There’s a troll on the bridge across the creek and it’s not letting me pass. It’s armour plated, making threatening noises and has both weapons raised. It is a common yabby. I back off and wait quietly while the yabby decides to return to the stream. The 10km return trip from Deep Creek to Bahai Temple and back is a sensual delight, with rustling in the undergrowth, birds tweeting overhead, plenty of wild flowers and great views.
There is easy parking at Deep Creek Reserve. Head over the bridge and follow the creek up river, turning right at path junctions. Further up the creek amongst dense vegetation, a log bridge makes a good creek crossing. Then the steep climb begins, reaching a service trail on the top of the ridge line. There are great views as you climb, particularly as you get nearer to Mona Vale Rd, with plenty of choices for a spot for morning tea. The 3 hour return trip is about 11km with 350m ascent, more if you add in a side trip to view the waterfall on a tributary of Deep Creek.
The tracks are clear, but not signposted, and no published walking map shows the tracks in the southern section of Garigal National Parks (try OpenStreetMap). An astute observer of my phone GPS tracks will note that I took a side track to view the waterfall and climbed a hill up to the Slippery Dip service trail. I’ll leave you to decide if the detour was because I love a good hill climb, or because my navigation skills are awesome.
The Bahai Temple is located on the high point on Mona Vale Rd, and Deep Creek is at sea level. Mobile phones are known to be slightly inaccurate in their GPS and altitude measurements when they can’t get a good fix on 4 satellites, for example while in gullies and under dense tree cover. The general trends of my phone tracking elevation chart are good enough, I certainly climbed a big hill then turned around and went back down again, but don’t believe it when it indicates I went burrowing under the creek like a yabby.