A visit to Girrakool on the NSW Central Coast is like a treasure hunt for Explorers seeking a quiet spot by the water to pass the weekend.


We acknowledge that this adventure is located on Darkinjung Nation, the traditional Country of the Darkinjung people who have occupied and cared for this land and water for thousands of years. We pay our respects to them as the Traditional Custodians and recognise that sovereignty was never ceded.

Quick Overview

Girrakool trail is a 2km, grade 3 hike located in the Brisbane Water National Park in New South Wales, just north of Sydney. The hike should take around 30 minutes to 1 hour to complete.


  • Quiet, sunny places to relax by the water 
  • A selection of walks to suit various abilities  
  • Grassy Girrakool picnic area for lunch 

A stone’s throw from Somersby Falls, Girrakool, meaning ‘place of still waters’ in the local Aboriginal language, is a one-stop-shop for expansive views, fairy tale rainforest groves, magnificent rock formations – and even a suspension bridge.  

Read more: Road Trippin NSW // Central Coast



The 4.7km Piles Creek loop track is the longest walk on offer, and at grade 5, it’s best undertaken by confident walkers. Recent maintenance work has updated sections of stepping stones and stairs along the track; however, steep ascents and descents should still be taken into account, as well as several narrow passages through rocky areas which may make the walk challenging for some. 



The 2km Girrakool loop track passes a protected section of exposed sandstone where Aboriginal rock carvings, thousands of years old, remain visible. It’s a great spot to stop and reflect on the ancient connection the Darkinjung and Kuringgai peoples have to this Country. The Girrakool track, grade 3, is mostly clear and dry, with sections of sandy ground and some stairs. 



The beginning and end point of both loop tracks is the lookout over Girrakool Falls, a broad area of permanent, falling water that fills the large pool below and continues downstream via several smaller creeks. At this juncture, clear signage indicates the various walk options on offer. 

Equipped with multiple grassy areas, shaded tables, free BBQs, fire pits, and public toilets, the Girrakool picnic area is an ideal spot to set up for the day. There’s plenty of parking available as well costing $8 for the whole day.   


Essential Gear

  • Sturdy walking shoes, preferably waterproof  
  • Drinking water (2L per person) 
  • Hat
  • Sunscreen
  • Optional: a picnic feast!

Read more: Remember to leave no trace!

How To Get There

A 45-minute drive from Sydney, Brisbane Waters National Park is best accessed by car. Paid parking is plentiful at the Girrakool picnic area.

Skill Level

Girrakool track – Beginner
Piles Creek track – Intermediate

Distance Covered / Duration

Girrakool track – 2km / 30 min
Piles Creek loop track – 4.7km / 2.5hr