Rodriguez Pass Circuit, Blue Mountains NSW

This is one of the classic circuit walks in the Blue Mountains, with great valley views, various attractive waterfalls, tall cliffs, rainforest and moody creeks.

You can sample some of the best of the upper Blue Mountains on this harder than average circuit walk near Blackheath. You get the usual grand valley and cliff views, but also numerous waterfalls, rainforest, and creek scenery. And you can combine the Rodriguez Pass with the Grand Canyon Circuit (as we did) to make a full and varied day of it.

Track notes at the end.

Rodriguez Pass Circuit: The Scenery

Rodriguez Pass Circuit, Blue Mountains NSW
The Grose Valley from Govetts leap Lookout, which is where we started.
Rodriguez Pass Circuit, Blue Mountains NSW
Grose Valley panorama from a little below Govetts Leap Lookout, on the Rodriguez Pass.
Rodriguez Pass Circuit, Blue Mountains NSW
Govetts Leap to the right.
Rodriguez Pass Circuit, Blue Mountains NSW
Govetts Leap
Rodriguez Pass Circuit, Blue Mountains NSW
Govetts Leap (falls) on the right, and further right still, a hanging swamp.
Rodriguez Pass Circuit, Blue Mountains NSW
Dropping down the cliff line.
Rodriguez Pass Circuit, Blue Mountains NSW
Govetts Leap from below.
Rodriguez Pass Circuit, Blue Mountains NSW
A section of rainforest as we dropped down deeper into the Grose Valley.
Rodriguez Pass Circuit, Blue Mountains NSW
Sophia in front of one of many small waterfalls along the Rodriguez Pass.

Rodriguez Pass Circuit, Blue Mountains NSW

Rodriguez Pass Circuit, Blue Mountains NSW
A birds nest fern.
Rodriguez Pass Circuit, Blue Mountains NSW
Lots of dark and moody sections of creek.

Rodriguez Pass Circuit, Blue Mountains NSW

Rodriguez Pass Circuit, Blue Mountains NSW
On the valley floor by this stage.
Rodriguez Pass Circuit, Blue Mountains NSW
Very lush in places.
Rodriguez Pass Circuit, Blue Mountains NSW
At Junction Rock, looking up at cliffs lining the Grose Valley.
Rodriguez Pass Circuit, Blue Mountains NSW
A panorama of some cliffs viewed from the valley floor at Junction Rock.
Rodriguez Pass Circuit, Blue Mountains NSW
Cliffs lining the Grose Valley.

Rodriguez Pass Circuit, Blue Mountains NSW Rodriguez Pass Circuit, Blue Mountains NSW

Rodriguez Pass Circuit, Blue Mountains NSW
A cascade as we climbed higher up towards the Grand Canyon.
Rodriguez Pass Circuit, Blue Mountains NSW
A cascade on Greaves Creek.
Rodriguez Pass Circuit, Blue Mountains NSW
A very atmospheric spot on the Rodriguez Pass.
Rodriguez Pass Circuit, Blue Mountains NSW
Maiden hair Ferns I think.
Rodriguez Pass Circuit, Blue Mountains NSW
Beauchamp Falls
Rodriguez Pass Circuit, Blue Mountains NSW
A cliff near Beauchamp Falls.
Rodriguez Pass Circuit, Blue Mountains NSW
Beauchamp Falls
Rodriguez Pass Circuit, Blue Mountains NSW
An injured yabby that was not very long for this world, but still photogenic.
Rodriguez Pass Circuit, Blue Mountains NSW
You get up close and personal with cliffs on this walk.
Rodriguez Pass Circuit, Blue Mountains NSW
Looking back as we climbed higher up the Rodriguez Pass.
Rodriguez Pass Circuit, Blue Mountains NSW
Looking back as we climbed higher up the Rodriguez Pass.

Rodriguez Pass Circuit, Blue Mountains NSW

Track Notes

The NPWS has information on the Rodriguez Pass. Starting at Govetts Leap Lookout on the edge of Blackheath, we dropped steeply down the cliff face into the Grose Valley via the bottom of Govetts Leap itself (apparently the largest single drop waterfall in the Blue Mountains). Continuing on through mostly lush rainforest along Govetts Leap Brook (beware leeches in hot and wet weather!) we eventually reached Junction Rock. From there we set off towards the cliff line again, initially along Govetts Creek, then Greaves Creek, stopping to look at the attractive Beauchamp Falls on the way up (very short side trip – you should hear the falls). About 650 metres ascent and descent.

You can return to Govetts Leap Lookout directly via a small section of the Grand Canyon Circuit to Evans Lookout, then along the Cliff Top Track. But we went the long way around the rest of the Grand Canyon Circuit to make it a full and varied day walk (6-7 hours with lunch and photos). (You can see my pictures of the Grand Canyon Circuit here).

Meander Falls & Split Rock Track, Tasmania

The Meander Falls and Split Rock Tracks are hidden gems offering quintessential Tasmiania scenery without the crowds, and were one of the highlights of my trip to Tasmania in 2019.

This relatively unknown circuit walk to Meander Falls ended up being the highlight of my trip to Tasmania in 2019. Perhaps not quite as spectacular as the walks we did in Cradle Mountain National Park, it nevertheless provided a remote and impressive bushwalking experience that exceeded expectations (which I have now built up for you! 🙂 ) . And despite walking on a weekend, we met just one or two groups along the way, so it remains underappreciated. Lucky for us at least. Expect beautiful forest and rivers, impressive waterfalls, cliffs, and boulders galore. Very Tasmanian. Continue reading “Meander Falls & Split Rock Track, Tasmania”

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”

Waterfall Walk (Kalang Falls), Kanangra-Boyd NP, NSW

A very short (but steep) walk to the picturesque Kalang Falls. Worth doing if you are visiting the Kanangra Walls area.

A very short walk in Kanangra-Boyd National Park, starting at Kanangra Walls Lookout. The track drops steeply down to the picturesque Kalang Falls (otherwise known as Kanangra Creek Waterfall on Google Maps), and you can have a look down stream a bit if you like. Continue reading “Waterfall Walk (Kalang Falls), Kanangra-Boyd NP, NSW”

West Rim Track, Fitzroy Falls, Morton NP, NSW

Spectacular valley and waterfall views on this easy walk at Fitzroy Falls in Morton National Park, a longish day trip from Sydney.

The West Rim Track is a mostly flat 4km return walk passing multiple lookouts with views down a side arm of the Kangaroo Valley, and of a few waterfalls, particularly Fitzroy Falls situated at the start of the walk. Continue reading “West Rim Track, Fitzroy Falls, Morton NP, NSW”

Liffey Falls Track, Liffey Falls Reserve, Tasmania

An easy walk (with a few steep sections) visiting the picturesque Liffey Falls. It passes through lush forest with very healthy looking tree ferns.

This short walk on constructed tracks visits the upper and lower sections of Liffey Falls. The falls are nice, but the rainforest and tree ferns probably steal the show. We did it after climbing nearby Quamby Bluff.  The whole walk is signposted so you won’t have any trouble navigating; brief details are on the Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife Service site.

Continue reading “Liffey Falls Track, Liffey Falls Reserve, Tasmania”

MacKenzie Falls & The Balconies, Grampians NP Victoria

There are short walks to MacKenzie Falls and the Balconies that are easily accessed off a major road through the Grampians (C222). Both areas are popular with tourists so don’t expect serenity. They are justifiably popular, and not just because they are easy to get to.

There are a few short walks you can do accessed on the road that runs through the middle of Grampians National Park (C222). We did a couple at the popular MacKenzie Falls, and also a short walk to the Balconies. It was hazy when we got to the Balconies and so this rather impressive area did not look its best in my photos, so I’ve included just the one. MacKenzie Falls is an impressive waterfall that is somewhat a victim of its own success. Worth the visit nevertheless, (but don’t swim too close to the waterfall because people have drowned there). The tracks are constructed and obvious. Continue reading “MacKenzie Falls & The Balconies, Grampians NP Victoria”

The Big Walk, Mt Buffalo NP Victoria

Mt Buffalo National Park in Victoria is a really excellent place, and the biggest walk in the park is called, appropriately, The Big Walk. You ascend about 1000m to spectacular views of the Gorge (a gorge), and of the distant Victorian Alps.

When we climbed Victoria’s second highest mountain, Mt Feathertop, I saw a big hunk of a mountain in the distance and thought “we should really go there this holiday”. Well, we did, and it was grouse (as the Victorians say). The mountain is called Mt Buffalo, after its shape, and the pictures below are of the longest walk in the park, the so called Big Walk, but we also did three short walks higher up on the plateau after we finished – The Horn (which looks like a horn), The Hump, (which looks like a hump), and the Chalwell Galleries. All offered excellent views (especially the first two). This walk starts at the bottom of the mountain and rises about 1000m to 1350m of elevation. At the end of the walk are spectacular views of the Gorge (which is a gorge), particularly the very sheer and massive North Wall (which is the wall on the north side of the Gorge). Clearly very little mental effort was expended when naming the parts of this national park. Continue reading “The Big Walk, Mt Buffalo NP Victoria”

Daecheongbong Peak, Seoraksan NP South Korea

Really spectacular hiking in Seoraksan National Park, on the north-east coast of South Korea. There were peak autumn colours, countless rock spires and sheer cliffs towering overhead, as well as waterfalls, super cute squirrels, and a significant Buddhist temple near the end of the walk.

Seoraksan National Park is reputed to be the most beautiful part of South Korea, and with good reason. I was lucky to time my first trip to the park with peak Autumn colours, so I got the full experience. Despite having walked for hours already, the scenery in the latter third of the walk was so fantastic that I bounded down the mountain like a manic mountain goat, feeling no tiredness due to the scenery-fuelled adrenaline in my system. Keep wading through my many photos to see this section, and also a few photos at the end of the Buddhist temple Sinheungsa. Continue reading “Daecheongbong Peak, Seoraksan NP South Korea”

Federal Pass & Prince Henry Cliff Walk, Blue Mountains NP, NSW

A classic Blue Mountains circuit walk at Katoomba. There are extensive views, spectacular cliffs, numerous impressive waterfalls, and a variety of vegetation and bird life. Perhaps best done on a weekday to avoid the crowds at popular and accessible spots.

This walk takes in some of the best bits of the Blue Mountains near Katoomba, and is highly recommended. You’ll enjoy views of cliffs, waterfalls and lush forest along much of the route, and definitely visit Bridal Veil Falls and Leura Cascades on your way down to or up from the Federal Pass.  Continue reading “Federal Pass & Prince Henry Cliff Walk, Blue Mountains NP, NSW”