Along the Away

travel, dream, create, inspire, appreciate

The very first day of the year and we left the cottage at the very respectable hour of 9am (New Year’s Day, c’mon that’s pretty good!)

The location of our accommodation, Apple Blossom Cottage, was just perfect for day walks around the Wentworth Falls area. At the end of the same street is the Conservation Hut, a cafe/info centre located at the gateway of Valley of the Falls in the World Heritage listed Blue Mountains National Park, where many circuit walks start and finish. I did a bit of Googling beforehand and found the National Parks website, Wild Walks website and Wentworth Falls website helpful, though I admit the options for the area are a bit overwhelming. Some of the various named walks mix and match parts of the same tracks in order to offer something for everyone, taking into account distance, grade, incline, estimated time, heights etc. In reality the track choices are simpler than they appear.

Here’s a map of the tracks in the area, from the National Pass website:

Wentworth Falls Walks

Although we initially made the decision to do the National Pass walk, and I downloaded it on the Wild Walks iPhone app, once we started walking from the Conservation Hut we ended up going with the flow and making detours to lookouts and changing tracks a number of times based on the excellent signposting along the way (including estimated time info).

Wentworth Falls Bushwalking

Wentworth Falls Bushwalking

Wentworth Falls National Pass

I’m glad I downloaded the app as I’m sure it will be helpful in future if I visit areas that aren’t as established as they are here. However if you’re keen to go walking in the area but not sure about navigating yourself, then turning up at the Hut and taking it as you go is perfectly doable. Just remember the obvious bush walking basics though and of course carry plenty of water, sunscreen and I suggest some snacks as well (there are so many beautiful places to sit for awhile and some of the tracks are hella steep – replenishment is appreciated!)

Wentworth Falls Picnic

On the first day of 2014 we walked for three and a half hours on parts of the Valley of the Waters Track, the Short Cut Track and National Pass, starting and ending at the Conservation Hut. It was a wonderful walk, with so much to stop and look at, the time flew by.

Valley of the Falls

In case you are wondering, the Blue Mountains are named for that blue dreamy haze that surrounds the area. The haze is believed to be the result of a byproduct of the mountains’ abundant eucalyptus trees affecting the scattering of light… something like that anyway.

Valley of the Falls

It was not an easy walk, you do need a decent level of fitness or otherwise take it slower with more breaks. It is quite steep at times, though the well maintained metal stair frames and wooden steps make the task feel safe and sturdy (though you’ll feel the burn, phew!)

The main attraction is of course the falls – of which there are many! Valley of the Falls is certainly an apt name, they are pretty spectacular:

Wentworth Falls

This beautiful photo doesn’t even do the actual sight justice. Sunlight streaming down the falls, bouncing rainbows off the water mist… so ethereal and breathtaking.

Waterfall magic

The further you walk, the more waterfalls you find. As well as people enjoying them, like this canyoner – it looked like so much fun!

Canyoning Wentworth Falls

Wentworth Falls

Wentworth Falls Walk

Wentworth Falls waterfalls

We stopped for lots of little rests and to soak up the serenity of the area; it was the perfect start to the year.

Enjoying Wentworth Falls

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A traveler, dreamer, designer and optimist sharing all of the above.

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