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 want 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 are 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”

Lockleys Pylon/Du Faur Head Track, Blue Mountains NSW

The Lockleys Pylon Track offers really excellent views of the Grose Valley from the opposite side of the valley to the Blackheath walks, and the mostly heath vegetation means there are wide open views for much of the walk. Continue on a short while from Lockleys Pylon to Du Faur Head for more views.

We’ve done the Lockleys Pylon / Du Faur Head walk many a time. Walking through attractive heath vegetation allows for open views for the most part from start to finish, taking in the shear sided cliffs of the impressive Grose Valley from the opposite side of the valley to walks near Blackheath (such as walking to Pulpit Rock). Definitely a good scenery to effort ratio.  Continue reading “Lockleys Pylon/Du Faur Head Track, Blue Mountains NSW”

Cowan to Brooklyn, Ku-ring-gai Chase NP, North of Sydney

This walk in Ku-ring-gai Chase NP takes in a section of the Great North Walk. The views of Jerusalem Bay are very pretty, and later on in the walk there are really great views over the Hawkesbury River.

This walk starts at Cowan Station north of Sydney, and at first follows a track to the very pretty Jerusalem Bay, passing mostly through typical Hawkesbury Sandstone country. The track then climbs quite steeply, and after a bit more up and down it joins a fire trail for the second half of the walk. This might be a bit of a let down, only there are really excellent views across the Hawkesbury River at a point when the fire trail turns 90 degrees right and starts the long descent to Brooklyn. You need to walk about 20m to the left across rocks. Brooklyn is a nice village in a great spot on the water (but no photos because I was pushed for time).  Continue reading “Cowan to Brooklyn, Ku-ring-gai Chase NP, North of Sydney”