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THE GREAT NORTH WALK 100s

 

RACE INFORMATION

COURSE
 

Overview Map    •    Detailed Maps    •    Detailed Directions    •    Checkpoint Sketch Maps    •    Course Marking    •    Trail Going    •    Trail Etiquette    •    Topography    •    Geology    •    Flora    •    Fauna    •    History

 

Runners must follow the specified Course at all times.  If Runners leave the Course they must return to the same point before proceeding.  The Course primarily follows the route of The Great North Walk from Teralba on Lake Macquarie to Patonga on Broken Bay.  There are minor deviations to reach some Checkpoints.

Overview Map

For an overview map of the course, click here.

Detailed Maps

Detailed Maps in colour are available on the Race Website here.  All Runners are required to print the coloured maps (lamination is recommended) from the Website in advance of the event.  The final versions of the Detailed Maps will be available on the Race Website from Friday, 25 August 2017.  DETAILED MAPS WILL NOT BE AVAILABLE FOR RUNNERS AT THE START.

Detailed Directions

Detailed Directions are available on the Race Website here.  All Runners are required to print the Detailed Directions (lamination recommended) from the website in advance of the event.  The final versions of the Detailed Directions will be available on the Race Website from Friday, 25 August 2017.  DETAILED DIRECTIONS WILL NOT BE AVAILABLE FOR RUNNERS AT THE START.

Checkpoint Sketch Maps

Checkpoint Sketch Maps are available on the Race Website here.  These maps indicate the locations of the Check-In and Check-Out points as well as the location of Drop Bags, Food & Drink, and Medical support.  All Runners should familiarise themselves with these locations.

Course Marking

There will be no marshals directing Runners on the Course.  The Great North Walk hiking trail is marked for all of its length, and especially at intersections and points of interest.  However, the green colour of the marker posts sometimes makes them difficult to see.  Runners will need to be very watchful for the Course markings and be careful navigators to avoid missing turns or getting lost.  There are some sections, particularly in denser forest, gorges and rocky plateaus, where the Course can be very hard to follow, and the greatest care needs to be exercised.

Trail Going

Characteristic 100 Kilometre 100 Mile
Sect
1
Sect
2
Sect
3
Sect
4
Total Sect
5
Sect
6
Sect
7
Total
Trail Going (kilometres)
Sealed
Road
Easy 6.6     3.9 10.5 1.6 2.0   14.1
Moderate 0.2       0.2 2.0 0.8   3.0
Hard         0.0 0.1     0.1
  Total 6.8 0.0 0.0 3.9 10.7 3.7 2.8 0.0 17.2
Gravel
Road
Easy 6.4 7.8 8.9 8.1 31.2 5.5 2.0   38.7
Moderate         0.0     1.3 1.3
Hard         0.0       0.0
  Total 6.4 7.8 8.9 8.1 31.2 5.5 2.0 1.3 40.0
Fire/
4WD
Trail
Easy 0.4   0.1 4.1 4.5 0.3   1.4 6.2
Moderate 4.3 12.5 3.9   20.6 7.2 0.4 7.2 35.4
Hard     2.4   2.4       2.4
  Total 4.6 12.5 6.4 4.1 27.5 7.5 0.4 8.6 44.0
Foot
Track
Easy 1.4       1.4 1.8   2.4 5.5
Moderate 2.0 3.7 2.7 2.2 10.5 2.8 12.6 3.1 29.0
Hard 7.4   11.1 3.8 22.3 7.2   10.0 39.6
  Total 10.8 3.7 13.8 6.0 34.3 11.7 12.6 15.5 74.1
     Total Distance 28.6 23.9 29.1 22.1 103.7 28.4 17.8 25.4 175.3
Elevation (metres)
 Gain   1476 472 1353 492 3793 1134 306 897 6130
 Loss
  996 837 1238 691 3761 895 551 937 6144

 

Trail Etiquette

Runners should show courtesy to all people encountered on the GNW100s Course including those in vehicles and on trail bikes.

Topography

Section 1 (28.6 km)
Start (Tulkaba Park, Teralba) to Checkpoint 1 (Old Watagan Forestry HQ)
[GNW100s
Detailed Maps 1, 2, 3, 4, 5] [MapMyRun] [GoogleEarth]

The route climbs from Teralba on the shores of Lake Macquarie into the majestic Awaba, Olney and Heaton State Forests with their rich eucalypt and rainforest landscapes.  There are also magnificent panoramic views of the Central Coast and Lower Hunter Valley while crossing the Sugarloaf and Myall Ranges. The track from Teralba to Heaton Gap is easy to moderate going while the section from Heaton Gap to the Old Watagan Forestry HQ incorporates some precipitous ascents and descents and is very rough and hard to follow in parts.

Section 2 (23.9 km)
Checkpoint 1 (Old Watagan Forestry HQ) to Checkpoint 2 (Congewai Public School)
[GNW100s Detailed Maps
5, 6, 7, 8] [MapMyRun] [GoogleEarth]

The route follows the ridge of the Myall Range through eucalypt forest with extensive views to the north across the Lower Hunter Valley until it descends southwards into the picturesque farmland of the Congewai Valley.  Generally the track is easy to moderate going.

Section 3 (29.1 km)
Checkpoint 2 (Congewai Public School) to Checkpoint 3 (Basin Campsite)
[GNW100s
Detailed Maps
8, 9, 10] [MapMyRun] [GoogleEarth]

The route climbs from the Congewai Valley into the Watagan Mountains and passes through the Olney State Forest with majestic stands of tall timber and delightful pockets of rainforest.  Generally the track going is moderate to hard.

Section 4 (22.1 km)
Checkpoint 3 (Basin Campsite) to Checkpoint 4 and Finish 100 km (Yarramalong Public School)
[GNW100s Detailed Maps
10, 11, 12] [MapMyRun] [GoogleEarth]

The route continues through the Olney State Forest before descending to the Cedar Brush Trackhead and following the road down the beautiful rural Yarramalong Valley.  The track going is moderate to easy.

Section 5 (28.4 km)
Checkpoint 4 (Yarramalong Public School) to Checkpoint 5 (Somersby Public School)
[GNW100s Detailed Maps
12, 13, 14, 15] [MapMyRun] [GoogleEarth]

The route initially climbs through eucalypt forest before following Milligans Ridge through Ourimbah State Forest.  It then descends to follow Ourimbah Creek through its picturesque rural valley before climbing back onto the plateau.  The track going is generally moderate to easy with a few difficult sections.

Section 6 (17.8 km)
Checkpoint 5 (Somersby Public School) to Checkpoint 6 (Pacific Hwy bridge over Mooney Mooney Creek)
[GNW100s Detailed Maps
15, 16] [MapMyRun] [GoogleEarth]

The route passes through rural countryside before skirting the eastern side of the Mooney Mooney Creek valley in Brisbane Water National Park.  From the junction with the track to Somersby Falls the Course descends into the scenic Mooney Mooney Creek valley, passing Mooney Mooney Creek Dam, before eventually crossing the Creek (take care!).  The Course then follows Mooney Mooney Creek to Checkpoint 6.  The track going is easy to moderate.

Section 7 (25.4 km)
Checkpoint 6 (Pacific Hwy bridge over Mooney Mooney Creek) to Finish 100 Mile (Patonga Wharf)
[GNW100s Detailed Maps
16, 17, 18] [MapMyRun] [GoogleEarth]

The route follows Mooney Mooney Creek downstream a short distance before turning to follow Piles Creek upstream and then crossing the creek on a suspension bridge.  It then climbs steeply out of the rainforest pockets of the valley into eucalypt forest and open sandstone plateaus.  It then descends to Broken Bay and Patonga offering magnificent views en route.  The track going ranges from easy to hard.

Geology

In the north, the forested Watagan Mountains separate the Hunter River catchment from the catchments of Lake Macquarie and the Tuggerah Lakes.  Further south, Hawkesbury sandstone is the areas dominant rock type, with underlying Narrabeen sediments being exposed in some escarpments along watercourses.  “Tafoni” or “honeycomb” weathering has eroded the face of sandstone escarpments to produce many fantastically elaborate rock shelters.  Spectacular tidal inlets have been created where ancient river valleys were drowned about 8,000 years ago by the rise in sea level following the last ice age.

Flora

The Course of the GNW100s passes through an area where the ecologically rich forests of the mid north coast give way to the drier gnarled forests of the Sydney sandstone country.  As a result, many plant species are encountered along the way.  In the north, magnificent isolated stands of red cedar and Illawarra flame trees mix with more common species including spotted gum, Sydney blue gum, turpentine, peppermints and forest oaks.  Further to the south, high areas carry open woodland with a heath-like understorey and occasional “hanging” swamps.  Along the whole route, some of the deep gorges contain remnants of dense sub-tropical rainforest with tree ferns, cabbage-tree palms, elkhorns and rock- and tree orchids.

Fauna

Along the route of the GNW100s live populations of wallabies, koalas, echidnas, platypus, brush-tailed and ring-tailed possums and great gliders as well as 37 species of snake (rarely seen!) and many species of birds.

History

The area of the race has a long aboriginal heritage.  In the north, the Darkinjug and Awabakal Aboriginal people have been connected to the Watagan Mountains for at least 11,000 years.  The mountains are of spiritual and cultural significance and were a rich source of food and shelter in the traditional hunter/gatherer economy.  Rock art, axe grinding grooves, engravings and stone artefact scatters can be found along ridge lines, spurs and valley floors.  In the south, near Broken Bay and Brisbane Water, lived the Gurringai tribe.  They have left behind a rich legacy of rock engravings, charcoal and ochre drawings and exe-grinding grooves.  European use of the Watagan Mountains began with the arrival of the cedar-getters in the early 1820s.  Hardwood harvesting followed, bolstered by the construction of the Newcastle rail link in the 1850s, the availability of a timber supply route via Dora Creek and the growing coal mining industry’s need for timber.  The early roads in the mountains developed from the original bullock tracks used to extract the logs.

  

 

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