National Pass - Blue Mountains - Australia

Wentworth Falls Lookout

Many say the National Pass is one of the best walking trails in Australia.  It's easy to see why as we stand at the railing of Wentworth Falls Lookout.

Before us to the south lies a vast green landscape studded with cliffs, creeks and distant mountains – almost one million acres of wilderness make up the World Heritage listed Blue Mountains National Park.

Top of Wentworth FallsFrom our vantage point, we catch a glimpse of the top of Wentworth Falls as it starts its long drop into Prince Regents Glen.

We see the stepping stones where the National Pass trail crosses the top of the waterfall then clings impossibly to the sheer cliff face opposite where we stand.

My walking companions often express awe, and sometimes trepidation, when told they're going to descend that mighty rock face almost vertically.

Grand StairwayBut when I point out the zig-zag staircase cut into the cliff face and we see people, small as ants, safely walking the trail, awe quickly turns to excitement and an urgency to be off.

The National Pass is a six kilometre round trip and generally agreed to be a three-hour walk for anyone with reasonable aerobic fitness.

I know it's not an easy walk, but it's always an adventure you can enjoy in relative safety – a walk into prehistoric wilderness only a stone's throw from beautiful overnight lodgings.

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.