Date: 24/2/2024
Trip leader: Vyom Arya
Party: Anik, Brian, Caroline, Jackie, Jackie, Joseph, Jude, Kasper, Katherine, Kayson, Minsu, Pan, Rafiul, Raphael, Weiting, Yulong

We had a big group today, with almost 20 people! I led two trips this weekend, and both got completely filled in under a day! This walk was originally going to meet at Central at 9:30, but due to forecast rain in the morning, I moved the meeting time later. Unfortunately, Xuying didn’t realise that the meeting time had been changed, so she did not end up attending the trip. Joe, who had signed up two both of my trips, also caught the earlier train, but decided to pass the time at Wentworth Falls and met us once we all got off the train instead. He was a member of the club back in the 70s. He lives in the US now, but was over in Australia for a visit, and decided to join SUBW once again! It was quite chilly at Wenworth Falls, with the maximum temperature of 15 degrees feeling much colder due to the clouds and light drizzle in the air. It was also almost 40 degrees in Sydney just yesterday, adding to the temperature shock! We made our way to the nature trail to begin the descent to Empress Falls. I’ll keep the description short, I’ve led this trip before which you can see here The recent rain had promised great waterfalls and muddy tracks, and the latter did not disappoint. The first stop was at Edinburgh Castle Rock, whose views were tempered by the cloudy and sometimes foggy weather.

Edinburgh Castle Rock

Our jackets had come off by now, bushwalking really does warm you up! We then made our way farther down, stopping at the gorgeous Asmodeus Pool and Flora’s Bath on the Valley of Waters Creek. Due to the recent rain, the stream was flowing much more than my previous trip, which made both stream crossings to get to the pool and waterfall much wetter and dodgier than ever. Luckily no one had any serious falls though.

Stream crossing near Asmodeus Pool

We continued our descent, taking the detour to Empress Falls. Like last time, there were people abseiling down the falls, presumably after canyoning the creek. So far, the track was not nearly as busy as last time though, probably because of the weather.

Empress Falls
At the bottom of Empress Falls

We then started the long climb back up, stopping at Empress and Queen Victoria Lookouts. Joe gave us some very cool fun facts about the local plants, including sword grass which apparently has blades sharp enough to cut skin! The fog was clearing up a bit, so we got a decent view into Jamison Valley from the latter lookout. The track so far had been incredibly wet and muddy, so I decided this was a good opportunity to do a “leech check” before the drier part of the walk started. Turns out, I was the only one who got one! This was my first time seeing one and, luckily, it hadn’t gotten to my skin yet, but was instead firmly attached to my sock. It just would not let go, so Joe helped in crushing it instead. After recovering my sock, we continued onto the Overcliff-Undercliff Track portion of the bushwalk. Even in the fog, the cliffside scenery did not dissapoint. And, despite Weiting’s many lengthy discussions on the topic, no more leeches were seen.

On the Overcliff-Undercliff Track

Unfortunately, Eagle’s Nest Lookout was closed this time, which imo is the best view of Wentworth Falls from afar. Fletcher’s Lookout had to do instead, and did not disappoint.

Wentworth Falls
Fletcher’s Lookout

George says the Grand Staircase is really worth doing to the bottom of the falls, so I guess that’s next on the trips bucket list! We made it down to the stream over the falls itself, and after briefly regrouping, made our way back up through the Weeping Rock Circuit. The Charles Darwin Walk remains closed, so it was just a road bash to the station, which we managed to reach just in time to get the express train back to Central. Overall, it was a pretty fast group, and no one really seemed to be in the “I’ll never bushwalk again” state of mind, so I’ll call that a success!

Top of Wentworth Falls