If you’re looking for a truly magical walk, look no further than Wentworth Pass in the Blue Mountains. Aside from boasting epic views, you’ll find a season’s worth of waterfalls packed into one half-day walk.
Being so close to Sydney makes this the perfect day trip. Or you could extend the adventure with a night in Leura or Katoomba, where there’s no shortage of postcard-perfect Airbnb cottages.
Ranger Tip: In the summer and weekends beat the crowds, visit outside the busiest times of 11am – 2pm.
Wentworth Pass loop walking track is a variation of the National Pass trail, the most famous and popular walk in the Blue Mountains. As it branches off the beaten track you’ll be leaving the crowds behind to go deeper into the lush rainforest. It takes 4-5 hours to cover just 5kms, so this Grade 4 steep and at times slippery walk is best suited to fit walkers.
Pro tip: If you’re planning to brave the cold for a dip in one of the many waterfalls, you’ll need to arrive early in the day and allow extra time so there’s plenty of light. Make sure you check for objects hidden beneath the surface, swim with caution and never go alone. Check out other swimming pro-tips.
You’ll want to bring at least two litres of your own water – while they look pristine, the creeks and waterfalls are not fit for drinking. The walk starts at the Wentworth Falls picnic area, where the Jamison Lookout offers a spectacular view over the Jamison Valley to Mount Solitary. Prepare to be blown away by the views as soon as you get out of the car.
As a circuit walk, you can attempt the Wentworth Pass from either direction. Heading in a clockwise direction from the car park, you’ll hit Wentworth Falls first and end at Empress Falls.
The First Fall
The unreal drop of Wentworth Falls cascades down an epic orange cliff face. You’ll get to walk over the top of the waterfall and then follow it down the cliff face on a steep set of stairs. As you reach the bottom, the scenery will change from eucalypts to rainforest, where the National Pass trail begins. The crowds thin out here, so it’s just you and the forest.
The Wentworth Pass forks off from the National Pass trail and your next challenge is to climb down ‘Slacks Stairs’, which are actually a bunch of ladders reminiscent of a real-world snakes and ladders board. Down the rabbit hole you’ll find a deep pool at the base of the falls, waiting for you to take the plunge.
Six Waterfalls, One Steep Climb
After a few kilometres winding over moss-covered stones through lush ferns, you’ll hit the next batch of waterfalls, packed tightly together as you brave the steep climb back out of the valley. But the calf burn is worth it – you’ll feel like you’ve stumbled into a fairy grotto, or maybe the Avatar film set. If you’re lucky, you might even catch sight of an elusive lyrebird!
Brace yourself for jaw-dropping beauty as you climb beside these six stunning falls:
- Red Rock Falls
- Brittania Falls
- Flat Rock Falls
- Lodore Falls
- Sylvania Falls
- Empress Falls
Don’t be surprised if you have to pinch yourself (or pick your jaw back up off the ground) after the experience. Once you hit Empress Falls, the end is in sight! It’s common to see abseilers in wet-suits jumping down the gushing waterfall – if you’re an experienced abseiler yourself, you’ll probably want to add this to your own adventure to-do list.
The walk starts at the Wentworth Falls picnic area, which is best reached by car; while there’s a large car park, it can pack out on busy days, but you might score a park in the streets nearby. Alternatively, you can catch the train to Wentworth Falls Station and walk 25 minutes to the start of the walk. For further information including directions and safety alerts, please check out the National Parks and Wildlife Service website.
Ranger Tip: Waterfalls can offer amazing photo opportunities and are adventurous places to cool off after a long, hot walk. Please take note of these safety tips and stay safe around waterfalls.