A varied and interesting loop from The Sphinx in North Turramurra, which combines the Sphinx and Bobbin Head trails, and the Warrimoo Track along Cowan Creek.
This is one of my favourite local loops… today I’m doing it with a couple of Scouting friends, who I haven’t seen since our Around Ruapehu tramp in New Zealand nearly two months ago. It’s nice to have company aftet mostly solo hiking, and I’ve missed Jeffrey’s witty repartee and funny stories… (Thought I’d better put this in just in case he actually reads my blog!)
Bobbin Head Trail
We’re doing this late Friday afternoon bushwalk in a clockwise direction, setting off down the Bobbin Head Trail from Bobbin Head Road.
Close to the start of the Bobbin Head Trail, Jacombs Trail (a fire trail), veers off to the east. It’s primary purpose is to service the electricity transmission pylons, but it also provides access to the TS2581 JACOMB. Located just off the track near the base of a pylon, the old trig station is now mostly demolished.
It’s initially very flat (actually a slight ascent) and easy walking; after 1.6km there’s a short side-track to some marked Aboriginal engravings not far from Bobbin Head Track.
Unfortunately most of the engravings at the main site are very obscured, but a little bit further along there’s a clearer engraving of a goanna. Across the multiple sections there is a goanna, greater glider, two birds, two emus, a wallaby or large tiger quoll and some figures.
The trail continues to ascend for another kilometre after the engraving site, through tall eucalpyt and casuarina forest. Just off the track is another trig station – TS1013 BOBBIN is also partly dismantled, with about half its stone cairn remaining.
A second Aboriginal engraving site is located further down the track. One rock platform includes a fish, a flying fox, two wombats, an eel, a human-like figure, a wallaby and boomerang, two porcupines, a fishing-line, an emu with another line, two fish, two shields, a “mooting” or fishing-spear, and a large snake-like figure with twelve transverse lines opposite these. A few metres away on an adjacent rock there are two deity figures (the smaller having a series of elaborate markings over the body) and them a figure nearly ten feet long, which may be the leg and thigh of a man. Unfortunately the engravings are very weathered, and partly covered by leaf litter – I can only make out three of the figures, and it’s hard to ascertain what they are.
The descent quickly starts to get steeper as the track – which is the original road down to Bobbin Head – zig-zags down the end of the ridge. There are occasional views of Cowan Creek below.
Just before the bottom, the service trail loop back to the north but is blocked with a tall fence; the walking track continues straight ahead. It’s pretty steep with a bit of easy rock scrambling at the top, before it reaches the Warrimoo Track.
We’re now on the Warrimoo Track, which follows Cowan Creek all the way up to St Ives. A short distance to the left (north-west) is the Bobbin Head marina, where during the day you could stop and buy a drink or some food. We turn right, heading upstream. It’s mostly pretty easy walking along the track, which is never far from the creek.
At least – it’s pretty easy walking today. Last time I did this walk, with the kids, it had been raining for a few days and the track was a bit more challenging!
The landscape is quite varied – while the water is a constant, there are sections with ferns that are almost like rainforest, towering rock formation and some enormous eucalypt trees.
At one point a tall sandstone cliff forces the track quite close to the water; it’s a nice photo spot looking up Cowan Creek.
There’s one creek crossing not long before reaching the junction with the Sphinx Track.
There’s not much water flowing today, but after heavy rain there are some nice cascades above the track.
Before we head back up to Bobbin Head Road, the Warrimoo Track traverses a nice sea of ferns.
The Sphinx Track is the shortest “leg” of this loop, ascending (initially steeply) up from the Warrimoo Track.
There’s another creek crossing on the way up, with a lot less water flowing this time compared to three years ago…
…and it’s a much less complicated creek crossing than after heavy rain!
After the creek, there’s just a sansdstone cave or overhang, and a few more timber steps, before the Spinx Track meets the Sphinx Trail.
The last few hundred metres is back on a wide service trail, up to the Bobbin Head Trail and back to our cars at Bobbin Head Road.
0.0km Start of Bobbin Head Trail on Bobbin Head Road 1.6km Side-track to Aboriginal engravings 4.3km Walking track starts 4.5km Warrimoo Track 8.3km Junction with Sphinx Track 9.5km Sphinx Track meets Sphinx Trail 9.7km Sphinx Trail meets Bobbin Head Trail 9.8km Bobbin Head Road
|Location||Top of Memorial Road (Bobbin Head Road)|
|Grade||Moderate. 300m total elevation gain.|
|Map/s||Interactive topographical map [AllTrails]
9130-4S Hornsby (1:25K) Buy / Download
|GPS Route||Gaia GPS map with option to download GPX / KML file|
|Resources||Wildwalks track notes for Sphinx, Warrimoo and Bobbin Head tracks|