The best part of this Oz trip was undoubtedly going out into the mountains… after that, I never wanted to come back! These last three days were the most spectacular and relaxing out of the two weeks I spent over there, wedged right at the end of my time there. Melbourne, Canberra, and the one night in Sydney was all go go go, but as soon as we arrived in Wentworth Falls, I knew it was time to unwind.
With a view like this, it was hard not to.
As soon as we arrived to our resort, I kicked off my shoes, took a seat on that private verandah, and ordered in some food (the best pizza I had in a good while), to settle in for a sunset that did not disappoint.
It was a well-deserved pause after a week and a half of full-on running around. Be it sightseeing, errands or family time, up to this point has been non-stop, so to have an evening with little to do and this spectacular scenery to enjoy was just pure bliss.
As soon as dusk fell, the sounds of birds and crickets came on in full force, from the bush just down from the patio. I never heard anything like that before, and just sat there mesmerised. The chirping frenzy stopped as soon as complete darkness set in, as if cut… one minute there, the next gone. Soon we had to move inside to escape the swarms of mozzies, but it was time too, I just collapsed into bed and probably had the best nights’ sleep of all the trip.
The next day was a big one. The plan was to do a big hike, down into the many valleys beneath us.
The Blue Mountains boast so many hiking tracks you’ll struggle to pick just one. In fact the whole reason we went back a second time was exactly that — we couldn’t pick just one walk. We had to do four at once. A year or so ago we stayed in the area for a wedding, but only had half a day to spare for a hike… very quickly we realised that that was barely scratching the surface, and that we had to return. I would say even this second visit didn’t leave me satisfied, next time I’ll be looking to go back for at least a week if not several, to explore those tracks further.
Long story short, we ended up racking up an impressive 12.4 kms with a total elevation gain of over 1200 meters. 12 k’s aren’t much on a normal day, however with the combination of constant uphill climb, the heat and the lack of water, it was nothing short of brutal! But oh so worth it. I would have kept going, had we had the time. For moments such as this:
Sitting on the rock ledge at the top of one of the less visited waterfalls, Vera Falls. Feet dangling over a 100 meter drop, water plummeting down into the depths just a meter away from me.
Visiting the lower, middle and upper cascades of the Wentworth Falls themselves, strongly considering jumping into the ice cold rock pool, then sadly abandoning the idea (lack of time) and pushing on homewards. (Next time I’ll skinny dip, I swear.)
If you want to retrace our steps and visit some of these incredible spots, start from the Conservation Hut at Wentworth Falls. Be prepared for a full day’s walking, and carry plenty of water.
Take the path for the Valley of the Waters, then progress on to Wentworth Pass and take the turn-off for Vera Falls. Once you reach them, you have a choice: either backtrack to Wentworth Pass, or keep going towards Hippocrene Falls (in this case you’ll just end up at the other end of Wentworth Pass).
We chose to turn back, and walk Wentworth Pass, ending at the foot of Wentworth Falls, an fantastic spot to stop for lunch, or even a dip if you fancy the cold waters.
From here you can climb up the top and call a taxi, or take the National Pass all the way back to the Valley of the Waters, and climb the stairs on that end, to come back out at the Conservation Hut. If you make it before 5pm, get a very cold drink. You deserved it.
Disclaimer: many of these tracks have warnings that they’re for experienced bushwalkers only — so ask yourself if you’re well prepared. The paths are less marked and definitely not as maintained as much as the more popular ones… Think spider webs and fallen trees blocking your way.
During this walk, I saw so much wildlife and so many (to me) unknown plants… Lyrebirds out in the wild, just paces away from me. They’re fascinating mimics, quite large and have beautiful plumage too… and yabbies in the sandy freshwater pools at every stone’s throw on the many streams in the area. So many plants and ferns I’ve never seen before… we walked in what felt more like a real rainforest than bushland… and lost count of all the waterfalls small and large that came our way. I have never been to such places, it was quite incredible.
I was so sad to leave, and the memories of this place will stay with me for a long while.