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Great North Walk: Lane Cove to Thornleigh

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Lane Cove National Park

Great North Walk: Lane Cove to Thornleigh is a 8.4 mile moderately trafficked point-to-point trail located near Sydney, New South Wales, Australia that features a river and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, running, and nature trips.

Distance: 8.4 miles Elevation Gain: 1,128 feet Route Type: Point to Point

kid friendly


nature trips






wild flowers


This is the first section of the GNW and best done as a day-walk, but you can camp at Lane Cove National Park (bookings required) to make it into an overnight walk. After about six kilometres of road walking through Hunters Hill you reach Lane Cove National Park, a thin and long green strip through the north of Sydney. You'll never feel like your in the wilderness, but it's fairly pleasant walking, mostly along the Lane Cove River. It's easy to get off route here so download a map ahead of time!

1 month ago

Just finished my own version of this trail. Lovely walk, not something I would recommend for someone inexperienced, there’s a few creek crossings and scrambles. Trail is well sign posted but still needed the handheld out every now and then. Gave some thought to other feedback on here; regarding starting at Thornleigh. I’m inclined to agree as the final push to the oval is steep.

7 months ago

This is a beautiful trail. Well maintained and for the most part well signposted. I went off trail twice and used All Trails to get my bearings. The last section is a comparatively long climb which is a great opportunity to finish hard. Lots of water dragons (don’t worry, they will eventually move if they must) and two echidnas. The latter third has sections with lots of river bead rocks that proved a little challenging in the fading light so I suggest you make sure you have plenty of daylight to complete. No water refill opportunities the entire stretch. After rains prepare for a couple of creek crossings. I actually started at Boronia Park Hunters Hill making the total one way to Thornleigh station 22.5km. A wonderful run.

washed out
10 months ago

After fairly heavy rain over the past 2 days, the creeks were full, about 5 had fast flowing water almost to the knees. There were many sections of the track with large puddles of water and some mud. This made the usually very easy track a little challenging.

11 months ago

I recommend starting at Thornleigh rather than Lane Cove given the steep drop from Thornleigh - glad I did that at the start not the end. My tracker says it was 15.5 not 13.5. Some parts were challenging but not crazy hard.

Tue Jun 04 2019

Easy track. Good for beginners. Not enough signs around. Also the river is dry and produce an awful smell. Rubbish everywhere. Saw 10+ bras hanging on a pole. Good but not the best.

Tue May 07 2019

Quite a busy track and there are some less interesting sections, but good otherwise.

Great, relatively easy path with a good amount of ups and downs. Some beautiful scenery and lots of fresh air - what more could you ask for? There were a number of rock-hopping water crossings but nothing too difficult. There are areas where I was not sure which path I should take, but the AllTrails app helped with that. I went mid week and had a couple of stretches of 2 hours when I did not see another person. The signage at the end is misleading-3km to Thornleigh was more like 4km.

Fri Mar 22 2019

Sun Sep 30 2018

Great challenging run, with some nice climbs here and there, but nothing crazy hard. The part next to the river gives some nice views. I lost the track a few times, so it might be good to bring your phone, but you can never get lost too far in this track. Can recommend for running!

Mon Aug 06 2018

Walked a few k’s along this track in early August 2018 - within a few hundred meters from leaving lane cove river park at lady game drive you could be anywhere yet so close to sydney - it’s a great walk - although the wattle have been fooled into flowering early this year with all the dry warm weather .

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