Keith Longhurst Reserve, aka The Basin, is located near the town of Kentlyn, NSW, on the George’s River and is only five minutes’ drive from the many hotels and restaurants of Campbelltown. This reserve appears to be managed by the Campbelltown Council, as they produce the brochures and online information.
I started off at the designated parking area at the dead-end of George’s River Road. There are no trail signs or maps posted, but the few trails are easy to navigate. Starting off, I walked east from the car park on an old road that’s been used by ATVs. These ATV trails/roads criss-cross the area, and although they don’t appear on the Council maps, they are easy to spot using the satellite view in Google Maps. The ATV trails are blocked at the car park; based on the satellite imagery they are accessed by residents of nearby homes. There were no ATVs on the trail during my visit, but recent and ongoing use is evident by tire tracks.
Although illegal for ATV use, these ATV trails provide easy walking access through the bush and to overlooks of the George’s River gorge.
Exploring the trails through the bush, I was left with only a few minutes to walk down to the river. The Basin Track is a direct route from the car park to a large natural pool in the canyon bottom. The track appears newly-built with easy steps down, but all of the trail markers have been spray-painted with tagging graffiti, a symptom of being so close to a large population area.
The basin area features a large natural pool, small waterfall, smooth rock riverbed, and a small beach. The waterfall is a popular jumping/swimming spot for local kids.
Overall I really like this reserve for it’s easy access, scenery, and natural environment; it’s more quiet and natural here than at the nearby botanical gardens. And I certainly plan to return again with the aim of hiking the Old Ford Road and visiting other nearby reserves along the George’s River.
There are two brochures of interest for visitors to this area, produced by the Campbelltown Council. The first is a general guide to the Keith Longhurst Reserve, and the second is the George’s River Bushwalking Guide that includes both formal tracks in this reserve, as well as other nearby access areas.
I was recently able to revisit this park and take some better photographs of the falls. The lighting was better, there were no other visitors, and the falls were more active on account of the recent wet weather.
Old Ford Road
From the same car park as The Basin access, there is another route down to the Georges River, the Old Ford Road. Similar to the Freres Crossing, this is a historic road that meanders through the bush, down to the river, and at one time crossed to the other side.
The path begins as a relatively straight line through the bushland above the Georges River Gorge.
It was a pleasant surprise to be only person on the Old Ford Road on a pleasant November Saturday afternoon. The walk is an easy go with no treacherous or slippery sections.
The road descends the canyon through different eco-zones into the river bottom. The canyon walls are wet and covered in moss and ferns.
Historic road-building construction features are evident, such as this stone-lined water diversion trough and drill marks from blasting the bedrock.
The river in this area is peaceful and calm with only some small rapids.