Circular Quay to Hornsby

Download & Print Map and Notes

3 Days

44.4 km One way

1690 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

Daily actual walking time estimates

Day Walking Time Length
1 5 hrs 46 mins 21.6 km
2 5 hrs 26 mins 15.8 km
3 4 hrs 22 mins 12.1 km

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 14km is flat with no steps and the remaining 1.9km is very steep.

Quality of track

18km of this walk follows a formed track, with some branches and other obstacles and another 18km follows a clear and well formed track or trail. 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.

Other Nearby walks

A list of walks that start near the Circular Quay to Hornsby walk.

Plan your trip to and from the walk here

The Circular Quay to Hornsby walk starts at the The Obelisk (gps: -33.863268, 151.21023)
Your transport options to The Obelisk are by;
Train. (get details)
Ferry. (get details)
Car. There is free parking available.
(get details)

The Circular Quay to Hornsby ends at the Hornsby Train Station (gps: -33.703509, 151.09801)
Your transport options to Hornsby Train Station are by;
Train. (get details)
Bus. (get details)
Car. There is free parking available.
(get details)

Fire Danger

Each 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 Forest

This walk starts in the Metropolitan weather district always check the formal BOM forecast or pdf before starting your walk.

Forecast snapshot

Park Information & Alerts



Short URL =

Gallery images
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.
Happy walking
Matt 🙂