Howes Valley - Yengo NP

StartClick to Reverse the Dynamic Map and Driving NotesYango
FinishPutty Road & Howes Trail
DifficultyDifficulty 2/5
Suitable ForAWD 
Distance47.72 km
Minimum Days1
Average Speed21.26 km/hr
Travel Time2 hrs 14 mins
Page Updated: 5 Jan 2023


This moderately short trek can be incorporated with the Yengo National Park trek note as a side trip, or completed by itself. The Howes Valley - Yengo NP trek can be easily undertaken in a day, although an overnight camp at Big Yango Camp can be utilised to give you more time to explore around the park.

Big Yango's large group campground brings a unique camping experience, catering for large groups (up to 100 people) or small vehicle-based bush camping. This area is suitable for 4WD touring, cycling, horse riding and wilderness walks - or just simply relaxing in a remote location. There are wood barbecues and non-flush toilets, although you will need to bring your own water. This camping ground is within the Big Yango Precinct and requires access through a locked gate. Contact the park office for more details.

4WDs are recommended, although the track is ok for soft-roaders and even 4WDs towing camper trailers. Some of the highlights of this trip include: viewing Aboriginal rock carvings, bushwalking, bird and nature spotting, and moderate 4WDriving. Additional supplies can be picked up from Wollembi, Singleton, Half-way road-house on the Putty Road.

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Yengo is a wilderness of steep gorges and rocky ridges. There are several rock types scattered throughout the park, the oldest being Narrabeen sandstone. Geologists think it formed when sand particles began washing down from mountains in northern NSW about 230 million years ago. Hawkesbury sandstone then formed on top. The youngest and rarest rock type in the park is Wianamatta shale. Because shale areas are very fertile they have mostly been used for farming. Areas in their natural state like those in the park are now quite scarce.


According to local Aboriginal lore, Mt Yengo is the place where Biamie departed to the skies after finishing his creative tasks during the Dreamtime. The mountain top was flattened when he stepped on it. Aboriginal people have probably live in the area for about 13,000 years. Yengo is criss-crossed with Aboriginal routes used by highland and coastal tribes, where reciprocal visits were often arranged to exploit seasonally abundant food. The path of the historic Old Great North Rd was probably an Aboriginal travelling route shown to surveyors by local people.

The land and waterways, and the plants and animals that live in them, feature in all facets of Aboriginal culture – including recreational, ceremonial, and spiritual and as a main source of food and medicine. They are associated with dreaming stories and cultural learning that is still passed on today. We work with local Aboriginal communities to protect this rich heritage.

To find out more about Aboriginal heritage in the park, you can get in touch with the local Aboriginal community. Contact the park office for more details.

The Old Great North Road, which runs along the park's south-east border, was one of the most important civil engineering feats of the early years of the colony of New South Wales. It was built using convict labour over the period 1826–1836 to provide a route from Sydney to the Hunter Valley. Today you can see spectacular and beautifully preserved examples of convict-built stonework including buttresses, culverts, bridges and 12 m high retaining walls. Unlike most major roads of the period, the Old Great North Road has survived in its original form because it fell into disuse almost before it was completed. Steamers between Sydney and Newcastle became the preferred mode of transport in the 1830s and an alternative road to the Hunter also became more popular.

TrekID: 187


MUST READ: You are strongly encouraged to read the following articles prepared by the knowledge experts at ExplorOz for your safety and preparation before undertaking any published ExplorOz Trek - Outback Safety, Outback Driving Tips, Outback Communications, and Vehicle Setup for the Outback.


Please refer to Road Reports published by the local shire and/or main roads for the area you intend to visit. Road/Track conditions can change significantly after weather events. Travellers must be responsible for their own research on current conditions and track suitability.
Whilst this is not a difficult four-wheel drive trek, the standard recovery gear should be carried, along with a good supply of water. For helpful information please read our navigation, communications, and recovery gear articles. Please take adequate clothing (especially warm clothes during the winter months), and more than enough fuel supplies to complete the journey.

Whilst water is sometimes available at Mogo camping area, there is none available at the Finchley or Big Yango Camp area and campers will need to be self-sufficient. Big Yango Camp area does have wood barbecues, and non-flush toilets.

It would also be wise to check the road conditions before you depart as wet weather can make the tracks hard to negotiate and sometimes the tracks may be closed. For more information on track conditions, please contact: NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service


No permits are required to enter the park, although camping at Bluegums is via prior arrangement. Contact the park office (Central Coast) for more details.

Phone: (02) 4320 4200 for general enquiries
Phone: (02) 4320 4203 for camping enquiries

Fuel Usage

4cyl 7 litres4cyl 8 litres4cyl 10 litres
6cyl 7 litres6cyl 9 litres6cyl 8 litres
8cyl 7 litres8cyl 8 litres
Usage is averaged from recorded data (* specific to this trek) and calculated based on trek distance.

Best Time To Visit

This trek can be undertaken all year round, however it would be best to avoid the area if wet.

Closest Climatic Station

Cessnock Airport Aws
Distance from Trek Mid Point 37.63km NE
Mean Max. °C30.028.927.124.120.517.817.219.422.425.026.628.7
Mean Min. °C16.716.814.510.
Mean Rain mm72.5107.471.449.042.560.030.534.146.753.372.775.8
    Best time to travel      Ok time to travel      Travel NOT recommended


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Yango to Upper Yango Creek Rd & Boree Rd
Driving: 0.27 km
Heading: 236°
Avg Speed: 11.69 km/hr
EST Time: 01:23
Upper Yango Creek Rd & Boree Rd to Finchley Trig Lookout
Driving: 11.19 km
Heading: 289°
Avg Speed: 31.46 km/hr
EST Time: 21:20
Finchley Trig Lookout to Finchley Aboriginal Area
Driving: 1.15 km
Heading: 266°
Avg Speed: 22.46 km/hr
EST Time: 03:04
Finchley Aboriginal Area to Finchley Campground
Driving: 0.32 km
Heading: 174°
Avg Speed: 13.06 km/hr
EST Time: 01:28
Finchley Campground to Finchley Aboriginal Area
Driving: 0.32 km
Heading: 354°
Avg Speed: 13.06 km/hr
EST Time: 01:28
Finchley Aboriginal Area to Finchley Trig Lookout
Driving: 1.15 km
Heading: 86°
Avg Speed: 22.46 km/hr
EST Time: 03:04
Finchley Trig Lookout to Yango Track & Finchley Track
Driving: 0.3 km
Heading: 326°
Avg Speed: 25.62 km/hr
EST Time: 00:42
Yango Track & Finchley Track to Big Yango Camp
Driving: 13.3 km
Heading: 274°
Avg Speed: 30.43 km/hr
EST Time: 26:13
Big Yango Camp to Private Property Access
Driving: 11.46 km
Heading: 344°
Avg Speed: 24.66 km/hr
EST Time: 27:52
Private Property Access to Gate
Driving: 5.16 km
Heading: 324°
Avg Speed: 24.76 km/hr
EST Time: 12:30
Gate to Howes Trail at Howes Creek Crossing
Driving: 1.31 km
Heading: 328°
Avg Speed: 26.26 km/hr
EST Time: 02:59
Howes Trail at Howes Creek Crossing to Gate
Driving: 0.07 km
Heading: 88°
Avg Speed: 8.61 km/hr
EST Time: N/A
Gate to Putty Road & Howes Trail
Driving: 1.72 km
Heading: 276°
Avg Speed: 21.89 km/hr
EST Time: 04:42
Distance is based on the travel mode shown (Driving, Straight, Cycling, Walking etc), Direction is straight line from start to end, Avg Speed & EST Time is calculated from GPS data.

What to See


Where to Stay

Services & Supplies

No Services & Supplies available for this trek


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