Take a walk with me through some of Australia's world class tracks that cross every sort of landscape from lush rainforests to scenic world heritage mountain ranges to rugged coastal walks.
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Box Vale Loop via 40 Foot Falls
This 15.5km walk began at the Box Vale mine track The Box Vale Mine track follows the formation of an historic railway line and passes through cuttings, along embankments and through a tunnel 84 metres in length. The tunnel was cut out around 1890 with a rail line running through the tunnel to transport coal back to Mittagong. From here we trekked the very steep decline with the assistance of a much needed cable running the full 580m down to the Nattai Gorge where the coal was mined. The trail then winds through some very lush fern forest that follow the Nattai river joining onto Forty Foot Falls walking track and eventually getting us back onto the Box Vale mine track. This full loop walk is nothing short of an adventure and requires a good level of fitness with a bit of orienteering
60 Foot Falls
Starting at Lake Alexandra in Mittagong, this walk goes around the western side of Mount Alexandra and above the lovely Gibbergunyah Creek Gully. The trail passes under the Hume motorway at a couple of points, then eventually winds back along a beautiful loop trail that takes you to 60 Foot Falls. You can make your way down to the base of the falls but do so carefully as the rocks can be quite slippery. After returning from the loop continue on and you will begin the steep climb over Mt Alexandra, via the very interesting Coke Tunnel.
The Illawarra Escarpment Walk is a 17 kilometer trail located near Stanwell Park in New South Wales This walk, rated moderate, is a combination of 3 tracks starting on the Wodi Wodi Track located at Stanwell Park station. Approx 5km into the Wodi Wodi you will arrive at a signed junction leading you onto Forest Walk trail. (note. There is also a 1.8km option at this point to Coalcliff station for those not wishing to continue). Forest Walk is a beautiful walk which follows the top of the escarpment, and has multiple lookouts providing spectacular views up and down the coast. Keep an eye out as this walk also offers the chance to see some of our unique wildlife. We did take a short diversion north along the Forest Walk to check out Coalcliff Dam The dam, which was owned by the Illawarra Coke Company was used for its now-closed coke-making operations at Coalcliff. From here we headed back south along the track eventually arriving at Sublime Point where you will have one of the most amazing uninterrupted views making you feel like you’re on the edge of the world. NOW this is where the fun begins. Sublime Point walking track is one of the iconic treks of the Illawarra escarpment. This exhilarating track hugs the cliff face and has a series of ladders and a giant staircase allowing you to rock-hop your way down to Austinmer. At the end of this trail follow the road a further 1.5km downhill until you eventually arrive at Austinmer station.
Mt Westmacott via Lake Toolooma
This 7km loop trail in Heathcote National Park gives you a wonderful sense of solitude and is the perfect walk for that little escape away from the everyday rat race. This walk passes uninterrupted bushland to the scenic secluded Lake Toolooma. In 1906, a dam which formed Lake Toolooma, was constructed over the Heathcote creek for supplying water to the steam trains. The water was pumped to a holding reservoir and fed to the water tank in the Waterfall yard. The water tank and a 1908 turntable remain and are of historical significance from the steam train era. (info MAC'S HISTORY CORNER) Continue further on and you arrive at CampCoutts, a Scout camp which has been in use for around 100 years. From here the track can be quite steep at times however you will most certainly be impressed by the views Mount Westmacott (presumed to have been named after Captain Robert Marsh Westmacott, ( 1801-1870).
Rodriguez Pass walking track is a challenging 12km loop hike that can be started from either Govetts Leap or Evans lookout, in Blackheath. This Grade 5 track winds past numerous spectacular waterfalls, lookouts and lush rainforest in Blue Mountains National Park. *Note. The track is very steep and difficult in places and has minimal signage. It’s recommended for experienced hikers with good fitness and navigation skills. Take care as there are exposed cliff edges, steep stairs and slippery creek crossings
Six Foot Track
Well we finally got to do the "famous" Six Foot Track in the Blue Mountains.
We started this challenging 2 day, 45km trek at Jenolan Caves with an overnight stop around 30km in at Six Foot Track Eco lodge ending the following day at the Explorers Tree in Blackheath.
Not surprising for this area that there are lots of very long uphill and down hill tracks along the way.
The walk begins with a 1.5 - 2hr continual climb from Jenolan Caves, then mostly follows a fire trail the rest of the way to the Echo lodge.
The trail does change dramatically after the lodge and you will trek some pretty interesting single track including a very cool walk across a swaying suspension bridge eventually entering Megalong Valley.
Important: * Plan your walk * Take extra water, you will need it * Good walking shoes a must
Mermaids Pool is a beautiful natural water hole on the Bargo River at the start of Tahmoor Gorge, only 75 minutes south-west of Sydney.
If you love bushwalking, getting back to nature and chasing waterfalls, then this hiking adventure is for you.
While most people go there only to visit Mermaids Pool, it’s highly recommended to venture out a bit further and discover how beautiful Tahmoor Gorge on the Bargo River really is.
EXTREME CARE SHOULD BE TAKEN AT MERMAIDS POOL.SERIOUS INJURIES AND DEATHS HAVE OCCURRED AT THIS LOCATION.
The walk has appropriately been named Jump Rock because of the many people who jump from a high cliff into the water at this location. It is a popular spot in summer and the walk certainly packs a punch in lush rainforest, epic deep pools, cascades and the famous Jump Rock. Jump rock is around 5km return and good walking shoes are highly recommended. Also worth taking your swimmers because you will more than likely be tempted to jump in for a swim. Jump Rock swimming hole is found at the bottom of Macquarie Pass on the left hand side coming from Albion Park.
Danger: The jump can be dangerous and comes with the risk of serious injury or death
Karloo Pools to Audley
qThis pleasant bushwalk starts near Heathcote train station where you will enter the trail next to the Heathcote rural fire services. The moderately challenging track leads through heathland, passing beautiful Karloo Pool a popular swimming and picnic spot. Karloo is approx 2.5km and will take you around 1-1.5hrs) You may be tempted to stop for a refreshing swim in these crystal clear waters however depending on the seasons, these waters can be extremely cold. From here the trail will continue another 2.5km to Uloolo Falls (approx 1.5hrs) Uloola Falls is a popular remote camping site and bookings can be made through National Parks and Wildlife. Uloola to Audley is another 4-5km and can take 2-3hrs depending on your level of fitness. *note these time are only approximate and can vary. Some planning will be required for this walk as there is no public transport at Audley. If you are up for it, you can walk another 5-6km to Sutherland train station via Honeymoon stairs on the western side of Audley Weir.
Wollangambe Canyon located at Mt Wilson canyon is a very picturesque canyon that involves many long swims for which inflatable matts and wetsuits are highly recommended.
There is a significant amount of climbing up, down and around house-sized boulders and can take around 6 to 8 hours return for a "moderately fit and experienced party however this can easily blow out.
The end of stage one requires two rope climbs which can be a bit daunting for those with height problems and a descent uphill return to car park.
I would rate this circuit as "Medium - Hard" but well worth the effort.
Gerringong Falls has to be one of the most challenging and up there with most beautiful waterfalls I have come across.The journey starts in Budderoo National park with an 8km mountain bike ride.From here it involves a secret passage through bushland, a rope climb down what has been named by some as The Chimney, and a steep descent and traverse through some pretty amazing bushland. And then we arrive at our destination WOW and its all naturalIMPORTANT NOTICE. Gerringong Falls is not an easy location to get too and your adventure can easily take a turn for the worse.
Wentworth Falls is a three-tiered waterfall situated in the world heritage Blue Mountains National Park. The falls are accessible via the very scenic National Pass Walking Trail. This track has sections of steep stairs cut into the side of the mountain that will give you some of the best views of this waterfall and at times test your fear of heights. You will most definitely appreciate the views and challenge of stairs and ladders that will get you down to the lower level of the falls.
Belmore falls is located in Robertson in the Southern highlands, part of the Morton National Park. The walk commences at Hindmarsh Lookout where you will find a section of the track that is fenced off but you can see a worn in trail leading towards some rocks and some holes in the wire of the fence. Once at the falls you are able to explore what Belmore truly has to offer. Care should be taken at all times as the rocks can be slippery and the water is quite cool. There are also a number of very good lookouts at the top of this track where you can view this waterfall at its best. ** I believe this walk may be closed however I did not see any signs.
La Perouse to Maroubra Beach
This Coastal Walk offers spectacular views of the eastern coastline. The terrain is fairly flat with some rugged tracks and takes us along the edge of four golf courses & two gun ranges (rifle & pistol) as well as Henry Head, Cape Banks, the Cemetary Management Trail & Little Bay. Care should be taken when crossing the golf courses however there is an option of by passing them by road however I feel this would take away the full enjoyment of this walk. The overall distance of this track is around 15km but can be broken up into two sections, La Perouse to Malabar and Malabar to Maroubra. I would recommend you take at least 2L of water, sunscreen, cap and most importantly comfortable walking shoes.
Garie Beach to Bundeena
Garie beach to Bundeena walk is part of a world class costal track that stretches from Otford to Bundeena. The total distance is around 30 km, however it can be broken up into 3 separate stages Otford to Garie, Garie to Watamolla and Watamolla to Bundeena (each stage approx 10-11km) Planning is required as there is no public transport available with exception for the Bundeena Ferry that will get you back to Cronulla.
For more information check out Escape in the Shire
Otford to Garie beach
There are a number of world class scenic walks around the Royal National Park in Sydney that will leave you in awe of its beauty. This 11 km walk starts at Otford just off Lady Wakehurst drive and finishes at Garie beach. From the moment you begin you will immediately be hit with spectacular views of the coastline all the way down to Wollongong.
This is one place that holds true to its name and is a must do walk in the Blue Mountains, NSW From the moment you descend into the Canyon you enter into another world of truly magnificent luscious native vegetation. For more information on this check out Adventures into the Blue
Built into the side of the cliff, the National Pass is a spectacular walking track offering unrivalled views of the many natural wonders of the World Heritage-listed Blue Mountains National Park. Listen to the cascading water at Wentworth Falls, before tackling the historic Grand Stairway, built by hand in the early 1900’s. For more information check out Adventures into the Blue
Echo Point to Scenic World
Try the awe inspiring walk through scenic Jamison Valley via the historic 900 step Giant Stairway that runs down to the base of the Three Sisters. The walk, around 4.7km one way from Echo Point to Scenic World takes around 2-3hrs to complete and requires a reasonable level of fitness however well worth the effort.
For more information check out Adventures into the Blue
Ruined Castle is a beautiful rock formation that offers great views over the valley as far as Wentworth Falls and Katoomba and is an historic mining route with tell-tale embankments, cuttings and the tumbled ruins of miners’ cottages.
Give yourself around 4-5 hrs on this Grade 4 track as it is approx 10 km return with the Golden Stairs requiring some serious maintenance work.
Pigeon House Mountain
Pigeon House Mountain at an elevation of 720 metres, is on the Budawang Range situated within the Morton National Park, on the South coast region of NSW.
This 5km return walk is rated Grade 4 and definitely requires a reasonable level of fitness, however the 360 degree panoramic views at the summit make it worthwhile.
* Take a packed lunch, relax and enjoy the views from the top of this mountain.
Sublime Point track is a challenging walking track located on the Illawarra Escarpment west of Austinmer. The track offers great birdwatching and scenic views across Illawarra Escarpment State Conservation Area and has approx 1100 steps and 5 or 6 ladder to contend with.
Although this walk is only around 1km each way it is still rated grade 4. and will certainly give you the cardio workout.
Empress Falls to Leura
We started this walk from Conservation Hut heading down to Empress Falls. The trail to Leura leads off from here and eventually comes out at the Fairmont resort along side a golf course where you will need to take the road for around 1.5km to another track leading to Prince Henry Cliff walk.
Prince Henry Cliff is a very scenic track which runs between Katoomba and Leura, passing the iconic Three Sisters and Echo Point in Blue Mountains National Park.
On the edge of the National Pass trail before tackling the historic Grand Stairway, built by hand in the early 1900’s.