Tracks & Trails

Lover’s Jump Circuit
Tracks & Trails | bushwalking | hiking | national parks | Turramurra | Sydney North | New South Wales

Lover’s Jump Circuit

Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park

by Susie Baber  |  10 October 2021

9.7km | 3 hours (plus a couple of side trips)

On the last day of Sydney’s 5km/LGA lockdown there were storms threatening, but I hadn’t had a really good walk for a few weeks, so I decided to take a chance and try Lover’s Jump Circuit. One of the last couple of walks left on my local lockdown list.

I packed my raincoat just in case and headed to Golden Jubilee Oval to start my walk. The council has been doing a lot of work putting in BMX tracks off the back of the oval and the new ‘Jubes’ BMX park was being very well used by local kids.

Jubes BMX park
Fire trail
Track narrows

Turning left in front of the BMX tracks, the first 1km of the walk is on a fire trail, down and across Caley Brook, then around the back of Cliff Oval. The turn off the fire trail is not marked and is not immediately obvious. It is directly opposite the signposted left turn that heads up the hill to Cliff Oval, the track is not as well-worn as some and a little overgrown so be careful not to miss it. A lot of ducking under tree branches is required. Some care is needed to keep to the trail as you get closer to Frasers Brook, I checked my phone a couple of times to make sure I was still on track.

Frasers Brook is pretty, with a couple of small cascades. There was a young couple enjoying the serenity so I left them alone and wandered downstream where there was one slightly larger cascade, but I could only get to the top of it. I spent a bit of time trying to approach it from below but the boulders were a bit big for my climbing skills and I decided it was time to head on.

Finding the next section of the track was also a little challenging, but after a couple of false starts I realised I had to cross the creek and head up the hill on the other side. This was an unexpectedly steep climb to the top of the ridge along a section of track that is also a little overgrown. My lockdown fitness level was lower than I expected and I began to have some regrets about my choice of walks for the day.

At the top of the ridge the path becomes a lot clearer and winds through dry bush with lots of wildflowers blooming. Eventually the path meets the Gibberagong Track and I turned right heading further into Kur-ring-gai Chase NP. This section of the walk is a wide fire trail which runs along the top of the ridge, it makes a nice break after the hill climb. At the end of the fire trail the track winds downhill into the valley through open forest, as you get lower the forest becomes more dense and moist.

At the bottom of the gully is Lover’s Jump Creek which you can cross using the steps carved into boulders on each bank. Watch your step on the mossy rocks, the water levels are quite low today but I can imagine after a big rainfall the crossing might be more tricky. Turn left along the track on the other side of the creek and follow it downstream. Shortly you will see the intersection of Cockle Creek and Lover’s Jump Creek at a large turquoise pool, this is the first of the Gibberagong Waterholes. A short distance further on there is a turnoff to the right that leads up the hill to Murrua Rd. This is the track I will follow, but just before I tackle that hill it is time for a quick diversion to see the next waterhole and have some morning tea. It isn’t far.

Gibberagong waterhole is an informal name for a wide section of Cockle Creek that runs for about 150m north of where it meets Lovers Jump creek. I find myself a lovely flat boulder on which to sit and enjoy the waterholes and cascading water while I have a well earnt rest.

Once I am recharged, I retraced my steps to the base of the Murrua Rd track and tackled the next big climb of the day. Often when I walk alone, and I have a challenge ahead, I put my headphones in to give myself something to concentrate on other than my legs. Today I was so engrossed in what I was listening to I didn’t notice the large monitor lizard next to the track until he ran up a tree and scared the living daylights out of me. I guess that serves me right for not absorbing myself in my beautiful surroundings. Once my heart stopped pounding I took some time to admire him (or her) and take some photos before continuing up the hill – without the headphones!

Scaly friend
View from back of Golden Jubilee Oval

After the climb, the bush track meets up with the Murrua Fire Trail in North Turramurra, and runs along a fire break behind a residential area, before ducking back into the National Park. There was a small track off to the right marked on my map so I had a little explore down there, hoping for some views out over the valley. It was probably about 1km return and sadly disappointing, ending in a rock platform surrounded by trees which obscured any views. The rest of the walk is on fire trails, and at times I can see the retaining walls behind Golden Jubilee Oval on the other side of the valley. After all that climbing it seems like a very long way along one side of the valley and back down the other. As the fire trail starts heading uphill toward the oval there is a metal bridge on the left which crosses the upper reaches of Lover’s Jump Creek to a short bush track on the other side. Whilst it is pretty it doesn’t lead anywhere much and I head back to the fire trail and home.

A large portion of this circuit walk is on fire trails but that is more than compensated for by the beauty of the creek and waterholes. Pack yourself a picnic, or at least a snack, and enjoy some time relaxing in the valley surrounded by green.

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