Hangmans Rock
Darug & Darkinjung Country

1 h 15 min to 2 h 30 min

2.2 km
return

↑ 141 m
↓ -141 m

Moderate track
A relatively short walk with some really nice scenery and some of the historic highlights of the Old Great North Road. This walk climbs part of the well formed Devines Hill ascent. The remnants of the convict built road are impressive and there are good information signs along the trail. The visible remnants of the Old Great North Road include rock cuttings, stone retaining walls, an old quarry site and Hangmans Rock. Let us begin by acknowledging the Darug & Darkinjung 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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The Wisemans ferry end of the Old Great North Road. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Heading up the Old Great North Road. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Interesting cliffs along the OGNR. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
The well formed OGNR. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
A rock cutting on the OGNR. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
High retaining wall on the Devines Hill ascent.. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Old rock drill marks on the Old Great North Road. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Drainage culvert under the OGNR. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Stonework on the Old Great North Road. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Convict Rock graffiti. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Retaining wall and support on the OGNR. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Curved retaining wall. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Old quarry site on the Old Great North Road. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Hangmans Rock. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
Looking through Hangmans Rock. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2009.
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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 Settlers Road & Old Great North Road (-33.375215,150.9848525)
Mode Bus Car (There is free parking available.) Special (Wisemans Ferry Dialacar provides a taxi style mini-bus service based in Wisemans Ferry. The cost is typically about $1 per km (ex Wisemans Ferry). They will pick-up and drop-off from Sydney or the Central Coast and will happily drop walkers off or pick them up from tracks in the area. The cost for a pick-up from Gosford and drop off near Wisemans Ferry would be approximately $150 (please call for up-to-date pricing) and the minivan can carry up to 13 passengers. Phone: 0448 122 374)
DirectionsFrom Peats Ridge Road Offramp
  • Turn on to Wisemans Ferry Road Exit then drive for 235 m
  • Keep right onto Wisemans Ferry Road Exit and drive for another 35 m
  • Turn right onto Wisemans Ferry Road and drive for another 3 km
  • Turn right onto George Downes Drive, 33 and drive for another 40 m
  • Turn left onto Wisemans Ferry Road and drive for another 53.1 km
  • Continue onto Settlers Road and drive for another 620 m
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Track Notes
Turn by turn instructions & maps
Getting started
From the car park and intersection on Wisemans Ferry Rd (about 500m west of the car ferry), the walk passes around a gate, passes an information sign, and follows the 'Old Great North Road' up the hill. This section of the walk winds up the hill, passing numerous cuttings and retaining walls built with convict labour. There are several information signs on the way, making the walk more interesting. The walk then arrives at the signposted "Hangman's Rock".....
Turn map Directions & comments
At the intersection of Settlers Road & Old Great North Road Start heading along Old Great North Road (a vehicle track).
There is a car park (about 40 m back from the start).
After 55 m head through/around the gate.
After another 8 m find the "Old Great North Road" (on your left).
Old Great North Road
Old Great North Road

The historic Great North Road was built using convict labour between 1826 and 1836 (this section south of Wollombi was completed in 1832). The road formed a link between Sydney and the Hunter Valley, including Newcastle. There are visible remnants of the original work in bridges, retaining walls and other structures along the way. The 'Convict Trail Project' has member groups involved in the conservation of historical remnants along the road. The Convict Trail Project and the NPWS have erected information signs at various points to illustrate the history. The Convict Trail Project has an excellent website for further reading.
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The historic Great North Road was built using convict labour between 1826 and 1836 (this section south of Wollombi was completed in 1832). The road formed a link between Sydney and the Hunter Valley, including Newcastle. There are visible remnants of the original work in bridges, retaining walls and other structures along the way. The 'Convict Trail Project' has member groups involved in the conservation of historical remnants along the road. The Convict Trail Project and the NPWS have erected information signs at various points to illustrate the history. The Convict Trail Project has an excellent website for further reading.

After another 1.1 km continue straight, to head along Old Great North Road.
Turn around here and retrace the main route for 1.1 km to get back to the start.
"Hangmans Rock".
Hangmans Rock
Hangmans Rock

Hangmans Rock is beside the historic Old Great North Road, near Wisemans Ferry, NSW. This beautiful sandstone cave/overhang has some steps and a bench seat cut into it and is part of the history of the convict built OGNR. It is uncertain what purpose the spot served, but stories that convicts were hanged through the hole in the roof of the cave appear unlikely to be true, despite giving a name to the atmospheric spot.
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Hangmans Rock is beside the historic Old Great North Road, near Wisemans Ferry, NSW. This beautiful sandstone cave/overhang has some steps and a bench seat cut into it and is part of the history of the convict built OGNR. It is uncertain what purpose the spot served, but stories that convicts were hanged through the hole in the roof of the cave appear unlikely to be true, despite giving a name to the atmospheric spot.

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Terrain
Know the Hills, grading & facilities

Hangmans Rock


Grading
Class 3/6
Moderate track
Length 2.2 km
Time 1 h 15 min to 2 h 30 min
Quality of track Clear and well formed track or trail (2/6)
Gradient Short steep hills (3/6)
Signage Clearly signposted (1/6)
Infrastructure Limited facilities, not all cliffs are fenced (3/6)
Experience Required No experience required (1/6)
Weather Weather generally has little impact on safety (1/6)
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