Crosslands to Cowan

5 h 30 min to 7 h 30 min

13.8 km
oneway

↑ 890 m
↓ -706 m

Hard track
This section of the Great North Walk starts from the Crosslands camping area and winds north alongside Berowra creek, passing through Berowra Waters and climbing up into Cowan. This day walk provides great views of the Berowra creek from the Naa Badu Lookout and, as it finishes at the Cowan train station, there are fairly frequent trains running, providing a good transport option for the trip home. Let us begin by acknowledging the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we travel today, and pay our respects to their Elders past and present.
Show all
Crosslands Reserve. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
crosslands reserve. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
start of Crosslands boardwalk. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Crosslands boardwalk. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
berowra creek lookout. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
following berowra creek. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2015.
Great North Walk boardwalk. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
steps up out of valley. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
GNW sheltered chair. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Naa Badu Lookout. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Track to Berowra Waters. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2007.
Rock Overhang. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2007.
winding along the Great North Walk. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2007.
Rest spot on the way down to Berowra Waters. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
heading north from Berowra Waters. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
steps up onto the ridge. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Graceful Bush Pea (Pultenaea flexilis). | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2007.
the loose rocky track. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
lookout point. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
typical bushland found in the area. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Winding around to Cowan. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2007.
Great North Walk Cowan track head. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Cowan Station Crossing. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2007.
Downloads GPX PDF

+
-
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.
+
-
Getting There
Transport options and directions
Start (-33.6287773,151.1091593)
Mode Car (There is free parking available.)
DirectionsFrom Pacific Motorway, M1
  • Turn on to Pacific Highway Offramp then drive for 3.8 km
  • Turn left onto Pacific Highway, B83 and drive for another 8.3 km
  • Keep right onto Pacific Highway, B83 and drive for another 75 m
  • Continue onto Peats Ferry Road and drive for another 780 m
  • Turn right onto Galston Road and drive for another 2.4 km
  • Turn right onto Somerville Road and drive for another 6.6 km
Finish (-33.5937223,151.1716571)
Mode (end) Car Shuttle   Bus   Car   (There is free parking available.) Train  
+
-
Track Notes
Turn by turn instructions & maps
Getting started
From the car park, this walk follows the flat dirt path between the road (on the right) and creek (on the left). The path leads through the casuarina trees for about 120m to pass the boat ramp. After another 120m this walk comes to a locked gate at the northern end of the car park. There is also a wetland through the trees to the right worth noticing.....
Turn map Directions & comments
Start heading along Somerville Road.
Crosslands (about 10 m back from the start).
Crosslands
Crosslands

Crosslands Reserve is lovely and long mixed use picnic area, spanning along the edge of Berowra Creek. There are picnic tables, electric barbecues, toilets, car parking, a children's playground, garbage bins, camping area, toilets and town water. The southern part of Crosslands is managed by Hornsby Council and the northern half by the NPWS within the Berowra Valley National Park. The first inhabitants of this area were a subgroup of the Dharug people who enjoyed the sandstone caves, fish and abundant plant life in the area. It is now managed by Hornsby Shire Council, but in 1856 Matthew Charlton asked Burton Crossland to be caretaker on this area. Burton built a house and made a living by harvesting timber, growing fruit, fishing and boat-building.
+
-
Crosslands Reserve is lovely and long mixed use picnic area, spanning along the edge of Berowra Creek. There are picnic tables, electric barbecues, toilets, car parking, a children's playground, garbage bins, camping area, toilets and town water. The southern part of Crosslands is managed by Hornsby Council and the northern half by the NPWS within the Berowra Valley National Park. The first inhabitants of this area were a subgroup of the Dharug people who enjoyed the sandstone caves, fish and abundant plant life in the area. It is now managed by Hornsby Shire Council, but in 1856 Matthew Charlton asked Burton Crossland to be caretaker on this area. Burton built a house and made a living by harvesting timber, growing fruit, fishing and boat-building.

There is a car park (about 5 m back from the start).
Find the sign at the start.
After another 95 m (at the intersection of Somerville Road & Canoe entry point) continue straight, to head along Somerville Road.
After another 110 m (at the intersection of Benowie Walking Track & Somerville Road) continue straight, to head along Benowie Walking Track (a vehicle track).
After another 15 m head through/around the gate.
After another 15 m head through the bollard.
Then find the "Wheelchair Rough" (on your left).
Wheelchair Rough
Wheelchair Rough

Link from carpark to path is across exposed ground (muddy after rain) and between timber bollards that are 80cm high and 1.5m apart.
+
-
Link from carpark to path is across exposed ground (muddy after rain) and between timber bollards that are 80cm high and 1.5m apart.

After another 50 m find the "Picnic Table" (on your right).
Picnic Table
Picnic Table

A timber slat picnic table and bench seat. The table is 77cm high, 73cm deep and 2.4m wide. The seats are 47cm high, 29cm deep and 2.4m wide. On a conrete slab (3x5.5m) and about 7m (across grass) from the path.
+
-
A timber slat picnic table and bench seat. The table is 77cm high, 73cm deep and 2.4m wide. The seats are 47cm high, 29cm deep and 2.4m wide. On a conrete slab (3x5.5m) and about 7m (across grass) from the path.

After another 45 m pass the "tap" (on your right).
After another 70 m find the "Picnic Table" (15 m on your left).
Picnic Table
Picnic Table

A timber slat picnic table and bench seats. The table is 77cm high, 73cm deep and 2.4m wide. The seats are 47cm high, 29cm deep and 2.4m wide. On a conrete slab (2.8x4.1m) and about 11m (across grass) from the path.
+
-
A timber slat picnic table and bench seats. The table is 77cm high, 73cm deep and 2.4m wide. The seats are 47cm high, 29cm deep and 2.4m wide. On a conrete slab (2.8x4.1m) and about 11m (across grass) from the path.

After another 60 m continue straight.
After another 20 m turn right.
After another 15 m find the "Crosslands North Picnic area" (15 m on your left).
Crosslands North Picnic area
Crosslands North Picnic area

The northern section of Crosslands is in Berowra Valley NP and is a less formal picnic area compared with the southern area. There is a toilet block and a few sandy beaches with direct access to the water. Here you will find a few picnic tables and shelters, as well as garbage bins. The eastern side is home to a boardwalk exploring the estuarine wetland. A pleasant area to rest and enjoy the water. Fires are only permitted in formally established fire places .
+
-
The northern section of Crosslands is in Berowra Valley NP and is a less formal picnic area compared with the southern area. There is a toilet block and a few sandy beaches with direct access to the water. Here you will find a few picnic tables and shelters, as well as garbage bins. The eastern side is home to a boardwalk exploring the estuarine wetland. A pleasant area to rest and enjoy the water. Fires are only permitted in formally established fire places .

After another 20 m find the "Trip Hazard" (on your left).
Trip Hazard
Trip Hazard

There is a 4cm step from between the dirt path and the northern end of the timber boardwalk.
+
-
There is a 4cm step from between the dirt path and the northern end of the timber boardwalk.

Then cross the bridge (about 55 m long)
After another 75 m cross the bridge (about 85 m long)
Continue straight.
After another 10 m pass a seat (10 m on your left)., has a backrest.
After another 15 m find the "Berowra Creek (Estuarie) Lookout" (on your left).
Berowra Creek (Estuarie) Lookout
Berowra Creek (Estuarie) Lookout

The Estuarie lookout over Berowara Creek is found at the end of the wheelchair-accessible walk in Crosslands area. The timber lookout platform provides great views over Berowra Creek, the timber fence is 95cm high. There are also information signs about the local flora and fauna and the 'Original Inhabitants'. There are two timber bench seats encouraging you to take some time to soak up this view.
+
-
The Estuarie lookout over Berowara Creek is found at the end of the wheelchair-accessible walk in Crosslands area. The timber lookout platform provides great views over Berowra Creek, the timber fence is 95cm high. There are also information signs about the local flora and fauna and the 'Original Inhabitants'. There are two timber bench seats encouraging you to take some time to soak up this view.

Then find the "Seat" (15 m on your left).
Seat
Seat

Two timber slat bench seats built into timber viewing platform. Each seat are 41cm high, 28cm deep and 2.5m wide with a 54cm high backrest.
+
-
Two timber slat bench seats built into timber viewing platform. Each seat are 41cm high, 28cm deep and 2.5m wide with a 54cm high backrest.

After another 205 m cross the bridge (about 20 m long)
After another 160 m pass a seat (on your left)., has a backrest.
Continue straight.
After another 175 m head up the 65 steps (about 60 m long)
After another 20 m continue straight.
After another 15 m head down the 72 steps (about 60 m long)
Continue straight.
After another 15 m pass a seat (on your left)., has no backrest.
After another 7 m cross the bridge (about 30 m long)
Veer left.
After another 1.1 km continue straight.
After another 500 m turn left, to head along Sams Creek Track.
After another 550 m (at the intersection of Berkely Firetrail & Great North Walk - Berkely Firetrail) continue straight, to head along Great North Walk - Berkely Firetrail (a vehicle track).
After another 240 m continue straight, to head along Great North Walk - Berkely Firetrail.
After another 65 m find the "Naa Badu Lookout" (on your left).
Naa Badu Lookout
Naa Badu Lookout

Naa Badu Lookout offers magnificent views south over Berowra Creek as well as over Sams and Calna Creeks. Naa Badu means 'See water' in the Aboriginal tribal language of the Dharug people. It is believed that Berowra Creek was the boundary between the Dharug and Guringai Aboriginal peoples. The lookout is fenced, has a bench seat, picnic table and a fair amount of natural shade.
+
-
Naa Badu Lookout offers magnificent views south over Berowra Creek as well as over Sams and Calna Creeks. Naa Badu means 'See water' in the Aboriginal tribal language of the Dharug people. It is believed that Berowra Creek was the boundary between the Dharug and Guringai Aboriginal peoples. The lookout is fenced, has a bench seat, picnic table and a fair amount of natural shade.

After another 500 m (at the intersection of Berkely Firetrail & Great North Walk - Berkely Firetrail) turn left (a walking track).
After another 35 m cross the bridge (about 20 m long)
After another 470 m veer left.
After another 235 m come to the viewpoint (8 m on your left).
After another 870 m come to the viewpoint (on your left).
After another 480 m pass the "Berowra Waters Garden House - closed" (15 m on your left).
After another 50 m find the "Berowra Waters Garden House" (25 m on your left).
Berowra Waters Garden House
Berowra Waters Garden House

#######CLOSED###### This picturesque little restaurant sits on the eastern side of Berowra Creek and is just a hop, skip and a jump from the ferry. With breakfast, lunch and dinner menus, the Garden House Restaurant is a great spot for those looking to tap into the Berowra Valley's full potential. For information on bookings and opening hours phone (02)9456 2955.
+
-
#######CLOSED###### This picturesque little restaurant sits on the eastern side of Berowra Creek and is just a hop, skip and a jump from the ferry. With breakfast, lunch and dinner menus, the Garden House Restaurant is a great spot for those looking to tap into the Berowra Valley's full potential. For information on bookings and opening hours phone (02)9456 2955.

After another 25 m pass the water tap (7 m on your left).
Turn sharp left, to head along Berowra Waters Road.
After another 6 m (at the intersection of Kirkpatrick Way & Berowra Waters Road) turn sharp right, to head along Kirkpatrick Way (a residential road).
After another 55 m pass the water tap (15 m on your right).
Then pass the toilet (15 m on your right).
After another 1.1 km veer left.
After another 400 m cross the ford.
After another 350 m pass a "The Roland Murray Bench" (on your left)., has no backrest.
After another 420 m continue straight, to head along Great North Walk - Firetrail.
After another 215 m (at the intersection of Turner Firetrail & Great North Walk - Firetrail) turn left (a walking track).
After another 220 m find the "Ridge Top Campground" (8 m on your right).
Ridge Top Campground
Ridge Top Campground

About 800m from Turners Rd, Berowra Heights lies this pleasant ridge top campsite. This is a fairly popular campsite on the Great North Walk, providing a flat area with plenty of shade. There are no facilities (or water) at this large campsite. A faint track leads west from the campsite to an unfenced cliff with great views over the Berowra Waters Valley.
+
-
About 800m from Turners Rd, Berowra Heights lies this pleasant ridge top campsite. This is a fairly popular campsite on the Great North Walk, providing a flat area with plenty of shade. There are no facilities (or water) at this large campsite. A faint track leads west from the campsite to an unfenced cliff with great views over the Berowra Waters Valley.

Continue straight.
After another 140 m veer left.
After another 150 m pass the "GNW Visitor Book" (15 m on your right).
After another 140 m come to the viewpoint (20 m on your left).
After another 50 m continue straight.
After another 1.5 km pass a seat (10 m on your right).
After another 225 m come to the viewpoint (7 m on your right).
After another 520 m turn left.
After another 40 m turn right.
After another 295 m continue straight.
After another 880 m continue straight, to head along Cowan Trail.
After another 520 m head through/around the gate.
At the intersection of Pacific Highway & Cowan Trail continue straight (a walking track).
After another 20 m to find the car park.
After another 15 m come to the end.
About 50 m past the end is a toilet.

Mo-Fr
+
-
Terrain
Know the Hills, grading & facilities

Crosslands to Cowan


Grading
Class 4/6
Hard track
Length 13.8 km
Time 5 h 30 min to 7 h 30 min
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 Limited facilities, not all cliffs are fenced (3/6)
Experience Required Moderate level of bushwalking experience recommended (4/6)
Weather Foretasted & unexpected storms and severe weather may impact on navigation and safety (4/6)

Some facilities on route
Campsite: There is one 9.3 km from the start.

Toilet: There are 2 on route, on average they are 4.6 km apart with the largest gap of 7.1 km.

Seat: There are 6 on route, on average they are 2 km apart with the largest gap of 7 km.


Order of key facilities on route
ItemFrom StartName & link to notes
Toilet
6.7 km[toilet]
Campsite
9.3 kmRidge Top Campground
Toilet
13.8 km[toilet]
+
-
Articles
Discover more details to thrive on track
Get more information
Wildwalks
+
-
Reviews & Feedback
Share your experience
+
-
Weather & Alerts
Check forecasts & closures
Show Full Weather
Alerts and Closures
Show all alerts
Show all alerts
Show all alerts
+
-
Other Journeys
Discover nearby and similar journeys
Similar Journeys
Nearby Journeys
Some of the information and maps on this page was generated using data from the awesome © OpenStreetMap contributors.
Please see how you can embed some widgets, access data and other stuff to that might be helpful.