National Pass - Blue Mountains - Australia

Under Den Fenella and Half Way

We look down from the track over the eucalypt forests that dominate the valley and spy a group of screeching white cockatoos in flight far below us.

Cockatoos in flight

The white bodies and sulphur crests of this attractive but raucous flock are in stark contrast to the emerald green tree tops beneath them.

This really is an exceptional track. Here we are, on a well-formed walking trail, standing safely and looking down upon native birds in flight.

Stepping stonesAnother set of recently renovated sandstone stepping stones carries us over a moist part of the track and eventually behind the gossamer curtain of Den Fenella Falls.

We know this as the half way point on our walk and we also know there's probably no better place to sit, rest and take in the grandeur of the sandstone cliffs and vast forests below.

What we see is a 270 degree sweeping arc of everything that makes the Blue Mountains unique and so idyllic.

We're enthralled by the tinkle of bellbirds in the tops of towering eucalypts hundreds of feet tall, but still many hundreds of feet below us.

The ever present flocks of cockatoos soaring on the thermals around the cliff face screech in competition.

Building the National Pass

The National Pass hiking track was built with picks, shovels, crowbars and dynamite between 1906 and 1907. It involved cutting a zig-zag staircase into a cliff face and became a very popular walking trail.   Learn more

Restoring the Trail

After 95 years service, the track had to be closed in 2002. Bushfires, rain storms and landslides played havoc with fencing and wooden bridges. The $1.5 million restoration project won a National Trust award.   Learn more

Bushwalking Tips

Walking this historic trail will be more enjoyable if you prepare well. Bring a camera and binoculars if you can. Make sure you have adequate clothing should the weather change. Carry water and snacks. Don't stray off the trail.