WHAT'S ON THIS PAGE:
The Blue Mountains National Park conserves well over 200 000 hectares of rugged mountainous country to the west of Sydney. It stretches from Wollemi National Park in the north through to Kanangra-Boyd National Park in the south-west, creating what is a vast wilderness area.
The park is steeped in both Aboriginal (Daruk) and European history, with various rock engravings, paintings and evidence of early settlement by Europeans.
The park can be reached by many roads, but it is the great Western Highway that divides the national park into two sections.
ABOVE: Introductions to the Blue Mountains
ABOVE: Koalas can be found in the Blue Mountains
ABOVE: Storm over the Blue Mountains
AUSTRALIAN PIONEER VILLAGE:
The Australian Pioneer Village is located in Buttsworth Lane, Wilberforce. It is not part of the Blue Mountains National Park, but is not too far away from it. It is an historic village with many old buildings from the late 1800s.
BLACKHEATH AREA AND BEYOND:
The Braeside Track is an easy 3km return walk along Govett's Leap Brook to views of the Grose Valley. It is reached via Govett's Leap Road and several other gravel roads.
The Grand Canyon is accessed by a walk from Govetts Leap (see below). It can be started from the Neates Glen car park. The track descends into the rainforest, with tree ferns and hanging swamps. At the junction across Greaves Creek, turn left.
The track begins to follow the canyon at this point. Eventually the track reaches another junction (Grand Canyon and Rodriguez Pass Tracks). The track crosses the creek again and ascends to Evans Lookout.
Govetts Leap is another name for waterfall (Welsh origin).
The Govetts Leap circuit walk of 10km (about 4 hrs return), leads through what is known as the Grand Canyon. The walk begins not far from the Blackheath Railway Station, which can of course provide you with transport to the area. The walk is steep in places.
Thw walk begins by taking the Braeside Walk to the picnic ground. From the picnic ground the road is followed to the left until another small picnic ground is reached. From here the track descends into the world of the Grand Canyon.
ABOVE: Blackheath and Govett's Leap area
Blue Gum Forest:
The Blue Gum Forest lies in the Grose Valley of the Blue Mountains National Park. The area is accessed via either Victoria Falls Lookout or Govetts Leap at the end of Govetts Leap Road.
The walk into the forest from Victoria Falls Lookout descends into the valley (a steep climb back out). At the intersection reached, the right branch visits the Victoria Cascades, a beautiful spot to visit and well worth the side-track for investigation.
The descent into the valley continues near Victoria Falls until the base is reached. Here the stream is crossed and a track to Burra Korain Camping Ground is taken. Follow the track to the camping ground. From the camping ground the track continues along the Grose River until the track leads across the river to Pierces Pass or straight ahead to Acacia Flat Camping Area. By heading for Acacia Flat you reach the Blue Gum Forest.
At the Blue Gum Forest you can either return the same way or continue on to Acacia Flat Camping Area. From Acacia Flat it is possible to make your way up to Govetts Leap rather than going back to Victoria Falls.
For this walk it is a good idea to have copies of the Katoomba and Mt Wilson 1:25 000 topographic maps.
Fairfax Heritage Track:
The Fairfax Heritage Track is an easy 1.8km stroll one way, starting from the NPWS visitors centre (a leaflet on the walk can be gained here). The walk leads to George Phillips Lookout, with views across the Grose Valley. The track is suitable for wheelchairs.
Walls Lookout Track:
Walls Lookout Track is located off the Bells Line of Road at the picnic area at Pierces Pass, some 10km east of Bell. It is a 2.5km return walk.
Cliff Top Track:
The Clifftop Track is a 6km return walk from Govett's Leap to Evans Lookout and back. There are good views of the hanging swamps. The track can also be taken from Govett's Leap to Pulpit Rock.
Govett's Leap to Popes Glen:
The track follows the walk from Govett's Leap toward Pulpit Rock, turning left at the first track junction. The track follows the creek and the cascades. It is a 5km return walk.
Evan's Lookout to Beauchamp Falls:
The walk begins near Evan's Lookout, turning left at the Greave's Creek junction until the falls are reached. Return the same way. This is a 3km return walk.
ABOVE: Evan's Lookout
Bridal Veil Falls Walk:
This track is a difficult walk, though it is only a 1km return walk. It begins below Govett's Leap Lookout and descends to Bridal Veil Falls.
KATOOMBA AREA AND BEYOND:
The Three Sisters are perhaps the most well-known of the Blue Mountains natural attractions. They are located at Echo Point, Katoomba. The walk from the visitors centre to the Three Sisters is quick and easy, but the descent of the Giant Stairway (860 steps) to the Jamison Valley is another story and not for the faint-hearted.
By descending to the Jamison Valley it is possible to walk to the base of the Scenic Railway (1.5 hrs), where a train can be caught out of the valley or the Furber Stairs climbed near Katoomba Falls. The return to Echo Point is then via Cliff Drive or the Prince Henry Cliff Walk.
ABOVE: Footage of The Three Sisters
Katoomba Falls Circuit:
The Katoomba Falls Circuit is a 2km walk from Cliff Drive near the Katoomba Falls kiosk.
ABOVE: Katoomba Falls footage
Ruined Castle and Mt Solitary:
This walk descends into the Jamison Valley at the Scenic Railway. An alternative route is via the railway, but many beautiful scenes will be missed by this alternative. At the base of the cliff the track is easily followed to Mt Solitary. The track proceeds passed the landslide, Golden Staircase, Ruined Castle and to Mt Solitary.
ABOVE: Views of Mt. Solitary from the Ruined Castle
ABOVE: Footage of the Scenic Railway
ABOVE: The Scenic Skyway
It is possible to walk over Mt Solitary and camp near the headwaters of Singa Jingwell Creek. From here you could return the same way or attempt to climb out of the valley via the Col and Kedumba Creek to the Queen Elizabth Homes at Wentworth Falls.
It is a good idea to have the Hampton, Katoomba, Jamison and Jenolan 1:25 000 topographic maps when doing the walk.
Photos of Katoomba Area
Federal Pass Walk:
The 8km (3 hrs) Federal Pass Walk begins at either Leura Falls or Katoomba Falls. From Leura the valley floor is reached from Leura Falls. The track will then reach the base of the Three Sisters and Echo Point, until Furber Stairs are reached.
Prince Henry Cliff Walk:
The Prince Henry Cliff Walk covers the area along the cliff face from Gordon Falls in Leura to Katoomba Falls. From Gordon Falls the walk proceeds past Elysian, Olympian and Tarpian Rocks, Leura Cascades and the Bridal Falls Kiosk. From the kiosk it continues to Echo Point and the Queen Elizabeth Lookout, Lady Darleys Lookout, Duke and Duchess of York Lookout, and Watchtower Lookout before reaching Katoomba Falls.
Sublime Point is located at Leura and is reached via Sublime Point Road. A track leads to the lookout.
Gordon Falls and the Pool of Siloam:
Gordon Falls is located at Leura. At the Gordon Falls Lookout a track leads to the Pool of Siloam and the Lyrebird Dell.
The walk begins at the Leura Cascades Picnic Area. It is a 3km circuit walk.
ABOVE: Leura Cascades
Mini Ha Ha Falls:
Minni Ha Ha Falls are located at Katoomba.
ABOVE: Mini Ha Ha Falls
National Pass Track:
The National Pass Track is a 6km hard walk, with numerous steps. The walk begins at The Valley of the Waters at the end of Fletcher Street, Wentworth Falls. The walk descends to the Valley of the Waters Creek, via Empress Lookout. The track leads to a junction with the Vera Falls and Wentworth Pass Track. At the junction head left toward Wentworth Falls. The walk will ascend Wentworth Falls and return to the start of the walk, via the Undercliff Track.
The walk from Wentworth Falls Lookout to the base of Wentworth Falls is also a very worthwhile walk. The walk proceeds from the lookout toward Weeping Rock which is a small waterfall, then on to Queens Cascade where the walk crosses Jamison Creek and further on to the base of Wentworth Falls.
ABOVE: Wentworth Falls area
ABOVE: Wentworth Falls - in Flood
Valley of the Waters Nature Track:
The Valley of the Waters Nature Track is a 4km circuit that starts at the Valley of the Waters Conservation Hut/Tea Rooms in Fletcher Street, Wentworth Falls. The walk leaves the picnic area to Queen Victoria and Empress Lookouts, taking in Asmodeus Pool and Edinburgh Castle Rock. At the junction of several tracks, take the track that leads straight ahead.
ABOVE: Empress Falls - Valley of the Waters
Princes Rock Track:
The track begins at the Wentworth Falls Picnic Area at the end of Falls Road, Wentworth Falls. It is a 1km return walk.
Weeping Rock Circuit:
The Weeping Rock Circuit begins at the Wentworth Falls Picnic Area at the end of Falls Road, Wentworth Falls. It is a 1km walk.
Six Foot Track:
The Six Foot Track is a 42km walk that can be comfortably completed in 3 days, though it can be done in 2. It starts near Katoomba, passes through the Megalong Valley and finishes at the Jenolan Caves.
The walk begins at the Explorers Tree near Katoomba before heading to Nellies Glen and the Megalong Valley. The first camp site is found at the Old Ford Reserve, providing fireplaces and toilets beside Megalong Creek. The track then passes through Megalong Cemetery and to the Coxs River where a swing bridge is provided. Another camp site is provided where Murdering Creek joins the Coxs River where there are toilets, BBQs, tables and fresh water.
GLENBRROK AND BEYOND:
Glenbrook Gorge is reached via a 1.5km track leading from the Glenbrook Visitors Centre car park.
Blue Pool is reached via a 2km track from the Glenbrook Visitors Centre car park.
Nepean River Walk:
The 5km Nepean River Walk begins at Glendrook Visitors Centre car park, via Glenbrook Gorge and creek.
Euroka Clearing Walk:
The Euroka Clearing Walk begins at Glenbrook Visitors Centre and is a 6km return walk.
Red Hands Cave:
The Red Hands Cave Walk is a 6km return walk beginning at the Glenbrook Visitors Centre. The walk proceeds along the creek to the Red Hands Cave Aboriginal Site.
Completed in July 1832 by engineer and stonemason David Lennox, the Lennox Bridge crossed the Mitchell's Pass providing access to the early European settlers of the region. It is the oldest Stone Arch Bridge on the Australian mainland. It was built with the assistance of 20 convicts.
HARTLEY HISTORIC SITE:
The Hartley Historic Site is controlled by the National Parks and Wildlife Service of NSW. It is located on the Great Western Highway and is open for inspection from 10am to 5pm each day. This historic village includes the courthouse, churches and other buildings. It is definitely worth a visit.
ZIG ZAG RAILWAY:
The Zig Zag Railway is located about 10km east of Lithgow on the Bells Line of Road. The railway is now a tourist must see site in the Blue Mountains area. This magnificent rail adventure takes you through spectacular scenery.
ABOVE: Zig Zag Railway
There are a number of camping areas in the national park, including Perrys Lookdown, Euroka Clearing, Murphys Glen and Ingar. For bush-walkers sites are provided at Acacia Flat and Burra Korain Flat.
A permit is required for camping at the Euroka Clearing Camping Area and these are available from the Glenbrook Visitor Centre. Euroka Clearing is reached via the Great Western Highway by turning left at Ross Street, Glenbrook. Burfitt and Bruce Roads are then followed into the national park. There is a track to the Nepean River from the clearing.
Access to Murphys Glen is restricted in wet weather. It is reached via the Great Western Highway, Appian Way, Railway Parade and Bedford Road at Woodford. There is a walk from the camping ground to Bedford Creek.
The Ingar camping area is reached via the Great Western Highway at Wentworth Falls by turning into Tablelands Road and then Queen Elixabeth Drive. The site is beside a creek and small dam.
Perrys Lookdown is reached via the Great Western Highway at Blackheath, onto Hat Hill Road.
ACCOMMODATION AND RESOURCE LINKS:
- Blue Mountains National Park
Govetts Leap Rd
Blackheath NSW 2785
Ph: (02) 4787 8877
Kevin's Wilderness Journeys Homepage
New South Wales
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