Walks near Sydney sought

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Walks near Sydney sought

Postby Lophophaps » Fri 25 Aug, 2017 12:59 pm

I'm after walks near Sydney in spring with most of the following:
1 Reasonably close to public transport for one end, if not both.
2 Walks of 2-5 days.
3 Reliable potable water.
4 Campsites away from roads - I don't want to risk hoons stealing my gear whil I'm on a day trip.
5 Can be off track, steep, river crossings (not more than chin deep) and rock scrambling. Not all at once.

Surpisingly, such walks seem to be rare. I've got a number of guide books, but none seem to fit the above. The Six Foot Track is more of a walk in history than a remote bushwalk. Mount Solitary might work, but the water is suss. Ditto the Great North Walk.

Ideas would be valued. Thanks.
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Re: Walks near Sydney sought

Postby cajun » Fri 25 Aug, 2017 1:30 pm

2 days - the coast walk in the RNP (although it can be done in one day), meets all of your criteria.
Otherwise you may be looking at the Blue Mountains. Quite a few to choose from there.
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Re: Walks near Sydney sought

Postby Walk_fat boy_walk » Fri 25 Aug, 2017 2:05 pm

Endless options in the greater Blue Mtns, but if access to public transport is critical it narrows it down a bit....

- Mt Solitary (as mentioned), with a few variations around Kedumba Valley or even Wentworth Falls
- Grose Valley (various permutations out of Mt Vic, Blackheath etc)
- Plenty of options around the Wild Dogs using Narrow Neck as access. Maybe a circuit including Knight's Deck and Splendour Rock (prob 3 days ex-Katoomba)
- Or further afield from the Wild Dogs across the Cox at Breakfast Ck to the Krungle Bungles, along to Whalania Heights and double back along the fire trails to meet Kanangra Road above Jenolan to catch the bus back (a short road bash tho... although I think there's a back way into Jenolan that avoids the black top). Off-track experience needed for that one.
- I'm a big fan of Katoomba to Kanangra (or via versa) but the lack of transport to/from the Kanangra end complicates things. You could walk to Kanangra and then "bounce off the walls" using fire trails via the Thurat Tops to Whalania Heights and back to Jenolan for the bus as above. Would add a couple of days to the K2K route so anywhere between 4 and 6 days depending on your speed. The fire trail aspect sounds a bit ordinary but those ones aren't maintained and therefore blend in nicely enough.
- Or if you're a real speed demon could do either of the above two (or variations on) and make it a circuit by heading back to Katoomba via the Moorara Range, Harrys River ford (brilliant campsite) and six foot track.... probably pushing it to get within 5 days tho!!
- Some might also suggest the 3 peaks but I think that's masochism :shock:

In any case if you're happy to go off track a bit and have five days up your sleeve you can pretty much choose your own adventure using Katoomba as a start/end point and heading south. It's a real shame there aren't any transport options for Kanangra because that would open up your options dramatically.
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Re: Walks near Sydney sought

Postby Lophophaps » Fri 25 Aug, 2017 3:57 pm

Thanks. I'll look at my Greater BMNP map and see if I can find these mysterious places that I have not heard of until now. Some names I know, but that's all. By three peaks I take it that you mean the Three Sisters. I looked at this when I was there last trip, seemed to be about a grade 15 - with a rope and rack.
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Re: Walks near Sydney sought

Postby DaveNoble » Fri 25 Aug, 2017 4:26 pm

Lophophaps wrote:Thanks. I'll look at my Greater BMNP map and see if I can find these mysterious places that I have not heard of until now. Some names I know, but that's all. By three peaks I take it that you mean the Three Sisters. I looked at this when I was there last trip, seemed to be about a grade 15 - with a rope and rack.


No Three Peaks and the Three Sisters are quite different. And climbing has been banned on the Sisters for quite a few years now.

Plenty of walks you can do using entirely public transport. As mentioned above, if you are prepared to walk Narrow Neck fire road from Katoomba Station (often down on a Friday night) - then that opens up all sorts of walks in the Southern Blue Mountains - from weekend walks to longer trips (e.g. 5 - 8 day trips into the Blue Breaks or Gangerang Range.

Here are some other suggestions -

Non Blue Mts

Royal National Park - Coastal Walk (Ferry from Cronulla to Bundeena, then train back Otford) or variants of this (e.g. to Helensburgh or Heathcote or Loftus)
Waterfall to Heathcote in Heathcote NP - overnight trips are short but nice
Brooklyn to Thornleigh on the Great North Walk (you can stay at various campsites along the way)

Blue Mts -

Glenbrook - Kanuka Creek and return
Glenbrook - to Erskine Ck and return (mainly tracks, some fire roads)
Faulconbridge to Glenbrook via Sassafras Gully and Lost World Lookout
Mt Solitary - from Katoomba to Wentworth Falls (usually no problems with finding good water on the way) - various routes possible
Mt Victoria - Victoria Falls - Grose Valley - Blue Gum Forest - Blackheath (or Leura)
Katoomba - Six Foot Track - Coxs River - return via Narrow Neck
Bell Station - Wollangambe Crater and return to Bell
Bell Station - to Goochs Crater and return to Bell
Mt Victoria - Asgard Plateau and return (lots to see)

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Re: Walks near Sydney sought

Postby Walk_fat boy_walk » Fri 25 Aug, 2017 4:40 pm

Lophophaps wrote:Thanks. I'll look at my Greater BMNP map and see if I can find these mysterious places that I have not heard of until now. Some names I know, but that's all. By three peaks I take it that you mean the Three Sisters. I looked at this when I was there last trip, seemed to be about a grade 15 - with a rope and rack.

Sorry no the 3 peaks refers to a route linking Mts. Cloudmaker, Guouagang and Paralyser... when you look at your maps you'll see what I mean about masochism (although not sure if the greater BM map would have that level of detail... might be better using this as a planning resource:http://maps.ozultimate.com/). It's a "thing" to try and do them in 48 hours ex-Katoomba.

While I'm elaborating on stuff I should mention that the K2K route I mentioned is one that goes via Narrow Neck, dropping off via Tarros Ladders which can spook some people, Medlow Gap, Mobbs Swamp (or the Wild Dogs if doing a high-level traverse), then (usually) Yellow Pup, Jcn of Coxs River/Kanangra Ck, up to Mt Strongleg, then along to the Gangerang Plateau, up to Cloudmaker and along the various knolls and ridgetops to Kanangra - there are variations but I think that's the most common way.

EDIT Dave beat me to it :D
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Re: Walks near Sydney sought

Postby ribuck » Fri 25 Aug, 2017 6:08 pm

Lophophaps wrote:Mount Solitary might work, but the water is suss.

In my experience, good water tends to be available from Singajingawell creek (on Solitary) at springtime. If you haven't camped atop Solitary before, I recommend it.
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Re: Walks near Sydney sought

Postby wildwanderer » Sat 26 Aug, 2017 8:43 pm

Just returned from a solo trip to the Grose Valley in the Blue Mtns. From Mt Victoria station to Blackheath station. 2 days if your quick or 3 if you want to enjoy the scenery/take lots of photos.

Recommended ! Its a absolutely stunning area, big walls, blue gums and great walking along the river. Even the climb out is highly enjoyable thanks to the views, waterfalls and rain forest like canopy. Slightly overgrown track in some places but easy enough to follow. Just keep your wits about you around burra korain flat.. :shock: http://bushwalk.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=25548&start=30#p332472
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Re: Walks near Sydney sought

Postby Lophophaps » Mon 28 Aug, 2017 11:13 am

More good advice, thanks. I actually knew about the three peaks not being the Three Sisters. I've done some breif research and here is where I'm at:
Mt Victoria walks - no public transport at either end.
Wild Dogs - miles from public transport.
Knights Deck - investigating.
Solitary - possible, water at the Castle Head tank and Singajingawell Creek.
RNP - limited water.
GNW - investigating, seems to be limited water.
Glenbrook walks - investigating.
Bell Station - investigating.

I cannot find track notes for most walks. I can buy or print maps in due course, so I'm a tad uncertain where some places are located. My 1:150,000 BM-Burragorang map goes from Wallerawang to Mittagong and Oberon to Penrith. This map gives a good overall perspective.
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Re: Walks near Sydney sought

Postby Singe » Mon 28 Aug, 2017 11:31 am

The RNP coastal walk crosses several creeks that have flowing water at the moment; obviously you'd want to treat it thoroughly.

The worst aspect of that walk is the hordes of tourists around the 'instaworthy' locations and anywhere you can drive in and park. The official campsite at North Era isn't one of them, and hasn't been that busy when I've walked past though.
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Re: Walks near Sydney sought

Postby wildwanderer » Mon 28 Aug, 2017 11:31 am

Lophophaps wrote:...... I've done some breif research and here is where I'm at:
Mt Victoria walks - no public transport at either end.

I cannot find track notes for most walks. I can buy or print maps in due course....


Regarding Mt Victoria (and through the Grose valley to blackheath) You definitely can walk from Mt Victoria train station (and finish at Blackheath train station). As mentioned above I did the trip a few days ago.

This Grose Valley walk is a very worthwhile trip. There is a track the entire way, though sometimes a bit overgrown. Detailed Track notes. http://www.wildwalks.com/bushwalking-an ... ation.html. Though just bringing a 25K topo map is sufficient. Mt Wilson and Katoomba maps. (Mt Wilson the main one).

Navigation is straightforward. Those notes start at the Victoria Falls lookout. To start from Mt Vic train station just walk along the Great Western highway (towards Sydney) for about 15 mins or so and then turn left onto the firetrail and walk out to the lookout. The firetrail is actually quite pleasant with some decent views.

Aside from the marked Burra korain and Acacia flat campsites there are a number of other campsites along the Grose river that can be used as well. Plenty of water from the Grose or side creeks. (side creeks more pristine option but still filter)

There is no mobile reception once down in the Grose valley. You pick up a signal only at start and finish. The other side, Jamsion Valley has mobile reception (if you were doing Mt Solitary) mainly Telstra.

Regarding maps. Tom Brennans site is a great resource - http://maps.ozultimate.com/
Also you can download the official NSW gov topo maps for free from - https://maps.six.nsw.gov.au/etopo.html
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Re: Walks near Sydney sought

Postby tom_brennan » Mon 28 Aug, 2017 3:03 pm

Bushwalking NSW - http://bushwalkingnsw.com
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Re: Walks near Sydney sought

Postby rcaffin » Mon 28 Aug, 2017 9:16 pm

GNW - investigating, seems to be limited water.
Hardly! Plenty of water available for camping and plenty of camp sites all the way.
Can't say the inner Sydney or inner N'castle ends are worth much, but from, say, Mt Kuringai or Berowra to N'c suburbs is quite easy.

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Re: Walks near Sydney sought

Postby ribuck » Tue 29 Aug, 2017 11:15 pm

The Grose Valley is a classic. If you do Mt Victoria to Blackheath and enjoy it, you can do further trip along the Grose River downstream from Blackheath to Faulconbridge (another 4 or so days).

A high camp atop Mt Solitary (e.g. at Singajingawell Creek) is another classic.

Bell station to Wollangambe Crater, then Goochs Crater and return provides the opportunity for some fabulous off-track walking in stunning countryside with pagoda formations.

Kanuka Brook, overnight from Glenbrook Station, is more tame but is lovely.

The Wild Dog Mountains includes Knights Deck and Splendour Rock. Splendour Rock is a great high camp with fabulous views; pick up water at Mobbs Soak before the climb. If you start from Katoomba Station you have a longish walk along the fire trail on Narrowneck. The fire trail gets a bit old after you've done it a couple of dozen times, but the first few times it's full of scenery and interest. Once you've reached the Wild Dogs you can extend the trip for a few days by dropping down to the Coxs River in various places. Most of the ridges down to Breakfast Creek, and many of those down to the Coxs River, are open enough to be navigable.

For something less remote, you can head out from Wentworth Falls station along Darwin's walk then down National Pass track and Wentworth Pass, to pick up a rough track running down Jamison Creek to a small campsite just beyond the junction with Valley of the Waters Creek (shown on Open Street Map). The next day make your way out up the Vera Falls track.

I've done all of these by train, although for the Wild Dogs I do prefer to start from the end of the Megalong Valley Road if a car is available.
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Re: Walks near Sydney sought

Postby LachlanB » Wed 30 Aug, 2017 8:05 am

That campsite at the junction of Valley of the Waters Ck and Jamison CK is an absolutely beautiful place!

I've also read suggestions where you can jumble a lot of the tracks in the RNP together to get a longer 4-5 day walk, starting at somewhere like Audley and coming out at Waterfall (both of which have train stations), doing a grand loop of the park. However, the current camping restrictions in the RNP would make that a bit difficult now without really long days.
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Re: Walks near Sydney sought

Postby Lophophaps » Wed 30 Aug, 2017 8:54 am

More good advice and information, thanks. I'm looking at Grose and Solitary for two days. Here is where I'm at.

Grose Valley - the Victoria Falls start seems to be 6.5 kilometres from the railway station. This can be walked, but I don't like walking on roads if this can be avoided. Is there a taxi service, and if so, which end is further or takes longer? If there's a taxi, then all things being equal I'd start from the end that is furthest from the rail. Grose looks lovely.

Wild Dogs - miles from public transport.

Knights Deck - possible, still getting information.

Solitary - possible. There's water at the tank near Castle Head. If camping on Solitary then it seems that water will need to be carried from here. Is the tank reliable? The next water is Singajingawell Creek, which may need treating. Katoomba to Singajingawell campsite is 12 kilometres, which seems a reasonable day given the terrain and water carried from the tank. My preference is Singajingawell as this means a shorter second day. As there's no car I'm considering ending at Wentworth. At about 18 kilometres from the start there's a steep vehicular track up to Kedumba Valley Road. Is this an advised way to shorten the trip instead of going to Furbers Steps? Solitary camp appeals. I must arrange fine weather.

RNP - cannot find any references to reliable potable water in track notes. The creeks mentioned above sound nice, but where are they? Combining a few walks at RNP appeals.

GNW - cannot find any references to reliable potable water at or near campsites in a few track notes. I have no wish to diverge from the through walk to camp and/or get water. Also, it's a bit close to civilisation.
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Re: Walks near Sydney sought

Postby Walk_fat boy_walk » Wed 30 Aug, 2017 9:07 am

There is a local taxi service (Katoomba taxis?) that do track head drop offs at pre set prices. Costs a bit more than a "normal" fare to account vehicle wear and tear on rougher roads but not too bad. If heading to wild dogs etc they can drop you at the locked gate on Glenraphael dve to knock off some road walking. If doing Grose Valley I'd get dropped off at Mt Victoria Falls lookout end as it's further than the Blackheath end. Taxi number is 47821311... You could call them and see what their pre set fares are for different tracks.

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Re: Walks near Sydney sought

Postby Grabeach » Wed 30 Aug, 2017 9:15 am

Not a fan of the concept myself, but I've heard of BM locals using Uber to and from walks.
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Re: Walks near Sydney sought

Postby Chunder fuzz » Wed 30 Aug, 2017 9:44 am

Lophophaps wrote:More good advice and information, thanks. I'm looking at Grose and Solitary for two days. Here is where I'm at.


Solitary - possible. There's water at the tank near Castle Head. If camping on Solitary then it seems that water will need to be carried from here. Is the tank reliable? The next water is Singajingawell Creek, which may need treating. Katoomba to Singajingawell campsite is 12 kilometres, which seems a reasonable day given the terrain and water carried from the tank. My preference is Singajingawell as this means a shorter second day. As there's no car I'm considering ending at Wentworth. At about 18 kilometres from the start there's a steep vehicular track up to Kedumba Valley Road. Is this an advised way to shorten the trip instead of going to Furbers Steps? Solitary camp appeals. I must arrange fine weather.
.


Going up Kedumba Valley would shorten the walk. I recently went the opposite way - from Kedumba Pass to Furber steps via Mt Solitary.
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Re: Walks near Sydney sought

Postby wildwanderer » Wed 30 Aug, 2017 11:59 am

Lophophaps wrote:More good advice and information, thanks. I'm looking at Grose and Solitary for two days. Here is where I'm at.

Grose Valley - the Victoria Falls start seems to be 6.5 kilometres from the railway station. This can be walked, but I don't like walking on roads if this can be avoided. Is there a taxi service, and if so, which end is further or takes longer? If there's a taxi, then all things being equal I'd start from the end that is furthest from the rail. Grose looks lovely.
....snip.....
Solitary - possible. There's water at the tank near Castle Head. If camping on Solitary then it seems that water will need to be carried from here. Is the tank reliable? The next water is Singajingawell Creek, which may need treating. Katoomba to Singajingawell campsite is 12 kilometres, which seems a reasonable day given the terrain and water carried from the tank. My preference is Singajingawell as this means a shorter second day. As there's no car I'm considering ending at Wentworth. At about 18 kilometres from the start there's a steep vehicular track up to Kedumba Valley Road. Is this an advised way to shorten the trip instead of going to Furbers Steps? Solitary camp appeals. I must arrange fine weather.

GNW - cannot find any references to reliable potable water at or near campsites in a few track notes. I have no wish to diverge from the through walk to camp and/or get water. Also, it's a bit close to civilisation.

RNP - cannot find any references to reliable potable water in track notes. The creeks mentioned above sound nice, but where are they? Combining a few walks at RNP appeals


Grose Valley
I wouldn't dismiss the 'road' from Mt Victoria, its a dirt fire trail and its pleasant walking. I did it mid week and during the hour and a bit walk to Mt Vic lookout I saw two cars total. Some pics of what the 'road' is like. Alternatively Ive heard a taxi from blackheath to Mount Vic lookout will set you back around $45 fixed price. You may be able to get a taxi from Mt Victoria station to Mount Vic lookout for a cheaper price. A taxi to Mt Victoria lookout is the best taxi option. The sealed road walk to blackheath from the end of the popes glen track is trivial under 1km. (popes glen track is the track after govetts leap and takes you back to blackheath, could also do braeside track but the sealed road walk is longer to blackheath station)
firetrail.jpg

firetrail1.jpg


Mount Solitary
Water at Singajingawell Creek is not guaranteed unless there has recently been rain. (Certainly not by the campsite but you may find pools if you walk down/upstream a bit.) Chinamans Gully (about 2km along the track) has a greater chance of having water but you may need to search for it. You will definetly need to treat water from Chinamans Gully or Singajingawell, the area is popular for bush camping and often the toiletry practices are not great. There are two large water tanks at the ruined castle campsite. A significant supply that is fed by rainwater but they can be used up if large groups have gone through especially after a dry period and/or long weekend). Personally if im solo or with a couple of people I prefer not to camp at the ruined castle site, nothing wrong with it but its more developed with a couple picnic tables and a toilet etc. Works for larger groups however or those who like a few facilities. Ruined Castle campsite is good for water refill stop though.

GNW
Easiest way to find water sources is to look at open street maps. (if you have an android phone then Oruxmaps with openandroid maps (openstreetmap topo maps) is very useful, I use it to plan and for navigation reference during my trips.) The water sources are marked on the maps. There are a number of taps (town water) along the GNW route at various picnic grounds/road crossings and at towns. For most trips you will have altleast one water source per day, often more. Yes, its more of a close to civilization walk than the other options listed.

RNP
The royal national park is very popular. There is (or was) restrictions on where you can camp. I cant find the restrictions now on RNP site but it used to be only a couple of locations were permitted and you needed to book. I think this is still definitely the case if your doing the coast track from bundeena to otford but for other areas in the park im not sure now. If total park restrictions are still in place this will limit the ability to combine a few walks.
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Re: Walks near Sydney sought

Postby davidf » Wed 30 Aug, 2017 12:39 pm

re grose walking from Mt Vic station to Ikara Head in the afternoon and then dropping into the Grose makes a nice start ex taxi.
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Re: Walks near Sydney sought

Postby ribuck » Wed 30 Aug, 2017 5:45 pm

In my experience, taxis are a bit hit-and-miss. Sometimes they will take you to Victoria Falls lookout, but on occasion they have wanted to charge me a hefty car-cleaning fee if they leave the bitumen. As wildwanderer said, the fire trail is scenic, being largely on the ridgetop. I get taxis from the rank at Blackheath (main traffic lights) since they are plentiful there.

One option at the Blackheath end is to exit the valley at Govett's Leap (which is a spectacular exit track). A couple of hundred metres up the road is the NPWS Visitor Centre, where there is a bus to Blackheath and Katoomba (approx hourly mon-fri, less frequent on weekends, PDF timetable is here). I don't know whether it accepts cash fares but it definitely takes Opal Card, which you would need to buy in advance.

Maybe I've just been lucky atop Solitary, but in Spring I've always found running water in Singajingawell Creek (though not always by the campsite at the head of the stream; sometimes downstream 10 minutes). I've also always found water in the tank below Ruined Castle. Plenty of firewood at Singajingawell too, once you are 50 metres from the campsite.

Exiting to Wentworth Falls is probably the easiest option, but it involves a long suburban road walk after you leave the valley. Everyone has their own preferred circuit of Mt Solitary but here's my favourite:

Walk from Katoomba Station out along Glenraphael Drive (the fire trail on Narrowneck) then descend the Golden Stairs to the Federal Pass track. (Alternatively, walk or take the bus from Katoomba Station to Scenic world, then walk down Furber Steps or ride the Scenic Railway, then take the Federal Pass track (avoiding the boardwalk, or doing the boardwalk as a side-trip) past the landslide to the bottom of the Golden Stairs.) Continue to pass below Ruined Castle (or drop your pack and visit the summit on a side-trip). Collect water from the tank if you wish. Climb the ridge (there are a few straightforward scrambles, but if it gets hairy you're off the route). Check out the caves in Chinamans Gully, and walk in both directions to the viewpoints (100 metres or so, faint track, probable water near the northerly viewpoint which would need treatment). Continue across most of the mountain to Singajingawell Creek.

The next day, head down the steep eastern end of the mountain. At the junction part-way down, I prefer to keep going, cross the Kedumba River, pick up the track on the other side and climb to the fire trail where I turn left. There is no vehicular traffic on this fire trail. There are a few ups and downs, then when you are close to Katoomba there is a short link path on the left (signed) leading to Federal Pass track. Turn left, then right up Dardanelles Pass to the Giant Stairway which takes you up to the Three Sisters and then on to Katoomba Station (or follow the track to Echo Point for refreshments, and buses to the station). Alternatively, at the fire trail after climbing out of the Kedumba River, turn right and exit the valley on Kedumba Valley Road which leads to Wentworth Falls.

For a three day trip, camp the first night at Singajingawell and head down the eastern side of the mountain. At the junction, turn right and follow the signed route to the Kedumba Valley campsite (a short day). The next day head out on the Kedumba Valley Road. Most people doing a 3-day would camp the first night near Ruined Castle, but I prefer to camp high.

All of the route is mapped on OpenStreetMap, so if you are using a phone app such as OruxMaps the navigation is easy if you download the map first. No phone coverage in most of the valleys, but I get coverage along the northern edge of Mt Solitary.


If you end up doing the Grose Valley from Mt Victoria to Blackheath, then the Mt Solitary circuit, I reckon you will have had a superb introduction to the upper Blue Mountains. If you have the odd spare day, some good day walks include the Grand Canyon near Blackheath, and from Glenbrook to Lapstone stations rock-hopping through Glenbrook Gorge.
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Re: Walks near Sydney sought

Postby LachlanB » Wed 30 Aug, 2017 6:10 pm

wildwanderer wrote:RNP
The royal national park is very popular. There is (or was) restrictions on where you can camp. I cant find the restrictions now on RNP site but it used to be only a couple of locations were permitted and you needed to book. I think this is still definitely the case if your doing the coast track from bundeena to otford but for other areas in the park im not sure now. If total park restrictions are still in place this will limit the ability to combine a few walks.


I had a look at the park plan of management, and it seems the camping ban is still in place. I don't know how well it's policed.

The only places camping is allowed in the park is at Uloola Falls and North Era, both of which you have to book and pay for. NPWS describes them as 'bush camping', but neither is really anything of the sort. There's also a car camping campsite at Bonnie Vale, so I suppose you could use it to complete the walk. But it certainly wouldn't be remote, there might be some road walking, and I don't know what the distances would be like seeing as SIX Maps isn't working ATM.


Going back to the Blue Mountains, the suburban roads in Wentworth Falls are pretty easy to avoid. There's the Charles Darwin Track from Wentworth Falls into town, which is quite pleasant. If you're at Conservation Hut, I think there's a bus that stops near it, although I've never caught it.
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Re: Walks near Sydney sought

Postby DaveNoble » Thu 31 Aug, 2017 12:45 am

Water in Royal National Park - there is plenty of good fresh water all through the park. Eg if doing the Coastal Track you cross about 8 creeks along the way. All of them except the one that flows into Little Marley Lagoon are probably safe to drink untreated, since a quick look at the map will show no development in their catchments. Here I am not including creeks at beaches like Marley (which may be brackish) or Era (which is probably polluted unless you go well upstream). Examples of good water creeks are The Waterrun near Bundeena, The two creeks which flow into Wattamolla, Curracurrong and Curracorrang creeks, and the small creek at the top of the climb after the Palm Jungle.

Mt Solitary - In non drought periods there is good water to be found at Chinamans Gully that is safe to drink untreated. If you wander down the gully, you eventually come to a tributary, not far before the northern cliffs. It has deep pools of permanent water except in severe drought. That small side creek has a catchment that people with poor toilet training would avoid (too steep and scrubby). At Sing-a-jinglewell Ck, often better water is found upstream - rather than downstream,and it is less likely to be polluted by toilet waste from campers. In the Blue Mts, certain parts of creeks have rock traps where good water can be found. Don't bother looking in flat sandy sections.

Taxis can be useful, if walking in a group, and the cost can be shared, but for some locations they do not save much or any time. Eg for the walk out from Mt Victoria from the station to the Lookout above Victoria Falls, the time it takes to walk is not that different than the time it would take to ring up for a taxi, wait for it, then go out, pay the driver etc. And the walk does pass through nice forest and then later nice heath with good views. For Mt Solitary, the walk from the barrier at the top of Kedumba Pass back to Wentworth Falls is tedious - mostly along tar roads - but it only takes an hour at a steady pace.

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Re: Walks near Sydney sought

Postby davidf » Thu 31 Aug, 2017 8:12 am

also in regard to transport dont rule out hitching. I am not the most pretty man and have had many good lifts from the putty rd, bell rd etc
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Re: Walks near Sydney sought

Postby Lophophaps » Thu 31 Aug, 2017 9:18 am

Thank you all again. The walk from Mount Victoria looks pretty, and at an hour or so it's acceptable. It seems that the car park is about 6.5 kilometres from the railway station. Is this correct? For that sort of distance I'd pay a reasonable amount for a taxi but nothing like $30. There may be a possible lift. I've now learned that a track follows Popes Glen Creek into Blackheath. Understanding the route is not helped by maps that do not show all details and track notes that do not mention public transport or what I consider to be key details, like distances from major features or railway stations to the start or end of walks.

I'm tending towards Solitary, as the views look spectacular. Both walks look viable, and I may be able to do both. I'll look at maps that have more details and collate all the above and guide book information.
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Re: Walks near Sydney sought

Postby johnw » Thu 31 Aug, 2017 10:20 am

Lophophaps wrote:Thank you all again. The walk from Mount Victoria looks pretty, and at an hour or so it's acceptable. It seems that the car park is about 6.5 kilometres from the railway station. Is this correct? For that sort of distance I'd pay a reasonable amount for a taxi but nothing like $30. There may be a possible lift. I've now learned that a track follows Popes Glen Creek into Blackheath. Understanding the route is not helped by maps that do not show all details and track notes that do not mention public transport or what I consider to be key details, like distances from major features or railway stations to the start or end of walks.

I'm tending towards Solitary, as the views look spectacular. Both walks look viable, and I may be able to do both. I'll look at maps that have more details and collate all the above and guide book information.

https://maps.six.nsw.gov.au is your friend. On upper RHS set Basemaps to Topo Maps (current). This view tends to have better detail and is essentially a representation of the printed topo maps. You can also save sections as PDFs and print them. The toolbar has a distance calculator that is easy to use. Detailed track notes for the Mt Victoria to Blackheath station (via Popes Glen) trip are covered on the link below, except the initial Mt Vic. Station to lookout road section - I measured that at almost exactly 6.5 km:
http://www.wildwalks.com/bushwalking-and-hiking-in-nsw/blue-mountains-blackheath-/victoria-falls-and-grose-valley-to-blackheath-station.html

Variations are possible. If you have time both trips are well worth doing IMHO.
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Re: Walks near Sydney sought

Postby Lophophaps » Thu 31 Aug, 2017 3:57 pm

Now that I've got more details I'm quite keen on the Grose Valley and Solitary. How is Grose pronounced? Is it like loss or close? Something else? One pronounciation I saw was steep.

I'm quite underwhelmed by the online maps. As far as I can see, Open Street Maps have no grids, typefaces are small, the contrast is poor, information is cluttered and missing … not good at all. The NSW government maps are equally bad. Foot tracks are not marked, small typefaces that have a wretched ghost or shading make them hard to read, serif typefaces, words set to read from the left and the right, features without proper names, no grids. Both Open Street Maps and Six maps have cartography that does not appeal and are of very limited use. The distance and area calculators are nifty. I'll probably buy maps with information that is comprehensive and can be read.
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Re: Walks near Sydney sought

Postby ribuck » Thu 31 Aug, 2017 5:27 pm

Lophophaps wrote:How is Grose pronounced? Is it like loss or close?

Gross is pronounced like Gross, i.e. like Close as in "the campsite is close" but not Close as in "close the door".

How is Lophophaps pronounced? I've always wondered.

Lophophaps wrote:I'm quite underwhelmed by the online maps.

Online maps have their shortcomings, but if you use them in a way that plays to their strengths, they are superb.

OpenStreetMap generally has accurate and up-to-date depictions of routes and tracks that you will actually find on the ground. This counts for a lot! If you're using a smartphone for navigation, this makes route-finding almost too easy. But the contours on OpenStreetMap are not precise, and clifflines are only partially mapped.

The government maps have much better contour detail and more useful mapping of clifflines, but minor tracks are often not shown. The position of tracks is sometimes imprecise. And sometimes useful tracks are deliberately omitted after consultation with the park authorities.

As for the typography and presentation of OpenStreetMap, it's a non-issue. You download the map onto your phone in vector form, and your app decides on things like how big the typefaces are, and how bold the contrast is. You can switch between different "style files" until you find one that renders the map to your liking. For example, I use a style file that looks ugly but shows everything in high contrast to make it easy to read when the phone is in direct sunlight. If you don't like any of the available style files, you can edit them yourself to get the map exactly to your liking. So, for example, if you want your map to highlight camping caves, you can add the style rule for this. If the map is too cluttered, you can turn off the display of specified features (such as stream names) at certain zoom levels. You can change the thickness, colour and pattern of lines that represent tracks and other features.
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Re: Walks near Sydney sought

Postby crollsurf » Thu 31 Aug, 2017 10:51 pm

Taxi from Blackheath to Victoria Falls is a set rate $44. Taxi stand is on Govetts leap Road at the intersection of the highway. Don't forget to pick up a Liberty Ale from the bottle shop on your return. Best beer after a walk I promise.
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