Gentlemans Halt is a remote campsite on the banks of the Hawkesbury River in Marramarra National Park, accessible on foot (a 10km hike) or by boat. If you're looking for a quiet campsite for a last minute weekend away, where you can swim and dry off by a fire, Gentlemans Halt is among the best campgrounds the greater Sydney region has to offer.
Quick guide to camping at Gentlemans Halt
Bookings and cost: Gentlemans Halt is a free campsite and bookings aren't required
Getting there: You've got two options - on foot or by boat.
- On foot: Leave your car at the carpark at the intersection of Canoelands Road, Canoelands and the Canoelands Ridge Trail. It's at roughly 64 Canoelands Road, Canoelands if you're popping into a sat nav or maps app. Jump to the hike notes.
- By boat: Gentlemans Halt is located on the Hawkesbury River, opposite Spencer. There's a small wharf - see photos at the base of this article.
Facilities: Toilets and fire pits. There is no fresh water available so ensure you carry enough in for drinking and cooking.
Cooking: Cook over one of the fire pits or bring a camp stove
Public transport: None.
Mobile phone service: None. But who needs a phone when camping anyway?
- You must carry in your own drinking water - the Hawkesbury River is salt water, so isn't suitable for drinking.
- The last 2km of the hike in is difficult to follow at times - check out the bushwalking notes below.
The hike in
The start of the track
Leave your car at the carpark at the intersection of Canoelands Road, Canoelands, and the Canoelands Ridge Trail. It's at approximately 64 Canoelands Road, Canoelands if you're popping it into a sat nav or maps app.
0km - 8km: Canoelands Ridge Trail
The hike to the campsite follows Canoelands Ridge Trail for 8kms. The track is a wide fire trail, following the ridge line up and down with nice views over the Hawkesbury visible through the trees every now and again. There's loose gravel underfoot along much of the path, which can be a bit challenging to walk on, particularly on the down hills.
8km - 10km: Gentlemans Halt Track
After 8km you'll come to a sign to the left pointing to Gentlemans Halt campsite. The last ~2km follows the Gentlemans Halt Track, a path that's much less worn. You'll start by following the track for a few hundred metres through shrub, crossing over some large flat rocks. You'll then reach another sign to Gentlemans Halt, this time pointing you down hill and letting you know there's 2.2km to go.
From here, following the track involves some scrambling over some larger rocks down the hill. The route was marked with pink route marking tape when we last visited (Nov '16).
At the bottom of the hill, you'll reach another sign to Gentlemans Halt, this time pointing you to the right. The trail is fairly flat and straight for a couple of hundred metres. You'll walk past an old fire place on your left, and then shortly after, the track veers to the right. Although marked with tape, the veer to the right is easy to miss, as the track does also appear to go straight ahead. If you find yourself going up hill again, you've taken a wrong turn. Once you've veered off to the right, the track winds gently downhill through some shrub. At the base of the hill you'll hit another sign to Gentlemans Halt, this time pointing you to the left. The waters edge is dotted with mangroves. Follow it to the left for 400m to reach the campsite.