About the Trail

Introduction

The Great North Road originally branched from Windsor Road at Baulkham Hills. It is now called Old Northern Road between there and Wisemans Ferry. In 1829 Surveyor General Thomas Mitchell developed a shorter route which branched north from the Parramatta Road at Five Dock. A ferry crossed the Parramatta River from Abbotsford to Bedlam Point at Gladesville where part of the convict-built ferry landing remains. The route of the original road then runs along what are now a series of major and minor suburban roads to eventually become New Line Road at Pennant Hills and then join the original line from Castle Hill at Dural.

A convict-built causeway remains on Devlins Creek, Epping, just under the bus flyover of the M2.

Extending north from Sydney to the Hunter Valley, the Convict Trail follows the route of the 240 km Great North Road, built between 1826 and 1836. Most of this road continues to be used today, offering an alternative, slower paced scenic route between Sydney and the Hunter, where one can explore the brilliant engineering works created by hundreds of convicts - many working in leg-irons.

Relics such as stone retaining walls, wharves, culverts, bridges and buttresses can still be seen along the entire length of the Great North Road - in Sydney suburbs like Epping and Gladesville, at Wisemans Ferry or Wollombi, Bucketty or Broke, or when walking in Dharug and Yengo National Parks.

 

Convicts are enormous contributors to this nation's past. Do you know your family's history?

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