Saturday, May 16, 2009

Valley of the waters

Yellow Tufted Honey Eater.

This weekends walk is perhaps the most spectacular of all the walks in the Blue Mountains. It would take me along the nature trail and into the Valley of the Waters. It commenced in West Street, Wentworth Falls, passed Edinburgh Castle rock and along the cliffs. What is different about this walk is- most walks in the Blue Mountains are either on top of the cliffs or, down into the valleys. This walk places you in between with some of the trail cut into the side of the cliff. This give the walker incredible views and aspects. From intimate water falls to views across the Jammison Valley.

New steel walkways across swamp areas

Spectacular waterfalls, rain forests and distant views are part of the package. What surprises me though, is the number of walkers ill prepared. YOU MUST ALWAYS CARRY WATER and a FIRST AID KIT. There were a number of tourists and walkers asking me how much further to go, looking stressed and uncertain because, whilst not difficult, you must be fit. Seven km does not sound far until you are finding yourself climbing ladders and stairs that seem to go on "for ever". The best way to enjoy a walk like this is to plan, take plenty of fluid (you cannot drink from the streams as one fellow was), take lots of snacks and rest when you feel the need. Getting too focused on the walk and placing each foot in front of the other can ruin what even Charles Darwin walked and commented on. Places such as Lodard Falls and Vera Falls are truly spectacular and an ideal place for lunch or a swim ( weather permitting).

Some of the cliff faces I would walk along.

Its important to note- that there are 2 trails in this area, one that even the inexperienced ( though well equipped) can enjoy, and the other that which the national parks suggests more experienced walkers only try. All tracks are clearly sign posted.
On this walk I spotted Lewins Honey Eater, Regent Honey Eater, New Holland Honey Eater, and Grey Shrike Thrush. I was very pleased to identify one I had not seen before-Yellow Tufted Honey Eater. A striking bird with very yellow markings and a distinct black eye mask. Yellow Rumped Thorn Bill were always a welcome sight too.

Vera Falls

After lunch I chose to return the way I came- all up hill. After a few hours walking I had returned to the car- the only evidence of the walk- a HUGE blood blister on my big toe. I did not notice this until the following day!

Walking in the Blue Mountains is fun and beautiful but cannot stress just how important it is to be prepared- carry plenty of water, know your limitations, and plan. Frankly there were just too many people asking my advise and looking stressed. If the day was hotter, some may have been in serious trouble.


Birds seen:- Australian Magpie, Pee Wee, grey Butcher Bird, Currawong, Bell Minor, Masked Lapwing, Lewins Honey Eater, New Holland Honey Eater, Regent Honey Eater, Yellow Tufted Honey Eater, Rosella, Yellow Rumped Thornbill, Grey Shrike Thrush, Satin Bower Bird.


  1. Whats funny- I took one of my super pain killers before the walk and did not notice the feet, blood blisters, and damage to heels.. In fact I jogged some of it....

  2. I would love to walk that trail, it sounds so stunning. I hope your foot is recovering, that blister looks nasty.

  3. Hi Ellee! yes the foot is sore ( as too is the rest of me!) You would enjoy the walk for sure

  4. Thank GOD no more JEEP talk ...

    :)'re making me homesick, Simon...and that's rare...

  5. oh.. please help me with Jeep advice Braja!

    Was it my toes that made you homesick?

    Sreiously- you are welcome

  6. Simon,
    As always, beautiful pics! Except for the feet! :) Ouch.

    But such walking is well worth whatever effort one has to put in it. And good tips.

    I guess walking is one of my favorite activities. I love to see nature, be in spots like you were here. And I love to walk with book in hand, reading, which I do where I live from time to time.

    That Yellow Tufted Honey Eater is quite a striking bird.

  7. Oh Simon, I winced in empathy when I saw your blood blister. I had managed one on each foot after a 25 mile charity walk. One managed to extend itself an inch up the side of my foot by the time we were done so MUCH MUCH sympathy! It's not time but walking that wounds all heels!

    That third photo of the far ridge through the trees took my breath away - I had taken a nearly identical one out at the ranch. What a lovely view, what a lovely memory jog - thank you so!

  8. Some very good advice in that post Simon, and a nice bunchy of honey eaters you logged.

    Blisters? Explorers like you and me just take them for granted ;-)

    Any jeep news?

  9. Hi Lin- thanks for the comments! Yes blisters and bruises are part of walking in the bush!

    Maalie- Mate the honey eaters are a real treat at the moment.

    Jeep news? ( I am reluctant to say.. Braja is a little tired of the jepp ha ha) however... I have bought a new wiper, oil can bracket to fit uner the bonnet, webbing for the Jerry can and some hip pads for the sides of the tub..

  10. Boy you get around...I love the yellow tufted one :)

  11. Lovely Simon! Well, except for the blister of course! Yes, the super pain killers might dampen the pain that would have told you to stop and put a pad on the place that was rubbing! that was a nasty one!

    I wish you had some shots that would show the blue mountains at a distance - I wonder if they look like my beloved Blue Ridge Mountains?

  12. Gee Simon, the Aussie Tourist Board needs to pay you! But I can see you need my fruit-of-the-Camino blister advice: you wear a synthetic liner under a woollen sock, to wick the moisture away from your feet. It is the moisture that does the damage (assuming your shoes are well broken in....)

    Word verif: brews !!!

  13. Susan- I will try and get a shot for you.

    Kiwi- my boots are 20 years old and as comfortable as! I agree with you. I think it was all the down hill that aggravated them too

  14. Oh heavens, that was a steep price to pay for so much beauty!

  15. I'd love a picture if you get on Simon!

    I think I finally managed to merge my blogs. Hopefully you'll be able to find me at "halfmom" from now on!

  16. Susan- I hope so.

    Lorenzo- its because the water runs from the top of the mountains and can have run off from roads and homes.

  17. Hope you are feeling better.
    It is always such a virtual adventure to be abble to follow you. I didn't know your mum was an antiques dealer

  18. Hi Melanie! thanks! yes I feel a bit better, not sore anymore.

    Yes mum was an antique dealer, in fact when you visited her home everything was for sale, including the beds, linen, tables.. it all had price tags! :o)

  19. Great nature photos, you do know how to capture the pretty side of nature.

    Thanks for your kind comments on my post earlier. Sorry, not sure I understood your reference to my profile picture having been on a poster in France?

  20. Hi Pearl- just so everyone here knows- there is a commenter on pearls blog who has a photo I took of a lion as his profile photo. its a photo i took of a poster at Montparnasse when in france in 2005.

    Maalie you may remember that great trip? :o)