This is one of my favourite walks if I can’t find any other new walks to do on a weekend. It is about 13km long and is Trail 1 of the Oxfam Trailwalker Series. It is graded 5 due to a few parts of this walk having steep inclination for long period of time, but otherwise isn’t a long walk. You can start from Cowan or from Brooklyn. The Oxfam Trailwalk starts from Brooklyn. I prefer to start from Cowan, but if you really want to get your heart pumping earlier, then Brooklyn is the place to start as the first 15 minutes is all uphill and incredibly steep. For beginners, I would recommend to start from Cowan.

You can take a train to Cowan station or park your car near the station. The walk is 2 minutes from the station, there will be signs around, and I believe it is to the right side of platform 2. From where I live, it was about a 35 minutes drive, which was very convenient.

The first half of the walk is a bushwalk and is pretty relaxing.

Hello friend!
Hello friend!
Great to run on
Great to run on

In about 30-40 minutes, you will arrive at the beautiful Jerusalem Bay.

Here is Jerusalem Bay in a cloudy day. Beautiful scenery.

This is a great place to have your lunch in, as there are wide open space and rocks to sit around in. Great to fuel yourself with energy before the toughest section of the walk starting in 30 minutes or so..

Once you get to the toughest section of the walk, the next 30-40 minutes is all uphill and can be challenging for beginners or people not physically fit, so do take breaks now and then to catch your breath. In 40 minutes, you will arrive at a fire trail, where you will see signs telling you Brooklyn is 6km away.

This man seems to know what’s up.

This is the halfway point and everything here is pretty much downhill. Throughout this half of the walk, you will get to see the Hawkesbury river and Hawkesbury bridge.

Check out some of the views below:

The Hawkesbury River
The Hawkesbury River
Let's keep running!
Let's keep running!
You can see the highway to!
You can see the highway to!
Beautiful Hawkesbury River
Beautiful Hawkesbury River

This half of the walk is about 2 hours and you will also walk past the Brooklyn dam.

Not much to see here, maybe you’ll catch some frogs?

After stopping for a break at Brooklyn Dam, we resumed (or I resumed) our journey towards the township of Brooklyn. We can see the end point being close now!

Just keep walking down the easily guided fire trail (the end is quite steep, so watch your footing, especially if you’re running!) and you will arrive at the town of Brooklyn, where you can enjoy some fish and chips along the river and catch the train from Hawkesbury river station to where you need to go (over an hour to central station).

Beautiful town of Brooklyn

The whole walk should take around 3-5 hours and is quite popular, so you’ll definitely be with some company throughout the walk. You can find more photos of this walk here.



  • Great views
  • Easily accessible by public transport
  • Well known walk
  • Beginner friendly


  • None

Final Verdict

This walk can be done in 3-5 hours (depending on fitness), or 2 if running. Great views all around, easily accessible by public transport and Brooklyn is a nice town by Hawkesbury river that you can enjoy once you finish this walk. The walk can be challenging for beginners, but also very rewarding. This was one of my very first walk in Sydney.