Bushwalking in the Upper Blue Mountains

Grose Gorge from clifftop track View of the Grose Gorge from the clifftop track between Govetts Leap and Evans Lookout, Blackheath. Photo by Allan Wells

'Great are the works of the Lord; they are pondered by all who delight in them'
'O Lord, how manifold are your works! In wisdom you have made them all:the earth is full of your riches.'

Psalm 111v2, 104v24.

Note: If no table of contents appears at left CLICK HERE
Welcome to Wellsy's guide to walks in this beautiful part of the world. This is not a comprehensive guide but you should find something to interest you, whether you are new to bushwalking or an old hand (hardly ever get lost in the bush any more). For walk descriptions click on any of the locations in the table at left and 'Happy Walking!'

Gear : hat, shirt, shorts, socks, sandshoes (Dunlop Volleys 1 size larger than normal shoe size) or joggers, wool or polarfleece top, raincoat, water container (1-2litres), food, map and compass, first aid kit, small torch, matches, plastic shopping bag (for your rubbish and a bit extra), backpack.
Optional: camera, mobile phone, EPIRB, GPS, kitchen sink etc, etc.
Remember! You have to carry the pack so keep it light.


A very useful map is the Blue Mountains and Burragorang Tourist Map.
For most of the walks I will cover you will definitely need the following maps, obtainable from Katoomba outdoor shops and newsagencies:

KATOOMBA Topographical  1:25000 .
MOUNT WILSON Topographical 1:25000.
JAMISON Topographical 1:25000.

IMPORTANT! Most of the map grid references given on this website are based on the older edition maps. If you have the newer maps (which have an aerial photo map on the reverse side) you will have to make allowances.ie increase the third figure of the grid reference by 1 and the sixth figure by 2.
eg The grid reference for Blackheath Railway Station is 480750 on the KATOOMBA 1:25000 Second Edition map.
On the KATOOMBA 1:25000 Third Edition map the grid reference for Blackheath Railway Station is 481752 !!!
When the Third Edition map coverage for the Blue Mountains is complete I will convert the grid references on this website. Until then take care if you are using the newer maps.

Time and space don't allow for a treatise on map reading here but the grid reference system is explained on all topographic (usually green and white) maps. For the sake of brevity I will refer to a map by the first letter of it's name followed by a six digit Grid Reference of the location.
eg. Govett's Leap Lookout is located at K505756 where K stands for the Katoomba map, 50 stands for the thin black grid line running from the top to the bottom of the map and 75 stands for the horizontal grid line running from left to right. The third and sixth digits, namely 5 and 6 (in the example above) refer to the number of tenths between two grid lines. In the example above Govett's Leap Lookout is five tenths (20mm) east of the 50 gridline and six tenths (24mm) north of the 75 gridline. Clear as mud? Don't worry, you'll get the knack of it very quickly.
Needless to say a compass can come in handy but you have to learn how to use it in conjunction with the map. There are plenty of good little books available on the subject of navigation. Most of these walks don't require great navigation skills.

They are mostly day walks but with experience some may be extended into overnight jobs. Times and/or grades given for each walk are only approximate as so many variables, such as level of fitness, size and age of walking group etc, come into play.
Note: Canyons, because of their fragile nature, have largely been left off this site.