Commissioned to build a road across the Blue Mountains, magistrate William Cox, with 30 convicts, started on 18 July 1814 at Emu Ford, completing the road to Bathurst on 14 January 1815 - a staggering 101.5 miles...
The Blue Mountains saves its best for the bushwalker. The finest views, the loveliest waterfalls, the cries of whip birds and kookaburras – these delights belong to the two-footed wanderer and the Blue Mountains has plenty on the menu, whether it’s a one-hour stroll or a multi-day hike.
Bushwalking in the Blue Mountains
Enjoy stunning panoramas in Katoomba at Echo Point Lookout before strolling the family-friendly Three Sisters Walk down a gentle slope, 1km to the base of a weathered sandstone outcrop. This place is rich with spiritual resonance for the region’s Aboriginal people.
For a longer walk, Prince Henry Cliff Walk is a gentle 7km track that connects Echo Point to Leura Cascades with scenic lookouts along the way. Experienced walkers may also want to try the inspiring track through scenic Jamison Valley via the historic Giant Stairway from Echo Point to Scenic World.
Also from Katoomba, the 12km Mount Solitary Walking Track will enchant the dedicated walker. Passing through woodlands and rainforest before heading up the ridge of Mount Solitary, this full day hike for experienced bushwalkers rewards with breathtaking views and birdsong.
Just over 10 minutes drive from Katoomba you will find the spectacular National Pass, a half-day walk. This trail starts at Wentworth Falls picnic area and plunges down a staircase hacked into the sheer sandstone cliffs. From the base of the falls the trail wanders along a narrow ledge to the fairytale Valley of the Waters where it climbs through bushland. Reward yourself with a snack at the Conservation Hut. Recommended for experienced walkers.
Threading along the top of the Grose Valley, the Cliff Top Walking Track near Blackheath offers amazing views into the forested trough at your feet. This walk rides high along the ridgeline with a gentle gradient and some short steep hills, with the scenery dial set to maximum. Allow up to three and a half hours return.
The Grand Canyon Track is a classic mountain walking trail, diving deep into the heart of this World Heritage national park through a luscious green garden of ferns and golden wattles along Greaves Creek. Take a picnic, the rock ledges are perfect for a lazy lunch. Allow four hours. There are many steps on this walk.
One of Australia’s classic walks, the challenging three-day Six Foot Track hike follows the route of the original 1884 horse track carved to take tourists from Katoomba to Jenolan Caves. Rising across mountain ranges and toppling into deep valleys, this walk takes in a range of habitats and spectacular natural features, with wildlife galore.