Falling for Wentworth Pass (NSW)

Highlights:

        • The Valley of Waters – Silvia, Empress and Lodore, oh, how I adore you!
        • Slack’s Stairs – Some serious Seven Summits training
        • Wentworth Falls – Seriously worth chasing!

I’m going to start this off with a warning! The lure of the waterfalls is strong. The urge to explore their depths bereft of clothing is immense, even in winter. Silvia Empress and Lodore, oh how I adore you!It seems I did you backwards (oops, what am I trying to say?). Traditionally started from Wentworth Falls picnic area, hugging the grand stairway down to the base of Wentworth Falls and then even further down Slack’s Stairs into thick dense rainforest, this is just the beginning of an epic adventure.Due to my immensely superior navigational and organizational skills (obviously) I started my solo foray with Silvia, Empress and Lodore in the Valley of Waters instead from the Conservation Hut, which is undoubtably the best way! For starters, the loo had toilet paper, the car park was empty and mine were the first boot tracks to be made since the rain the night before. My entire descent was fraught with anticipation as the roar of the falls grew louder and louder. More than once I had to stop and catch my breath as it tried to escape me when faced with the views around every corner.

Saying goodbye to my three cascading beauties I descended further into the Valley to continue my somewhat backwards adventure. ‘Very difficult’ is the grading given to Wentworth Pass by the NSW National Parks Authority and for very good reason. More than one creek crossing involved some marsupial-like rock hopping skills (in reality I probably looked more like a fish out of water).

Navigating through dense rainforest was an unwavering pleasure until I reached the base of Slack’s Stairs. Slack’s Stairs are a vertical stairway to heaven. The only way is up and up I went! “Almost there, just one more… wait! Is that another waterfall?” It’s Wentworth Falls! Alas, no more stairs! Just kidding… The grand stair way leads you up and around Wentworth Falls, well worth the jelly legs for the rest of the week this is the last piece of the puzzle which provides unparalleled views of the Jamieson Valley.

It wasn’t until I reached the end of my adventure at the Wentworth Falls Lookout did I realise that the experience is heightened if you constantly turn in circles to take in as much of it as you can. Besides looking slightly mad to the tourists who were brave enough to ask me to take their picture and perhaps slightly hypoxic after ascending the stairway to heaven, this was the moment I used to burn the image of Wentworth Pass into my mind.

The Blue Mountains National Park has been killing it in terms of adventure via Wentworth Pass since 1908. 108 years later, I didn’t just give it a pass, I gave it my soul, which I will be returning to feed next weekend. See you out there!

Essential Gear required

      • Hiking shoes
      • Water – DON’T DRINK THE WATERFALLS!
      • Buns of steel

How to get there

To get there from Sydney: From the Great Western Highway, turn left at Falls Road near Wentworth Falls- The picnic area is at the end of the street.

Alternatively you can start from the Conservation Hut which as at the end of Fletcher street (turn right off of Falls Rd).

Activities

  • Photography
  • Swimming
  • Chasing Waterfalls

Skill Level

Grade 4 for “Experienced Bushwalkers”

Distance Covered

5km track loop – approx. 4-5 hours