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Circuit Flat Bridge

Follow convict steps to Australia's 4th oldest bridge on the mainlandtree

This walk is an hours drive past St Albans so its one to do if you are staying in the Wisemans Ferry area or wanting to do a big daytrip from Sydney.  Although its a drive to get there (and a chunk is on dirt roads)  you will be rewarded with a peaceful track, great birdlife and an insight into the convict built Circuit Flat Bridge.  The road beyond St Albans follows Mogo Creek which is at the far end of the Hawkesbury River catchment.

Circuit Flat Bridge built in 1831 is the fourth oldest bridge in Australia.  Although you can't cross it as the wooden planks have rotted, the solid sandstone foundations hand cut by convict picks is fascinating.  It's part of the Great North Road - this convict constructed track built between 1826 and 1836 originally stretched from the Sydney suburb of Five Dock to the farmlands in the Hunter Valley.  Over 700 convicts toiled on this remote road in tough conditions.

signpostThe track itself is a pleasant way to explore this remote part of the Hawkesbury and certainly is great for birdwatchers and has amazing wildflowers in spring.  There are plenty of interesting scribbly gums along the track too.

For those who want to make a camping weekend of it Mogo Campsite is a lovely spot to get away from it all.  Sites must be booked through the National Parks and the campground has basic toilet facilities and tank water.  There is no mobile phone coverage from the campground.

Also a note that you have to be self sufficient out here - the nearest petrol and general store is either at Wisemans Ferry or Wollombi.  And make sure you have plenty of water in the car for your bushwalk - most of the creeks rarely flow in this area.

Circuit flat bridgeLets Get to the Point

Duration: allow 1.5 hours to 2 hours

Length of walk: 6km return (either back the same way or via the firetrail)

Difficulty: Easy (but expect some short hills) and avoid doing it on a hot day!

1. Leave your car at Mogo Campground which is signposted off the Wollombi Road.  From the carpark you'll see a track behind a sign at the back of the campground.  Its on the lefthand side - opposite side to the toilets.

2. Initially the going is easy as it heads through flat tall forest.  This is a fabulous spot to hear and watch birds.

3. The track starts the first of three climbs - up into drier forest then down into damper gullies.  In a couple of places the track is a bit eroded but easy to follow.  The last of the three ridge climbs is the steepest - so take your time.

4. As you descend the third ridge you'll walk over some broad sandstone outcrops.  Directional National Parks posts ensures you follow the right way to pick up the track.

5. A final short climb brings you to an intersection with the convict constructed Great North Road. This is closed to vehicles.  Turn left onto the Great North Road and you'll soon see the remains of Circuit Flat Bridge.  Follow the track beside the bridge to the left to some interpretive signs about the bridges history.

6.You have the choice to return the same way along the foot track or follow the Great North Road north for 2km to meet up with the main Wollombi Road.  When you get to the Wollombi Road turn left and its a short 800m downhill along the road to the cars.  The firetrail route is easier if you want to return quickly.