The Sphinx and Warrimoo tracks in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park pass through a variety of bush and creek environments and include a great tea spot at a lookout over Cowan creek. Both tracks provide great opportunities for hill climb interval work.
The route can be accessed from either the car park at the end of Warrimoo Rd, St Ives, or by parking at the gates to the National Park on Bobbin Head Rd, Turramurra.
The return walk between these two car parks, with a crossing of Cowan Creek at its upper tidal reach, is 6.8km. Add in some intervals on the wooden steps of the Sphinx Track and on the steep rocky climb of the Warrimoo track and the distance quickly adds up to 9+km. Depending on your enthusiasm for repeat hill climbing intervals, you’ll achieve anything from 500m – 700m ascent: a great morning’s workout in the bush. The Warrimoo track climbs up to the memorial stone bench at the top, a lovely spot for morning tea and a recovery break.
The climb from the intersection at the bottom of the Sphinx with the Warrimoo Track, back up the Sphinx Track to the intersection with the firetrail at the top is a good time trial (distance 1km, ascent 120m) to finish off the morning’s trek training. Our times for this climb range between 13 and 18 minutes with backpacks. The Sphinx war memorial site includes a level grassy patch which is good for a core and strength workout.
The Sphinx war memorial was carved out of local sandstone by a returned serviceman, William Shirley, between 1926 and 1928 while he was at the nearby Lady Davidson Hospital as a result of tuberculosis. Shirley built it in memory of his comrades who served with him in World War I in the AIF.
The stone memorial bench on the Warrimoo track remembers Sonja Huddle (1978-1999), a local girl who tragically died aged 21 in a stadium crush in Austria.
Other nearby walks we’ve done in the area include the Bobbin Head loop, the Sphinx and Darri Track loop, and the Warrimoo to Wildflower Gardens loop. The Wildwalks website also has detailed information on the Sphinx and Warrimoo tracks.