Recommended Books

There are many fine books on the Blue Mountains. The following is really just a list of the titles I own and is not set out in any order of preference.

1. How to See The Blue Mountains. Jim Smith. Second Back Row Press.
Unfortunately no longer available. You may be lucky and pick one up secondhand.
A terrific book, and the first book you should obtain, with a fairly comprehensive list of day walks close to the townships. Jim's sketch maps often want for lack of detail and should only be used in conjunction with a topographic map.

2. Bushwalks in the Sydney Region. Vol.1 & 2. Lord and Daniel. National Parks Association of NSW.
A great source of day and overnight walks, with reliable sketch maps, put together by experienced bushwalkers.

3. Walks in the Blue Mountains National Park. Neil Paton. Kangaroo Press.
Another great book. The author's placement of the track to the Wollangambe Crater area on his sketch map is incorrect and misleading. Use the Wollangambe topo map. Apart from this hiccup the book is quite reliable.

4. Bushwalking In the Blue Mountains. Greg Powell. Rigby.
Gives an historical perspective to walks in the Blue Mountains and makes for a very interesting and informative read. Greg taught at Leura Primary School for a while and is/was heavily involved in the Scout movement.

5. The Blue Mountains:a guide for bicyclists. Jim Smith. Author.
Written in 1980, before the advent of the mountain bike which now makes the rides even more enticing.

6. Exploring the Blue Mountains. Hungerford and Donald. Kangaroo Press.
Another great little book, though not really a bushwalking guide but more of a tourist guide. Well worth purchasing if you intend exploring the townships and surrounding areas.

7. Back from the Brink. Andy Macqueen. Author.
A history of the Grose River Valley and surrounding areas, especially Blue Gum Forest. This is a wonderful book and very hard to put down once you begin. Highly recommended. The author is a very experienced and active bushwalker. His other book "Blue Mountains to Bridgetown : the life and journeys of Barrallier,1773-1853", is also well worth reading.

8. Place Names of The Blue Mountains and Burragorang Valley. Jim Barrett. Author.
Another experienced bushwalker and local historian, Jim's books are of high interest to bushwalkers. Other titles include: Shack Country and the Old Burragorang, Kanangra Walls, Kowmung River, Cox's River.

9. Blue Mountains Dreaming : The Aboriginal Heritage. Eugene Stockton. Three Sisters.

10. Field Guide to the Native Plants of Sydney. Les Robinson. Kangaroo Press.
A superb book. The author uses line drawings, which I sometimes find better than photographs, for identification but it takes a little getting used to. He includes a veritable goldmine of interesting information on each plant.

11. Native Plants of the Sydney Region. Alan Fairley and Philip Moore. Jacana Books (Allen&Unwin)
Another fine book. The photos are very clear and the information concise. The information is not as comprehensive as Les Robinson's book but the excellent photos make for easy identification.

12. Native Plants of the Upper Blue Mountains. Baker M., Corringham R., Dark J. Three Sisters.
Probably the easiest book to start off with on the subject if you live in the Blue Mountains.

13. Shale Railways of NSW. Eardley and Stephens. Australian Railway Historical Society NSW.
Out of print for many years this classic book includes fascinating history and old photographs of coal and shale mine operations at Katoomba, Hartley Vale and Newnes as well as other locations. A new, revised edition can now be purchased for about $50.00.

14. Upper Blue Mountains Geographical Encyclopaedia. Second Edition 2001. Brian Fox. Author.
A fantastic must have reference guide to over 1400 place names including: waterfalls, lookouts, parks, reserves, rivers, creeks, mountains, valleys, canyons, gorges, caves, rocks, towns, villages, steps, stairways, pools, gullies, lakes, points and passes. Armed with this volume and Jim Barrett's book (see 8 above) you've pretty well got most of the Upper Mountains place names covered. Brian is a cartographer with the Central Mapping Authority at Bathurst as well as being a keen bushwalker. Price as at Feb. 2002 is approximately $20.00 and is obtainable from Brian at: 19 Weeks Place, Bathurst 2795.

15. A Walk in the Woods Bill Bryson. Transworld Publications.
An hilarious account of the author's walk along the 2200mile Appalachian Trail. Bushwalkers will strongly relate to Bryson's trials and tribulations, as well as his joys. Be prepared for lots of explosive laughter.

16. The Passes of Narrow Neck Michael Keats and Brian Fox. Keats Holdings Pty Ltd. Members of the Bush Club got together to have fun exploring the well known (and not so well known) passes off the Narrowneck Peninsula of Katoomba. Informative with some interesting old maps and photos of Narrowneck and early bushwalkers.

17.The Ultimate Ultralight Backpacking Book. The Ultimate Ultralight Backpacking Book

18. Sew & Repair Your Outdoor Gear. Louise Lindgren. The Mountaineers.
Lots of valuable tips, techniques and information by an American outdoor clothing and gear designer/manufacturer. Contains patterns, detailed instructions and sequence photos for making stuff bags, cagoule, wind and rain pants, gaiters, poncho, insulated mittens, anorak, windshirt, 1st Aid kit pouch. I've been extremely pleased with the performance and quality of the gaiters and rain pants. I haven't made any of her other projects but they are probably just as good.

19. The Essential Outdoor Gear Manual. Annie and Dave Getchell Jr. Ragged Mountain Press.
A veritable tome of information on repairing just about any item of outdoor gear including; zippers, tents, poles, clothing, wetsuits, stoves, boots, packs, sleeping bags, cameras and lenses, kayaks and canoes, snow skis, climbing gear etc.

20. Pocket Pal Bushwalking Guides. Keith Painter. Mountain Mist Books.
Handy little guides to old tourist walking tracks around Blue Mountains townships. Keith throws in some interesting history as well as very detailed walk descriptions. I've only read "Great Walks at Mount Victoria" and found it quite enjoyable.