This loop track starts from the Hunter Lookout picnic area and follows the Great North Walk around the edge of the ridge via the Macleans Lookout, Rocky Creek gully and the cliffs around the eastern edge of the ridge. This walk provides great views across the valley and much of the Hunter to the north. On the return, the walk takes a leisurely stroll along the dirt roads, passing the pines plantation area and the rocky creek camping area.
2 hrs 30 mins
(0km) Hunter Lookout picnic area → Macleans Lookout
Veer left: From the Hunter Lookout picnic area (on Bakers Road), this walk follows Bakers Road north and gently downhill, while keeping Hunter Lookout on your left. The walk continues for about 400m until coming to a Y-intersection (Bakers Road loop).
Continue straight: From the intersection (Bakers Road Loop), this walk follows the track gently uphill, while keeping the other end of Bakers Road Loop to your right, gently downhill. The walk follows the road for about 130m until coming to Macleans Lookout.
(0.7km) Maclean Lookout → Int of GNW track AND Glen Road
Continue straight: From the intersection, this walk follows the trail gently downhill, while keeping the ‘Heaton Lookout’ sign on your right. The walk continues (becoming moderately steep downhill) for about 280m until coming to a three-way intersection with a track on the left.
Turn sharp right: From the intersection, this walk follows the track moderately steeply downhill, while keeping the GNW arrow marker on your left. The walk continues (descending moderately steeply into and out of a gully) for about 150m, until coming to a three-way intersection, Glen Road.
(1.37km) Int of GNW track & Glen Road → Int of GNW track & a narrow road
Turn left : From the intersection, this walk follows the GNW arrow marker moderately steeply down along the track. The walk continues for about 100m, to find a forested mossy creek where the track bend right and continues close to the creek for about 70m to then bend left and crossing the creek. The walk now follows the track undulating gently for about 280m before finding a large rock overhang. The walk then continues moderately steeply uphill for about 200m until coming to a T-intersection with a wide trail and GNW arrow marker.
(2.23km) Int of GNW track & a wide track → Int of GNW track and Hammonds Road
Continue straight: From the intersection, this walk follows the wide track gently downhill, while keeping the ‘Macleans Lookout 2km’ sign on your right. The walk continues for about 140m to a three-way intersection, with Fosters Road on your right and ‘Fosters Road’ sign on your left.
Continue straight: From the intersection, this walk follows the GNW arrow post down along the wide old trail, passing the ‘Fosters Road’ sign on your left. The walk continues for about 100m, where the wide track then leads moderately steeply downhill for about 150m more. The walk then crosses a gully and heads up over another rise for about 70m to where the track narrows then bends left at a GNW arrow post. About 180m past the post, the walk crosses a gully then heads up the other side, past a termite mound to an unfenced cliff with distance valley views. Here the track bends right and leads up a short distance to a dirt road. The walk turns left and follows the road down for just a few metres to the ‘Hammonds Road’ sign, where the ‘MacLean Lookout’ arrow points back along the road.
(3km) Int of Hammonds Road and Great North Walk bushtrack → Int of Hammonds and Fosters Roads
(3.4km) Int of Hammonds and Fosters Roads → Int of Hammonds and Rockey Creek Roads
Continue straight: From the intersection, this walk heads west along Hammonds Road, following the edge of the plantation to the intersection with Rockey Creek Road.
(3.98km) Int of Hammonds and Rockey Creek Roads → Rockey Creek Rest Area
Continue straight: From the intersection, this walk heads down the hill along Rockey Creek Road, crossing a small stream on a rock platform and heading up the other side to the rest area on the north side of the road.
Rocky Creek Campsite
(4.49km) Rockey Creek Rest Area → Int of Rockey Creek and Bakers Road
(4.94km) Int of Bakers & Rocky Creek Roads → Int of Bakers & Glen Roads
(5.35km) Int of Bakers & Glen Roads → Hunter Lookout picnic area
Veer left: From the intersection, this walk heads off the road and up the hill following the Hunter Lookout picnic area sign, past the wooden gate and the public toilet, to the picnic area area and the lookout.
Maps for the Hunter Lookout and Great North Walk loop walk
You can download the PDF for this walk to print a map.
These maps below cover the walk and the wider area around the walk, they are worth carrying for safety reasons.
|Quorrobolong||1:25 000 Map Series||91322S QUORROBOLONG||NSW-91322S|
|Cessnock||1:50 000 Map Series||91322 CESSNOCK||CW-91322|
|Cessnock||1:100 000 Map Series||9132 CESSNOCK||9132|
Cross sectional view of the Hunter Lookout and Great North Walk loop bushwalking track
Analysis and summary of the altitude variation on the Hunter Lookout and Great North Walk loop
Overview of this walks grade – based on the AS 2156.1 – 2001
Under this standard, a walk is graded based on the most difficult section of the walk.
|Time||2 hrs 30 mins|
|AS 2156.1||Gradient||Very steep (4/6)|
|Quality of track||Rough track, where fallen trees and other obstacles are likely (4/6)|
|Signs||Minimal directional signs (4/6)|
|Experience Required||Moderate level of bushwalking experience recommended (4/6)|
|Weather||Weather generally has little impact on safety (1/6)|
|Infrastructure||Limited facilities (such as cliffs not fenced, significant creeks not bridged) (4/6)|
Some more details of this walks Grading
Here is a bit more details explaining grading looking at sections of the walk
3.6km of this walk has short steep hills and another 1km has gentle hills with occasional steps. The remaining (1000m) is very steep.
Quality of track
3.2km of this walk follows a clear and well formed track or trail and another 1.7km follows a formed track, with some branches and other obstacles. The remaining (720m) follows a rough track, where fallen trees and other obstacles are likely.
Around 2.9km of this walk has minimal directional signs, whilst the remaining 2.8km has directional signs at most intersection.
3.7km of this walk requires no previous bushwalking experience and another 1km requires some bushwalking experience. The remaining (900m) requires a leader a with moderate level of bushwalking experience.
This whole walk, 6km is not usually affected by severe weather events (that would unexpectedly impact safety and navigation).
3.7km of this walk has limited facilities (such as not all cliffs fenced) and another 1.4km has limited facilities (such as cliffs not fenced, significant creeks not bridged). The remaining (530m) is close to useful facilities (such as fenced cliffs and seats).
A list of walks that share part of the track with the Hunter Lookout and Great North Walk loop walk.
This loop walk starts from the Hunter Lookout picnic area. The walk provides great views across the valley and winds around the edge of the ridge line, passing Macleans lookout, also with great views. The walk continues along a short section of the Great North Walk, through an open forest to the end of Glen road. From here the walk follows the dirt roads back to the Hunter Lookout.
Total climbing: 138m
2.5 km Circuit
This scenic walk includes dramatic lookouts and time spent in moist cool forest. The walk initially travels on dirt road past Hunter and MacLean’s Lookout, before descending into the Wallis Creek catchment. Here the walk traverses underneath many cliffs before crossing Wallis Creek and arriving at Heaton Lookout. A recommended walk with car access either end.
Total climbing: 571m
8.1 km One way
This walk starts from the Watagan Forestry HQ campsite and follows the Great North Walk through the Watagan State Forest. The walk then heads out to Heaton lookout and down the long descent into Heaton Gap, passing several more fantastic lookouts and picnic areas on the way. The walk finishes at Heaton Gap on Freemans drive, just opposite the Watagan Forest Motel.
Total climbing: 729m
12.5 km One way
This section of the Great North Walk starts from the Congewai Valley east track head and heads north up into the Watagan National Park, climbing up to the ridgeline and following the management trails and bush tracks heading east all the way to the Forestry HQ campsite. On day two, the walk continues east, winding all the way around the ridge and past some great lookouts to the Heaton communications tower and down the steep ridgeline to Freemans Drive and the Watagan Forest Motel.
Total climbing: 1702m
29.7 km One way
This four day walk starts at the Basin Campsite, in the Olney State Forest, and follows the Great North Walk, heading north. The walk passes through to the Watagan State Forest and into the Congewai Valley, continuing east into the Watagan National Park and all the way through to Heaton Gap. The three campsites can be found along the ridgeline before dropping down into the Congewai Valley, at the Barraba campsite, and at the Watagan Forestry H.Q campsite on the corner of Watagan and Bakers Roads in the Watagan National Park.
Total climbing: 3206m
60.5 km One way
Other Nearby walks
A list of walks that start near the Hunter Lookout and Great North Walk loop walk.
This section of the Great North Walk starts from Heaton Gap near the Watagan Forest Motel, and winds east, towards Newcastle. The walk passes through the Awaba State Forest and past the Sugarloaf range, down into Wakefield and on to Teralba, a pleasant town on the edge of Lake Macquarie. Accommodation is available at both ends of this day walk.
Total climbing: 460m
14.8 km One way
This a cool walk on a on a hot day. Take your time exploring the rock formations along the creek, before finding the moss wall. Walk alongside the moss wall to its end, and then follow a track through moist rainforest back to the dam. A pleasant relaxed walk starting and finishing from the Boarding House Dam picnic area.
Total climbing: 36m
718 m Circuit
A gentle walk past the Boarding House dam and through moist rainforest to a long straight moss covered wall. Spend some time exploring the creek and pools beside the moss wall before retracing your steps back to the Boarding House dam picnic area and car park. A cool sheltered spot to relax, particularly on a hot summer day.
Total climbing: 22m
516 m Return
This section of the Great North Walk start from grand views at Heaton Lookout in Heaton state forest and leads to the picnic area and motel at Heaton Gap. The first section of this walk follows the dirt road to a communication tower before passing another lookout and expansive valley views. Here you start the steep decent along a rocky track and passing a lovely grove of grass trees. From here you follow a grassy trail and powerlines before the narrow track leads down and across the road at Heaton Gap.
Total climbing: 153m
4.3 km One way
This return walk starts from a nice rest area on Georges Road and follows the road along the ridge, passing several great lookout points across the valley, to the quiet little 125r lookout, which provides a nice open clearing that just screams lunch time. Please note that Watagan and Georges Roads are dry weather roads only, if you are unsure, check with the park office before heading out. This walk can be made shorter by driving further along Georges Rd.
Total climbing: 209m
4.4 km Return
3 hrs 30 mins
This walk leads to one of the best waterfalls in the Hunter area and is highly recommended. The walk travels through dense rainforest, before descending to an inspiring amphitheatre of rock with the dramatic Gap Creek Falls. Spend some time looking around the base of the falls, particularly behind the falls on the narrow unfenced ledge. This walk is particularly good on a hot day, where the cooling spray off the waterfall is appreciated.
Total climbing: 162m
1.5 km Return
This walk takes you deep into moist rainforest and is well worthwhile. The walk is mostly flat and travels through a varied and healthy rainforest, with strangler fig vines, large older trees and lots of wildlife. If you are lucky, you could find the protected yabbies in the creek at the end of the walk. This walk is a must do, particularly on a hot day.
Total climbing: 111m
1.7 km Return
This short but steep walk to the base of an attractive cliff is worthwhile. The walk travels through open forest with gum trees and Xanthorhoea trees to eventually follow timber steps steeply to the base of the Monkey Face cliff. This cliff is used by rock climbers and abseiling parties, so be aware that people may be above you. Spend some time exploring the base of cliff before returning the same way.
Total climbing: 65m
406 m Return
This short and scenic walk offers two lookouts and a forest walk. Gap Creek viewpoint gives views of dense forest, while the Monkey Face viewpoint gives views of forested farmland in the Gap Creek valley. The short forest walk between these two viewpoints is amongst large rocks and offers views of its own. The cliffs between the viewpoints are used by rock climbers and abseiling parties, so do not dislodge rocks from the top of the cliffs. This is a recommended and scenic walk.
Total climbing: 74m
1.3 km Circuit
This full day walk starts from the Congewai valley trackhead (east) and follows the Great North Walk up into the Watagan National Park. Winding east along Georges road for the most part, this walk also passes many great lookouts and gives the option of a side trip down to the 125r lookout, which provides a great view to the south and nice spot for lunch. The walk finishes at the Watagan Headquarters campsite, which has a fire place and a picnic table.
Total climbing: 973m
17.2 km One way
This section of the Great North Walk starts from the Teralba train station and winds down and around the edge of Lake Macquarie. The walk passes through the Cockle reserve, and continues to Warners bay and up along the roads, before cutting through the bush to Charlestown, where it winds around the golf course and finishes at the Charlestown Park track head.
Total climbing: 220m
13.3 km One way
4 hrs 30 mins
This walk follows the most northern section of the Great North Walk, from the Teralba station along Macquarie lake, to Warners Bay. Most of the walking is along footpaths, through park land, or along the road side. After Charlestown, the walk heads through the bush to the old Belmont railway and along Flaggy creek to the Glenrock Scout Camp. On day two, the walk heads along the beaches past Merewether baths, and up to the top of Shephards hill, through King Edwards park to the obelisk and down to the cities train station.
Total climbing: 489m
25.7 km One way
Plan your trip to and from the walk here
The Hunter Lookout and Great North Walk loop walk starts and ends at the Hunter Lookout picnic area (gps: -32.962577, 151.41383)
Your main transport option to Hunter Lookout picnic area is by;
Car. There is free parking available.
Each park may have its own fire ban, this rating is only valid for today and is based on information from the RFS Please check the RFS Website for more information.
This walk starts in the Hunter weather district always check the formal BOM forecast or pdf before starting your walk.
Park Information & Alerts
Short URL = http://wild.tl/hlagnwl
There are other downloads I am still working on.
You will probably need to login to access these — still all free.
* KML (google earth file)
* GPX (GPS file)
Special Maps/ brochures
* A3 topo maps
* PDF with Lands Topo map base
* PDF with arial image (and map overlay)
I wanted to get the main site live first, this extra stuff will come in time.