Hornsby Blue Gum Circuit (aka Joe’s Mountain Circuit)

Matt McClelland

Length: 4.2km circuit
Time: 1.5 to 2 hours

This is one of my favourite walks in the Hornsby area. About five minutes in, you will feel a million miles from anywhere, with wilderness in your backyard. It is an enjoyable circuit walk that allows you to explore this rare pocket of Sydney Blue Gum forest. The walk takes you alongside some lovely cascades including Waitara and Berowra Creeks, as well as many small sandstone caves and a great diversity in plant life along the way.

On a sunny day you are likely to see a few water dragons on rock platforms beside Waitara Creek and if you get going early, you might be lucky enough to spot some Lyrebirds.

Partway through the walk, there is a short must-do side trip down the Fishponds, a long waterhole with stepping stones allowing you to cross the creek and check out the cave on the other side. It’s a perfect spot for morning tea.

This walk is suitable for most people who have done some bushwalking. There are unfenced cliffs and a creek crossing that needs jumping, so be mindful of who is coming on the walk. The creek does flood and becomes impassable after heavy or prolonged rain so the advice, as ever, is to never enter fast flowing water.

Getting to the start:  The walk starts from a signpost at the end of Rosemead Rd, Hornsby (near the intersection with Lockinvar Pl). You can also get to the start on foot by following the Great North Walk signs from Hornsby station for just over 1km, down the steep hill. The walk starts by following the Blue Gum walk signs down along the fire trail, across the small creek and up the hill. It then leaves the bush beside Ginger Meggs Playground on Valley Rd, it is a short road walk back to the start from there. There are no public toilets anywhere along the route. The walk is fairly well signposted and follows a well-defined track. You can download and print the free PDF with tracknotes with more information from http://wild.tl/bg

Happy walking,

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