A loop walk in Garigal National Park combining the Slippery Dip Trail and Caleyi Trail with some bushwalking / MTB tracks. Some varied terrain and nice viewpoints over Narrabeen.
After hiking the “Slippery Dip Loop” walk starting from Belrose a few week ago, which combines the western end of the Slippery Dip Trail with the XC Trail, I’m back to explore the eastern end of the Slippery Dip Trail. Starting at the Deep Creek Foreshore Reserve, the track crosses a side creek via a small bridge. A sign warns of Ross River virus in the area; I wasn’t aware it was found this far south, but apparently it was detected in metropolitan Sydney (Bankstown and Sydney Olympic Park) in 2019.
We walk briefly in the wrong direction, up the side creek, to a small waterfall which is surrounded by ferns.
Once back on the main track, it continues for a short distance along Deep Creek before crossing it over a very solid bridge. On the other side of Deep Creek, we take the left-hand fork which heads away from the creek before reaching the Caleyi Trail.
The trail is most likely named after Caley’s Grevillea, a medium to tall shrub that only grows in an 8km square area around Terrey Hills (Belrose, Ingleside and Terrey Hills/Duffys Forest). After a slightly incongruous clearing that’s ringed by tall palm trees, the Caleyi Trail rejoins Deep Creek. The bushwalking track then follows Deep Creek for almost a kilometre. Despite some recent heavy rain and lots of ferns along the track, the sandy trail isn’t wet or muddy, and it’s pleasant walking through the tall forest.
There’s an unmarked junction 1.5km from the bridge: the Caleyi trail veers right, crossing a stream. We continue straight ahead on an unnamed trail (which is called the Deep Creek Trail on some maps).
This is the same track I took on the Slippery Dip loop: it passes a huge rock overhang and a waterfall as it ascends along an unnamed creek.
The trail reaches the Slippery Dip Trail, a wide service trail. We’ll eventually head east along this trail to complete today’s loop – but first I want to have a look at an Aboriginal engraving site that’s a bit further along the trail.
We continue west along the Slippery Dip Trail. Although not quite Spring, there’s an increasing amount of wildflowers on display, including grevillea in various hues of red, and Crowea saligna (commonly known as willow-leaved crowea).
After 500m, we take another unnamed bushwalking (or mountain-biking trail) that goes up to a ridge.
At the end of the ridge is a rock platform, with views over Garigal National Park to the north and Narrabeen Lake and the ocean to the east.
There’s also a solitary footprint, which I verify later is the only rock engraving on this rocky outcrop. A bit surprising, as I’ve seen many mundoes but usually they are accompanied by other engravings.
From here it’s back the same way, descending to the Slippery Dip Trail and then heading back the way we came, past the junction with the trail that connects this service trail to the Caleyi Trail.
About halfway back, there’s a rough track to an informal lookout over the Slippery Dip Trail and the national park.
From this lookout, a mountain bike track continues parellel to the service trail, which takes us to the last detour on our bushwalk. Not far off the Slippery Dip Track and right next to the mountain bike track is a trig station (TS3329 NARRABEEN). The trig point is easily reached, although only the steel post is left.
There’s an unobstructed view toward Narrabeen from here; when the trig was installed you could see also the Wheeler Heights and Terry Hills trig stations to the south and west, but like most of the trig stations it’s now surrounded by tall trees.
We return to the Slippery Dip Trail from here, which descends from the trig station – the highest point on our bushwalk ast 130m above sea level.
From the Garigal National Park sign, the Slippery Dip Trail narrows from a service trail to a bushwalking track. Having left the national park, a number of mountain bike tracks appear, and it becomes a bit tricky working out which one to take… not that it really matters, as they all descend to finish up on the Caleyi Trail at the bottom (just err to the left/east so you don’t end up with a walk back along the Wakehurst Parkway).
We reach the Caleyi Trail a short distance from the Wakehurst Parkway, and walk back up the bridge over Deep Creek to complete the loop.
It’s been pleasant walk, which is not surprisingly similar in nature to the previous loop I did at the western end of the Slippery Dip Trail. You could also combine the full length of the Slipper Dip Trail with some bushwaking tracks to form a longer 12km loop.
0.0km Deep Creek Reserve & start of Caleyi Trail 0.5km Bridge over Deep Creek 1.9km Continue (left) onto unnamed trail 2.4km Junction with Road to Nowhere track (continue straight ahead) 2.9km Slippery Dip Trail 3.4km Turn off onto rough bushwalking trail to left of main trail 4.5km Return to Slippery Dip Trail 5.8km Lookout just off Slippery Dip Trail 6.1km Narrabeen Trig Station 7.5km Caleyi Trail 8.3km Deep Creek Reserve
|Location||Deep Creek Reserve, Narrabeen|
|Grade||Easy. 185m total elevation gain.|
|Map/s||Interactive topographical map [AllTrails]
9130-1S Mona Vale (1:25K) Buy / Download
|GPS Route||PlotARoute map with option to download GPX / KML file|