Leader: Anthea Michaelis

Ku-ring-gai Chase NP: Cowan GNW to T-intersection and back

21 April 2019

An 80 leaders walk

Photos top: Christine Loh

Photos below: Katrina Gaitero

Photos below: Christine Donnelly



Anthea Michaelis, John Michaelis, Jacqui Hickson, Tony Hickson, Joan Johnson, Katrina Gaitero, Chris Edwards, Christine Loh, Soo Lee Chen, Melinda Long, Anne Irish, Jenny Fisher, Misako Sugiyama, Ramon Alvarez, prospective Christine Donnelly

Walk description:

Easter Sunday walk. Cowan Station, GNW to T-intersection with wide management trail, and return to Cowan. 2 x 200m climbs in each direction 400 ascent and descent. Track is rough, rocky and very steep in sections, with stream crossings Map: Ku-ring-gai Chase NP


About half the participants arrived by train the rest by car at Cowan Station at 8.40am. Sadly one walker forgot that she had to be in rear 4 carriages of the train and missed the walk.

We set off at 8.45am crossing to the East side of the motorway and then down a steep 200m rocky descent towards Jerusalem Bay. We crossed two rocky streams, one dry and one wet then walked parallel to the stream where we passed two stunning massive and colourful Angophora trees. The stream dropped below us, first becoming a creek and then a tidal waterway as it merged into Jerusalem Bay where we stopped for a water break and photos.

The track follows the bay for a short distance before it crosses stream number three which was strewn with slippery moss-covered rocks. From here we began our first steep 200m climb to the ‘second bench’ where we broke for early morning tea and Easter eggs.

From there track passes the turnoff to Taffy’s Rock and then descends 100m, towards a flowing stream that we crossed using stepping stones. Our prospective decided to stop there with another walker and we joined them on the way back.

From here we scrambled up a 100m slope over many rocky outcrops stopping for more water breaks. One such stop was under a large and beautiful wind eroded sandstone cave. Our final climb to our turn around point was over a rocky outcrop with steel footholds.

We rested briefly before beginning our descent and then the hot climb back to the ‘second bench’ where we rejoined the two walkers we had left behind earlier. This was our lunch break and it included more Easter eggs and more photo opportunities.

From there we began the very steep 200m descent back to Jerusalem Bay and our final 200m ascent to Cowan station, finishing at 2.15pm.

Outstanding features of the walk included the many autumn fungi, fan and funnel shapes and a solitary blue one, the outstanding views, the abundance of Angophora trees with their contorted shapes and striking colours, and the majesty of wind eroded sandstone.

Thank you to everyone who came on the walk. It was a tough one as I heard from various walkers along the way.

Thank you to all the photographers.

Total distance 12.5km
600m ascents and descents. Total Time 5.5 hours.
Temperature: Up to 26 degrees

Report by Anthea and John Michaelis

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