Watagan Mountains

Watagan Mountains Only 100km North of Sydney on the edge of the Great Divide, behind the Central Coast lies the rainforest gullies of the mountains. Accessible by 2WD unless raining, this area is quite popular with excellent campsites, walking trails and lookouts.
StartClick to Reverse the Dynamic Map and Driving NotesWyong
FinishSydney Newcastle Freeway (F3)
DifficultyDifficulty 1.5/5 Suitable for4WD AWD 2WD Caravan Camper Motorhome Bike 
Distance102.45 kmMinimum Days1
Average Speed42.35 km/hrDriving Time2 hrs 25 mins
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Rating Be the first to rate this item0 Reviews
Article By: ExplorOz Team
Page Updated: 17 Aug 2010

Images from this Trek

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This is a really good trek if you are just getting into 4WDing. The driving is easy but the region is beautiful and there are some great camping, walking and swimming spots. Not far from Sydney, this trek can be done over a weekend or even on one day! If it's been raining, the tracks can be slippery and can even become impassable if the falls have been consistently heavy.

There are some great campsites such as The Basin Camping area which is 4.5km away and is a lovely spot for a weekend camp. You may see wombats, wallabies and various birds. The camping is on both sides of the track and is well equipped with bbqs, tables, toilets, grassy campsites, walking trails and creek water. The Rock Lily and Lyrebird walking trails from the Basin wind through walls of moss in a rainforest habitat, you may even see the Wollombi Creek.

After crossing the causeway at the Basin, keep to the right and continue along the main track passing the turnoffs to Murrays Forest Road, Glider Point Road, the Great North Walk and Wollombi Forest Road. You are now approaching The Pines Camping Area. There are a few other nice spots here too; the Water Tower and Old Mill Picnic areas and the Turpentines and Casuarina camping areas - all have bbqs, toilets, tap water, walking trails and have wide open grassy sites. Make sure if you go off for the day that your tent is secured and foodstuffs locked away tightly. Cheeky possums in the area have been spotted raiding food left unattended! The Pines Track from the Pines Forest Reserve comes to a picturesque fern-lined creek. If you're lucky enough to be doing this trek in Spring, make sure you do the Wildflower Track for spectacular native blooms.

How to Use this Trek Note

The idea of a Trek Note, is that we provide a recommended route to explore an area with point-to-point guidance and extensive trip planning information about when to go, what to see, and where to camp. However, all the facts and data files are available should you prefer to build your own route/itinerary.

To see the route we recommend, click on the "Map" tab. Then, use the Moving Map Control to take a virtual tour of the route. You can reverse the order of the direction notes by clicking the arrow alongside the words Start/Finish at the very top of the information on this page.

Click on the "What to See" & "Where to Stay" tabs to see more about each Place that the route follows. Click each listed Place to open a separate page (and download for Members only) to enrich your understanding of the area.

A text list of Place to Place distances (see Directions tab) is given, plus you can download the route file to load into your GPS/Navigator. Go to our shop to obtain the complete EOTreks Route Files download.

If you just want the raw data files (for use with mapping software or to load into a GPS/Navigator), then the track file and waypoints are downloadable for free (Members only), using the Download Treks button at the top of this page.

You can also print this page (use the print icon button) and text from all sections (Description, Preparation, What to See, Where to Stay, Directions, Related, Feedback) will be reformatted into one easy-to-read document (except for detailed Place information – do these separately).


Take a virtual tour of this trek using the interactive map below. You can click any feature on the map, or use the Moving Map controls to watch the trek in auto-play from start to finish. As each feature is selected, it will flash green on the map, and a panel will open above the map with more detailed information for that selection.
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For detailed checklists & advice regarding remote area travel, you are strongly encouraged to read the following articles: 4WD Driving Skills & Rules; What to Take; Recovery Gear Needs; Spare Parts and Tools; Food & Water; Water Tank; Long Range Fuel Tanks; Suspension; EPIRB; HF Radio; UHF Radio; Satphone; Staying in Touch as well as Travel Etiquette; Care for the Environment; Snake Bite Treatment; Outback Survival; & Driver Fatigue.

Official track reports are reviewed weekly and you'll always find the latest report in the ExplorOz Road Conditions section.


No permits are needed for this trek note.

Fuel Supplies & Usage

There is also fuel available at: Yarramalong and Laguna (not shown on this trek note).

Best Time To Visit

This trek can be travelled all year round, although it may be wise to avoid the area after heavy rains.

Closest Climatic Station

Norah Head Aws
Distance from Trek Mid Point 18.02km SE
 JanFebMarAprMayJun JulAugSepOctNovDec
Mean Max. °C 25.825.924.822.8 20.922.423.524.7
Mean Min. °C 19.620.018.715.8 12.814.716.718.3
Mean Rain mm 78.5108.9105.8127.1 153.1144.397.369.1 66.853.989.167.5
    Best time to travel      Ok time to travel      Travel NOT recommended
There are also supplies and facilities available at: Yarramalong, Laguna and Wollombi (not shown on this trek note).

What to See

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Save time and download all digital map data for this trek (all places are included in the trek download).
This list may not be complete for the entire region. Places listed here are directly located along the plot file associated with this Trek Note. You can locate other nearby Places by browsing the map or searching Places.
There are beautiful forest drives, lookouts, walking trails, as well as great bush camping and picnic spots.
There are a total of 5 place entries

Jerrys Point - NSW

Point of Interest
Position: -33.23315 151.3226 Altitude: 215m PlaceID: 78438 Updated: 17 Dec 07 02:51

Stoney Ridge Picnic Area - NSW

Point of Interest
Picnic Area
Position: -33.13442 151.35001 Altitude: 288m PlaceID: 78439 Updated: 17 Dec 07 03:00

Bar Lookout - NSW

Point of Interest
Position: -33.0589 151.26781 Altitude: 556m PlaceID: 78442 Updated: 17 Dec 07 03:16

Sandy Knob - NSW

Mountain,Peak,Hill Point of Interest
Position: -33.04391 151.3678 Altitude: 435m PlaceID: 78443 Updated: 17 Dec 07 03:20

Heaton Lookout - NSW

Point of Interest
Heaton Lookout has spectacular views looking east over Lake Macquarie and Newcastle.
Position: -32.98357 151.4552 Altitude: 386m PlaceID: 78444 Updated: 17 Dec 07 03:24

Where to Stay

DownloadDownload Trek
Save time and download all digital map data for this trek (all places are included in the trek download).
This list may not be complete for the entire region. Places listed here are directly located along the plot file associated with this Trek Note. You can locate other nearby Places by browsing the map or searching Places.
There are a total of 2 place entries

The Basin Campground - NSW

Camp Free Toilets Water Supply Barbeque Fire Ring/Pit Pets Allowed
Popular camping spot
Position: -33.10406 151.23061 Altitude: 196m PlaceID: 78440 Updated: 17 Dec 07 03:05

The Pines Campground - NSW Overall Rating: 4/5

Camp Free Toilets Water Supply Camp Kitchen Barbeque Fire Ring/Pit Pets Allowed
Popular camping spot
Position: -33.06263 151.336 Altitude: 424m PlaceID: 78441 Updated: 18 Nov 10 02:03


Wyong to Jilliby 5.69 km NW 307° 6 min
Jilliby to Jerrys Point 7.18 km NW 294° 18 min
Jerrys Point to Stoney Ridge Picnic Area 13.96 km N 13° 32 min
Stoney Ridge Picnic Area to Bar Lookout 19.59 km NW 318° 32 min
Bar Lookout to The Basin Campground 9.34 km SW 215° 12 min
The Basin Campground to Bar Lookout 9.34 km NE 35° 12 min
Bar Lookout to The Pines Campground 8.77 km E 94° 10 min
The Pines Campground to Sandy Knob 5.17 km NE 55° 5 min
Sandy Knob to Heaton Lookout 13.48 km NE 51° 18 min
Heaton Lookout to Sydney Newcastle Freeway (F3) 9.93 km S 162° 16 min
Wyong to Sydney Newcastle Freeway (F3) 102.45 km     2 hr 25 min
Distance is GPS recorded driving distance (not straight line), Direction is straight line from start to end, Time is calculated from actual GPS driving data.


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