On soft drizzly day, after two weeks of solid rain, we were looking for a route high on a Sydney sandstone ridge that might offer spring flowers without being too leech infested. We headed off to explore an 11km circuit linking two paths we’d passed by many times but not yet ventured down – the Sphinx fire trail and the Darri Track.
Parking is easy at Samuel King Oval on Bobbin Head Rd. Then walk across the Oval into the bush on the Ku-ring-gai recreational tracks. We follow the trail to Gwydir Ave, then the grassy stretch behind the houses to the Murrua Track and around The Landings village community. Cross Bobbin Head Rd and down past the Sphinx Memorial.
This time, instead of heading down the very familiar Sphinx Walking Track, we followed the Sphinx Fire Trail to its end, where there are nice views in three directions across the valley and down to Cowan Creek. A footpad heads down between rocks and soon we join the Warrimoo Track on the valley floor and cross the creek – which had a lot more water in it than usual after recent rains.
Climb the hill, squeezing through the Skinny rocks, up towards the Stone Bench. Continue on the Warrimoo Track to the Darri Track turn off. The Darri Track wanders along the ridge line, where we are treated to a wonderful sighting of two yellow tailed black cockatoos. The path undulates along, becomes a service trail, and crosses a creek or two as it makes its way through the bushland.
We take the marked Glengarry turnoff to climb back up towards the houses on the other side of the valley. From there it was a couple of blocks of road bashing back to Bobbin Head Rd and the car.
The loop is a good 3 hours exercise mostly on ridge tops with 500m of nice climbing, and quick inspections reveals no squishy black suckers hitching a free ride and meal.