Summary: A partial loop along both sides of Rocky Creek in East Killara (Sydney north), combining two service trails with a short off-track section.

I’m not expecing this to be a very exciting bushwalk, but the Rocky Creek Track has the dubious honour of being the the only track I haven’t yet completed in Garigal National Park. The Rocky Creek Track starts at a locked gate on Eastern Arterial Road, and the initial part of the track is not particularly enticing. It’s first a bit rocky and then a bit swampy (and gets quite muddy after rain), as it passes the junction with a side-track that goes up to Koola Park.

It gets a bit more pleasant as the service trail heads away from the main road, following the valley above Rocky Creek (which is well below the track). It’s a combination of eucalypt and casuarina forest, with an ocassional patch of ferns.

After about a kilometre, there’s a junction with another service trail down to Rocky Creek, which is the way I’ll return. I continue along the Rocky Creek Trail, which narrows to a bushwalking trail after another 500m.

The narrow track soon makes a sharp turn to the right and heads steeply uphill to meet a wide service trail. If you continue straight ahead, through some tall grass, you reach a very long rock overhang. It’s a nice spot, which feels remote despite being only about 50m away from the backyards of a row of properties.


From the cave, I head up the rough track, which meets another wide service trail. Last time I continued along this trail to the end of Koola Avenue – but that means a long road-walk back to the car.

This time I head west along the service trail for a short distance (about 200m) before bush-bashing back down to the Rocky Creek Trail below. I could just have returned the same way I came… I’m basically coming back the same way along Rocky Creek Trail, until I reach the junction with the  service trail that descends to the creek that I passed earlier.

Although, the service trail it doesn’t quite reach the creek. After passing a manhole cover that serves as reminder that I am on the “Old Sewerage Maintenance Road”, the service trail terminates at a wastewater vent price. From here it’s a steep but short scramble down to Rocky Creek. It looks like quite a nice spot, although there’s faint whiff of sewage and the water doesn’t look particularly clean.


I find a spot to safely cross the creek, and start bush-bashing up the other side, towards the end of the service trail on the opposite side of the creek. I’m surprised to see someone wandering around in the bush… I establish he’s coming from the opposite direction to me, and looking for the trail that I’ve come from. He explains that Google Maps shows a trail across Rocky Creek, which is incorrect – for about 100m there is no trail. I point him in the direction of the trail on the other side of the creek, and soon pick up the very overgrown trail that I need.

It doesn’t take long to reach another Sydney Water manhole, and from here I’m back onto a wide service trail on the opposite side of the creek.

The service trail ascends, branching to the left (just before reaching the road) to an electricity pylon. I hope there may be walking access though the national park, past the pylon, but the service trail narrows and soon peters out. It would be very hard and slow work continuing this way. So I retrace my steps, finishing where the service trail meets Burraneer Avenue.

There’s about 600m of road walking to get back to the starting point, mostly along the busy Eastern Arterial Road. It’s  not a walk I’d really recommend – but even on a weekend you’ll have this walk mostly to yourself!

0.0km Locked gate at Eastern Arterial Road
0.1km Junction with track up to Koola Park
0.9km Junction with track down to Rocky Creek
1.5km Junction with track up to Koola Ave service trail
2.4km Turn right onto service trail down to Rocky Creek
2.6km Rocky Creek (service trail stops about 10m above the creek)
3.7km Service trail reaches Burraneer Ave
4.3km Start of Rocky Creek Track

More information on Rocky Creek Track

The Rocky Creek Track goes from Eastern Arterial Road to the end of Koola Avenue in East Killara, and a fairly easy walking. You could return the same way, or via Koola Avenue (on road) to form a loop. The bushwalk describes here is a relatively challenging walk, as it connects the Rocky Creek Track with an old sewerage maintenance road via an off-track section, which requires some scrambling.

For more bushwalks (as well as mountain-biking trails and swimming holes) in this area, have a look at the Guide to Garigal National Park. This includes 25 bushwalks in Garigal National Park with links to detailed track notes and online maps.

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Luke Stacey · June 17, 2023 at 11:46 am

Thanks for the post, I wish I read it before heading out today! I tried following the google maps route and also did some heavy bush-bashing, but I ended up finding an awesome cave. It is a beautiful creek, but sadly the sewer main cap was open so a bad smell, and must have overflowed recently with quite a bit of toilet paper around it. It is also a lot more overgrown now than looking at your photos and heaps of fallen trees.

    oliverd :-) · June 17, 2023 at 3:56 pm

    Yeah, it would be a nice creek… but like no many in the area it had a wee stench of sewage when I visited – and sounds like it’s even worse now!

Rocky Creek Loop (Garigal NP) - OKRoam 2020 · September 26, 2020 at 1:51 pm

[…] The World – September 26, 2020View Original Post for complete content…Filed Under: Hike A partial loop along both sides of Rocky Creek in East […]

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