Katoomba Area - Six Foot Track
- Distance and time: 44km one-way, three days
- Level: Grade 4. The walk mostly follows well-maintained service tracks, but there are some steep and challenging sections. It is not recommended for people with impaired mobility or wheelchair users.
- Accommodation: There are four campsites and one along the route. You will need to register or book before you set out.
- Top attractions: Megalong Valley, Bowtells Swing Bridge, waterfalls, Jenolan Caves.
- You will need to bring drinking water, sunscreen, clothing for all weather, a compass and topographic map, camping supplies and a Personal Locator Beacon.
- Make sure to let someone know where you are going and fill in a trip intention form. You can also hire a free Personal Locator Beacon from the Blue Mountains Heritage Centre or the police station in Katoomba and Springwood.
One of the great walks in Australia, the Six Foot Track is a challenging 44km walk from Katoomba to Jenolan Caves. Usually conducted over three days, the track passes through the Blue Mountains National Park and state forests, following an 1884 heritage track to the Caves that was built as wide as a horse-drawn vehicle – in other words, six foot.
This epic hike begins in Katoomba at the Explorer Tree, where Gregory Blaxland, William Wentworth and William Lawson carved their names during their historic crossing of the Blue Mountains in 1813. Following timber steps and glens, the track descends into the beautiful Megalong Valley.
From the old cemetery, the track then winds through bucolic farmland and past Dryridge Estate and Megalong Creek Estate wineries before descending to the Coxs River. Make the precarious crossing over Bowtells Swing Bridge, or pause for a dip in the refreshing waters.
On the third day, the path climbs the range before the descent into Jenolan Caves, one of the world's oldest cave systems, dating back at least 340 million years. Here you can tour the huge impressive Lucas Cave, follow an ancient river passage through the Imperial Cave, or observe the beautiful crystalline decorations of Orient Cave.
Along the track you can camp at dedicated campgrounds – Old Ford Reserve, Coxs River, Black Range and Allum Creek. Not far north of Coxs River Campsite, you will find the Six Foot Track Lodge situated above the flats of the Coxs River along the Six Foot Track alternate route. Bookings must be made before commencing your walk.
Once at Jenolan Caves, you can find accommodation at Jenolan Caves Cottages. These eight self-contained, two bedroom, timber cottages are surrounded by a huge reserve, with kangaroos frolicking on the front lawn; or spend the night in the historic Jenolan Caves House, a grand wilderness retreat dating back to 1897.
Shuttle to Megalong
The most popular section of the Six Foot Track, from Megalong Valley to the Swing Bridge, is a 12.6km return walk. If you don’t want to drive, you can catch a shuttle bus from Katoomba to Megalong Valley with Fantastic Aussie Tours; there is also a weekend shuttle which provides a one-way transfer for walkers doing the whole walk from Jenolan Caves to Katoomba (and vice versa).
Before you go
Before venturing out on a long hike or visiting a remote part of the Blue Mountains National Park, visit the Blue Mountains Heritage Centre in Blackheath to complete a trip intention form. You can also visit the National Parks and Wildlife Service website for more information on the Six Foot Track.