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Blue Mountains Tourist : Summer 2008-09
bushwalking in the World Heritage Listed Blue Mountains National Park Boars Head and Narrowneck Summer is a wonderful time of year to get out and enjoy some of the many bushwalks in the Blue Mountains National Park. This guide will take you on 5 walks which start in Blackheath, Katoomba, Wentworth Falls or Glenbrook. Fairfax Heritage Track Fairfax Heritage Track is easy access for all to the spectacular cliffs surrounding The Jungle and Govetts Gorge. Location: The track begins at the Blue Mountains Heritage Centre, where the National Park Shop is located. You can access the track from the back door of the shop, or from the corner of the car-park at the Heritage Centre. Grade: Easy, assisted wheelchair access The Grand Canyon The Grand Canyon circuit walk takes you through open bushland deep into the rainforest where you will discover giant ferns and a carpet of moss that clings to rocks. Upon leaving the canyon area you will ascend to tall open forest where the atmosphere becomes drier and warmer. Location: You can start this track from either Evans Lookout or Neates Glen. Both are located on Evans Lookout Road, Blackhealth. Grade: Medium with steep steps in some sections Time: 3 to 4 hours circuit canyon, creeks and lookouts. | Features: Rainforest, deep Echo Point - Giant Stairway - Federal Pass - Furber Steps or Scenic World As you descend the Giant Stairway you will notice changes in vegetation. At the bottom you will join the Federal Pass that was built in 1900 with funds donated from the Katoomba business community to attract visitors to the area. Choose to either walk up the Furber Steps or take the Scenic Railway or Scenic Cableway (Scenicworld operates every day between 9.00am and 5.00pm, whilst the last ride to the top at 4.50pm, and fares apply for the rides). Location: Starts from Echo Point | Grade: Hard, many steep steps to climb | Time: 4 to 5 hour walk but varies slightly if Scenic World is utilised. | Valley of the Waters This walk will take you into the valley and through some amazing rainforest. Start at the Conservation Hut and take the track to Queen Victoria and Empress Lookouts, down metal stairs and continue to the intersection. Turn right and follow track across bridge. From here side trips can be made to Empress and Sylvia Falls, but take care as these areas are very slippery. Continue back along the main track past 28 Features: Spectacular view points, Katoomba Falls, rainforest and Scenic World. Lillian’s Bridge and Asmodeus Pool. After Edinburgh Castle Rock, track exits onto West St or return to Conservation Hut along Pipeline Track. Location: Starts at the Conservation Hut. | Grade: Medium | Time: 2-3 hours (not including side trips to waterfalls) | Features: Spectacular views, waterfalls, variety of vegetation and bird life. Glenbrook Experience The Glenbrook section of the National Park has something for everyone. Walk the pleasant, easy walk to Euroka which is surrounded by tall forest that includes Blue Gums, Forest Red Gums and Rough Barked Apple. Venture to Red Hands Cave which is an one example of a hand stencil gallery and is part of the oldest culture in the world. Whilst in the National Park take the opportunity to visit one of the many spectacular lookout points. Park Entrance to Euroka Location: Drive 4 kilometres to the signposted intersection from the Park Entrance, the first 2.5 kilometres are sealed and the remaining dirt road is suitable for 2WD vehicles, except after heavy rain. Grade: 2 hours | Time: Easy Features: Heathland, Ironbark forest. Red Hands Cave Location: Start from the park entrance and after crossing the Causeway, cross over Glenbrook Creek and www.bluemountainstouristnewspaper.com.au | Time: 30 minutes one way | Features: Open forest, hanging swamp, heath, great views and signposted features. follow the trail which starts on the right up Campfire Creek. Grade: From the Visitor Centre: Easy, some steps. Time: 3 hours return Features: Open forest, Aboriginal sites. Glenbrook Lookouts Mount Portal This lookout boasts excellent views of the Glenbrook Gorge and shows the distinct landform features of the Cumberland Plain on the eastern side of the Nepean River. Located 6 km from the park entrance, drive to the Euroka turn-off, turn left, then turn left again at the signpost on the dirt road. The fenced lookout is wheelchair accessible. Nepean Lookout A perfect location for viewing the Nepean River Gorge and the junction of the Erskine Creek can be seen. From the Park entrance follow the Oaks Fire Trail to Nepean Lookout Road. The lookout is 4.2 kilometres along this road. Leave your vehicle at Erskine Car Park, and walk 500 metres to the Lookout. Important notes about bushwalking safety: • Always carry sufficient drinking water. • For longer walks, warm waterproof clothing is essential. • Always carry first aid, as well as personal medication. • Know your route and advise friends of your plans • Do not rely on mobile phones in remote locations • Wear sensible walking shoes • Carry a bag for your rubbish • Keep to the track • Match your walk to your abilities • Check with National Parks that your chosen track is not closed for upgrading Before heading out on a bush walk please either contact National Parks or drop into a visitors centre for update information on walking track closures and weather conditions. Detailed Walking Track & Visitor Guides are also available for purchase. Blue Mountains Heritage Centre End of Govetts Leap Road, Blackheath (02) 4787 8877 Open 9.00am-4.30pm every day. www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au *Note: for the latest information on these walking tracks, please contact Blue Mountains National Parks summer 2008/9