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!

Katoomba Landslide Circuit, Blue Mountains

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.    

Author: Edward Hathway

I'm a clinical psychologist and keen hiker.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.