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HomeHikingMeals lovers information to the Grand Cliff Prime Stroll Blue Mountains

Meals lovers information to the Grand Cliff Prime Stroll Blue Mountains

19 km grade 3 stroll linking Wentworth Falls to Katoomba

Heralded as a ‘new’ stroll, the Grand Cliff Prime Stroll is an easy-to-follow monitor alongside the Jamison Valley escarpment fashioned by linking previous tracks identified to us locals (and those that can learn maps) for years. Many of those sections are a part of my day by day walks, so when Nice Walks Journal requested me to write down an article in regards to the rebranded route, I knew I needed to expertise it via contemporary eyes and in a brand new (to me) approach: over the NPWS advisable two days.

On this model, I’ve included extra particulars on the logistics, with hyperlinks to advisable lodging, experiences and meals choices. Large because of all of the native companies and individuals who supported this journey via Blue Mountains Tourism and to my fellow walker, Briar who can also be writing about it for different journey publications.

Elysian Rock’s ripple impact
Some signage nonetheless consists of the previous names eg. Prince (or is that Value?) Henry Cliff Prime

Day 1 // Wentworth Falls to Leura – 11km

Because the 8.12 am practice from Central lumbers into Wentworth Falls Station, college college students shoulder heavy backpacks for his or her day forward. Swinging mine into place, relieved to really feel the floatiness that comes from a light-weight day pack, there’s a jaunt in my step as I make my approach beside the superbly dressed store home windows of this tidy Blue Mountains village.

With a bag like this and 19 km of grade 3 monitor forward of me, it’s exhausting to imagine I’m within the Larger Blue Mountains World Heritage Space with every thing I would like for the following two days. 

Positive, I’ve acquired the common suspects like a primary help package, sunscreen, water and a raincoat on board, however not even my favorite selfmade scroggin made the minimize. The one barely uncommon addition is a spare pair of lingerie, PJs and my toothbrush.

That is inn-to-inn strolling at its finest.

The monitor weaves alongside the sting of the cliffs, out and in of gullies (and up and down!)

The idea is easy: Hike in the course of the day carrying simply the necessities, then eat, drink, sleep and calm down within the villages alongside the way in which. No tent, no sleeping bag and no heavy pack.

This traditional European model of multi-day mountaineering, like a Camino (or pub-to-pub within the UK for a distinct sort of non secular expertise), is what makes the brand new (however very previous) Grand Cliff Prime Stroll (GCTW) distinctive within the Blue Mountains. Historically a area that requires self-sufficiency with full packs for in a single day walks, the GCTW welcomes hikers who get pleasure from exploring native communities together with the pure surroundings and the comforts of vacationer lodging.

Fed Wentworth Falls with ample choices

Assembly my pal exterior Fed Cafe, we seize a superb espresso and wholesome takeaway lunch for the day. I’m impressed by the hiker-friendly snacks on supply similar to rolled oat and white chocolate cookies or fig and nut slice—these is likely to be higher than my scroggin

My native information tells me this stroll traverses the undulating clifflines alongside the northern escarpment of the Jamison Valley; crossing waterfalls, cascades and lookouts steeped in limitless, yawning views. Who is aware of the place starvation will interrupt our steps? I higher purchase two. 

Crossing the Nice Western Freeway and turning down Falls Street, we arrive on the official begin of our journey – Wilson Park Picnic Space.

Views all through the stroll throughout the Jamison Valley to Mount Solitary
Jamison Creek weaves its approach down in the direction of Warragamba Dam

Coming into via the sandstone gates, there may be good interpretive signage to learn earlier than urgent onto this primary part of the monitor, also referred to as Darwins Stroll.

It’s right here that we spy the primary black cockatoo. In contrast to most conferences with this well-known Blue Mountains native, this one isn’t preceded by the tell-tale squeaky door screech or yellow-feathered tail flash as they take to the skies. And though science has debunked the parable that they’re the soothsayers of dangerous climate, the ponderous sky above foresees in any other case.

This cockatoo — the fashionable emblem of the monitor, designed by native Gundungurra artist, Kelsie King — predicts simple navigation with approach markers and arrows at key junctions.

The wayfinder icon of the GCTW by Kelsie King
Gordon Falls Lookout (yep, this pic was taken from behind the fence 😉

Folks have been strolling tracks on this space for almost 150 years. It’s a part of an enormous labyrinthine community of trails, some that date again to the late 1800’s work of grasp trackmaker and Irish immigrant, Peter Mulheran, the primary ranger for what was then known as the Wentworth Falls Reserve.

Only some okay’s in and his affect is seen alongside the route in low stone partitions, harking back to conventional Irish farm fences and stone water wells resembling a pizza oven. It doesn’t take a lot creativeness to image ladies in lengthy frocks and ample petticoats, together with gents in stiff woollen fits, pausing on their amble to scoop water with a metal cup left behind for the general public’s comfort.

Peter Mulheran’s pizza oven aka water nicely
The place sections of the previous monitor are good, they’ve been retained

It’s with the ghosts of Peter, the next tens of millions of vacationers who got here to ‘take the mountain air’ and the hundreds of years of Gundungurra folks’s historical past, that my pal and I step out on this various and wonder-filled Nation.

A lot has modified since Peter spent years toiling on these tracks, weathered by the seasons and situations. Right this moment’s track-building methods draw from a better understanding of abrasion and the movement of water, the emergence of launched English-style gardens within the cities above that carry seeds and invasive species into the valuable Nationwide Park and the impacts of Sydney’s inhabitants, pushing 6 million folks, simply an hour and a half away.

On a transparent day you may see south south west to Kanangra and even Mittagong

That is my yard, my residence. I’ve the posh of understanding easy methods to hyperlink tracks, shortcuts and lookouts into one elegant journey, making it as lengthy or brief as I need. And herein lies the actual nub of this joint NSW Nationwide Parks and Wildlife Service and Blue Mountains Metropolis Council initiative: linking collectively the earlier maze of historic tracks into one streamlined, cohesive journey—made simple to observe by an iconic black cockatoo emblem and signage.

So in the event you’ve ever wandered alongside sections of the Prince Henry Cliff Stroll, Three Sisters Observe, Katoomba Falls Reserve Night time Lit Stroll or Katoomba Cascades (Katoomba); the Charles Darwin Stroll, Beneath Cliff, Over Cliff, Princes Rock Observe, Wentworth Falls Observe, Valley of the Waters Observe (Wentworth Falls), Pool of Siloam Observe (Leura), … you’ve already ventured onto the Grand Cliff Prime Stroll!

I like to think about it just like the substances of an awesome recipe; every one bringing completely different flavours, textures, colors and moods, but making a harmonious, single dish. A hearty, tasty minestrone of strolling tracks with a smorgasbord of lookouts, packaged up in a well-balanced path.

Dramatic layered cliff faces of the Jamison Valley

Gentle rain surrounded us as we took within the first (of many!) must-see brief aspect journeys to Fletchers Lookout. One in every of my favourites, this spot means that you can look down over the spectacular 187m drop of Wentworth Falls.

The roar via the mist under us felt just like the revving of our strolling engines and marked the primary of 4 key waterfalls that dissect the route: Wentworth Falls, Gordon Falls (50m), Bridle Veil Falls (55m) and Katoomba Falls (230m).

Off we go and the cockatoo reveals us the way in which alongside sturdy sandstone stairs, pure earthen monitor and stepping stones as we peer via the curtains of cloud that swirl round us. 

By addressing the degraded and badly eroded sections of the previous monitor, the challenge has homogenised troublesome sections of the terrain so it now sits comfortably inside grade 3. 

New managers took over the Con Hut Cafe in 2023. In addition they run Cafe 2773 in Glenbrook.

Taking our time to plunge deeper into the dripping rainforest side-trip to Den Fenella Falls, we arrive on the Conservation Hut Cafe for morning tea. Buoyed by espresso #2 and a cheeky cake, I began to assume I may get used to this model of strolling!

Crossing the highest of Empress Falls, to the ‘woohoo!’ of canyoners under, the monitor shimmies via dry sclerophyll and allo-casuarinas (hear out for these hungry black cockatoos!) behind the Fairmont Resort and Leura Golf Course. From right here, our pal, the cockatoo, flew us alongside the 1.3 km part of street, previous spectacular native properties to land us again within the Nationwide Park and heading for lunch. 

Empress Falls: an brisk however worthwhile aspect journey

With clouds closing in on us, we lastly succumb to raincoats. The sandstone faces of small cliffs tried to influence us to shelter for a dry lunch, however my trusty pal humoured me to press on for lunch at considered one of Leura’s favorite delights—The Pool of Siloam. Right here, we rested and indulged within the takeaway lunch we purchased earlier from Fed.

OMG! Fed’s lunch at Pool of Siloam
Pondering a dry spot for lunch

Day trippers appeared, signalling that we had been nearing the tip of Day 1. Positive sufficient, it was solely 400 metres later that we emerged at Gordon Falls Reserve and started the light 1.6 km uphill stroll in the direction of our lodging, dinner and particular end-of-day expertise at Blue Mountains Sauna.

This little piece of Finland, hidden behind Leura Mall, is the place you’ll discover 90c temps (adopted by a chilly plunge) to be the right tonic to your bushwalking physique. You’ll must pack your cossie except you go for one of many clothes optionally available periods (you may lease towels and robes) and my scorching tip is to e book and full the waiver on-line upfront. It’s a brilliant chill vibe and an awesome place to sit down and ponder all you’ve seen in the course of the day earlier than heading for dinner and lodging.

Sit, sweat, soak, relaxation
… rinse and repeat at Blue Mountains Sauna

Out into the cool evening air, our our bodies nonetheless heat and tingling from the sauna, it was solely one other 500 m across the nook to the luxe of the 2 lodging choices we might expertise this journey: Varenna by Mountain Whispers. This big 1906 Edwardian guesthouse, can accommodate 8 folks over 4 bedrooms, 2 of which have 4-poster beds. That is traditional, old-world mountains boujie lodging at its finest—good for a bunch of associates who like just a few tasteful doilies and brass fittings. Proprietor Lorraine has considered every thing and has impeccable consideration to element, renovating and restoring 5 completely different mountain properties, that faucet into these, ‘cosy-by-the-fire-sunken-couch’ vibes. The property additionally has a washer (each walker’s dream!). spa bathtub and gardens big sufficient to host a Scout jamboree.

4 poster posh at Varenna, Leura

Oh sure, pricey associates… THIS is inn-to-inn strolling: scorching bathe, scrumptious restaurant meal and demise by consolation – mountain guesthouse model.

Now, onto that meal… throughout the railway, 350 m away from Varenna is life-changing Korean BBQ restaurant, Jiggle. Korean born Jay and his Aussie spouse Hannah are captivated with bringing conventional Korean flavours, the recipes of his household and childhood, to the Blue Mountains. I learnt a lot by having Hannah prepare dinner for us on the desk, most significantly, {that a} signal of a great meal and delight in Korea is a full desk. My scorching suggestions are the wagyu, fried hen and taking their recommendation on easy methods to construct the right lettuce wrap. Oh and go simple on the soju… soju… so good.

Undoubtedly order the egg dish… and fill your desk
Wagyu and soju (and Hannah on the grill) a successful combo
So succulent, so tasty, so tender

Day 2 // Leura to Katoomba – 8km

Day 2 bursts into sunshine and the primary of two breakfasts. That is shaping as much as be a culinarily indulgent stroll. Possibly I’m a Hobbit.

Varenna gives a full breakfast on a visitor’s first evening, however our tummies and caffeine ranges had been calling us a block away at Sparrows Cafe, the place another person would prepare dinner. A favorite with locals, Sparrows is the dream of former native maths trainer Josh and Jess. Identified for his or her wonderful espresso (Little Marionette) and good meals, in addition they do an enormous vary of takeaway gadgets appropriate for a day’s hike. In case you sit out the entrance, you’ll in all probability end up chatting with an area and their canines.

Up with the Sparrows… they open at 6 am

Us hobbits had different plans for lunch, and had been a number of the first to style the GCTW packed lunch field providing from Blue Mountains restaurant stalwart, Bunker. Simply reverse Jiggle, we got instructions to come back across the again to the kitchen door to gather what turned out to be an enormous providing! This field may have fed us for the entire day. Nom, nom, nom. These treasure chests of tasty morsels must be ordered upfront, however are good for a simple seize n’ go day 2.

Bunker-licious a lunchbox match for a tribe

Again via the leafy streets to Gordon Falls and the wealthy, moody moments of yesterday’s skies have disappeared just like the chocolate left on my pillow. Throwing again the cloudy curtains to disclose the unmistakable grandeur of the Jamison Valley it’s exhausting to maintain our eyes on the monitor, with Mount Solitary, Kings Tableland and Narrowneck wooing us on our left as we proceed to go west.

Jamison Valley, Gundungurra Nation

Tarpeian Rock (named after the 25m excessive rock in historic Rome the place essentially the most unsavoury of varieties had been flung to their deaths) is our first aspect journey for at this time; its rippled rocks betray the traditional underwater story that continues to carve the sandstone of the Blue Mountains to today. Dragging ourselves away, I enjoyment of sharing Bridal Veil View Lookout (to not be confused with Bridal Veil Lookout) with my pal:

‘It kinda provides you a drone’s perspective of Bridal Veil Falls’.

Me making an attempt to explain the distinctive angle of Bridal Veil View Lookout

Bridal Veil View Lookout – considered one of many aspect journeys
Stepping stones like tofu slabs assist forestall erosion and management water flows

Powered by yesterday’s rain, the side is greater than definitely worth the brief steep metallic stairs and the 200m (one-way) offshoot. I’m certain our cockatoo pal gained’t thoughts.

Graciously, the monitor drew us onwards and alongside the well-known Leura Cascades, singing to us as we rounded the highest of the falls, and onto our tasty packed lunch within the costume circle at Bridal Veil Lookout.

It’s alongside the following 5 km to the monitor finish at Scenic World, that anybody accustomed to the Prince Henry Cliff Stroll, will really feel proper at residence. Meandering out and in of spurs and gullies, but staying comfortably at across the similar elevation, the Grand Cliff Prime Stroll strikes alongside via areas fashionable with lyrebirds and bower birds. Late afternoons (or early mornings) are a deal with for the total refrain as you duck out and in of myriad small lookouts and viewpoints. 

Concentrate and don’t miss the grand dames of the Three Sisters by taking the sidetrack to the favored Girl Recreation Lookout, Honeymoon Bridge or the quieter (and my decide), Spooners Lookout.

Echo Level Lookout and the three Sisters – It’s the traditional that have to be achieved and also you stroll proper previous it on the Grand Cliff Prime Stroll
So near the tip, is it too early to toast?

We’re on the house stretch now, with round 2km to go (is it too early to toast ourselves at Bar NSW at The Lookout (finest bar view in Katoomba), however there’s nonetheless one key waterfall to absorb and it’s the most important of all of them: Katoomba Falls! Finest considered from Katoomba Falls Lookout (100m aspect journey to Reids Plateau) and time to pause and mirror on the final two days and almost 20km of monitor.  From right here, it’s a simple ramble into the Scenic World forecourt and bus cease the place in the event you arrive in time you may hop on the 686 bus or for the total vacationer expertise and commentary, hop on the crimson Explorer bus.

Our planning fairy had different plans although and we discovered ourselves celebrating the tip of the stroll with but extra of the Blue Mountains nice hospitality.

Did somebody say, Gin?

Within the lobby of the previous Savoy Theatre (Avalon Restaurant upstairs)

Held inside the embrace of the lobby at Katoomba’s previous Savoy Theatre, pushing all of the swish and kitsch artwork deco buttons, is Katoomba Road’s Gin Parlour. A partnership between the Blue Mountains Gin Firm and the Avalon Restaurant upstairs, (the place you could possibly refuel with classics like sluggish roasted lamb, baked Atlantic salmon or confit duck), this whimsical venue gives prohibition period styling, stay music and a stable providing of gin (and different) cocktails. My advice: go for the gin flight: a tasting of 4 gins (my decide is the Black Label), matched with garnishes and educated commentary from 50’s glamour-girl, Helen. [I wish I could style like she can!].

Helen’s heading for my fave proper there

Feeling oh-so-relaxed after that wind-down and feeling in determined want of a bathe, it’s an excellent factor that my cosy mattress for the evening is all down hill from right here at my favorite price range keep within the Mountains—No. 14 Lovel Road—simply 550 m away.

Annette and Gavin have poured their coronary heart and soul into this circa 1913 charmer, simply an 8 minute stroll from Katoomba Station. Loaded with cosy nooks for quiet moments (there’s no TV), I headed upstairs to the lovable dormer windowed room, whereas my pal luxuriated in her ensuite room downstairs. That is the right place for teams, households or bushwalking golf equipment, she additionally affords pre-booked visitor transport & gear transfers for the Grand Cliff Prime Stroll and others. Giddyup I say! That is the unbiased walkers dream: catch public transport and have somebody take your luggage, decide you up/drop you off. Oh and in the event you wanted another excuse to remain right here, then you may attempt 10% off with low cost code: LOTSAFRESHAIR.

Heading in for a comfortable, price range night
No. 14 Lovel – a quiet hostel with spots to take your time
No. 14 has double rooms, in addition to conventional hostel bunk rooms. Nice for complete home or group bookings.

Day 3 // Katoomba to residence

Given the quantity of fine meals and drinks we’ve imbibed over the past 2 days, one may very well be forgiven for pondering we don’t want breakfast. However when my favorite native brekky is on the way in which residence, how may I not cease by Tempus Up Early for my beloved hash brown. Now, I do know what you’re pondering:

Severely, Caro, I do know there’s no Maccas on this a part of the world, however hash brown?

~ Mentioned everybody who hasn’t tried these

Nonetheless ruined for all times… Tempus Up Early’s hash brown
Trying round and also you’ll see proof of the previous financial institution inside
Tempus Up Early – simply not on weekends

I’m betraying myself (but once more), as I could or could not have been quoted in this text; however I’ll say it once more… I’m ruined for all times. That and the immense heat hospitality proven by Louise (she’s a path runner, so hit her up for concepts) and her workforce and their love of meals. She is a wizard on the machine, slinging Little Marionette brews that at all times hit the correct stability, served in earthy-feel crockery that’ll have you ever ordering one other.


Formally, the GCTW is related with public transport (Wentworth Falls Station to Katoomba Station through 11 km bushwalk and bus), however consideration must be paid to the #686 bus timetables that join the tip of the stroll at Scenic World to Katoomba Station. Another excuse to consider staying someplace that may help with bag and physique transfers. Lookin’ at you No. 14.



Good luck. We don’t actually do Uber up right here. On a great day, you would possibly get one.

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