Blue Mountains National Park: Prince Henry Cliff Walk 11km

Forecast for yet another hot day in Blue Mountains. Hence 7am start to hike some of Prince Henry Cliff Walk (more in each direction). Before arrival of the anticipated 36 degrees Celsius. Easy walking, plenty of shade and “escape routes” should the heat be unbearable.

I parked and started at Katoomba Falls, hiked to Leura Cascades before returning to Katoomba Falls. No circuit, but plenty of great views to enjoy. And for long stretches, I was me only on the trail.

Quiet in the early morning. No cars at Katoomba Falls’ parking lot when I arrived. Only a few dog walkers and joggers around. Suits me just fine…

Crooked signage

Plenty of story boards along Prince Henry Cliff Walk. Here is one…

Prince Henry Cliff Walk

I arrived at this vista soon enough. Perfect spot for a break. Way too early for that but I stopped for a moment being amazed with it all.

Bench with a view

Then the Three Sisters rock formation popped into view. In front of the sun.

Three Sisters

Echo Point, a major Blue Mountains tourist destination, was deserted this Friday @ 8am. Never seen it this empty.

Echo Point

Leaving Echo Point for a road less travelled, I saw nobody for the next hour or so. This bent bench and its shady setting screamed out for a break. I obliged.

Bent bench

Current day signages are dramatic improvements from the past.

Prince Henry Cliff Walk sign

The sign above is now to the right below, with a short distance of kerb walking until that corner. Well, infrastructure in Blue Mountains can be challenging and costly. Perhaps there was a steep slope behind those trees.

Kerb walking for a short distance

The blue in Blue Mountains come from Eucalyptus trees. If you were not aware of that. But you probably knew…

Blue Blue Mountains

Going down, down, down where it’s dark, dark, dark. And beautiful. Approaching Leura Cascades.

Looking back up

This post’s mandatory selfie is not flattering to me according to Good Mrs. Photos taken from underneath on “mature” people seldom are. Anyway, enjoy! And giggle if you like…

Hans The Hiker in non-favourable light

Leura Cascades, the lower part, then popped into view. Not quite like Wentworth Falls yesterday but attractive nevertheless. Nobody else around. THAT is a huge plus.

Leura Cascades lower down

Soon enough I reached today’s intended destination. Leura Cascades here were beautiful and tranquil. All you could hear was the sound of running water. And some screaming cockatoos in the distance…

Leura Cascades higher up

I stood there reflecting for some time (Leura Cascades is immediately to the left). Lovely, isn’t it?

Tranquil setting to admire Leura Cascades

After some time, I slowly returned the way I arrived. A bench suddenly appeared in a clearing across a valley (not the same bench from earlier).

The lone bench

Plenty of vista points along the way (hey, it is a cliff walk after all). Some were dramatic, like this one. Steep steep down there behind the fence.

Outlook towards Leura Cascades

On the way back, I took a short detour to where the path down the Giant Stairway starts. Descending here and you can enjoy some serious hiking. You can hike the Federal Pass at the bottom of the valley before ascending to civilisation quite some distance away. Sorry, not for me in this heat. Next time…

Giant stairway down from heaven

Here you also get a different view of the Three Sisters. Although only one sister is visible (trust me, two more sisters behind it).

Three (or One) Sisters (or Sister)

I took advantage of Echo Point’s souvenir shop to get some air con and reprieve from the heat. After having some fruit there, I continued on the home stretch. Not everything even then was flat. There were some stairs close to the cliff edge. Nothing dangerous of course.

Not so giant stairway

Soon enough I arrived back at Katoomba Falls which are not nearly as impressive as Leura Cascades and Wentworth Falls. Cute enough though.

Katoomba Falls

You could continue Prince Henry Cliff Walk but I decided against it. You would then pass the Scenic Skyway a second time (one side is close to Katoomba Falls) and the area is more built up.

So I returned to the car and drove back to my hostel. Hike done and dusted well before noon. Darn weather… Shower and then the pub…

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