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Brisbane Water National Park
At a Glance
A strange mish-mash of single track and fire trail leads to amazing views South over the water and to West Head.
Woy Woy Road, Brisbane Water National Park. Tunnel Track trail head. Driving from the East this is on the right just before traffic camera.
Beware the tip!
The main North/South thoroughfare here is part of the Great North Walk. Be warned that following the whole of this amply signposted route all the way South is technically illegal (well, if you ride - one can always walk/carry their bike) and will also result in plenty of hike-a-bike sections. A little frustrating to say the least.
Luckily a glance at a recent topo map (well, recent as of time of writing) shows the 'walking' sections can be avoided by following various fire trail loops around them so no drama, right?
Well, almost - because while this is true of the use of Thomas & Tunnel tracks, beware the tip further South. Woy Woy council have taken what was probably a disused quarry slap bang in the centre of the park and created a landfill. Not only ugly and smelly - but this blocks off one of the fire trails South of Tunnel Track so one has no alternative but to take Great North Walk. At least there's plenty of fun to be had on that part of the trail (which is pretty hard to follow - look for cairns and painted arrows), but the hike-a-bike (pictured) cannot be avoided
Persevere with the bike carrying though and soon you'll be climbing back up fire trail and toward the coast, where a fantastic view awaits. At the end of the trail a small carpark with steps leading away greets you. Forget those and take the management trail West a few 100m earlier - it leads to the same trail.
From there head East or West to Patonga or Pearl Beach. There is a trail between the two, but getting into the heart of either place sadly involves a short section of bitumen (down quiet a steep hill in the case of Patonga). There's a basic cafe/fish shop at Patonga, but when we visited the pub next door looked well on the way to being completely renovated - my, that would be nice come summer We have it on good authority that Pearl Beach has nice cafe/bakery to relax on before slogging back uphill to the clifftop and the return route.
And the rest
There's plenty more trails marked on the map North of these, but didn't get a chance to check them out. Also to the east is the promising looking Highway Ridge Track, with a possible track South where it ends. Given the tip incident though, don't want to mark that on without actually taking a look.