A wildlife photographer and blogger, I spend my free time finding and photographing wildlife in different parts of the world. Check out my blog at https://www.thewildlifediaries.com/
Published February 16th 2018
Do go chasing waterfalls
Just an hour-and-a-half drive from Sydney city centre, Blue Mountains National Park is a spectacular wilderness escape. Extensive hiking trails, wild swimming holes, children-friendly camping grounds, jaw-dropping views - Blue Mountains have it all. The park is a nature photographer's dream.
One of the best spots to see and photograph the waterfalls in the Blue Mountains is the tranquil Valley of the Waters. The valley is aptly named - water is everywhere here.
The photographic journey stars from the top of Wentworth Falls - the most spectacular waterfall in the Blue Mountains. Follow the National Pass to the bottom of the first drop of the falls and get your camera ready. Here, the Falls break into a dozen smaller falls, as the cascading water makes its way over the rough terrain of sandstone blocks.
Next, follow the signs to Wentworth Pass and descend down the steep Slack stairs to the pool at the bottom of the second drop of Wentworth Falls. The stairs make for a hard climb, which makes the oasis of trickling water and cool air at the bottom of the falls all the more refreshing.
From here it is an easy 1.5-kilometer walk deeper into the Valley of the Waters. Once you cross the creek, you find yourself in a waterfall wonderland. Four waterfalls follow in quick succession: Lodore Falls, Sylvia Falls, Flat Rock Falls and Empress Falls.
The gurgling creek cascades over rocks all along the trail, offering even more photographic opportunities.
To photograph the falls you will need a sturdy tripod in order to reach slow shutter speeds necessary to create the liquid silk effect. Shutter speed of 15-20 seconds should be sufficient. A Polarizing or a Neutral Density filter is handy for lowering the shutter speed if needed.
The Valley of the Waters does not get as many visitors as Wentworth Falls, so you will have plenty of time to experiment with different viewpoints and camera setting. You may even find yourself completely alone on the trails for long periods of time.
As you wander from waterfall to waterfall you start to slowly climb out of the valley. Once you leave Empress Falls behind, the trail continues climbing until it reaches Empress and Queen Victoria lookouts. From here it's a short walk to Conservation Hut Cafe for a well-earned cup of coffee.