Bluegum Walk around Joe's Mountain is a fire trail walk in the Berowra Valley Regional Park. The area consists of diverse bushland and is one of those special places within the Sydney Basin landscape. It is managed by NSW Parks & Wildlife Service and is an area of great natural and cultural heritage importance right on our urban doorstep.
Image courtesy of Hornsby Shire Council
Being surrounded by creeks and being largely unaffected by development, this walk is great for getting out of the rat race and enjoying the wonderful Australian bushland and its unique flora and fauna.
Starting at the green fire trail gate at the end of Rosemead Road, Hornsby and ending at Ginger Meggs Park (about 400 metres from the starting point), this is an enjoyable circuit walk that allows you to explore this rare pocket of Sydney Blue Gum forest.
There are a few creek crossings and many small sandstone caves along the way. Sit quietly on the bank of Waitara Creek and you may see a water dragon, or if you are early enough you may even hear the Lyrebirds. Lyrebirds are shy birds and a constant stream of bird calls coming from one place is often the only way of identifying them and their presence, so don't be surprised if you don't see them.
Along the way you will be able to enjoy views over the valley, take some time out to relax and explore Fishponds waterhole and the Waitara Creek. There are some magnificent trees on the walk including the leaning Angophora Eucalypt which has been struck by lightning and the Sydney Red Gum over 1 metre in diameter.
At the top of the rise, a flat cleared section marks the site of a shack used in the filming of a minor bush–horror drama, Spook, a film made in 1988.
The track is signposted and easy to follow but you should also be prepared with a map, as with any bush walk. Due to the creek crossings, this walk should not be attempted following periods of heavy rain.
The circuit is around 4.3km long and is a moderate to difficult walk. You should allow around 2.5 hours and carry plenty of water and snacks. As always, you should notify someone of your plans before you leave.
Access is best by car or a steep walk of approx 20 minutes from Hornsby Station through Dural Street and down the convict steps.
Picnic tables and a playground are available at Ginger Meggs Park which is named in honour of Jimmy Bancks (1889-1952), creator of the cartoon character Ginger Meggs, who once lived in the area.
What to wear: Enclosed shoes with a non-slip sole. A wide-brim hat and sunscreen.
What to carry: Drinking water and a snack, a first aid kit (even on short walks), insect repellent, a mobile phone (coverage may not be available in valleys).
Remember: Check the weather forecast and avoid walking in very cold, wet, windy or hot weather and on total fire ban days. Walk with at least one other person. Inform someone of your walking plans and what time you expect to return. Walk at a pace which is comfortable for you and your group.
Great article Karen. I'm going to try this one myself!
By Jon Jones - general editor Monday, 15th of August @ 10:16 pm
Wow, one of my favorite bushwalking places when I lived in Sydney - I used to catch the train up there and then walk. I cant remember if its from there you can get to the Pitwater and theres a great boat mooring place, that has a cafe. Its surrounded by trees and water. Divine.
By Jody Kimber - senior reviewer Wednesday, 31st of August @ 11:43 am