Girrakool picnic area To Staples Lookout
a fantastic hike of about 12 klm (one way) in the Brisbane Water NP Central Coast near Gosford, starting at Girrakool picnic area near Kariong, south to Scopas Peak, onto Myron Brook and Kariong waterfall, finishing at Staples Lookout on Woy Woy Rd. it took me about 4 hours and 20 minutes. i would classify the hike as Medium/Hard.......but i'm older than most :)
undulating fire trails and tracks in very good condition with some VERY steep sections. most of the hike follows the Great North Walk. there is more of a descent overall going from Girrakool to Staples compared to the other way. If you start at Staples first, the track from Myron Brook one and a half klms west to the Wondabyne Station fire trail (where you will turn right) is VERY steep UP ! best to avoid that and start at Girrakool in the north first. but having said, there are some quite steep sections of the bush track (in the first 1/3 of the hike) that go UP from Rat Gully and also Tributary Crossing to the flats of Leochares Peak. from Scopas Peak (which has a sensational view !) south to Myron and Kariong Brooks is all downhill. After you leave Kariong Brook waterfall, there is a steep climb up to Thommos Loop fire trail. then its flat walking to Woy Woy Rd.
here are some photos i took of the hike on Friday 22 April 2011 .......
heading down from the car park at Girrakool picnic area
follow this path down to the first lookout and veer left
crossing Piles Creek waterfall, keeping the creek on your right
heading down the eastern Piles Creek track for 2 klm to the Patonga turnoff
some time later, on the rock flats approaching Leochares Peak
approaching Leochares Peak
bush track skirting Leochares Peak, and looking to the right we see.......
.........the F3 Freeway road bridge across Mooney Mooney Creek
looking back we see Leochares Peak on the left and Mt. Kariong on the right
at Scopas Peak lookout, looking south to Mt. Wondabyn. the bush track is below.
twisted Scribbly Gum tree
mail box on the track ???
a Great North Walk visitor's book
end of the bush track and onto a wide fire trail, where we DON'T turn left !
Mooney Mooney Creek from the fire trail
here we turn off the fire trail onto a bush track and head east 2 klm to
Myron and Kariong Brooks. the fire trail continues south to Wondabyn Railway Station.
heading east down the steep Myron Brook track.
faint track at times, follow the painted arrows
crossing Myron Brook......
10 minutes later........ Kariong Brook waterfall !
leaving the waterfall and heading UP !
steep track up !
almost at the top
at the top, arriving at Thommos Loop fire trail, where we turn left
on the flat fire trail, looking west towards Scopas and Leochares Peaks
arriving at the fire trail gate at Woy Woy rd.
go through the fire trail gate,
turn left on Woy Woy Road and head 350 meters up to Staples Lookout........