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Mt Myall Wakefield to Watagan Rd: Great North Walk

Watch out for UFOs as you climb into the Watagan Mountains
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Rating: 5 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Strenuous
Length: 13.2 miles
Duration: Full day

Overview :  MT MYALL TO WATAGAN ROAD: 21.3 km (hard)
From Archery Road south of Wakefield cross the F3 freeway and begin to climb up to the... more »

Tips:  This is a tough walk - you will need sturdy boots and plenty of water in summer-time. The first part is popular with 4WD vehicles so ... more »

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Points of Interest

1. Waratahs

The Waratah (Telopea speciosissim) was proclaimed the official floral emblem of New South Wales on 24 October 1962. These flowers re native tot eh Hawkesbury sandstone and grow throughout the Sydney Basin. Once in serious contention to be the national flower of Australia (a title later taken by the golden wattle) the crimson waratah is a... More

2. Walkers Register (don't miss it)

The exact location of these registers is a secret but if you manage to find them all and write in your name and dates of your hike, the NSW Land & Property Management Authority will send you a certificate of completing the "Great North Walk". Go to
http://www.lpma.nsw.gov.au/about_recreation/walking_tracks/great_north_walk

3. Heaton Gap Above Freemans Waterhole

The terrain north of the new British settlement of Sydney rises rapidly to a high sandstone plateau on the northern bank of the Hawkesbury River falls away into the Hunter River Valley still further north. This high terrain posed an impenetrable barrier to establishing a land route from Sydney to Newcastle. Heaton Gap or simply “the Gap”, named... More

4. Hunter Valley's Coal Mines and Power Stations

There are many viewpoints along the track offering splendid panoramas over the Hunter Valley. As well as the magnificent natural landscape there are power stations and coal mines such as the Pelaw Main and Richmond Vale collieries.
Richmond Main Colliery, once the largest shaft mine in the Southern Hemisphere, is heritage listed. Visit the... More

5. Woodland Trail Signs

The Great North Walk trail is well marked but sometimes you have to look around for older trail sings - like this one painted on a fallen tree. Mind your head as you scramble under cliff overhangs and downed tree trunks.

6. Rock Shelter

Watagan Mountains: The Watagans provide an important habitat for over 150 native animal species including wallabies, gliders, brush and ring-tailed possums, amphibians and reptiles and more than 130 species of birds. Echidnas, although rare, can be frequently seen foraging on the verges of the forest tracks. The Watagan Mountains has been a NSW... More

7. Deep Gullies

Walking off-track in the valleys is challenging due to the thick rainforest vegetation, and leeches. However, there is a good network of roads and walking trails. Lookouts offer stunning views to the north down into the Hunter Valley west towards Paxton and east towards Newcastle. From here you can view the new industrial life of Newcastle – built... More

8. Beware of Leeches & Ticks

Both are common in this area. Ticks have to be removed with care –use small tweezers and grasp the head of the tick as close to the skin as possible. Pull it away from the skin firmly without twisting. Seek medical advice if any flu-like symptoms ensue. Remove leeches by sliding a fingernail (or a credit card corner is you are squeamish) under ... More

9. Watagan Forest Campsite

This large campsite between Watagan and Bakers roads, provides ample room for pitching a tent as well as a water tank, fixed seats and tables, camp barbeques and a garbage bin. There are echidna in the bushes nearby - they are shy so be quiet if you want to meet them. While seeming to be an ideal point for those camping and hiking to stop for the ... More