Koolewong Ridge walk on a kool summers day

It was a spur of the moment decision, but well worth it. There was rain predicted. But that wasn't going to put a damper on things. The threat of rain kept the track free from other humans. 90% of my walks so far have been the same.

I modified a walk from the 1993 edition, Bushwalks in the Sydney Region (ISBN 0 9599160 7 5). The walk in the book starts from Point Clare. Due a big hill and a house now blocking the track! I decided to start from Kariong.

On the Saturday morning (6/2/10) I set off for the 12km return walk. I parked the car on the corner of Woy Woy RD and Bambara RD. The track follows Bambara RD and goes gently down a fire trail through either privately or government owned land. For the first half of a kilometre there are plastic markers on the larger trees, these are used for an ecology study. This seems quite strange in the bush, signs marked with housing lots and fences in the bush that would have set out the boundaries for these lots.

The owner of this land had been trying since 1983 to get a development application passed through council. From what I can tell the state government bought the land and in 2005 the Kariong High School was to be built here. Due to the area being environmentally sensitive the school was built at Mt Penang, just up the road. Still the area isn't a part of the Brisbane Water National Park.

A bit over a kilometre down the track there is an intersection with Bambara RD and the Koolewong Ridge fire trail. I turned left here and headed down a steep hill that made me dance on the loose gravel. For those who have seen me dance, you can now take that thought out of your mind and think about the nice stream that flowed over sandstone that I came across. The stream had a number of small waterfalls and possible grooves from where Aboriginal’s used to sharpen their tools. I walked down to the waterfall that dropped down into the valley below. I almost lost my balance on the slippery sandstone a number of times. I found it safer to walk in the water than out of it.

The track then continues on the Kariong, I turned around here. Just after the intersection mention before there is a large rock shelf with boulders. There are views over to Saratoga and Yattalunga from here. Mention in the book above there is meant to be an engraving of a large fish. I feel the spirits of the Bungaree tribe kept it hidden from me.

The track continues to the south for the next 2km’s. To its left, running parallel there are powers lines with a separate track running underneath them. To its right is a cliff line that runs until it almost reaches Woy Woy.  There a number of opportunities to duck off through the bush to see the excellent view of Brisbane Water’s and surrounds. I took a few of these.  You just need to  look out for spiders and their webs that are as thick as fishing line, rat or snake holes and be aware that there no safety railings on the cliff tops.   

Point Clare and Gosford

  Greenpoint and Kincumber Mountain (hill?!)

The track then comes to a Y junction. I went to the left. Passing a large water tower that is perched on the cliff top with a trig station on top of it and communications tower behind. The track heads down a steep hill coming out at Koolewong near Woy Woy Bridge. I stopped for morning tea about a 3rd of the way down to admire the views. Here I applied lots of 80% Diethyl meta toluamide to keep the moozies and leaches at bay.


I then headed back up the hill to the Y junction and turned left. I stopped at two lookouts; the first had views of Mt Wondabyne, Mt Scorpion and the village of Woy Woy Bay below. Here I gave a friendly wave to Belinda Neal.  Going down the hill there were views over to Pelican Is, Reilly’s Is, Davistown, Blackwall and Bensville. The second lookout had more views of Woy Woy Bay. It also had views over Woy Woy, Umina, Ettalong, Lion Is and Barrenjoey in the foggy distance. 

Davistown and beyond
Woy Woy Bay
Woy Woy

I then went back up the hill pass the Y junction and back along the ridge heading towards the car.  It then started to rain for a little while. Once the rain stopped I tried to find a track to the creek which makes it way down to Woy Woy bay. I had been to this creek in my teens. Since then the track has been overgrown. I found what I thought was a track, that turned out to be just an animal track. I bushed bashed my way until I came across a small cliff and turned around back to the fire trail. At the creek there are engravings depicting two men and a wallaby. Again the spirits of the Bungaree tribe kept them hidden from me.

 Ok, maybe this one can't be restored

I then took another track to the left. This shortcut track has heavy overgrown scrub. In most places you can’t even see your own feet. Every 50 metres or so there are large metal poles marking the way. Some places the track completely disappears. I would not recommend this track unless you have a good off track experience and don’t mind digging bit of timber out of yourself a few days later.  It crosses a nice sandstone creek. I would recommend you take the Bambara RD track instead. 

A few hundred metres from the car a downpour started. It continued until I reached home.

It was an enjoyable walk. Mostly flat. Best to be done on a nice sunny day when the views would be grand.

1 comment:

  1. Forgot to mention this walk took exactly 5 and half hours


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