Party: Martin (leader), Andrew, Natalie, Dominique, Cosimo, Allan, Danish
Saturday’s weather forecast had been for windy, cloudy conditions, with a chance of rain. As it turned out, while the cloud was with us the whole day, the temperature was mild, and the only rain we experienced came from Wentworth Falls being tossed around in a gentle, warm breeze. The absolute perfect weather conditions for an autumn walk in the mountains.
From 12 walkers originally booked in for the walk, we had a few pull out over the preceding days (one due to anticipated inebriation after a 21st party on the night before the walk), plus a couple the morning of the walk. With one no-show, that left us with 7 to brave the tourists on our easy day-walk.
Having met up at Wentworth Falls station at 10:15am, and with no-one needing last minute toilet stops or lunch supplies, we headed off, up the highway towards Katoomba for some time, before eventually leaving the noise of the road for the quiet of the bush, by turning left into West Street and heading down the ‘Nature Track’ which eventually joins up with the Valley of the Waters track. At the start of the Nature Track we almost lost two of our members who took a wrong turn after hanging back to deal with untied shoelaces, but after a quick mobile phone call we got everyone back together again.
We only passed a few other people on the Nature Track, including a party heading to Empress Canyon, which has its start point way half way along the track. Other than that, and a confident Lyrebird foraging next to the path, we had peace and quiet until we hit the ‘Valley of the Waters’ junction and jointed the tourists. We braved a quick morning tea stop at the base of Empress Falls before our tourist tolerance wore thin, then headed down past the remaining waterfalls and along the National Pass track to the base of Wentworth Falls, where we stopped for lunch. Again we had to brave the tourists here, including two young males who we watched strip down to board shorts and take an invigorating shower under one of the smaller waterfalls draining from the pools at the base of the main falls.
We checked out a yabby in the creek, before heading up the steps to the top of Wentworth Falls. As we were doing fine for time, we headed to a couple of the lookouts on either side of the falls to maximise our viewing and photography options, before heading up Darwin’s Track back towards the town. The bush along Darwin’s Track is recovering nicely from the fires approximately 2 years ago. We got back to Wentworth Falls station around 3pm, leaving 30 minutes until the next train back to the city.
Overall, a very pleasant easy day-walk. The tourists weren’t actually as numerous as had been feared, the weather was perfect, and we were able to go at a nice relaxed pace along one of the more popular, but spectacular tracks in the mountains.