Dharug NP, NSW
10.0 km (2.5 hrs )
The Great North Road was built by convicts between 1825 and 1836 to connect Sydney with the fertile Hunter Valley to the north. Much of the 260 kilometres of the road has been absorbed into urban and rural roads, but some original preserved sections remain, the best of which can be seen at Devines Hill near Wisemans Ferry. This section of The Great North Road features some of the most impressive engineering details of the road, including gutters, culverts and drains, embankment walls and hand cut stones. The National Parks and Wildlife Service who administer the site have done a remarkable job in making the history of the place come alive with details of the road and the individuals who worked on it.
While I have previously walked the section at Devines Hill, I took the opportunity this time to continue the walk to Finch's Line. This was the original route of the Great North Road, surveyed in 1825 and begun in 1828, however, this was abandoned shortly afterwards when Governor Darling ordered a new route due to the perilously steep and narrow path the intended road followed.
This was an interesting walk, full of history and some spectacular views, both of the Hawkesbury River, as well as inland.The section to Hangman's Rock that I did is part of the longer loop walk to Finches Line that I hope to do one day.