After completing the Bantry Bay Loop in Garigal National Park to the east the previous day, and Flat Rock Beach Circuit to the west a few days before that, I’m back to do the missing bit in the middle: the Natural Arch Track and Cook Street Trail. Starting at Currie Road, I take the Currie Road Trail, a wide service track.
Passing the junction with the Natural Bridge Track on the left, I continue along Currie Road Trail up to the Cook Street Trail, which descends to Bantry Bay. (Like most of the trails around here, it’s a shared bushwalking and mountain biking track. Running parallel to the Cook Street Trail is the Serrata Mountain Bike Trail, a purpose-built, MTB-only single-track.)
At the end of the service trail, a narrow walking track descends quite steeply down to the water, with the last bit dropping steeply past some large boulders.
It’s low tide, so at the bottom of the Cook Street Trail there’s a wide expanse of something that’s somewhere between mud and sand. On the opposite side of Bantry Bay is the Bay Track, and further down along the bay are the historic buildings from the old Bantry Bay Explosives Magazine complex.
It’s back the same way, returning up the Cook Street Trail and along the Currie Road Trail to the Natural Bridge Track, which I turn onto.
The Natural Bridge Track is a pleasant bushwalking track, which winds down through the tall eucalpyt forest to an unnamed creek.
The track crosses this unnamed creek over the “Natural Bridge”, a sandstone arch that has been formed by water erosion over thousands of years.
The track then ascends the other side of the valley to the Bay Track (also known as the Bluff Track).
Having reached the Bay Track, I make a small off-track detour to re-visit some engravings that I couldn’t see very well on my last bushwalk (I reached them after sunset and the light was rapidly fading). In the afternoon sun I could clearly make out a large whale described back in 1899 as “about thirty-four feet long, with an excessively widely-opened mouth, and almost within its jaws is a man-like deity with straight upraised arms and straight legs” (W.D. Campbell).
I later discover that this engraving has been used for artwork on the concrete wall of the Warringah Freeway near the Willoughby Road overpass.
The “man like deity” and two boomerangs are also easy to make out, adjacent to the whale.
Once back on the Bay Track, I continue along a well-defined, but unnamed, walking trail that soon crosses another wide and long rock platform. Someone has constructed a rough border with sticks to protect around another Aboriginal engraving. Although I can still make out that it’s a kangaroo, it’s quite weathered.
From this rock platform it’s pleasant walking along the narrow bushwalking trail to reach Currie Road, completing the loop.
The track finishes on Currie Road near Forestville Park, home of the Forestville Ferrets – a rugby league club for Junior and A-Grade players. The road, closed to traffic, passes the oval to reach a locked gate where I left the car.
0.0km Locked gate at end of Currie Road (Forestville) 0.9km Junction with Natural Bridge Track 1.1km Turn onto Cook St Trail 2.4km End of Cook St Trail (Bantry Bay) 3.8km Turn onto Natural Bridge Track 4.1km Natural Bridge 4.8km Junction with Bay Track / Bluff Track 6.0km Currie Road (closed to traffic) / Forestville Park 6.2km Currie Road gate