Convict Trail - Great North Road
The 240 km convict-built Great North Road was constructed between 1826 and 1834 to provide an overland route between Sydney and the Hunter Valley. At the time it was the largest public work yet undertaken in the colony and remains one of the major engineering feats of Australia’s convict era.
Most of the Road with its original stone culverts, bridges and retaining walls remains in use today, although much of the original surface is well buried under layers of bitumen. Convict-built relics, such as stone retaining walls, culverts, bridges and buttresses can still be seen while driving along the Road, or when walking in Dharug and Yengo National Parks.
The Great North Road branches from the Windsor Road at Baulkham Hills, and proceeds north through Castle Hill and Dural to Wisemans Ferry, then through rugged country on the north side of the Hawkesbury to Wollombi. Here it branches with one spur going to Maitland and Newcastle and the other to Singleton.
The Convict Trail is the Great North Road, its environs and associated convict era heritage.
Extending north from Sydney to the Hunter Valley, the Convict Trail follows the route of the 240 km Great North Road. Most of this road continues to be used today, offering an alternative, slower paced scenic route between Sydney and the Hunter, where one can explore the brilliant engineering works created by hundreds of convicts.