Box Vale Circuit, Southern Highlands NSW

This walk follows an old railway cutting at first, then descends steeply into relative wilderness, and passes a nice waterfall on the way back up to the cutting. You’re unlikely to meet other walkers on the middle half of the walk.

Box Vale Circuit, Southern Highlands near Mittagong

The Box Vale Circuit is a lesser travelled walk in the Southern Highlands near Mittagong. It follows an old mining railway cutting at first, with valley views on a short side trip. It then descends very steeply into wilderness, follows a river, then climbs back out, passing the attractive Forty Foot Falls on the way. You may well meet other walkers, but probably not in the middle half of the walk, which skirts a section of the Nattai River and feels a bit more remote. Track notes at the end.

The Scenery

Box Vale Circuit, Southern Highlands near Mittagong
Casuarina Cutting (or else Fern Cutting or Boulder Cutting). The route of an old mining railway.
Box Vale Circuit, Southern Highlands near Mittagong
The track passes through a railway tunnel.
Box Vale Circuit, Southern Highlands near Mittagong
Sophia exiting the railway tunnel.
Box Vale Circuit, Southern Highlands near Mittagong
A short side trip to this view. Sorry about the glare.
Box Vale Circuit, Southern Highlands near Mittagong
Coming down a very steep section that was part of the mine works.

Box Vale Circuit, Southern Highlands near Mittagong
I wondered if this was hit by lightening.
Box Vale Circuit, Southern Highlands near Mittagong
The Nattai River
Box Vale Circuit, Southern Highlands near Mittagong
Lots of storm detritus.
Box Vale Circuit, Southern Highlands near Mittagong
Steep slopes.
Box Vale Circuit, Southern Highlands near Mittagong
Interesting patterns on a natural rock arch.
Box Vale Circuit, Southern Highlands near Mittagong
Interesting patterns on a natural rock arch.
Box Vale Circuit, Southern Highlands near Mittagong
Forty Foot Falls
Box Vale Circuit, Southern Highlands near Mittagong
Big ass boulders.
Box Vale Circuit, Southern Highlands near Mittagong
Forty Foot Falls

Track Notes

This walk is in the useful guidebook for Sydney walks,  A Day in the Bush, which describes a circuit walking clockwise. This link to Google Maps shows the start on Box Vale Road. A search online will reveal plenty of descriptions of the first part of the walk to the end of the railway line, and to a lookout via a short side trip. To continue on you have to descend very steeply with the aid of a cable down to and across the Nattai River, then walk along the river, crossing it again once, and ascending back out of the valley near Nattai Creek. You’ll soon come across Forty Foot Falls, and then continue to ascend back to the railway route, taking a left to return to the start. We’ve done this walk a few times and in wet weather there were quite a few leeches along the Nattai River, so beware.

Author: Edward Hathway

I'm a clinical psychologist and keen hiker.

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