Gt Northern Loop
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Great Northern Loop

The Great Northern Loop (GNL), as it is sometimes known,  is a favourite drive because it combines a range of different roads and scenery.  You can chase motor bikes, drive up hills and find some interesting twisty bits.  You can also enjoy some of Australia’s best pies at Pie in the Sky.  But of great importance, you don’t tend to have too much in the way of traffic no matter what time of the day, year or which day of the week you choose to travel this course.  Weekends do see the police out…beware!

Today we will start at Thompson’s corner, travel north west to Wiseman’s Ferry, through Spencer, climb up to Mangrove Mountain, on through Calga and Brooklyn, stop for lunch at Pie in the Sky and finally travel back to Sydney via Cowan and Hornsby.


Meeting point:  Thompson Corner 9.30am for a 10.00am start (sharp).
Total distance: Thompson's Corner to Hornsby - 170km approx

Stage 1.
    Approx 49km

Proceed from Thompson’s Corner to Wiseman’s Ferry along New Line Road via Dural and Glenorie.  (Toot as we pass the Nota factory.) This is likely to be the only section with any real traffic.

Stop at the car park at the Ferry for a comfort break and coffee.  This break will be for 30 mins and Wiseman’s Ferry is the last real fuel stop for 80 km!!

Stage 2.

Board the punt and cross the river turning right and proceed to Spencer.  The trip to Spence is 75 kms from the start.
Stop at the public toilets in Spencer and gather up.  No more than 5 mins please.

Stage 3

Proceed from Spencer towards Mangrove Mountain.  The trip up the hill is really great if driven in second and third gears but beware of damp patches… at any time of the year.  At the major intersection at Mangrove Mountain turn right to Calga, Brooklyn and Sydney.  We will have gone past the left turn to Cessnock… but this is a trip for another day.

Right onto the old Highway and follow it until you reach the turn off to Brooklyn - turn right and then first left.  We will slow here and gather up before progressing down the Old Pacific Highway to Mooney Mooney, cross the bridge, pass the turn off to Brooklyn and then proceed up the hill.

At Pie in the Sky (tel 9985 7018) we will stop for a Pie and cool drink.  The menu at Pie in the Sky is limited (if you can’t choose from the 22 different types of pies) but they do fries and wedgies and for those not into pies you can bring your own lunch. 

Pie in the Sky also does every coffee known and most teas.  They will have a fenced off area out the back where we can park our cars and the facilities are very good, as is the view. 

After lunch proceed through Cowan back to Sydney via the Freeway or the old Tollway to Hornsby.

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