If you have half a day free, and are feeling energetic why not check out one of the prettier falls in the Gosford area. The walk from Staples Lookout to Kariong Brook Falls is a moderate level, two and a half hour return trip of just under 6kms. Starting from Staples Lookout, on Woy Woy Rd, most of the walking is along the Thommos Loop management trail, except for the last descent into Kariong Brook. The waterfall is a nice and cool place to stop for lunch on a warm day, and if there has been some rain a great place for a dip in the warmer weather. Allow some extra time to relax at the falls.
Though rated by some bushwalking websites as hard – the track is easy enough for families, though the final descent to the falls does require some mobility and scrambling over rocks. There are plenty of views along the way and during spring the wildflowers start to bloom.
Staples Lookout is a fenced lookout providing good views east across the Central Coast, the Brisbane Water and out to the ocean. There is a large car park and picnic tables, with plenty of natural shade. The lookout was named as a tribute to Charles J Staples, a pioneer of route that Woy Woy Rd now follows. The lookout was constructed in 1955 by the Rotary Club of Woy Woy. An inscription at the lookout quotes ‘and I shall meditate on your wondrous works’ from Psalm 119:27. From the lookout, the entrance to Thommo’s Loop is about 350m down and across the other side of Woy Woy Road.
The walk actually encompasses part of the Great North Walk that stretches 250km between Sydney and Newcastle. Continuing further south from Kariong Brook takes you to Wondabyne on the Hawkesbury River, where you can catch a train back to the coast or on to Sydney (don’t forget to check the timetables though). Other parts of the walk continue on to Patonga or Girrakool for those with a bit more time or energy.
TIME: 2 and a half hours