The bushwalk to the Warrah Trig and Warrah Lookout would usually be a very short bushwalk… but it’s a bit longer due to the Warrah Trig Road being closed as a result of heavy rain. As a result, I’m starting from Patonga Drive, and walking down the unsealed road.
Not far from the start, an informal walking track heads down to a large rock plaform, which you can see from the road. The quick detour is well worth it, with views of Broken Bay framed by eucalyptus trees.
Part of the rock platform is tesselated, and on the flat and darker section of sandstone is an Aboriginal engraving of a single fish.
After one very muddy and badly washed out section, the road is in pretty good condition. Although you can usually drive along here if you’re visiting the Warrah Lookout, the road forms part of the Great North Walk (Patonga to Wondabyne station).
After passing a slightly incongruous burnt-out car in the middle of the road, the road ends at a large carpark.
From here I continue along the Tony Doyle Track, named after the member for Peats (1985 to 1995). Anthony Kenneth “Tony” Doyle died at Umina after a long battle with AIDS at the age of 41, becoming the second successive member for Peats to die suddenly before the age of 50 (the following member for Peats is still alive at the time of this blog at the age of 81)!
The bushwalking track soon passes the Warrah Trig, and while I should be able to see the ocean, there is low cloud in most directions.
After only about 300m, the Tony Doyle Track reaches the Pearl Beach Patonga Firetrail, near the junction of another short walking trail to the Warrah Lookout. (The firetrail and Great North Walk route continues down to Patonga.)
The Warrah Lookout is said to offer some of the best views in the Central Coast… but when I there’s a blanket of cloud over Broken Bay and the Hawkesbury River, with only Patonga visible to the west.
As I chat to a bushwalking group who are having a break at the lookout, the clouds start to lift a little, and the top of the West Head peninsula becomes visible (once called Commodore Heights, the name give to the highest point of the Lambert Peninsula in 1868).
I’m hoping the fog might lift a little, while I continue along the firetrail to explore the area. I can’t help noticing that I may have intruded on some bizarre spiderweb competition, with a vast array of webs along the side of the firetrail.
A few hundred metres along the firetrail is another informal lookout from a large rock platform, which offers some spectacular views.
I’d heard of some WWII carvings along the top of the cliffs from the bushwalking group I was talking to at the Lookout, so I veer off the firetrail to a rocky outcrop along the cliffline to look for these. Indeed, there is an elaborate, modern rock carving in the sandstone. It’s dated 1929, and I can’t find any evidence of an army camp around the 1920s… so it’s a bit of a mystery who left this tombstone-shaped inscription.
There’s also some more great views from here, with the fog almost having almost completed lifted.
I return to the Warrah Lookou: with the fog completely gone, there are stunning 180 degree views across Broken Bay and the Hawkesbury River.
The fenced lookout has views of Barrenjoey Peninsula to the east, Cowan Creek to the south-west and Patonga Beach to the west.
I return to the car the same way, getting back to Sydney by lunchtime.
Getting to the Warrah Lookout
The quickest way to Warrah Lookout is from Warrah Trig Road- when the road is open to cars, it’s only about one kilometre return (from Patonga Drive it’s 3.4km return). There are a few other ways to get here:
- Pearl Beach to Warrah Lookout via the Pearl Beach Patonga Firetrail- 5.1km return (1.5-2 hours).
- Patonga to Warrah Lookout via the Pearl Beach Patonga Firetrail- 3.2km return (1 hour). This can be incorporated into a nice day trip by taking the ferry from Palm Beach to Patonga.