A dramatic and sometimes hair raising circuit walk high up in The Remarkables Range above Queenstown.
This lesser known walk in the prominent and dramatic Remarkables Range near Queenstown is a real humdinger, and will feel quite adventurous for all but the more experienced hikers. After a shortish climb to Shadow Basin Lookout from the ski field car park, there are extensive views over Lake Wakatipu and surrounds, then stark cliffs and hair raising drop offs on Queens Drive, which runs across the western face of the Remarkables at 2000m of elevation. The walk then enters an extensive boulder field with the Remarkables summit cliffs towering overhead, followed by the picturesque Wye Creek Basin, and then back to the skifields via Lake Alta. Continue reading “Queens Drive – Wye Creek Circuit, The Remarkables NZ”
The long but interesting walk into Monolith Valley will reward the enthusiastic hiker with 360 degree views of large rocky outcrops and shear cliffs.
One of the classic NSW day walks, the trek into Monolith Valley is often overshadowed by an ascent of the Castle. For sure the Castle is a must-do walk, but Monolith Valley is an excellent alternative for a different kind of spectacular. The walk into the area along the Castle walls is already awesome, and the views of Monolith Valley are first seen by continuing just past a chained section of Nibelung Pass. There you can climb one of the smaller monoliths for 360 degree views of huge textured rock landforms and distant cliff faces.
A great section of the classic Royal National Park Coast Track, and you can make a circuit of it by heading inland on the way back (and avoid the crowds in doing so).
Bundeena to Marley Head is one of my favourite sections of the classic Royal National Park Coast Track, although choosing a favourite section is a bit like choosing a favourite child. It’s got what you want from a coast track: cliffs, beaches, heath, and interesting rock formations. You can keep going as far as you like, but the views from Marley Head are very satisfying, so we usually turn around there and head back. Continue reading “Bundeena to Marley Head Circuit, Royal National Park, Sydney”
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”
Some of the best views in NSW on this easy enough walk in Kanangra-Boyd National Park in the south-west corner of the Greater Blue Mountains area. There are impressive cliffs, deep valleys, and karst landforms.
The views on this walk in Kanangra-Boyd National Park are some of the best in NSW. The impressive Kanangra Walls and deep Kanangra Valley are front and centre at a lookout near the start, and then the easygoing Plateau Walk passes along the edge of the Walls for more great views across the valley to Thurat Spires and into Kanangra Gorge. Continuing on to Cottage Rock through heath and forest means you can stretch your legs a bit more, and there are 360 degree views from the top of the rock of surrounding forested hills. Continue reading “Plateau Walk & Cottage Rock Track, Kanangra-Boyd NP, 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”
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”
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 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”
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”