There are so many great bush walk opportunities near Lithgow, however people often complain they don’t know where to start.
Here is a short list of some easier/beginner walks. Of course “Easier” and “Beginner” are relative terms and people should show due care when starting out. We took our kids on these walks from a young age, though we had visited them before and knew what we were in for.
These are “bushwalks” and you wont find the type of signposted, boardwalked touristy type trails popular with the hoards in the Blue Mountains, you’ll be on rough trails in the bush. But that tends to mean you get to see some pretty special stuff that the hoards don’t. Lets face it every man and his dog has seen the 3 Sisters and while they are spectacular, for me atleast, getting out into the bush is about getting away from the crowds, rubbish and noise and you don’t get that at the “tourist hot spots”.
These walks are relatively well known, a google search will provide more information on them but that doesn’t help if you don’t know what you are looking for.
Before you go please read through the disclaimers below
1: The great outdoors is an ever changing place. Bush fires, changing weather, vegetation growth and forestry activities can all affect the trail conditions and thus the difficulty of the walk, or even the drive to the car park. These are a rough guide only and are by no means meant to be a definitive guide . They do not replace the need for adequate map reading and navigational skills
2: Taking care While reasonably well known these spots are still wild places and care needs to be taken around cliff edges and on the steep trails. Carrying the right gear as well as having adequate food, water and clothing is important. Always tell someone where you are going and when you expect to get back.
Cliffs in the area are seldom fenced off and are often under-cut. Fragile ironstone ledges can extend out a meter or more yet be only centimeters thick. the rule of thumb is no closer than a body length and a half to the edge without tying into a safety line.
On pagodas this is disastrous in a different way. It’s taken millions of years for the distinctive Platey pagodas to form but one careless footstep can damage the formation. Platey pagodas are unique to our area. Don’t ruin them from carelessness.
Emergency beckons (PLBs) can be hired from Katoomba Police or Blackheath NP office for very little.
3: First aid A basic first aid kit is essential bit of kit whenever heading into the Aussie bush. First aid training is highly recommended
4: Maps and Navigation Having the right map, a compass and knowing how to read them is very important when heading into the bush. If you are new to bush walking joining a club or accompanying more experienced walker for your first few outings is a very good idea. I found practicing map reading on well defined trails was helpful when I started out.
While GPS technology has made things easier that wont help if the batteries go flat. Also being just 50m out in the blue mts can mean being on the wrong side of a sheer sided canyon.
The Maps mentioned are the 1:25000 series. They can be purchase at Lithgow tourism information center, from outdoors shops or online for around $10 each.
Note 4: These are wild and beautiful places, respect them. If you are able to carry something in you can carry it out. Don’ be a tosser. Leaving your rubbish behind is a sure way to ruin it for every one else. Whether that is your chip packet or a banana peel, take it with you.
If you must go to the toilet do so way from the water ways, dig a hole and bury it afterward. Nothing spoils the wilderness experience like dirty loo paper or a big turd just off the trail.
Ida Falls. Lithgow
Jungaburra Ridge Bell
The Waterfall Walk. Mt Wilson
The Glowworm Tunnels. Newnes Plateau
Walls Cave. Blackheath
Rigby Hill. Bells Line of Road
Mt Banks. Bells Line of Road
Petries Gully. Wolgan Valley
Dalpura Ridge. Bells Line of Road
Wollangambe Fire Trail. Clarence
Grand Canyon Loop. Blackheath
Deep Pass. Newnes Plateau
Dargan Arch. Dargan
The Dry Canyon. Newnes Plateau
The River Caves. Newnes Plateau
Pierces Pass. Bells Line of Road
Goochs Crater. Clarence