Tops to Myall's Heritage Trail

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Introduction

This little known trail is a 220km walking track north of Sydney that runs from the crest of the Great Dividing Range to the coast. The track starts at Barrington Tops National Park and ends at the seaside town of Tea Gardens.

The track starts on a sub-alpine plateau and gradually descends to the coast. It has been marked in one direction only and walkers are advised to not attempt the reverse direction as there are no markers. The track has 10 designated campsites and takes 11 days to walk. Some of the days are quite long being up to 28km and I would suggest adding an extra day in the centre for a rest making 12 days in total.

The best times of the year to walk this track are autumn (March and April) and spring (September and October). It can be walked in other seasons but expect possible extreme weather as it sometimes snows in winter on the Barrington Tops and summer can be very hot as you approach the coast. At present, I would not suggest attempting this walk (see next paragraph).

History

Little is known about who initiated or developed this track. It has the support of the local community and the land management groups of national parks and forestry. The first walk along the track was held in 1992 and the track was officially opened in September 1993. At present (2008), some sections of the track are considerably overgrown and it seems no one is doing any work on maintaining it. It looks like it has been abandoned and there seems to be some track closed signs in places. At present, I would suggest not to attempt this walk.

Location & Access

The track is located about 300 km north of Sydney and heads from the crest of the Great Dividing Range east to the coast. The eastern end of the track is close to the major highway from Sydney to Brisbane and is serviced by many buses. The western end has no regular defined services and either private transport is needed or charter a local bus. Another alternative to the western end is to stay the first night at a guest house near Barrington Tops and use the guests house bus to get to the walk start. The guide book has details of these alternatives.

Maps and Track Notes

The only information is a 48 page book, 'A Walkers Guide to The Tops to Myalls Heritage Trail'. but it seems it is now out of print.. The guide has basic maps of the track. For more detail the CMA 1:25,000 topographic maps 'Barrington Tops', 'Gloucester Tops', 'Chichester', 'Craven', 'Warranulla', 'Markwell', 'Bulahelah', 'Myall Lakes', 'Bombah Point', 'The Branch' and 'Port Stephens' are available. Alternatively the Forestry Commission 1:125,000 maps, 'Barrington Tops State Forest' and 'Bulahdelah State Forest' maps can be used. These have less detail but are more accurate with names of minor roads.

Suggested Itinerary

1 Lagoon Pinch to Wombat Creek, 10km
2 To Munro Hut (private hut - donation requested), 20km
3 To Mountaineer (camp), 24km
4 To Log Dump (camp), 28km
5 To Wards River (in Craven State Forest), 28km
6 To Little River Campsite, 25km
7 To Shorty's Camp, 25km
8 To Korseman's Landing, 27km
9 To Bombah Point, 7km (mornings walk), shops
10 To Brambles Green, 16km
11 To Hawks Nest Surf Club, 20km

 

Permits

None are needed for walking the track. Two sections cross private land and all walkers are suggested to contact the owners before starting the walk. Information with phone numbers is provided in the guide book. Because the track crosses some private land expect changes to the tracks location to occur. Always follow any signposted diversions.

Note

This is one of the two long distance tracks on this web site for which I do not have personal knowledge. The information is supplied from those who maintain the track. Recent reports about the track are that there is a lot of tree fall and it is currently very hard to follow. In the future it might disappear altogether and illustrates that to survive long term tracks need active support groups and government approval.

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Last updated : December 5th 2015