Hold on to your water bottles and grip to the gravel beneath your shoes, the trek from Mount Piddington Reserve to Fairy Bower requires extra precaution and awareness as to where you step! Besides that, the perfect lush vegetation and clean breezes that sweep over the mountain ranges to the ground encapsulates the renowned place of the Blue Mountains National Park. Regardless of the popularity that surrounds the town Katoomba for its notable lofty rock formations, The Three Sisters has sensationalised tourists in both Australia and international countries however, other landmarks definitely deserve the same recognition.
Companion's capture of the train ride to Mount Victoria
Embarking on an approximate three-hour train ride from Central to Mount Victoria, the ride was extremely long, but that was dismissed when peaks of the greenery started to appear just after Emu Plains. Arriving at Mount Victoria Station, the cold atmosphere welcomed us to the area and we began to walk from the station to the reserve where the hike began. This may not seem like a coincidence as every hike I've trekked on began with tackling a heightened street, perhaps this was the fate for all future hikes? Surmounting Mount Piddington Road and passing other streets, we reached Fairy Bower Reserve/Mount Piddington which was the starting point for the trek; situated on a lonesome hill.
At the starting point of the hike, there were blue signs indicating which paths to take and in this case, turning left to the sign will lead us to Fairy Bower. In all honesty, the hike may be troublesome for some people, there were steps that could be easily missed, steep heights and the general inability to grip onto the ground; this was one of the hardest hike to trek on. My companion tripped and fell on one of the descending steps, and in addition, there were spots in the hike where you are required to duck low under a fallen tree to continue the trek.
Surrounded by the undisturbed wildlife, sheltered caves and passing through difficult obstacles, we finally reached the picnic area that was in the centre of a shaded area; which was Fairy Bower. Overshadowing trees would cover the sun entering the grounds where a wooden table was found and located in front was a small waterfall falling to a shallow, small pool. The place was incredibly quiet besides the soft sounds of the water falling and the close calls of birds. Resting here, we approached the waterfall where evidently the ground was muddy and looked up where the sun would hit the waterfall, like a cinematic shot. To the left, there were dark caves where vibrant green moss grew.
The walk back to Mount Piddington/Fairy Bower Reserve was not as difficult, although the climb took much of my breath and two water breaks. The hike is definitely recommended for those with experience, at a graded medium-hard trek and most importantly, please bring at least another two companions on this hike. My companion who tripped could have potentially had an injury which would require one person to stay and the other to walk back to the reserve for aid. Walking sticks would be a benefit and an essential would be to be aware of where you're stepping!
The route suggested by Google Maps from Mount Victoria Station to the reserve was quite difficult to follow when practiced at the scene and we ended up taking an alternate route. From Mount Piddington Road, turn left onto Sylvania Street and then right on to Apex Avenue, continuing down and always turning onto the right route until you reach the Mount Piddington sign. Parking was available at the reserve and when entering Mount Piddington. Overall, the trip away from the city's skyscrapers and all its modernity, the crisp air and vibrant colours of green was definitely great for the body!
ALTERNATIVES: Try the Reinitz Pass/ Bushranger Cave hike (3 hours and rated MEDIUM) for fantastic views, bird watch while hiking Coxs Road/ Nature Walk (2 hours and rated MEDIUM) or take an easy stroll to Hornes Point which overlooks mountains/cliffs.
TIPS: Try to bring light as the baggage might weigh you down, ALWAYS take water and apply sunscreen. Hiking Fairy Bower is set in close resemblance to how crime shows (NCIS - absolute favourite) shoot and portray murder scenes in bushes, we were sort of frightened especially when we were in close range of the small waterfall, it sounded like someone was taking a shower. For assurance, it was definitely not a shower! Whole day ended with an approximate 10k steps