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.
- Boathouse Ferry Company – Timetable