Monday 13th March – Wentworth Falls
After a fabulous and sunny weekend in Sydney we were back in the car and an hour or so out of Sydney to the Blue Mountains and a really lovely B&B called Valley of the Waters. It should have been an omen…
We’d got their really early to avoid the crowds and had a recommendation for brunch that turned out to be next door so settled on the veranda of The Conservation Hut at the Blue Mountains National Park for a totally yum breakfast of local produce and decided to do one of the main walks that started at the hut and finished at the famous Wentworth falls. There had been a bit of rain the week before so we hoped the falls would be fairly dramatic.
This bit of the Blue Mountains is a long ridge, which drops dramatically to the canyon below, so we opted for the National Pass, which is a famous path that travels along a walkway half way down the cliff, with lots of lookouts that show the fairly epic panorama of the Jamison Valley, and amazing views of the waterfalls that plunge from the cliff tops to the valley below.
We started at the wrong end of the walk as we wanted to finish at the Wentworth falls, and dropped down into the valley past the Empress, Silvia and Lodore Falls. At the first falls a group were abseiling down the waterfall – which looked amazing but the most impressive was the Empress Falls, as the sun was shining through the trees and hitting the waterfall making it sparkle. Really stunning.
The path continues long the cliffs with amazing views of the World Heritage-listed Blue Mountains National Park, we were really lucky to have such a gorgeous day and could see for miles across the valleys, over the top of the eucalyptus forests that give the area the blue hue and it’s name.
The walk finishes at the bottom of the Wentworth Falls, and we were lucky that there was a fair amount of water tricking down into the tranquil pool at the bottom. A small kid was brave enough to paddle but he shrieked a fair amount about the cold so it wasn’t even close to tempting.
To finish the walk you have to climb the steep Grand Stairway. Built by hand in the early 1900’s by men using picks and shovels, with a bit of dynamite for good measure, more than 100 years ago. It’s seriously steep, and having made it to the top we had to stop to get our breath back and share a restorative Tim Tam – well it is Australia…
A bit knackered we checked into our room just as the clouds started coming in… the B&B is really lovely, with only 3 rooms, all with a veranda overlooking a lovely garden that ends with the National Park. You can sit for hours and watch the lorikeets, cockatoos and tiny birds fight over the bird table.
Half an hour later the lightning was forking across the sky and hail stones the size of gob stoppers were hitting the tin roof and thunder claps directly overhead were making me jump out of my skin… we feared for the car roof and anyone still out on any of the walks… and that was it, weather warnings on all the news channels and endless rain forecast for the next week. Hurrah!
The next day it was still torrential so we went to neighbouring Katoomba and did boring things like laundry, pottered round the town then went to the lovely historic town of Leura for lunch… there wasn’t much else we could do.. the afternoon was on and off full on downpours, so we tried to see the Three Sisters:
Visited the Katoomba falls:
And the Leura Cascades:
Safe to say, there was more water in all of the falls today…. so with news stories of people being swept of roads by flood water we retired back to our balcony with a nice bottle of red…