Circular Quay to Hornsby

3 Days

44.4 km One way

1695 m

Hard track
This fun walk covers a large section of the Great North Walk, starting from the official start in Circular Quay. After a short ferry trip the walk follows the Lane Cove River through the Lane Cove National Park, to Thornleigh. Here, the walk enters Berowra Valley National Park, continuing along the Great North Walk to before following the popular Blue Gum Walk up out of the valley, to Hornsby train station. Camp overnight at Lane Cove tourist park and at the Scout camp in Thornleigh.

Maps for the Circular Quay to Hornsby walk

You 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.
Hornsby 1:25 000 Map Series 91304S HORNSBY NSW-91304S
Parramatta River 1:25 000 Map Series 91303N PARRAMATTA RIVER NSW-91303N
Sydney 1:100 000 Map Series 9130 SYDNEY 9130

Cross sectional view of the Circular Quay to Hornsby bushwalking track

Analysis and summary of the altitude variation on the Circular Quay to Hornsby

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.

Length 44.4 km
Time 3 Days

Grade 4/6

Hard track
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, not all cliffs are fenced (3/6)

Some more details of this walks Grading

Here is a bit more details explaining grading looking at sections of the walk


17km of this walk has gentle hills with occasional steps and another 16km has short steep hills. Whilst another 15km is flat with no steps and the remaining 1.9km is very steep.

Quality of track

18km of this walk follows a clear and well formed track or trail and another 18km follows a formed track, with some branches and other obstacles. Whilst another 11km follows a smooth and hardened path and the remaining 2.1km follows a rough track, where fallen trees and other obstacles are likely.


30km of this walk is clearly signposted and another 19km has directional signs at most intersection. The remaining (800m) has minimal directional signs.

Experience Required

37km of this walk requires no previous bushwalking experience and another 12km requires some bushwalking experience. The remaining (990m) requires a leader a with moderate level of bushwalking experience.


Around 45km of this walk is not usually affected by severe weather events (that would unexpectedly impact safety and navigation), whilst the remaining 4.1km is affected by storms that may impact your navigation and safety.


Around 31km of this walk is close to useful facilities (such as fenced cliffs and seats), whilst the remaining 18km has limited facilities (such as not all cliffs fenced).

Similar walks

A list of walks that share part of the track with the Circular Quay to Hornsby walk.