Devils Hole Track, Katoomba, Blue Mountains NSW

This lesser known short walk in the Blue Mountains passes through a very atmospheric canyon, and can be extended along the bottom of cliffs used by rock climbers.

This was another new walk for me in the Upper Blue Mountains that exceeded expectations. It starts on the edge of town, and passes steeply through a narrow and deep canyon (actually a gap in the cliffs) called the Devils Hole. As you drop down you can take a short side trip to the left for views of the cliffs lining Narrow Neck Plateau. At the bottom of Devils Hole you turn left to view a scenic waterfall, and can then continue on along the bottom of cliffs used by rock climbers. Continue reading “Devils Hole Track, Katoomba, Blue Mountains NSW”

Asgard Swamp & Thor Head Walk, Blue Mountains NSW

A lesser known but nevertheless spectacular walk in the Upper Blue Mountains near Mt Victoria. There are cliffs galore, views up and down the deep Grose Valley, and other features such as patches of treeless grasslands.

This walk near Mt Victoria offers some of the best views of typical Upper Blue Mountains scenery, but is relatively unknown so you’ll be able to enjoy the serenity without the crowds. The tracks visit some excellent vantage points on the edge of rather precipitous cliffs with views over the spectacular Grose Valley, and there’s also a few patches of treeless grassy plains (the swamps I presume) that make for a nice change of scenery in this heavily forested area. Add to this a handful of rocky outcrops along the way, some interesting trees, and a worthy side trip to visit a small historic mine. All this for less than 10km of flattish walking.   Continue reading “Asgard Swamp & Thor Head Walk, Blue Mountains NSW”

Starlights Trail, Nattai National Park, NSW

This walk, in the lesser known Nattai National Park, starts on fire trails, but eventually descends into the cliff lined Nattai Valley. You can have lunch next to the picturesque Nattai River at the turnaround point.

The Starlights Trail is in a less frequented area of the Blue Mountains World Heritage Area. The walk starts on fire trails, but eventually drops down into the cliff lined Nattai Valley, ending at the picturesque Nattai River. The area was a lot dryer than I remembered it, possibly a result of the recent drought. It’s a good walk if you to get away from the crowds, as I don’t remember ever seeing anybody on this trail. Perhaps this is why we saw a goanna along the way, who stopped on a tree in a convenient spot for me to get a good picture. Continue reading “Starlights Trail, Nattai National Park, NSW”

Wattamolla to Garie North Head, Royal National Park, NSW

This section of the Royal National Park Coast Track passes by the famous Eagle Rock, and you can continue to Garie North Head for elevated views down the coast.

All sections of the classic Royal National Park Coast Track can be done as day walk circuits except for the section between Wattamolla and Eagle Rock. We did this and continued on to Garie North Head for great views down the coast, then returned back along the Coast Track to Wattamolla. On this occasion the highlight for me was the novelty of seeing this area after substantial fire damage. The colours were intense blacks, blues, oranges, whites, browns, greys pinks and greens, and we could see rocks and topography usually hidden by vegetation cover. Continue reading “Wattamolla to Garie North Head, Royal National Park, NSW”

Wattamolla to Marley Beach Circuit, Royal National Park, Sydney

Wattamolla to Marley Beach is an excellent section of the Royal National Park Coast Track south of Sydney, taking in lots of cliffs and interesting rocks, plus tonnes of wildflowers in spring.

The Royal National Park Coast Track is pretty special from start to end, and this section from Wattamolla to Marley Beach is no exception. There are many cliffs and interesting rocks, windswept beaches and bays, plus a large variety of wildflowers in spring. And you can make a partial circuit by taking fire trails inland for a while. The vegetation is predominantly heath.  Continue reading “Wattamolla to Marley Beach Circuit, Royal National Park, Sydney”

Red Hands Cave and Link Tracks, Blue Mountains National Park, NSW

A short to medium walk through a variety of forest vegetation in the Lower Blue Mountains that takes in two significant Indigenous cultural sites.

This walk is conveniently located at the very bottom of the Blue Mountains near Glenbrook. Not all that spectacular, it’s nevertheless unique for the cave at the turnaround point, which contains excellently preserved indigenous hand stencils made with red ochre, hence the name Red Hands Cave. Walking from Glenbrook Causeway near the entrance to the national park, you’ll pass through a variety of forest types, from dry scrubby vegetation to rainforest, and the link track provides a bit of variety making a partial loop. Continue reading “Red Hands Cave and Link Tracks, Blue Mountains National Park, NSW”

Mt Kuringai to Berowra via Benowie Track, Berowra Valley NP Sydney

A very picturesque and varied walk in Sydney’s north. There’s a variety of attractive forest, water views, and other environments like salt marsh.

Our first time doing this walk from Mt Kuringai to Berowra via the Benowie Track in Berowra Valley National Park. I tend to think I’ve already done the good walks around Sydney so I didn’t expect all that much, but it exceeded expectations. There’s very picturesque scenery along Calna Creek and Berowra Creek, a variety of forest types, water views including dark reflective pools, and other environments like salt marsh and mangroves. There’s also steep sided hills along the creeks, which I like. Continue reading “Mt Kuringai to Berowra via Benowie Track, Berowra Valley NP Sydney”

Fortress Ridge Track, Blue Mountains NP, NSW

An undulating walk through heath in the Upper Blue Mountains, with spectacular views of the Grose Valley and Lockley’s Pylon at the turnaround point.

There are a number of excellent walks which start on the unsealed (and rough) Mt Hay Road, near the Blue Mountains town of Leura. Over 12 years of regular bushwalking in the area I had often noticed cars parked at the side of the road about half way to the end, and wondered whether there was a track there. Well, Sophia and I finally checked it out and discovered the really excellent Fortress Ridge Track. Better late than never. The track undulates through heath and occasional tree cover to a view point over the Grose Valley and Lockley’s Pylon, which is quite spectacular from this angle.  Continue reading “Fortress Ridge Track, Blue Mountains NP, NSW”

Venus Tor via Mt Hay, Blue Mountains NP, NSW

A little known walk over Mt Hay and down to the rocky outcrop known as Venus Tor. Excellent cliff and valley views for much of the way.

I learned of this excellent walk in the Upper Blue Mountains from a couple I met on the summit of Mt Hay. It’s possible to continue on over Mt Hay to a rocky outcrop called Venus Tor, and there are excellent views over the Grose Valley for most of the way. Plus you’re unlikely to meet many/any other hikers after Mt Hay. The drop down from Mt Hay is very steep, and then passes through mostly heath and scrub to the tor. Easy enough walking.  Continue reading “Venus Tor via Mt Hay, Blue Mountains NP, NSW”

Oatley Park Circuit, Oatley, Sydney

Oatley Park is a lovely section of bushland in suburban Sydney, specifically the suburb of Oatley on the Georges River. A roughly hour long circuit takes in wetlands, mangroves, bushland and water views.

Oatley Park is a suburban bushland  haven situated on the Georges River, about 20km south of the Sydney CBD. An hour long circuit takes in wetlands, mangroves, and views of the saltwater Georges River and a couple of its side arms. There are plenty of shorter options however, and you can just wander through the park if you like; it’s not big enough to get seriously lost in. Continue reading “Oatley Park Circuit, Oatley, Sydney”