After a couple of lay days due to the heavy rain on Friday and strong wind yesterday, I returned to Thornleigh railway station this morning to resume my trek. The first few hundred metres led gently downhill through the quiet backstreets of Thornleigh before reaching the start of the bushwalking along a short track at the end of Morgan Street.
The creek beside the track still had plenty of water in it from Friday’s big wet and soon I came to my first crossing. There was a boulder mid stream I could use as a stepping stone although getting my feet wet wouldn’t have been a problem here.
The next stream crossing was even more civilised, although given the amount of water flowing here it was probably just as well.
Rather unexpectedly, the track then climbed rapidly, following the creek northward at the top of the gully, with nice views from some of the vantage points.
Eventually it was time to descend again, with steep rock steps leading down to another creek crossing. This was a bit more daunting, though, with a strong flow of water gurgling down through a series of twisting cascades and the only way across being to step nimbly from rock to rock along the edge. In the end it turned out easier than it looked.
Now back at water level, a short distance along was a very impressive honeycombed sandstone cave beside the track.
A few hundred metres later I reached the track junction above the Fishponds waterhole. The Great North Walk used to run north from here along the creek, passing through the rifle range in a deep gully, but that track has now been permanently closed, with the former alternate route up and through the backstreets of Hornsby now the official and only path.
Part of this track closure involved upgrading the link between Quarry Road Dural and the Fishponds as this is now the only access to the Great North Walk from that side of Berowra Creek, so having an interest in occasionally walking across there I went down over the Fishponds stepping stones to check it out. With the amount of water I’d seen upstream, I was a bit worried the crossing may have been underwater but all was okay.
Just up the hill from there is the new access track to Dural. They certainly haven’t done things by halves here!
Back on the eastern side, I then turned up the new GNW route towards Hornsby. Newcastle is now slightly closer!
The track out of the gully to Manor Road is very steep with many steps to climb. At the top there used to be a pipe ladder in the rockface but a new set of metal stairs has been added to make life a little easier but less adventurous I suppose.
Finally, at the intersection of Carrington Road and Rosamond Street, I left the Great North Walk and turned towards Hornsby station. When I return here for the next leg, I’ll be able to take advantage of the weekday peak Central Coast services that stop at Asquith, making it a slightly shorter walk down.
Coming up next: Hornsby to Berowra.