Northbrook Gorge, located within the D'aguilar National Park, provides opportunities for creek exploration and rock pool swimming in a lush rainforest setting. Unlike a traditional bushwalk, hikers mainly traverse the creek - clambering across boulders and navigating the gently flowing water.
Although the depth of the water varies with rainfall conditions, there are usually a few sections that require waist-high wading.
This may pose an issue for some children. Prior consideration and preparation are key to ensure the safety of all group members. Bring along another family member or friend if you have multiple children that cannot swim or if you are physically unable to carry your child(ren) and belongings through the deeper water. A waterproof bag (with essentials only) and shoes with sufficient grip are also recommended.
The Northbrook Gorge Alternate Trailhead is recommended for inexperienced hikers or families with younger children. With a distance of 4km return, it is significantly shorter than the original 6km return track. The reduced distance also omits particularly steep or poorly marked sections of the trail.
The trail begins by descending 330m into the gorge. It briefly follows alongside the creek before abruptly ending. Extra caution is advised when entering the creek. Some rocks may be slippery or wobbly.
Along the journey, multiple rock pools and waterholes allow for swimming. A relatively small but spectacular waterfall can be found in one of the larger swimming holes. For hikers with children, this is an ideal spot for resting weary legs and having something to eat. It appears that many groups also use this landmark as a turning point for the return stretch (those wishing to continue simply climb to higher ground and resume walking).
During our recent visit, we actually turned around well before the waterfall. Remember the initial descent? This will be a relatively steep incline upon your return!
This modified track begins near a hairpin turn along Northbrook Parkway (-27.3075939, 152.7138632) Aussie Bushwalking provides specific instructions (with accompanying images) for locating the trailhead. Off-road parking is provided for approximately 20 vehicles.
Small carpark only
Requires crossing at hairpin turn of road