(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 → Crawford Tank AND Hut
Crawford Tank & Hut
(0.76km) Property Gate → Int on GNW bushtrack
(1.96km) Int on GNW bushtrack → Old Loggers Hut
Turn right: From the intersection, this walk follows the GNW arrow marker gently downhill along the dirt road. After 80m, this walk passes a small dam and comes to an old tin hut (on the left).
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 AND Heaton Rds
1 hr 32 mins
Continue straight: From the intersection, this walk follows the GNW arrow post east along the dirt Georges Road as it leads gently downhill, initially keeping the main valley to your left. The road leads along the ridge among the tall trees, past a few small clearings and side tracks for about 2.2km to pass a gate and timber fence (on your left). The walk continues along this main road for another 600m, coming to a T-intersection with the dirt Heaton Road, marked with a ‘Watagans National Park’ sign.
(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.
Maps for the Congewai Track Head (East) to Watagan Headquarters 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||Directional signs along the way (3/6)|
|Experience Required||Some bushwalking experience recommended (3/6)|
|Weather||Weather generally has little impact on safety (1/6)|
|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
6km of this walk has gentle hills with occasional steps and another 6km has short steep hills. The remaining (4.8km) is very steep.
Quality of track
11km of this walk follows a clear and well formed track or trail and another 6km follows a formed track, with some branches and other obstacles. The remaining (440m) follows a rough track, where fallen trees and other obstacles are likely.
Around 17km of this walk has directional signs at most intersection, whilst the remaining 170m is clearly signposted.
Around 13km of this walk requires no previous bushwalking experience, whilst the remaining 4.5km requires some bushwalking experience.
This whole walk, 17km is not usually affected by severe weather events (that would unexpectedly impact safety and navigation).
Around 16km of this walk has limited facilities (such as not all cliffs fenced), whilst the remaining 1.1km is close to useful facilities (such as fenced cliffs and seats).
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 section of the Great North Walk starts from the Congewai Valley east track head and heads north up into the Watagan National Park, climbing up to the ridgeline and following the management trails and bush tracks heading east all the way to the Forestry HQ campsite. On day two, the walk continues east, winding all the way around the ridge and past some great lookouts to the Heaton communications tower and down the steep ridgeline to Freemans Drive and the Watagan Forest Motel.
Total climbing: 1702m
29.7 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 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 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 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
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/cttfhc
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.