Great North Walk: Heaton Lookout to Heaton Gap
Awabakal Country

1 h 45 min to 2 h

4.1 km
oneway

↑ 137 m
↓ -375 m

Hard track
This section of the Great North Walk start from grand views at Heaton Lookout in Heaton state forest and leads to the picnic area and motel at Heaton Gap. The first section of this walk follows the dirt road to a communication tower before passing another lookout and expansive valley views. Here you start the steep decent along a rocky track and passing a lovely grove of grass trees. From here you follow a grassy trail and powerlines before the narrow track leads down and across the road at Heaton Gap. Let us begin by acknowledging the Awabakal people, Traditional Custodians of the land on which we travel today, and pay our respects to their Elders past and present. 
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View From Heaton Lookout. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Road beside Heaton Lookout. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Heaton lookout. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Heaton Lookout. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Toilets just north of Heaton Lookout. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Walking along the road north of Heaton Lookout. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Y-intersectin north of Heaton Lookout. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Signpost for the Heaton Loop trail beside the Great North Walk. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Walking along the road between Heaton Lookout and Tower. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Road south of Heaton Comms tower. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Pleasent walk among the tall trees. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Heaton communications tower. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Road beside Heaton Communications Tower. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Heaton Communications tower. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
GNW arrow post near Heaton tower. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Trail east of Heaton Tower. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
The Great North Walk near Mt Heaton Communications tower. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Trail west of Heaton Gap Lookout. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Heaton Gap Lookout. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
view from heaton gap lookout. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
View From Heaton Gap Lookout. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Heaton Gap Lookout. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Track above Heaton Gap. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Steps just below Heaton Gap Lookout. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
View from platform near Heaton Gap Lookout. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Walkers Register box near Heaton Gap Lookout. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Steep track east of Heaton Gap Lookout. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Looking down the track near Heaton Gap Lookout. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Track winding down near Heaton Gap. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Grass trees on the Great North Walk below Heaton Gap Lookout. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Flowers on The Great North Walk. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Trail west of Heaton Gap. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Steep section of trail between Heaton Gap Lookout and Heaton Gap. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Trail near Heaton Gap. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Looking down powerline clearing near Heaton Gap. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
GNW track leading through the forest above Heaton Gap. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Just above Heaton Gap. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Steps and sign at Heaton Gap. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Motel at Heaton Gap. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Grassy area beside motel and petrol staion. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Rooms at the Watagn Forest Motel. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Inside Watagan Forest Motel. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Picnic area near Watagan forest Motel. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Nigel Michael Memorial Rest area. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Heaton Gap Track Head sign. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2010.
Downloads GPX PDF
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Safer Bushwalks
Tips on staying safe on track
Before you start any bushwalk ensure you;
• Tell someone you trust where you are going and what to do if you are overdue
• Have adequate equipment, supplies, skills & knowledge for the whole journey
• Consider the impact of weather forecasts, park/track closures & fire dangers
• Can respond to emergencies & call for help at any point
• Are healthy and fit enough for this journey
If not, change plans and stay safe. It is okay to delay and ask people for help.
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Getting There
Transport options and directions
Start At the intersection of Heaton Road & Great North Walk (-32.9836544,151.4547718)
Mode Car (There is free parking available.)
DirectionsFrom Pacific Motorway, M1
  • Turn on to Freemans Drive Exit then drive for 510 m
  • Keep right and drive for another 45 m
  • Turn right onto Freemans Drive and drive for another 4.6 km
  • Turn right onto Mount Faulk Road and drive for another 9 km
  • Turn right onto Heaton Road and drive for another 1.6 km
Finish (-32.9652881,151.4793367)
Mode (end) Car Shuttle   Car   (There is free parking available.)
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Track Notes
Turn by turn instructions & maps
Getting started
From 'Heaton Lookout', this walk follows the 'Heaton Gap' sign gently uphill along the dirt Heaton Rd, past the toilet. After about 250m, the road leads past the 'Heaton Loop Trail' side track, then about 250m later (staying left at the Y-intersection) the road passes another section of the same signposted track as the road bends left, enjoying the views over the clearing (on your right). The road now leads gently uphill for about 1.7km, ignoring a series of side tracks until coming to a clear three-way intersection just past the brick building and fenced communication tower (on the right, and a small dam on the left).....
Turn map Directions & comments
At the intersection of Heaton Road & Great North Walk Start heading along Heaton Road (a vehicle track).
There is a picnic table (about 20 m back from the start).
After 20 m to find the car park.
After another 40 m find the "Heaton Lookout" (20 m on your right).
Heaton Lookout
Heaton Lookout

Heaton Lookout is one of the larger lookouts located on Heaton Road. This fenced lookout faces south-east. There are wood fired barbecues, picnic tables and a pit toilet. Heaton Lookout is a great place to stop for a snack, and the amazing view feels like a bonus. This lookout was named after Richard Heaton, a timber cutter who came to Australia as a convict. There is a water tank here, due to vandalism in the area this is not a reliable water source.
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Heaton Lookout is one of the larger lookouts located on Heaton Road. This fenced lookout faces south-east. There are wood fired barbecues, picnic tables and a pit toilet. Heaton Lookout is a great place to stop for a snack, and the amazing view feels like a bonus. This lookout was named after Richard Heaton, a timber cutter who came to Australia as a convict. There is a water tank here, due to vandalism in the area this is not a reliable water source.

The starting point of an alternate route. Alternate route past Heaton Lookout and picnic area. To take the alternate route continue straight here. Details below.
After another 8 m continue straight, to head along Heaton Road.
Keep left.
After another 65 m pass the toilet (8 m on your right).
After another 110 m (at the intersection of Heaton Road & Heaton Loop Trail) continue straight, to head along Heaton Road.
After another 135 m continue straight, to head along Heaton Road.
After another 185 m (at the intersection of Heaton Loop Trail & Heaton Road) continue straight, to head along Heaton Road.
After another 1.8 km (at the intersection of Taylors Road & Murrells Road) turn sharp right (a walking track).
After another 750 m find the "Heaton Gap Lookout" (15 m on your right).
Heaton Gap Lookout
Heaton Gap Lookout

Heaton Gap lookout is a fantastic spot to stop and catch your breath in Heaton State Forest. This unfenced lookout offers exhilarating views over the valleys towards Tuggerah Lake and Lake Macquarie. this unsignposted view, as with many features in the area, was named after Richard Heaton, a timber cutter who came to Australia as a convict.
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Heaton Gap lookout is a fantastic spot to stop and catch your breath in Heaton State Forest. This unfenced lookout offers exhilarating views over the valleys towards Tuggerah Lake and Lake Macquarie. this unsignposted view, as with many features in the area, was named after Richard Heaton, a timber cutter who came to Australia as a convict.

After another 850 m come to the viewpoint.
After another 115 m head down the surface|wood steps
About 15 m past the end is "Watagan Forest Motel".
Watagan Forest Motel
Watagan Forest Motel

Watagan Forest Motel is located on Branxton-Toronto Road. This retro-style motel is located right on the Great North Walk. The motel offers six rooms for around $99 per night - each with a double bed (four rooms also have twin singles), a television, bathroom with shower, air conditioning, and breakfast included. Room service is available. Adjoining the motel is a service station, which also offers dining room meals as well as a small grocery selection (bread, milk, bottled water, rice, pasta, etc), open until 8:30pm daily. A rest area is situated next to the motel, with covered picnic tables and garbage bins. For further information, phone (02)4938 0149.
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Watagan Forest Motel is located on Branxton-Toronto Road. This retro-style motel is located right on the Great North Walk. The motel offers six rooms for around $99 per night - each with a double bed (four rooms also have twin singles), a television, bathroom with shower, air conditioning, and breakfast included. Room service is available. Adjoining the motel is a service station, which also offers dining room meals as well as a small grocery selection (bread, milk, bottled water, rice, pasta, etc), open until 8:30pm daily. A rest area is situated next to the motel, with covered picnic tables and garbage bins. For further information, phone (02)4938 0149.

About 30 m past the end is a picnic table.
The end.

Alternate route past Heaton Lookout and picnic area.
Turn map Directions & comments
Start.
There is a picnic table (about 125 m back from the start).
There is a picnic table (about 100 m back from the start).
Heaton Lookout (about 95 m back from the start).
Heaton Lookout (about 70 m back from the start).
Heaton Lookout
Heaton Lookout

Heaton Lookout is one of the larger lookouts located on Heaton Road. This fenced lookout faces south-east. There are wood fired barbecues, picnic tables and a pit toilet. Heaton Lookout is a great place to stop for a snack, and the amazing view feels like a bonus. This lookout was named after Richard Heaton, a timber cutter who came to Australia as a convict. There is a water tank here, due to vandalism in the area this is not a reliable water source.
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Heaton Lookout is one of the larger lookouts located on Heaton Road. This fenced lookout faces south-east. There are wood fired barbecues, picnic tables and a pit toilet. Heaton Lookout is a great place to stop for a snack, and the amazing view feels like a bonus. This lookout was named after Richard Heaton, a timber cutter who came to Australia as a convict. There is a water tank here, due to vandalism in the area this is not a reliable water source.

There is a car park (about 55 m back from the start).
There is a toilet (about 9 m back from the start).
After another 35 m continue straight.
After another 140 m come to the "Heaton Lookout" (45 m on your right).
After another 30 m to find the car park.
After another 105 m continue straight.
After another 15 m veer left.
After another 50 m turn around.
After another 15 m come to the end.
At the end of this alternate route, rejoin the main route.
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Terrain
Know the Hills, grading & facilities

Great North Walk: Heaton Lookout to Heaton Gap


Grading
Class 4/6
Hard track
Length 4.1 km
Time 1 h 45 min to 2 h
Quality of track Rough track, where fallen trees and other obstacles are likely (4/6)
Gradient Very steep (4/6)
Signage Directional signs along the way (3/6)
Infrastructure Generally useful facilities (such as fenced cliffs and seats) (1/6)
Experience Required Some bushwalking experience recommended (3/6)
Weather Weather generally has little impact on safety (1/6)

Some facilities on route
Toilet: There is one 135 m from the start.


Order of key facilities on route
ItemFrom StartName & link to notes
Toilet
135 m[toilet]
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