Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Bushwalking at Wentworth Falls

Bushwalking at Wentworth Falls was not part of our plan until National Pass Trail was recommended by a colleague of Mr H. After some online research, I did not find out much except it was 6km long and would take about 4 hours to complete. Nevertheless we decided to explore the possibilities of walking this walk and extended our trip by one more day. 

Failing to secure accommodation at Wentworth Falls, we opted to spend the night in Lithgow instead. A good decision that turned out to be as this town has a tourism centre that sells Walking Track Guide booklets published by Blue Mountains National Park. Mr H bought two walking track guides for a total of $13. I love the format of the booklet! It lists out the different tracks available in the area with the following details:

  • Time: Estimated time it would take to complete (one way or return)
  • Grade: Wheelchair Accessible/Easy/Medium/Hard/Experienced Walkers with a description of each grade (difficulty level)
  • Features: What are the highlights you are expected to see should you take this track
  • Directions: Where the start point is, what are the things you should look out for along the way, the return route etc
Having lost our battle with the alarm clock and snoozing an extra hour, we arrived at Wentworth Falls Picnic Area at 11:30am. This kind off meant we had to give National Pass Trail a pass. The guide book graded this trail as hard and we had a few things against us like

1. returning our rented car on time,
2. do not know how long the drive back would take due to the long weekend,
3. how physically challenging is the walk and most importantly,
4. are my ballet flats able to rough out the track?

To the falls or National Pass? Decision
not required at this point.
Thankfully we did not have to test out #4 as I did pack my gym shoes along. With guide book in hand, we started with Rocket Point Lookout (Time: 1 hr return, Grade: Medium). Features of this walk were heath and excellent views of Wentworth Falls. I was not too excited with heath but the view of the falls did take my breath away. Although it was graded as medium, the walk itself was fairly easy. Perhaps the grading was done based on someone with the lowest(or no) level of fitness to set realistic expectations. 

Wentworth Falls. Probably too cold to swim. In Malaysia, it would be full of swimmers no doubt.

Walk under this rock formation, then take right to Rocket Point Lookout.
Wentworth Falls from Rocket Point Lookout.
We easily completed the track in less than 40 minutes. Motivated by the speed of completion, we decided to take the Overcliff-Undercliff Track (Time: 2 hours one way, Grade: Easy). 

In my more than 10 years of hiking/trekking, I have not walked a track as unique as the Undercliff Track! Unless caving, the sky or trees would normally be your ceiling. This time though, it is the rock formation. I felt I was walking through a giant CT scan machine.

Walking under the cliff @ Undercliff Track
Unfortunately, the Overcliff Track was closed and we were routed to the Short Cut Track to continue our walk. 

The Short Cut Track is recommended if you have timing constraints. It takes 20 minutes one way from the car park to Conservation Hut and classified as easy. Since Conservation Hut kept on popping up on TripAdvisor reviews, we made our way there instead of walking towards the car park.

Arriving at Conservation Hut just after lunch, it was not as busy as it could have been. There was still a short queue tho. All that walking built up an appetite. As soon as we sat down, I ordered a slice of pecan pie and coffee for lunch. Hahaha. I am all for rewarding oneself after a good workout :p After lunch, we headed back to our car via the Short Cut Track.

Pecan pie. Yum Yum.
p.s. If you're on a budget, you can skip Conservation Hut and head straight for Mojo Espresso at the car park.

Aussies really love their coffee.

Overall, it was worth the trip. We would definitely want to return and complete the National Pass Trail. Now, we just need to find time in our schedule :D

For more information on National Pass Trail, go to http://www.nationalpass.com.au/. Having said this, I found the following to be more helpful compared to the official website.

- TripAdvisor reviews and forums on the National Pass
- Walking Track Guide: Bushwalking in Wentworth Falls Area ($6)

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