Katoomba Landslide Circuit, Blue Mountains NSW

A circuit walk taking in one of the better and yet less frequented sections of the Federal Pass at Katoomba, and also all of the most touristy areas for some contrast!

The Katoomba Landslide section of the Federal Pass in the Blue Mountains appears not to get that much traffic, and I hadn’t done it before this trip in June 2019. Turns out though it is one of the most spectacular sections of this longish track beneath sandstone cliffs, as a landslide in the early 1930’s has opened up views over a nice corner of the cliff lined Jamison Valley. 

This section of the track isn’t really on the way anywhere, and even though it is close to the Scenic World railway, it appears very few people make the effort to come this far. We did it as part of a circuit including roads and the most touristy areas of Katoomba, and I’d probably avoid these areas if I did it again (especially on a public holiday Monday). You could combine it with a trip to the Ruined Castle, descending the Golden Stairs and walking to each destination in turn (they are in opposite directions). Or if you descend from Scenic World on the railway then it’s a pretty easy walk to this excellent spot.

Track notes at the end.

Katoomba Landslide Circuit: The Scenery

Katoomba Landslide Circuit, Blue Mountains
Looking towards Mt Solitary from Landslide Lookout.
Katoomba Landslide Circuit, Blue Mountains
The view west (and down) from Landslide Lookout.
Katoomba Landslide Circuit, Blue Mountains
The Three Sisters to the right, viewed from a lookout on Cliff Drive.
Katoomba Landslide Circuit, Blue Mountains
The Three Sisters viewed from an unnamed viewpoint on Cliff Drive.
Katoomba Landslide Circuit, Blue Mountains
Looking towards Scenic World from the Prince Henry Cliff Walk.
Katoomba Landslide Circuit, Blue Mountains
The Three Sisters (left) and Mt Solitary.
Katoomba Landslide Circuit, Blue Mountains
A view of the Three Sister from the bottom of the railway at Scenic World. There were lots of people at this spot so I didn’t stick around.
Katoomba Landslide Circuit, Blue Mountains
Evidence of a small landslide.
Katoomba Landslide Circuit, Blue Mountains
There’s coal in them there hills! There’s actually a few abandoned mine tunnels in the area.
Katoomba Landslide Circuit, Blue Mountains
Part of the landslide section. The cliff fell away in 1931.

Katoomba Landslide Circuit, Blue Mountains

Katoomba Landslide Circuit, Blue Mountains
Sophia backed by cliffs as we left the landslide section.
Katoomba Landslide Circuit, Blue Mountains
More of the landslide section.

Katoomba Landslide Circuit, Blue Mountains Katoomba Landslide Circuit, Blue Mountains

Katoomba Landslide Circuit, Blue Mountains
Last look at the landslide as we climbed up the Golden Stairs.

Track Notes

We started at Landslide Lookout on Cliff Drive. The lookout is a short side trip off the road. Returning from the lookout we walked towards Echo point on Cliff Drive, stopping at a couple of lookouts along the way. At Scenic World we joined the busy section of the Prince Henry Cliff Walk, then at Echo Point descended the Giant Stairway to the Federal Pass. We then followed the Federal Pass through the lower section of Scenic World, and on to the landslide section for great views. From there we continued maybe 30 minutes and ascended to Glenraphael Drive via the Golden Stairs. The last bit was back to our car along the unsealed Glenraphael Drive and a short section of Cliff Drive.    

Grand Canyon Circuit, Blue Mountains NSW

A unique and atmospheric walk through a narrow, shaded canyon in the Upper Blue Mountains near Blackheath.

The Grand Canyon Circuit offers a fairly unique Blue Mountains experience, passing through the shadowy recesses of a narrow canyon carved out by Greaves Creek, near the town of Blackheath in the upper mountains. There’s lush rainforest vegetation, tall and dark cliffs, as well as more open sections with dryer vegetation. There’s also excellent views from Evans Lookout of the Grose Valley, looking like a smaller, forested version of that other (slightly more famous) Grand Canyon. Evans Lookout is outside of the canyon, but a part of the circuit walk.

The walk is of moderate difficulty on a well marked track. On the day I took these pictures we combined this walk with the longer Rodriguez Pass for a full and varied day-hike.

Track Notes

The NPWS site has information on the walk. You can start on Evans Lookout Road, either at Evans Lookout itself (at the end of the road), or earlier on at the other end of the canyon, or indeed at a car park between these two spots. Either way you walk roughly parallel to the road on a constructed track for a while to complete the circuit.

Grand Canyon Circuit: The Scenery

Grand Canyon Circuit, Blue Mountains
Tunnels or caves.

Grand Canyon Circuit, Blue Mountains
Another tunnel or cave.

Grand Canyon Circuit, Blue Mountains
There were some very narrow sections.

Grand Canyon Circuit, Blue Mountains

Grand Canyon Circuit, Blue Mountains
Sophia for scale on the left.

Grand Canyon Circuit, Blue Mountains

Grand Canyon Circuit, Blue Mountains
I’m really not sure what to label many of these photos: ‘water ferns rocks’ would do for almost all of them.

Grand Canyon Circuit, Blue Mountains
Sections of the walk emerge from the canyon.

Grand Canyon Circuit, Blue Mountains

Grand Canyon Circuit, Blue Mountains
Looking down through a crack back down to Greaves Creek.

Grand Canyon Circuit, Blue Mountains Grand Canyon Circuit, Blue Mountains Grand Canyon Circuit, Blue Mountains Grand Canyon Circuit, Blue Mountains Grand Canyon Circuit, Blue Mountains Grand Canyon Circuit, Blue Mountains

Grand Canyon Circuit, Blue Mountains
Dusk at Evans Lookout, looking over the Grose Valley.

Mt Twynam, Little Twynam, Blue Lake & Hedley Tarn, Kosciuszko National Park NSW

Excellent scenery on this walk taking in two of Australia’s highest peaks, and two of its alpine lakes, including the spectacular Blue Lake.

On this walk high up on the Main Range I visited Australia’s third highest peak for the first time, Mt Twynam at 2196m of elevation, it’s sibling Little Twynam (2130m), the spectacular Blue Lake, and nearby Hedley Tarn. There’s excellent alpine scenery the whole way, and with the exception of the justifiably popular Blue Lake, you’ll avoid the worst of the crowds that frequent the southern area of the range near Mt Kosciuszko. Continue reading “Mt Twynam, Little Twynam, Blue Lake & Hedley Tarn, Kosciuszko National Park NSW”

Bungonia National Park Green and White Tracks, NSW

Spectacular gorge and canyon scenery on this relatively easygoing circuit walk in Bungonia National Park, in the NSW Southern Highlands near Goulburn.

Bungonia National Park was a new find for me, and its spectacular karst landforms make me wonder why it’s not more famous. Without a great deal of time I did a fairly easy circuit walk, the Green Track, taking in the main lookouts over  spectacular canyon and gorge scenery. A short side trip along the White Track added one more excellent lookout over the Shoalhaven River Valley.

Continue reading “Bungonia National Park Green and White Tracks, NSW”

Castle Head & Narrow Neck Plateau, Blue Mountains NSW

Two mostly flat walks that visit a number of vantage points on Narrow Neck Plateau for views over the Jamison Valley in the Blue Mountains near Katoomba.

Two reasonably easy going walks here on Narrow Neck Plateau in the Blue Mountains at Katoomba. They both offer sweeping views over the famous landmarks of the Jamison Valley from a different angle than the more famous vantage points, and there’s also views of the Megalong Valley. Continue reading “Castle Head & Narrow Neck Plateau, Blue Mountains NSW”

Cathedral Range Southern Circuit, Victoria

A fun circuit walk in the small but prominent Cathedral Range, with extensive views from Sugarloaf Peak (920m), and along the rocky Razorback ridge track.

The Cathedral Range is a small but prominent mountain range in Victoria, about two hours north-east of Melbourne. It comprises a 7 kilometre ridge of upturned rock, and climbing then walking along this ridge makes for a fun day walk. A circuit at the southern end takes in the highest peak in the range – Sugarloaf Peak at 920m of elevation – and climbing this can be made a bit more adventurous by taking the Wells Cave Track option. There are extensive views from the top, and for much of the way as you walk north along the range, descending back down to the start at about half way. Continue reading “Cathedral Range Southern Circuit, Victoria”

Mother Cummings Peak ascent, North Tasmania

A sometimes steep walk through attractive beech forest and past the tree line onto the top of the Great Western Tiers at Mother Cummings Peak (1260m).

Although a bit misty on the day we did it, this walk up onto the Great Western Tiers to the summit of Mother Cummings Peak (1260m) offers good views over the tiers, as well as attractive beech forest, rocky stream beds, and alpine vegetation up on the summit plateau. There’s also a small waterfall along the way.

Continue reading “Mother Cummings Peak ascent, North Tasmania”

Cataract Gorge Circuit, Launceston Tasmania

Cataract Gorge and the South Esk River offer attractive bushwalking on the edge of Launceston in Northern Tasmania. Apart from the scenery you might also come across some unusual wildlife.

Cataract Gorge is very picturesque and sits just on the edge of Launceston, northern Tasmania’s largest city. There are a number of bush tracks in the area and we did a fairy wide circuit taking in some country further upstream on the South Esk River in the Trevallyn Nature Recreation Area. Continue reading “Cataract Gorge Circuit, Launceston Tasmania”

Mt Roland & Mt Vandyke, Northern Tasmania

A great circuit walk up the prominent and rocky Mt Roland, returning via Mt Vandyke for variety. There are fabulous 360 degree views from the summit of Mt Roland, so aim to do this one on a clear day.

The circuit ascending Mt Roland and then descending via Mt Vandyke exceeded my expectations. The excellent 360 degree views from the summit of Mt Roland take in the flat expanse of land to the north and east, and the other peaks in this range to the west. Further west there are distant and famous peaks in Cradle Mountain National Park. It’s an impressively rocky and quite prominent mountain range (from most angles), and the circuit taking in Mt Vandyke is varied: It starts in lush forest and then rises onto an alpine plateau, passes boulder fields, and visits two rocky peaks which both require a bit of a scramble. The return track is very steep but this adds a bit to the sense of adventure.

Continue reading “Mt Roland & Mt Vandyke, Northern Tasmania”

Lakes Bill and Myrtle, Walls of Jerusalem National Park, Tasmania

This walk in the Walls of Jerusalem National Park visits two substantial alpine lakes, both backed by the rugged summit of Mt Rogoona.

This walk in a lesser visited part of the increasingly popular Walls of Jerusalem National Park visits two biggish alpine lakes, both backed by views of the summit rocks of Mt Rogoona (1350m). In early 2019 there were still substantial fire affected areas, but they often added an interesting aesthetic to the scenery.

Continue reading “Lakes Bill and Myrtle, Walls of Jerusalem National Park, Tasmania”