Dorothy (Taffy) Townson liked to frequent a beautiful rock with wide vistas in a remote area of Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park. After she died of snake bite while walking the Overland Track in 1948, her fellow bushwalkers erected a plaque in her memory on Taffy’s Rock. The 15km out-and-back path to Taffy’s Rock, off the Great North Walk north of Jerusalem Bay, makes a great day walk.
We park at Cowan Station, and head out towards Brooklyn on the Great North Walk. We turn east onto the unmarked Taffy’s Rock path behind the Brooklyn/Jerusalem Bay sign. The sign is at the top of the steep climb up from the Bay.
The path itself runs along the ridge and is well defined enough for us to easily follow. There are many small cairns which are helpful for finding where the path continues after crossing rock platforms. About 500m after leaving the Great North Walk, there is a pretty lookout over Cowan Creek.
The next landmark is Cole Trig (a large stone cairn), before we drop down to a saddle. Further on we cross an interesting tesselated rock, then climb up to reach Edward Trig. The trig stations are beautiful old stone constructions, but only the the first Trig has the remains of its post and marking.
There are good views from the path towards Dangar Island and Brooklyn, and across to the Bahai Temple on the horizon, and we catch a tantalising glimpse of Taffy’s rock. We know we are getting close to our destination when the path turns north though low scrub. Our pace speeds up considerably with thoughts of lunch.
We find Taffy’s memorial plaque easily, on an east facing rock. It is nicely positioned to catch the early morning sunrise out to sea beyond Lion Island. Taffy’s Lookout is some distance up the ridge line heading NW.
The 15km walk took us 6 hours at a pleasant pace, including a leisurely lunch hour enjoying the peace and vistas from Taffy’s Rock. The elevation charts shows the total 700m ascent on the walk, with a long climb up from Jerusalem Bay in both directions, and undulations on the ridge. Wear long sleeved trousers (or gaiters) and a long sleeved shirt if you want to protect your skin from an “aromatic massage” from the dense vegetation growing across the path.