Situated roughly a 90 minute drive from the Sydney CBD, the pretty town of Wentworth Falls has so much to see and do that it is a required inclusion on any Blue Mountains itinerary, whether its for a weekend or just a Blue Mountains day trip.
Now named after William Wentworth, one of the three explorers who were the first Europeans to find a way across the Blue Mountains in 1813, Wentworth Falls was originally known as Weatherboard after the first building in what is now the town. According to the Blue Mountains Historical Society it was renamed Wentworth Falls in 1879.
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Walks to the Wentworth Falls Waterfalls
As the towns name suggests, there are a number of waterfalls in Wentworth Falls, and they feature among the best waterfalls in the Blue Mountains.
Valley of the Waters
One of the most popular and thus busiest Blue Mountains walks, the Valley of the Waters track kicks off at the Conservation Hut on Fletcher Street. It’s not an overly long walk, however what goes down must inevitably come back up and the climb back out of the valley is a definite heart raiser.
Check out the views from Queen Victoria Lookout and Empress Lookout along the way, before continuing down to Empress Falls, easily one of the most impressive waterfalls in the Blue Mountains.
A short distance further along is my personal favourite, the smaller but stunning Sylvia Falls.
You’ll encounter a number of other waterfalls before you reach the bottom of the descent. At this point you can commence the climb out, or carry on to complete the Wentworth Pass Loop if it is open. While this is only a 5 kilometre track, the suggested time to allow is between 4-5 hours which should give you an indication of the tracks difficulty. There are a number of intersecting tracks in this area so it is a good idea to check your maps regularly and download or print them for offline use.
Also commencing at the Conservation Hut, the Nature Circuit is a much easier walk that comes around and slightly down the other side of the valley, popping out at Empress Falls. It also passes by the top of the Empress Canyon and crosses the creek that becomes Empress Falls.
This is one of the ways you can reach the top of Wentworth Falls, and its a track I really enjoy. You wont be in any doubt why it is called the Undercliff track once you are on it!
Combining stretches of walking on paths almost within the cliffs themselves, and over the top of them, the full loop of this track is 3.5 kilometres. However there are options for where to join the track so you may choose to only do a portion of it. I usually jump on from the picnic area at the end of Falls Road, but you can also jump on from the same point as the Valley of the Waters track.
This will bring you to the Wentworth Falls Track, which will take you down to the top of Wentworth Falls. While the pool there isn’t deep enough to swim the kids will have a great time paddling.
Its also a pretty worthwhile view from here.
One of the original Blue Mountains walking tracks, the National Pass was first opened to the public in 1908. While the full 4.5 kilometre loop is currently closed in one section due to a rockfall, the upper part of the route is open and is the track that descends down to the bottom of Wentworth Falls. This part of the track is still worth doing due to the history.
Much of the track is carved into the cliff face, including a lot of steep stairs, and you can’t reach the bottom and not marvel at the feat of engineering it was to carve out the route in the early 1900’s. The construction of the National Pass was supervised by Captain James Murray and built by a team of four workers known locally as the Irish Brigade. It took them over two years to complete, one of the biggest challenges being cutting the steps into the sheer cliff face. It is believed Captain Murray was lowered in a chair down the cliff in order to devise a route.
The stairs are known as The Grand Stairway. Expect the legs to burn after climbing these back up!
Along the way are tools displayed that were found during restoration of the track in 2008, believed to have been used in its original construction. Restoration work was undertaken over a period of five years by NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service, utilising the expertise of heritage stonework specialists. Many of the larger stones used weighed up to 600 kilograms and were airlifted onto the track by helicopter. Sandstone was largely sourced from historic structures which were unable to be restored.
And naturally the view from the bottom is pretty worthwhile too! Once the family picnic spot, look around for the twisted line which is all that remains of the bridges that used to cross the base of the falls.
For those interested in exploring more of the bush in the Blue Mountains, Blue Mountains Best Bushwalks is an essential guide!
Empress Canyon Adventure
If you happen to be passing Empress Falls at the right time you may see people abseiling down it or preparing to enter the canyon. For those seeking a little more adventure during their visit to Wentworth Falls you can also experience canyoning in Empress Canyon.
Check out the Wentworth Falls Lookouts
Wentworth Falls has some great views on offer from a number of lookouts, including some of the best lookouts in the mountains you can only reach on foot.
For those not keen on tackling a walk in Wentworth Falls, Jamison Lookout is an easy few hundred metre stroll from the parking area at the end of Falls Rd. It is a lovely lookout over the Jamison Valley and Mount Solitary, and fully wheelchair accessible. You’ll also have the chance to check out Wentworth Falls Lookout on your way.
Wentworth Falls from Princes Rock Lookout
Offering frontal views of the spectacular Wentworth Falls, Princes Rock is a short walk from Jamison Lookout, but it does include some well spaced steps.
Jamison Valley from Queen Victoria Lookout
Looking out over the Jamison Valley with Kings Tableland to the left, Queen Victoria Lookout can be found on the Valley of the Waters track. While it is only a short walk of less than 500m, it is almost entirely steps.
Start at the Conservation Hut and take the Valley of the Waters track until you reach the sign for the lookout on the left.
There are a couple of ways to reach Rocket Point, which offers views of the Jamison to the left and a side view of Wentworth Falls on the right.
The shorter route is via the top of Wentworth Falls and from there taking the left path that heads up. Follow the track until the rock arch which has a sign for Rocket Point on the other side. You can also take the slightly longer route and start from Chester Road and take the Chester Road Fire Trail. There is a sign for Rocket Point on the right and this path will bring you down to the other side of the arch where the sign for the lookout is.
Best Blue Mountains Sunset at Lincolns Rock
If you’re looking for one of the best lookouts for a Blue Mountains sunset you cannot go past Lincolns Rock! However, because its known to be one of the best Blue Mountains sunset spots it is also hugely popular so be there early to secure the best seats in the house to watch the sun sink behind the Great Dividing Range.
This is just around the corner from Kings Tableland. Turn onto Hordern Road from Tableland Road, and then onto Little Switzerland Drive. There isn’t a lot of parking available so you may need to park on Hordern Road and walk.
Aboriginal History at Kings Tableland
Long before Europeans even thought to sail to Australia, the Blue Mountains was occupied by the local Aboriginal people. Kings Tableland is the oldest Aboriginal occupation site in the Sydney basin, at roughly 22,000 years old, and it was from here the Gundungurra watched the approach of Blaxland, Lawson and Wentworth. It is one of the many Aboriginal sites in the Blue Mountains you can visit and it features a shelter, carvings and grinding grooves. It also provides a great view from the platform that might offer a less busy vantage point for sunset than Lincolns Rock.
Tucked away behind a residential area, Kings Tableland can be found by following a dirt track at the bottom of Queen Elizabeth Drive. This is a narrow residential street so it may be easier to park on Tablelands Road and walk the rest of the way. Once on the dirt track its less than a kilometre easy walk out to the site. It is exposed so don’t forget the weather protection.
When you reach the information sign you will veer left to check out the shelter and straight to check out the platform which is covered in waterholes and over 150 grinding grooves.
Browse Wentworth Falls shops
Wentworth Falls has some cute little shops to interest the visiting browser. Blue Mountains Makers proudly showcases the works of local artisans and is worth a look for unique gift ideas.
There are a number of cafes along the main street, but personally I can’t pass by Wentworth Falls without stopping in at what I consider to be the best Blue Mountains bakery.
Schwarzes bake all their own bread and goodies on site and their displays are a feast for the sweet tooth. If you’re early enough grab a chocolate eclair filled with real fresh strawberries and real cream. My personal favourite is the Marscapone Tart, a divine, creamy sensory experience.
They also have a wide selection of pies and make a mean toasted sandwich too, using their own freshly baked bread.
Visit Wentworth Falls Lake
A visit to Wentworth Falls is not complete without stopping by Wentworth Falls lake, an old railway dam.
Located on Sinclair Crescent, on a sunny day this is a popular recreational spot, featuring picnic areas, barbecues and amenities, a small playground for the children and plenty of bird life to watch. There is also a flat path that can be walked around the lake which is a popular dog friendly walk for locals. Kayaks and canoes are also permitted but the lake is not suitable for engine watercraft.
Stop by Schwarzes to pick up lunch and head down to the lake for a picnic. On a weekend you’ll most likely find a coffee truck selling coffee and snacks.
Wentworth Falls Weather
Wentworth Falls is at 872 metres altitude, so expect cooler temperatures all year round.
It is also high enough to get snow in winter, though this is not as likely as it is higher up.
Where to stay in Wentworth Falls
If you decide you’d like to stay for longer check out the accommodation options near Wentworth Falls.
Did I miss any of the best things to do in Wentworth Falls? Let me know in the comments below!
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