Route: Great North Walk

New South Wales, AU
244.2 km

The Great North Walk is a 250 km long walking track between Newcastle and Sydney. It was completed in 1988. It is well marked, and traverses a fairly populated area of Australia. A 100 km and 100 mile footrace is head each year along a portion of the GNW.

GPS Track


Chris Wilder came close, with a time of 2d3h29m (supported), 28-30 April 2018.

Trip report:

An epic adventure. Had a goal time of 60 hours and no thoughts of the FKT so to go within a few hours of that time was incredible for me. Joe Ward (current FKT holder) and many others as pacers and support crew. Looking forward to going back for another shot in the coming years.

I will be attempting the gnw 276 in a supported fashion heading from Newcastle to Sydney. I’ll be starting 6am Friday the 19th. I will be catching a boat for patonga to Brooklyn and due to high chance of coming into Sydney early in the morning with no water taxies or ferry’s I will most likely drive the last water section from woolwich to circular quay. 

On 1st September 2020 I completed the GNW in an unsupported, hiking (and sleeping!) fashion. It took me 5 days 23 hours.

I don't think this is a particularly competitive time in this style (3 days might be), but wanted to give this type of trip a go.

I believe with the 20% rule (an unsupported FKT needs to be within 20% of the supported/self-supported FKT?) you'd need to go sub-50 hours unsupported. I've love to see someone take a shot at this!

There is no 20% rule. 

Great work on your attempt.

Did you record your hike and have evidence (GPX file)?

Unsupported trumps supported any day.


Fastest Known Time
Region Editor - AUS/NZ/JAPAN

Insta - jasetrim

Strava - Jase Trimmer

Sorry, I only just saw this reply!

No GPX file, I didn't own a GPS watch at the time. I think I have timestamped photos for start/finish and a few points inbetween, not sure if that's enough.

Anyway, I'm hoping to redo my attempt with a lot more training (and much less sleeping) sometime in the next few years, which I'll submit properly.



User Picture
Profile picture for user JaseTrim

Melissa Robertson and Julie Brock will make an attempt on the current female supported time on 12/02/21 - good luck to the both of you.

Hi guys,

Just wanted to understand the difference between supported and unsupported  for the GNW. I live in the UK but looking to do this when I next come home 



Supported - You just need to get from A to B. You can have a team that give you everything you need and can run alongside you during your effort.

Unsupported - carry everything you need including food, allowed to source water from natural sources (like creeks) along the way. No support from others.

Hey all -

Is time spent in a car (as Grant Brisbin did) or on a ferry, included in the time? Or is this excluded and minused from the total trip?

I'm trying to understand how to do this unsupported. As a car seems supported, but waiting overnight for a ferry adds a lot of time... Can a FKT be counted by stopping and starting the time at each ferry location, waiting for the next one to arrive etc?


The clock starts when you start and it only stops when you reach the finish. Any time spent in a car or a ferry or sleeping is included in your total time. 

Hope this helps.

Was wondering if the FKT is any direction ? Or is it FKT from North to South and seperate FKT from South to North  ? 

Looking at doing an unsupported attempt sometime this year, and am wondering about the Patonga to Brooklyn water crossing. Apparently there used to be a ferry, but it is no longer, and so most people recommend a private water taxi. Would this still be considered unsupported?

This is an interesting one.

Obviously getting a friend to drive you over in a boat (which is not available to the public) = supported.

Going by the book, taking publicly available transport for the water crossings would probably make it self-supported. However given that motorized water crossings are a fundamental part of the route with no unsupported alternative (swimming/kayaking would be unwise/possibly illegal), I'd think in this context it should be considered unsupported.

I think it's an important distinction to make, otherwise you could do food caches the whole way which would be very different to carrying 250k worth of food.

I’ve just seen this comment - has this ever been clarified as to whether an unsupported attempt is possible on the GNW?

User Picture
Profile picture for user JaseTrim

Callan Gates completed the North to South route, starting on 2.6.22 and finished 5.6.22 - 3 days, 3 hours. No GPX file submitted.

Only a faster time would be recorded as we don't keep a 'leaderboard' of athletes times. However, given Callan is raising funds for Leukemia, his efforts and of his support crew are worthy of comment. Callans mother-in-law passed from Leukemia -  please follow the link for an interview…

Thanks Jase, appreciate the support and very much respect the guys and girls that have taken on the GNW250 what an epic trail it is.. 💪👊

Wondering if it can be clarified whether Unsupported is possible on this course? Is using a water taxi at Patonga and Ferry at Woolwich still considered unsupported or self-supported? I sent an email enquiry and was told it would be self-supported

The ferry from Brooklyn to Patonga no longer runs. Water taxi from Brooklyn to Patonga would cost about $100. Next best is ferry from Brooklyn to Little Wobby. Alternatively, it would be by train from Brooklyn to Wondabyne. Time for a route variation maybe?

Ok nevermind, figured out the alternative, train from Brooklyn to Woy Woy, then Uber to Patonga for about $35.

Hi everyone. 

New member and was wondering what the times were for this trail unassisted? 

Myself and a friend are training to do this train in a couple month unassisted estimating 4 days to complete. Would love to know some details of recommended gear from others who have done it and times set