Summary: A very short walk on an unmarked trail takes you to the top of Elephant Rock, which offers some of the best views on the Central Coast.

Although there’s no marked trail to this remarkable rock formation, Elephant Rock near Patonga is a relatively popular destination. The start of this short bushwalk is on Patonga Drive, between the Warrah Trig Road and the Pearl Beach – Patonga Firetrail. A narrow but fairly well-trodden pad, the track ascends through thick scrub to the base of the long rock platform.

The very last section to reach the top of the large rock outcrop is a bit of a scramble.

Some bushwalks are about the journey: this one’s about the destination. From the top of Elephant Rock are some of the best views on the Central Coast.

To the south-east, in the distance, is Barrenjoey Head and the Barrenjoey Peninsula.

Just below Elephant Rock, to the south-west, is the town of Patonga and Patonga Beach.

To the south is Cowan Creek and West Head.

Look carefully on the rock platform for two unusual Aboriginal rock engravings: part of a person’s head, and what has been described as an ant or spider.

You can return the same way (500m return) or do a slightly longer (1.4km) loop, which involves a very rough track and a short section along Patonga Drive.

Getting to Elephant Rock

The trailhead (for the short version of the bushwalk) is about 700m south of the Warrah Trig Road; it’s less than five minutes drive from Patonga, 25min from Gosford or 1:20min from Sydney by car.

You could also do a day trip using public transport by taking the ferry from Palm Beach to Patonga. A track from the eastern end of Patonga Beach (Dark Corner Track) goes up to the Pearl Beach – Patonga Firetrail, which takes you close to the start of the Elephant Rock trail – you’ll need to walk a short distance along Patonga Drive.

If you’ve got time, combine this walk with the Warrah Lookout bushwalk, which also offers great coastal views.

More information

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Molly · August 31, 2023 at 2:14 pm

Looks spectacular in your pictures! But the bush has just been burned to a crisp, very intensively and all the way between the two fire roads (Patonga, Warrah Trig), and just past Elephant Rock. Everything looks dead. Even the soil is burned down 2-3cms. Much of the burned scrub has collapsed across the footpad, and it takes real sleuthing to follow the faint traces on the ground. Plus you get very very dirty. The only positive thing is the footpad from the rock to Warrah Trig (you don’t mention this route) is actually a bit clearer. Grim experience overall, however.

    oliverd :-) · August 31, 2023 at 2:53 pm

    Thanks Molly… I heard today about the burns here, and also around Thommos Loop. I wasn’t aware of the track to Warrah Trig. My undestanding is that it wqas a hazard reduction burn, so surprised it was so intense.

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