28.8 km (12 hrs )
This section of the Great North Walk (a 250 km track linking Sydney to Newcastle) follows the Cowan and Benowie Tracks in Berowra Valley National Park. Due to the length of this track, I did this as an overnight walk (my first!)
Cowan Track heads west from Cowan Station and follows the sandstone plateau to Berowra Creek, before descending to Berowra Waters. From here I picked up the Benowie Track, which ascends the plateau once more, before ascending to Calna Creek. From the Calna Creek salt marsh it was a short and easy walk to Crosslands Reserve where I pitched my tent for the night.
After a chilly night, I was off early the next morning, now following the fern lined Berowra Creek to Galston Gorge. From Galston Gorge, a steep climb brought me to Tunks Ridge, where a wide firetrail allowed me to pick up the pace. After one final ascent I ended up at Hornsby to complete my longest walk so far.
It was great to try out a longer walk, especially with the fabulous weather that I had, but I found that carrying a heavier load (13 kg) slowed me down and made some of the going more difficult.