km Top of Frog Hollow Fire Trail (end of Lister Street)
More information on Frog Hollow firetrail and Wahroonga Reserve
Dogs are permitted on-leash in Wahroonga Reserve (but not in the adjoining Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park). This walk is included in Bushwalking with Dogs in Sydney’s North. The firetrails are well signposted, but there is also a network of informal trails, so bring a map if you want to explore the area. Cliff Oval is a great spot to catch the sunset.