Cowan to Terrigal

Fully Guided 4 Day Hiking Tour

Come and experience the amazing sights of the Lower Hawkesbury and Central Coast on this fantastic 4 day adventure. The hikes on this trip vary from easy to hard, and the rewards are some of the best scenery Australia has to offer.

On this trip we will hike parts of the Great North Walk, Cowan to Brooklyn and Patonga to Ettalong. We’ll have an easy day as well, joining the Riverboat Postman on his daily mail run, explore and stay on Dangar Island, and on the last day walk Bouddi National Park and some of the 5 Lands Walk. 

The trip includes 3 nights accommodation, two nights on Dangar Island and one night at Ettalong, on the beach. Luggage transfer is also included, just carry your day pack. Check out the photos and the Frequently Asked Questions for all the information you need about this trip, including details about the hike ratings!

National Parks NSW Accredited

Trip dates

Departure Date Tour Duration Price Spots remaining
Thur 10 June 2021 Cowan to Terrigal 4 days 3 nights From $AU980 5
Thur 26 Aug 2021 Cowan to Terrigal 4 days 3 nights Fully booked Nil
Thur 26 May 2022 Cowan to Terrigal 4 days 3 nights From $AU980 6 plus
Thur 23 June 2022 Cowan to Terrigal 4 days 3 nights From $AU980 6 plus
Thur 21 July 2022 Cowan to Terrigal 4 days 3 nights From $AU980 6 plus
Thur 18 Aug 2022 Cowan to Terrigal 4 days 3 nights From $AU980 6 plus
Thur 15 Sept 2022 Cowan to Terrigal 4 days 3 nights From $AU980 6 plus

Photo gallery

previous arrow
next arrow
previous arrownext arrow

Frequently asked questions

The tour is 4 days and 3 nights. All tours start on a Thursday and end on a Sunday.

Prices (including GST):
$AU980pp (double bed two people, private),
$AU1,290pp (double bed, one person, private )

$AU300 deposit required to secure your booking. Cancellations due to Covid related travel restrictions receive 80% refund of any amounts paid.


  • 3 nights luxury accommodation
  • Ferry, water taxi and minibus transfers
  • Riverboat Postman tour and lunch on the Hawkesbury River
  • All Luggage transfers

Not Included:

  • Public transport fares
  • Most Meals
  • Drinks

Minimum: 6 people
Maximum: 10 people

If there are less than 6 hikers booked for the trip, then the tour will not proceed, and all payments will be refunded.

DAY 1 Thursday

  • Arrive Cowan Station around 8.00am.
    • Timetable
    • From Sydney arrives 7.37am. From Gosford arrives 7.54am
  • Luggage in Commuter bus. Briefing and coffee.
  • Walk Great North Walk section 5, Cowan to Brooklyn. Guests to bring their own lunch and snacks. 11km. 650m ascent. Rated Moderate to Hard. Arrive Brooklyn about 4pm. 
  • Guests pick up their luggage and then ferry to Dangar Island.
  • AirBnB accommodation at Dangar Island.
  • Dinner at Dangar Bowling Club.

DAY 2 Friday

  • Breakfast at AirBnB or local cafe.
  • Riverboat Postman tour. Lunch included
  • AirBnB accommodation at Dangar Island.
  • Dangar Island walk in afternoon (Optional). 4.3km easy.
  • Dinner at Dangar Bowling Club.

DAY 3 Saturday

  • Breakfast at AirBnB, or at cafe at Patonga
  • 8.30am, water taxi to Patonga.
  • Commuter bus to meet us at Patonga. Take luggage to Ettalong Mantra.
  • Part of Great North Walk, Section 6, Patonga to Ettalong. 10.5km, 173m ascent, Easy to Moderate. 
  • Stay at Ettalong Mantra.
  • Dinner at Ettalong

DAY 4 Sunday

  • Breakfast at Hotel
  • Commuter bus collects guests and luggage, transfers group to Putty Beach at around 8.30am
  • Walk Bouddi Coastal Walk to McMaster’s Beach. 8.1km, 364m ascent, moderate to hard.
  • Lunch at McMasters Beach Surf Club
  • Walk 5 Lands route from McMasters Beach to Avoca Beach. 6km moderate.
  • The tour ends at Avoca Surf Club at about 4pm. From there, guests can continue their stay on the Central Coast, or get a lift in the commuter bus to Gosford station or their accommodation.

Bookings can be made online or manually.

Click the ‘Book online’ button for online bookings. A deposit of $300 per person will secure your booking.

For manual bookings, please use the “contact us” page to book your spots or make enquiries. The bank details for the deposit are:
Home Comforts Hiking
BSB 932000
Account 500196069
Irrespective of the booking method, an tax invoice will be provided for each booking

Bookings can be made online or manually. Click the ‘Book online’ button for online bookings. The cost of the trip will be in $US. A deposit of $US300 will secure your booking. If less than 2 months before the start date of the trip, then payment in full will be required.

For manual bookings, please use the “contact us” page to book or make an enquiry. We will send you a PayPal invoice. You do not need a PayPal account to make the payment. You just need a Visa or Mastercard to make the payment. Alternatively, you can pay in $AU through a money transfer company such as OFX or your bank, if you prefer. In that case use the bank details as shown for Australian based customers.

If we cancel the tour due to NSW Government imposed Covid 19 travel restrictions, then we will refund your payments in full, or transfer your booking to a new date.

If you cancel your booking due to State Government imposed Covid 19 travel restrictions in your state, then we will refund you 80% of payments made, or transfer your booking to a new date.

For non covid cancellations, if you cancel more than 6 months prior to the trip start date we will refund 75% of your payments. There are no refunds for cancellations made by you, less than 6 months from the trip start date.

The balance is due one month prior to the trip start date.
There are no refunds, due to cancellation by you, unless you (the person cancelling) introduce a replacement hiker to replace you. If a replacement can be found by you, we will refund 90% of the total paid by you.

Book your flights (if applicable) once you have paid for the trip in full, or make sure the trip has sufficient numbers before booking your flights.
For overseas guests, we recommend that you take out travel insurance that covers cancellation due to unforeseen circumstances, medical costs, and your valuables.

Overall the hike is rated moderate to hard for experienced hikers. For inexperienced and less fit hikers, it would be rated hard to very hard. There are some steep ascents on Day 1 and Day 4. This trip is only recommended for experienced hikers that are reasonably fit and injury free. Inexperienced hikers should be fit and injury free. The total distance walked over 4 days of hiking is 41km. All hiking is on established trails, but some of the surfaces are quite uneven and rocky. We will be walking at an average pace of 2.5 to 3.5km/hr. There is a rest day on day 2, with an optional easy walk and the Riverboat Postman tour on the Hawkesbury River.

Two nights accommodation are in AirBnB houses on Dangar Island. Dangar Island is situated in the Hawkesbury River and can only be accessed by Ferry. There are no cars on the island. Each couple on this trip will have their own bedroom. Singles wanting their own bedroom will be charged a supplement.

The third night’s accommodation is in a luxury hotel at or near Ettalong. Our preferred hotel is on the beach. Couples share a room and singles can choose to share or for an additional cost get their own room.

Breakfasts – there are cafes at each location for breakfast. The AirBnB may have limited breakfast facilities available, or bring your own.

Lunch – Each hiker will need to take lunch and snacks with them on Day 1 . There are no shops available on Day 1. Lunch is provided on day 2. On Day 3, bring your own or buy your lunch at a shop/cafe at Pearl Beach. On day 4 there is a nice cafe at MacMasters Beach for lunch.

Dinner – Days 1 & 2 will be at Dangar Island Bowling Club and Day 3 at Ettalong where there are a few choices.

All of our Cowan to Terrigal Hikes are supported by a vehicle and driver. The support vehicle will transfer your luggage from accommodation to accommodation, and can also take passengers (if you want a rest day). You only need to carry a day pack while hiking each day.
We must impose limits to ensure our driver is not carrying excessive weights. There is a strict limit of 2 bags per person, as per the following:
Bag 1 – small day pack to carry on the hikes, 20-35 litre size
Bag 2 – Bag/suitcase up to 15kg MAXIMUM for spare clothes, personal items and food.

No extra add ons such as handbags, pillows etc are allowed. If you want to bring these they must be placed in Bag 2.
Note there is a $55 surcharge for any excess luggage.

  • Small backpack with waterproof cover
  • One bag for luggage transfer
  • Shirts, pants, shorts, underwear, socks
  • Hiking shoes and comfy shoes/thongs/sandals for at the accommodation
  • Hiking Pole(s)
  • Hat
  • Water bottles / bladder
  • Rainproof jacket
  • Swimsuit and micro towel
  • Money and/or Debit/Credit Card
  • Passport (if applicable), Visa (if applicable), Travel Insurance docs
  • Phone and/or tablet, camera and chargers
  • Toiletries and medication
  • Food/snacks 

Cowan Railway Station at 8.00am on Day 1.

The guide and driver will be travelling to the start point from Terrigal. You can join the bus in Terrigal and leave your car at Wilson Parking, Terrigal.

Terrigal Beach at about 4.00pm on Day 4. Our Minibus can take you on to Terrigal or Gosford Station.

    [0] => WP_Post Object
            [ID] => 971
            [post_author] => 2
            [post_date] => 2020-05-21 06:10:24
            [post_date_gmt] => 2020-05-21 06:10:24
            [post_content] => This episode provides an introduction to the Japanese Kumano Kodo Pilgrimage Trails. This episode contains a series of three interviews including with an Australian based hiking company as well as with hikers who have done this trip in the past two years:

Check out the episode here!
            [post_title] => Kumano Kodo Pilgrimage Trail
            [post_excerpt] => 
            [post_status] => publish
            [comment_status] => closed
            [ping_status] => closed
            [post_password] => 
            [post_name] => kumano-kodo-pilgrimage-trail
            [to_ping] => 
            [pinged] => 
            [post_modified] => 2020-05-21 06:14:56
            [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-05-21 06:14:56
            [post_content_filtered] => 
            [post_parent] => 0
            [guid] =>
            [menu_order] => 0
            [post_type] => post
            [post_mime_type] => 
            [comment_count] => 0
            [filter] => raw

    [1] => WP_Post Object
            [ID] => 538
            [post_author] => 1
            [post_date] => 2020-03-04 08:00:48
            [post_date_gmt] => 2020-03-04 08:00:48
            [post_content] => Yuraygir Coastal Walk has been featured in a number of walking magazines with emphasis on the opportunity to explore long stretches of unspoiled NSW coastline and, considering the rapid encroachment of developments in its many forms on natural environments everywhere, we are so lucky that this area has been preserved. Pam Dawes' invitation to join her on a supported walk was too good to pass up: guides, bag transport, estuary crossings and a comfortable bed. Pam, a keen walker and environmental champion, was part of my Tour du Mont Blanc group in August 2017. TMB was a truly great walk with very like-minded people so I didn't think too long about the offer to join Pam for the Yuraygir Coastal Walk:


Day 0, 7 September 2019

The drive to Red Rock was an easy 5 hour trip with little Saturday traffic and no road works. As we neared Red Rock, the fires to the east looked serious and aircraft were water-bombing. There was plenty of smoke.

Red Rock is a tiny coastal village with one busy shop and caravan park the only retail establishments. There are however new subdivisions to the south. The group assembled and we were bused to Yamba, the driver a cheery 82 yo lady. The Yamba Hotel looked familiar and a call to Graham confirmed that we had attended Gerry Ryan's wedding there in the '80s sometime. It was in the same dilapidated state but the view could not be faulted: gorgeous.

Our accommodation was on the second floor and our room had a huge sliding window that opened at waist height with a drop to the cement many metres below. An OH&S disaster waiting to happen! The place was thumping, literally, as it was Saturday night with a band and lots of backpackers and locals enjoying the entertainment. Pam and I searched out some food in town for the next day, and later, wished that we had bought/brought more. Even at 5.00 pm, there was not much open. The bus trip and dinner provided an opportunity to glean some first impressions of our walking companions and they were all positive: a very nice bunch. As well as Pam Dawes from Manly, there was Sarah, Steve and Claudia from Port Macquarie, Tony from Byron Bay, Derek from Mosman, plus Marcus and his wife Marika, their daughter Monica with husband Dave and daughter little, 12 months old, Ashlin. Steve had camping gear and used it for some of the nights. Home Comforts Hiking proved to be a well-organised and friendly crew.  

SMOKE Day 1, 8 September 2019 - Angourie to Brooms Head - 17 km - 4 hours walking - 226m elevation gain - 183m elevation loss - av temp 27 deg C

Mara Creek Campsite is the starting point for the Yuraygir Coastal Walk and this site is historically-significance as it was a source of fresh water and fish for the local Goorie (Aboriginal) people. A natural fish trap on the rock platform below the Shelley Beach path is clearly visible. So it is with an appreciation of the timelessness of this stunningly beautiful area that we set off, a family of sorts. A group photo is taken. Little Ashlin is strapped into her carrier and Monica steps out strongly with tales of her walk along the Pacific Crest Trail (4,270 km) that makes our 65 km effort over 4 days seem insignificant. But it is good to chat about ultra trail events and great walks and to hear Monica describe her new interest: trail running, her long legs perfectly built for that. The walk to Lake Arragan via Shelley Headland is varied, with the beach and sand dune trails offering views of ochre-coloured rock platforms and coffee rock sand cliffs to the south. Whales and dolphins are spotted by some of the group but I'm not quick enough to focus. We follow the coastal emu footprint signs and although we come upon wallaby or kangaroo footprints in the sand, we see no emus. Heath and woodland vegetation is diverse and we enjoy a springtime flush of flowers - flannel flowers, orchids, boronias. Coastal banksias, pandanus palms and paperbarks (complete with a native beehive) shade the trails. By midday, the air became quite smoky from the fires to the north-west of Lake Arragan and as we walk on, we speak with locals who have packed up their pets and driven to Plumbago Headland to be well away from the fires. Later we are told that the picnic area near the lake where some of the group enjoyed a bracing swim was burnt out the next day and National Parks closed the section of the walk from Angourie to Laka Arragan until further notice. We end the day with views of Red Cliff and Grey Cliff Headlands and drop down to the beach via stairs - newly repaired. We walk briskly along the beautiful beach to Brooms Head with its stately Norfolk Island pines but as we a glance northward, we are reminded that the fire situation is worsening. Devastating for so many. Our accommodation is adequate - spacious and clean, the only problem being that the bathroom door doesn't close but we aren't too fussed and manage. The bathroom light globe pops but is replaced promptly. The shop is run down as is the owner, the shelves barely stocked and the food is outrageously expensive eg 50g of coffee $12.95! Dinner at the Bowling Club is pleasant and we finish the day with a lively game of BOMB.  

SAND and FLIES Day 2, 9 September 2019 - Brooms Head to Minnie Waters - 20 km - 6 hours walking - 228m elevation gain, 208m elevation loss

A day of two extremes: a delightful 8 km walk along the hard sand of the beach in the morning to Sandon and a horrible 10 km walk on a 4 wheel drive soft-sand track in the afternoon, fighting the flies all the way. But the sun shone, the crossing with Lance in "the BOBSTA" at Sandon was efficient and the wildflowers were gorgeous. Interpretive signs alerted us to the possibility of seeing white-bellied sea eagles (yes) and humpback whales (no), but we did see lots of pelicans at Sandon and yellow-tailed black cockatoos in the coastal cypress thickets in the afternoon. They were magnificent. Sandon is a pretty place with an estuary separating the camping ground and the renovated beach shacks; some are pretty flash. Life is in the slow lane here as access is limited. There is a clear message in the lack of garbage bins - take care of this special place. There was time to have a swim but the wind was cold so a sit in the sun, lunch and a wander around the camping area and along the inlet filled in the time nicely. The break provided an opportunity to read the information signs and appreciate that this stretch of coast is protected by Sanctuary Zones and Commonwealth Marine Reserves. The environmental campaigns of the '80s and '90s are to be applauded. There could not have been a greater contrast to the Brooms Head shop in the Minnie Waters shop: pleasant people run it, well-stocked shelves, pricey...yes but good quality. I eyed off the cheeses... not this time. The sign on the window said it all: Kitchen and Coffee close by 4 (or earlier if there are waves or we just wanna) and the local facilities indicate a community at work here. And what a peaceful end to the day's walk through the Angophoras for the last kilometre to the comfortable cabins at the caravan park. The late afternoon light was magical. We were all feeling a little worn out after the soft-sand slog in the afternoon but showers and pre-dinner drinks followed by a hearty barbeque dinner prepared by Marcus and the family is just what we needed. I need to add that when we left Brooms Head in the morning, there was a possibility that the road would be closed due to the fires and Dave and the trailer would not make it to Minnie Waters. All was well however and Dave was able to bring the gear through as well as the BBQ makings.  

WIND Day 3 - 10 September 2019 - Minnie Waters to Wooli - 16 km - 3.5 hours - 335m elevation gain, 364m elevation loss - av temp 24 deg C

This was to be an easier day of just 16 km and it started well with walking conditions in the morning perfect. There were some rock platforms to pick our way across but overall just more gorgeous beaches. We had morning tea at Diggers Camp Back Beach then walked onto Boorkoom Camping Area and Wilsons Headland for lunch before setting off along Wooli Beach. Unfortunately. a cool southerly wind had sprung up and battered us for 6.5 km. We were pleased to arrive at Wooli River Lodges mid-afternoon. What a nice place. Shady, well-maintained gardens; lodges with good linen; an outdoor fully equipped kitchen; and just 5 minutes to the local store and hotel. We enjoyed dinner at the hotel and this was followed by a gathering in the outdoor kitchen to wish Dave a happy birthday with party hats and cake. It seemed like a long day and I headed back to our lodge while most stayed to play 31. I was surprised to find it was only 7.30 pm but the opportunity for an early night was too good to pass up.  

ROCKS Day 4, 11 September 2019 - Wooli to Red Rock - 15.1 km - 3.5 hours walking time - 335 m elevation gain, 364 m elevation loss - av temp 25 deg C

As he had each morning, Marcus delivered a delicious freshly-brewed coffee and it was a greatly appreciated start to the day. A Wooli Wooli River crossing had been organised for 8.30 am and we were transported to the boat by the proprietor of Wooli River Lodges. Low tide was essential for this section of the walk as off and on for the first 6.5 km there was some rock scrambling. After lunch, we crossed Station Creek estuary easily as it was only wading depth. Then there was another beautiful beach walk to Red Rock River and our final boat crossing to Red Rock. Press play on the following link: Pam and I had intended to spend the night at Nambucca Heads but as it was only 2.00 pm when we arrived at Red Rock, we canceled our motel booking, thanked and fare welled our walking family and drove home to Caves Beach. What a wonderful walk along a beautiful, pristine coastline in good company, thanks to Home Comforts Hiking – we couldn’t ask for a better few days! [post_title] => Yuraygir Coastal Walk 7 – 11 September, 2019 [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => yuraygir-coastal-walk-7 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-04-07 03:15:51 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-04-07 03:15:51 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) )