National Pass - Blue Mountains - Australia

Wet Amphitheatre

As we leave the constant splash of the waterfall, we're again immersed in dense temperate rainforest filled with towering lillipilly.

Ledge TrackGroundcovers are sparse because of the thick canopy. Mystical silence rules as we climb from the falls crossing onto the section of the National Pass that winds west on a leafy ledge.

The walking is relatively level across this middle section of the track. There's one stretch where the rocky roof over the path is so low that taller walkers have to stoop slightly to get through.

Make sure you glance back over your shoulder to see one of the best views of the second drop of Wentworth Falls.

As we push on, we're surrounded by a wet amphitheatre cut into the towering sandstone cliffs – a world constantly curtained from the often harsh Australian sunlight.

FernWe've walked into a strange world dominated by mosses and lichens ranging in colour from dark greens to almost iridescent reds. They hang from crevices in the sandstone, push over mighty rock overhangs above us and grow inward onto the track under our feet.

The trail twists invitingly at this stage, filling us with anticipation of what's around the next corner.

Soon after catching our last glimpse of the majestic Wentworth Falls, we pass a sign that would take us left to Slacks Stairs and a journey along the valley floor on Wentworth Pass, but we realise that this also must be a journey for another day.

Sign to Slack Stairs

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.