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Published May 16th 2019
Katoomba is situated west of Sydney and is easily a two-hour train ride or drive. It is part of the Blue Mountains and one of the most popular sites for tourists to visit. It has a lot of hiking trails and lookout points nearby, therefore tourists and hikers would often settle here for a few days and do some hikes nearby. Next to Katoomba are Leura and Wentworth Falls, which are also popular sites for hikers.
This time, I stayed in Katoomba for two days and I did a short hike from there.
Information: Route: Echo Point > Three Sisters > Giant Stairways > Dardanelles Pass Walking Track > Leura Forest > Fern Bower Track > Prince Henry Cliff Walk Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes
This is a difficult walk and by difficult, I mean it's a huge physical drain if you don't do exercise regularly. I started off at Echo Point, which is where the visitor centre and 3 sisters rocks are located. There's a huge lookout point and plenty of cafes, good to grab some drinks and food before your hike.
Then you can start your hike by entering the path next to the visitor centre where it'll lead you to the staircase that goes near the three sisters rock. To get to the very bottom of the rock, descend through the Giant Stairway located next to the rock. Be mindful of your safety when walking down the stairs, as they are very steep.
Be mindful of safety and hold onto the handles when using the stairs
After you've got to the very bottom of the stairs, you'll see an intersection: the left leads you to Leura forest and the right to Scenic World via Federal Pass Walking Track. We'll make a left turn this time. The rest of this journey is basically inside the jungle and is fairly moist and dark down there.
Half an hour later you should find yourself in a leisure area where you've officially entered the Leura forest and there are 2 intersections: one on your right tracking back to the Giant Stairway (via Federal Pass) and one that is quite hidden, just a few steps forward, leading to our destination.
Look closely for signs and don't forget from which way did you come from
As we're moving in the direction of the Leura cascades, you'll hear the sound of rivers and mini versions of waterfalls when you set foot on the trail. There's actually not much to see because the majority of the hike is under the forest. Then, you'll see some very steep stairs which lead you back to the top of the rock and Cliff Drive, our destination. The stairs are steep, so slow down your pace and take your time to walk back up.
Hike at your own risks
Bring a map if necessary
Check trail and weather conditions on the official NSW Parks website before your journey
Bring plenty of water
Great article and spookily we did this very walk for the first time just last week, although the other way round. Be warned... the Giant Stairway is very challenging. There are 900 steps and quite steep. You really do have to have a fair level of fitness to get up to the top if you do it this way round. A beautiful walk through the forest though, and we saw our first Lyre Birds!