Brisbane Water National Park
created as a reserve in 1959, this park embraces a rugged sandstone landscape known for its beautiful wildflowers and Aboriginal sites. The Dharung and Darkingjung people occupied the area for thousands of years and there are outstanding rock engravings at Bulgandy, on Woy Woy Road.
rainforest runs through the valleys and along the streams, with low open woodland and open eucalypt forest elsewhere. The rich flora supports more than 270 animal species and 150 bird species. Threatened species include the diminutive eastern pygmy-possum and the long-nosed poteroo.You will often hear the echoing call of the whipbird, or the carolling of currawongs, and the native brush-turkey can sometimes be glimpsed scraping through the leaf litter beside walking tracks. Somersby Falls, hidden in a cool pocket of rainforest, and myriad wildflowers in spring are toher park highlights.
There is a network of walking trails, including part of the Great Noth Walk (a 250-km trail from Sydney to Newcastle). The Girrakool track (2 km loop, 30 minutes, easy) form Girrakool picnic area offers scenic views over waterfalls and colourful wildflowers during late winter and early spring. Check out the Aboriginal rock engravings near the beginning of the walk and stop at Illoura lookout and the shady waterfall at Andamira lookout for a photo. Wildlife-watchers will enjoy the Mooney Mooney Nature Walk (6.5 km, 4 hours return, hards), which follows the secluded gorge along Piles Creek. Head to Waratah Trig and Staples Lookout for stunning views, Patonga Creek and Mooney Mooney Creek are suitable for conoeing and Somersby Falls and Girrabrook are well set up for picnics.
Bush camping for walkers on Great North Walk only
Location and access
70 km north of Sydney; 12 km south-west of Gosford via Paciﬁc Hwy then turn off at Kariong for access to Girrakool; via Wisemans Ferry Rd for Somersby Falls; via Woy Woy Rd for Patonga
- NSWNPWS 1300 361 967
- NPWS Gosford (02) 4320 4200
- Camp bookings (02) 4320 4203
11 473 ha
Gosford 1300 132 975, (02) 4343 4400