Sydney’s east is home to lots of azure blue beaches and if you head towards the north, it is equally extravagant to witness historic Blue Mountains. Although Blue Mountains is huge, but most people pay a visit to a few handful places. I’ll walk you to a place in the same area, very close to the popular spots but still less visited.
So, starting from the beginning, I had planned to do the Valley of Waters walk which starts from Wentworth Falls and takes you through the Jamison Valley, past seven waterfalls and out to the Conservation Hut. And therefore, going by the plan, we took an early morning train to the Wentworth Falls train station and then took a bus to the Wentworth Falls picnic area. It is a walkable distance, but we decided to save our energy for the long walk afterwards. However, after we reached down to the base of Wentworth Falls using the Grand Stairway on National Pass, we realised that the next part of the route was closed off due to rockfall.
I was disappointed but still determined to come back to complete the hike. After devouring in the views of Wentworth Falls, we decided to have some snacks that I had packed for the way and head back to some other lookout. We had started the walk at about 8 in the morning and by the time we were coming back, crowds of people had started to fill in. I was thinking to myself that thank goodness we came in early!
When we were almost close to the exit, I saw a signpost leading to another lookout towards our left and I was curious to check it out. Once we headed towards this second lookout we realised there was far less people on this route than on the previous track. After walking for some time, we realised we were walking on the Undercliff-Overcliff Track. It actually has spectacular unobstructed views of the Jamison Valley. This is an off-beaten path that is locally known and hence, you’ll see less crowds and also it literally takes you through a path that is cut out of cliffs.
Route Taken: Wentworth Falls Picnic Area – Wentworth Falls Lookout – Weeping Rock Waterfall – Queen’s Cascades Base of the waterfall – Climb back up to Wentworth Falls Lookout – Fletchers Lookout – Undercliff Track – Prince’s Lookout – Den Fenella Lookout – Overcliff Track – Lyrebird Lookout – Conservation Hut – Shorcut Track – Wentworth Falls Picnic Area
Distance: 8kms (approx.) one way
Time taken: 4-5 hours
Difficulty: Grade 4, hard track
Fitness: Some kind of fitness and experience is required
Signpost: Clearly marked and signposted path
If you want you can leave the Wenthworth Falls part, in case you have already seen it and jump straight towards Fletchers Lookout. The path divides itself at the beginning and you can choose which way you want to go. And at the intersection between Undercliff Track and Den Fenella Lookout, there’s an exit which is a short walk to Shortcut track that takes you back to the Wentworth Falls Picnic Area. If not, head ahead on the Overcliff Path and exit at Conservation Hut, where you can have a big feast after all that tiresome walk.
This was such a beautiful track that took me past dramatic rock overhangs and exposed cliff tops which was unfenced as well, so be careful. The path is surrounded with lush rainforests, moss covered rocks and some swamp, as an added bonus. But the fact that it has stunning views of the Jamison valley walking right next to it, it becomes a bigger encouragement to just go a few metres ahead and take another look.
In my honest opinion, the track is not a piece of cake and you have to be fit in order to finish this. It is long and it is tiring, and it will wear you out by the end of the day. But all of those views and natural rock formations that you’ll see will be yours in memories forever. So put on those hiking shoes, pack you day bag and jump onto this challenging track because you’ll be glad you did it.
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