(0km) Congewai Valley east trackhead → Property Gate
Continue straight: From here, this walk climbs over the fence using the stile and follows the track gently uphill, keeping the more open farmland on your left. The walk continues for about 300m to an intersection with a wide dirt trail, just before a vehicular gate, marked with a GNW arrow post.
(0.76km) Property Gate → Int on GNW bushtrack
(1.96km) Int on GNW bushtrack → Int of Georges Rd & GNW bushtrack
(3.69km) Int of Georges Rd AND GNW track → Old Loggers Hut
Old Loggers Hut
(3.82km) Old Loggers Hut → Georges Rd rest area
(4.12km) Georges Rd rest area → Barraba Campsite
Continue straight: From the intersection, this walk follows the ‘Barraba Trig Rest Area’ sign north-east, gently uphill along the trail. Following a few GNW arrow markers over about 90m, this trail then comes to a large flat clearing signposted as ‘Barraba campsite’, with some lovely large grass trees.
(4.43km) Barraba Campsite → Saddle Rest Area
Continue straight: From the locked gate, this walk heads downhill along the wide dirt trail, directly away from the ‘Barraba Trig’ sign. The trail leads down for about 400m, moderately steeply for a while. As the trail mostly flattens out, the walk climbs over another fence beside a locked gate using the stile. The walk continues down along this trail for almost 200m to pass ‘The Barbara Lowes Conservation area’ sign. Here, the walk climbs over the fence using the stile beside the vehicular gate. There are filtered valley views to your left.
Continue straight: From the locked gate, this walk follows the trail gently downhill, while keeping the views on your left (and ignoring the trail on your left). This walk undulates gently up and down the side of the hill for about 1 km, until coming to a saddle, with views on the left and dam on the right.
(6.25km) Saddle Rest Area → Int of Georges Rd AND Watagans National Park boundary gate
(6.98km) Int of Georges Rd AND Watagans National Park boundary gate → Top of the 125r Lookout trail
(8.31km) Top of the 125r Lookout trail → 125r Lookout Rest Area
(8.31km) Top of the 125r Lookout trail → Northern rest area
Great North Walk Rest Area
(9.63km) Northern rest area → Narrow Place Lookout
(11.15km) Narrow Place Lookout → Int of Georges Road & Congewai Creek track
(13.02km) Int of Georges Road AND Congewai Creek track → Int of Georges AND Heaton Rds
(15.92km) Int of Georges & Heaton Rds → Forestry H.Q campsite
Veer left: From the intersection, this walk follows the ‘Hunters Lookout’ sign gently uphill along Bakers Road. The walk continues along this road for a bit over 150m, coming to a three-way intersection, just in front of the signposted ‘Watagan Headquarters’ campsite.
End of day 1
(17.15km) Forestry H.Q campsite → Hunter Lookout picnic area
Continue straight: From the intersection, this walk follows Bakers Road north and gently uphill, while keeping Rocky Creek Road (no signpost) on your right. The walk continues, undulating gently for about 400m until coming to a three-way intersection with Glen Road (on the right).
Continue straight: From the intersection, this walk follows Bakers Road gently uphill, while keeping Glen Road on your right. The walk continues, undulating gently for about 250m until coming to Hunter Lookout picnic area (on the left).
Veer left: From the intersection, this walk heads off the road and up the hill following the Hunter Lookout picnic area sign, past the wooden gate and the public toilet, to the picnic area area and the lookout.
(18.77km) Hunter Lookout picnic area → Macleans Lookout
Veer left: From the Hunter Lookout picnic area (on Bakers Road), this walk follows Bakers Road north and gently downhill, while keeping Hunter Lookout on your left. The walk continues for about 400m until coming to a Y-intersection (Bakers Road loop).
Continue straight: From the intersection (Bakers Road Loop), this walk follows the track gently uphill, while keeping the other end of Bakers Road Loop to your right, gently downhill. The walk follows the road for about 130m until coming to Macleans Lookout.
(19.47km) Maclean Lookout → Int of GNW track & a wide track
Continue straight: From the intersection, this walk follows the trail gently downhill, while keeping the ‘Heaton Lookout’ sign on your right. The walk continues (becoming moderately steep downhill) for about 280m until coming to a three-way intersection with a track on the left.
(19.97km) Int of GNW track AND a wide track → Int of GNW track AND Glen Road
(20.14km) Int of GNW track & Glen Road → Int of GNW track & a wide bushtrack
(20.28km) Int of GNW track & a wide bushtrack → Int of GNW track & a narrow road
(21km) Int of GNW track & a wide track → Int of GNW track and Fosters Road south
Continue straight: From the intersection, this walk follows the wide track gently downhill, while keeping the ‘Macleans Lookout 2km’ sign on your right. The walk continues for about 140m to a three-way intersection, with Fosters Road on your right and ‘Fosters Road’ sign on your left.
(21.34km) Int of GNW track and Fosters Road south → Int of GNW track and Wallis Creek
Continue straight: From the intersection, this walk follows the ‘Heaton Lookout’ sign downhill along the road a few metres, then veers left to follow the GNW arrow down the old trail. The walk leads fairly steeply down for about 180m then passes around a timber barrier. Here the track narrows and continues more steeply downhill through forest for about 250m to a gully and creek crossing (with many fallen dead trees).
Continue straight: This walk crosses the creek and follows the track, while keeping the valley on your left. The walk follows the track steeply up for a short distance, then follows along the base of a cliff for about 120m to pass through a long sandstone cave. The rocky track leads steeply down through the dense rainforest for 700m, following a series of GNW arrow posts to the bottom of the gully beside Wallis Creek.
(23.22km) Int of GNW track and Wallis Creek → Int of GNW track and Heaton Lookout
Continue straight: From the intersection, this walk follows the GNW arrow east, directly away from the face of the ‘Barniers Road’ sign. The walk continues along the old trail for about 450m to find an intersection with a track (on the right). Here the walk turns right, following the ‘The Great North Walk’ sign moderately steeply down the narrow track for about 220m and then crosses a creek. The walk continues moderately steeply uphill around another gully and after about 500m, comes to a T-intersection with Heaton trail and Heaton Lookout directly ahead.
(25.43km) Heaton Lookout. → Heaton Communications Tower
(27.86km) Heaton Communications Tower → Heaton Gap Lookout
Heaton Gap Lookout
(28.48km) Heaton Gap Lookout → Heaton Gap Track Head
Veer left: From the intersection, this walk follows the GNW arrow post and power lines steeply downhill along the trail. The walk continues for about 180m to find a three-way intersection, with a GNW arrow marker on the right (where the power line trail bends left). The walk turns right, leaving the power lines and following the GNW arrow marker steeply down a narrower forested track. The track winds down some timber steps, towards the sound of traffic for about 160m then down a timber staircase to the edge of Freemans Drive. Here the walk crosses Freemans Drive (busy road, please be careful to look and listen for traffic) and comes to the Watagan Forest Motel, petrol station (on the left), picnic area and signposted ‘Heaton Gap Track Head’ (on the right).
Watagan Forest Motel
Maps for the Congewai East Track Head to Watagan Forest Motel via Forestry HQ Campsite walkYou can download the PDF for this walk to print a map.
These maps below cover the walk and the wider area around the walk, they are worth carrying for safety reasons.
|Quorrobolong||1:25 000 Map Series||91322S QUORROBOLONG||NSW-91322S|
|Cessnock||1:50 000 Map Series||91322 CESSNOCK||CW-91322|
|Cessnock||1:100 000 Map Series||9132 CESSNOCK||9132|
Overview of this walks grade – based on the AS 2156.1 – 2001
Under this standard, a walk is graded based on the most difficult section of the walk.
|AS 2156.1||Gradient||Very steep (4/6)|
|Quality of track||Rough track, where fallen trees and other obstacles are likely (4/6)|
|Signs||Minimal directional signs (4/6)|
|Experience Required||Moderate level of bushwalking experience recommended (4/6)|
|Weather||Storms may impact on navigation and safety (3/6)|
|Infrastructure||Limited facilities (such as cliffs not fenced, significant creeks not bridged) (4/6)|
Some more details of this walks Grading
Here is a bit more details explaining grading looking at sections of the walk
12km of this walk has short steep hills and another 10km is very steep. The remaining (8km) has gentle hills with occasional steps.
Quality of track
16km of this walk follows a clear and well formed track or trail and another 9km follows a formed track, with some branches and other obstacles. The remaining (4.5km) follows a rough track, where fallen trees and other obstacles are likely.
26km of this walk has directional signs at most intersection and another 3.7km has minimal directional signs. The remaining (170m) is clearly signposted.
15km of this walk requires no previous bushwalking experience and another 12km requires some bushwalking experience. The remaining (2.6km) requires a leader a with moderate level of bushwalking experience.
Around 28km of this walk is not usually affected by severe weather events (that would unexpectedly impact safety and navigation), whilst the remaining 1.7km is affected by storms that may impact your navigation and safety.
20km of this walk has limited facilities (such as not all cliffs fenced) and another 6km is close to useful facilities (such as fenced cliffs and seats). The remaining (3.9km) has limited facilities (such as cliffs not fenced, significant creeks not bridged).
This loop walk starts from the Hunter Lookout picnic area. The walk provides great views across the valley and winds around the edge of the ridge line, passing Macleans lookout, also with great views. The walk continues along a short section of the Great North Walk, through an open forest to the end of Glen road. From here the walk follows the dirt roads back to the Hunter Lookout.
Total climbing: 138m
2.5 km Circuit
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.
Total climbing: 153m
4.3 km One way
This return walk starts from a nice rest area on Georges Road and follows the road along the ridge, passing several great lookout points across the valley, to the quiet little 125r lookout, which provides a nice open clearing that just screams lunch time. Please note that Watagan and Georges Roads are dry weather roads only, if you are unsure, check with the park office before heading out. This walk can be made shorter by driving further along Georges Rd.
Total climbing: 209m
4.4 km Return
3 hrs 30 mins
This loop track starts from the Hunter Lookout picnic area and follows the Great North Walk around the edge of the ridge via the Macleans Lookout, Rocky Creek gully and the cliffs around the eastern edge of the ridge. This walk provides great views across the valley and much of the Hunter to the north. On the return, the walk takes a leisurely stroll along the dirt roads, passing the pines plantation area and the rocky creek camping area.
Total climbing: 336m
5.6 km Circuit
2 hrs 30 mins
This scenic walk includes dramatic lookouts and time spent in moist cool forest. The walk initially travels on dirt road past Hunter and MacLean’s Lookout, before descending into the Wallis Creek catchment. Here the walk traverses underneath many cliffs before crossing Wallis Creek and arriving at Heaton Lookout. A recommended walk with car access either end.
Total climbing: 571m
8.1 km One way
This walk starts from the Watagan Forestry HQ campsite and follows the Great North Walk through the Watagan State Forest. The walk then heads out to Heaton lookout and down the long descent into Heaton Gap, passing several more fantastic lookouts and picnic areas on the way. The walk finishes at Heaton Gap on Freemans drive, just opposite the Watagan Forest Motel.
Total climbing: 729m
12.5 km One way
This full day walk starts from the Congewai valley trackhead (east) and follows the Great North Walk up into the Watagan National Park. Winding east along Georges road for the most part, this walk also passes many great lookouts and gives the option of a side trip down to the 125r lookout, which provides a great view to the south and nice spot for lunch. The walk finishes at the Watagan Headquarters campsite, which has a fire place and a picnic table.
Total climbing: 973m
17.2 km One way
This four day walk starts at the Basin Campsite, in the Olney State Forest, and follows the Great North Walk, heading north. The walk passes through to the Watagan State Forest and into the Congewai Valley, continuing east into the Watagan National Park and all the way through to Heaton Gap. The three campsites can be found along the ridgeline before dropping down into the Congewai Valley, at the Barraba campsite, and at the Watagan Forestry H.Q campsite on the corner of Watagan and Bakers Roads in the Watagan National Park.
Total climbing: 3206m
60.5 km One way
Other Nearby walks
Starting from the grand views of Flat Rock Lookout high on the range, you will walk down into the Congewai Valley below. On the first section of this walk, you will explore a little used dirt road to the Congewai Communication Tower. From here you follow a series of tracks that wind down, steeply in places, through the tall open forest with a scattering of grass trees to the bottom of the range. Now the walk guides you through open farmland before following Congewai Road along main valley to the trackhead near Brown Muir Farm.
Total climbing: 336m
13.8 km One way
This section of the Great North Walk starts from Watagan Creek Road and heads north, up the side of the valley then along the dirt roads to the Congewai communications tower. From the tower, you follow a bush track and wind down into the valley, through some farmland and along to the Congewai west track head. From here, the walk follows the road winding south through rural farmland, past the school, to the Congewai east track head.
Total climbing: 720m
17.8 km One way
This walk starts on Watagan Creek Road and soon crosses the lovely Watagan Creek. From this point, the walk leaves the Watagan valley and climbs steeply up the bush track through forest. The walk then travels on dirt road, passing a campsite and rest area, before arriving soon afterwards at the unfenced Flat Rock Lookout. Flat Rock Lookout is a natural rock platform that offers magnificent views across the Congewai Valley to the east and north. An enjoyable walk, offering pleasant walking through forest and an outstanding viewpoint.
Total climbing: 384m
4.1 km One way
This section of the Great North Walk starts from the Watagan Creek Road and winds north across the valley and up into the Watagan State Forest, following the ridge lines around the Flatrock Lookout and down into the Congewai Valley before finishing at the track head at Congewai Valley Road. There are few (and unreliable) water sources in this section, so carrying sufficient supplies is necessary.
Total climbing: 649m
12.6 km One way
5 hrs 30 mins
This a cool walk on a on a hot day. Take your time exploring the rock formations along the creek, before finding the moss wall. Walk alongside the moss wall to its end, and then follow a track through moist rainforest back to the dam. A pleasant relaxed walk starting and finishing from the Boarding House Dam picnic area.
Total climbing: 36m
718 m Circuit
A gentle walk past the Boarding House dam and through moist rainforest to a long straight moss covered wall. Spend some time exploring the creek and pools beside the moss wall before retracing your steps back to the Boarding House dam picnic area and car park. A cool sheltered spot to relax, particularly on a hot summer day.
Total climbing: 22m
516 m Return
This walk leads to one of the best waterfalls in the Hunter area and is highly recommended. The walk travels through dense rainforest, before descending to an inspiring amphitheatre of rock with the dramatic Gap Creek Falls. Spend some time looking around the base of the falls, particularly behind the falls on the narrow unfenced ledge. This walk is particularly good on a hot day, where the cooling spray off the waterfall is appreciated.
Total climbing: 162m
1.5 km Return
This walk takes you deep into moist rainforest and is well worthwhile. The walk is mostly flat and travels through a varied and healthy rainforest, with strangler fig vines, large older trees and lots of wildlife. If you are lucky, you could find the protected yabbies in the creek at the end of the walk. This walk is a must do, particularly on a hot day.
Total climbing: 111m
1.7 km Return
This short but steep walk to the base of an attractive cliff is worthwhile. The walk travels through open forest with gum trees and Xanthorhoea trees to eventually follow timber steps steeply to the base of the Monkey Face cliff. This cliff is used by rock climbers and abseiling parties, so be aware that people may be above you. Spend some time exploring the base of cliff before returning the same way.
Total climbing: 65m
406 m Return
This circuit takes you through both dry and moist forest, using a combination of walking trails and wider tracks. The side trip to the dammed pool is recommended, to see the deep Aboriginal carved grooves by the pool. This walk travels through open forest with wild flowers (in season) to descend into a moist rainforest environment near Abbotts Falls. This is great place to cool off on a hot summer’s day.
Total climbing: 329m
7.3 km Circuit
This short walk takes you into the moist forest around Dora Creek and is recommended. The walk visits a small waterfall and dammed pool then travels through forest, visiting the large open Pines picnic area before returning to the starting point. The section of this walk near Dora Creek is particularly pleasant on a hot day.
Total climbing: 56m
1.7 km Circuit
This short and scenic walk offers two lookouts and a forest walk. Gap Creek viewpoint gives views of dense forest, while the Monkey Face viewpoint gives views of forested farmland in the Gap Creek valley. The short forest walk between these two viewpoints is amongst large rocks and offers views of its own. The cliffs between the viewpoints are used by rock climbers and abseiling parties, so do not dislodge rocks from the top of the cliffs. This is a recommended and scenic walk.
Total climbing: 74m
1.3 km Circuit
Fire DangerEach park may have its own fire ban, this rating is only valid for today and is based on information from the RFS Please check the RFS Website for more information.
Weather ForestThis walk starts in the Hunter weather district always check the formal BOM forecast or pdf before starting your walk.
Park Information & Alerts
Short URL = http://wild.tl/cethtwfmvfhc
There are other downloads I am still working on.
You will probably need to login to access these — still all free.
* KML (google earth file)
* GPX (GPS file)
Special Maps/ brochures
* A3 topo maps
* PDF with Lands Topo map base
* PDF with arial image (and map overlay)
I wanted to get the main site live first, this extra stuff will come in time.