10:36pm Friday, 16 November BlueMountainsAustralia.com
Short Blue Mountains Bushwalks For Kids
Introducing children to our beautiful Blue Mountains bushwalks can be a life changing experience that can pioneer a love of the outdoors that will stick with them forever. It’s important not to overdo it in the beginning as when kids get tired it can all end in tears. You don’t want to get to the destination and then find you have to carry a screaming toddler all the way back!
Perhaps your kids are little troopers and can walk enthusiastically for a few hours, but here are a few short and easy walks that we have found might be good choices for little legs:
Marges and Elizabeth Lookouts Glenbrook
This is a very easy flat walk along a fire trail which will take you to Marges and Elizabeth Lookouts, which overlook the Penrith Lakes and Sydney. This area is also used by mountain bike riders, so there are plenty of tracks off the main fire trail, but if you keep to the fire trail you’ll come to a fork which will take you left to Marges Lookout or right to Elizabeth Lookout. Marges Lookout is 1.3km from the Knapsack Reserve car park and Elizabeth Lookout is 1.1km.
How to get there: The lookouts are accessed from Knapsack Reserve on Burnett Street, Glenbrook. (Continue past the Knapsack Park soccer fields – the Knapsack Reserve car park is located on the right after the York Street intersection).
While you’re there if you still have a little energy you could walk around Glenbrook Lagoon. There is a walking track around the lagoon, with parking off Glenbrook Drive near Olivet Street.
Birdwood Gully Round Walk Springwood
A 2.6km medium grade round walk that will take 1 – 1.5 hours. This walk has the steepest grade of the walks listed here. This is a great walk to experience a variety of flora as you travel down into the valley and notice the change in vegetation as well as temperature. Travelling the walk in either direction will take you from the dry eucalypt forest down into the shady temperate rainforest full of star ferns and mossy creek beds. Pass dripping sandstone overhangs and enjoy the babble of the creek as you pass over several creek crossings, and look out for the grass tree grove. The descent and ascent are fairly steep but are not near dangerous cliff edges. Whether travelling clockwise or counter clockwise there are a few spots to stop and catch your breath and enjoy the sounds of birds and observe the different plant life.
How to get there: This circular walk can be accessed from two spots on Bednal Road, Springwood. One entrance can be found at the end of Bednal Road.
Horseshoe, Oaklands and Burgess Falls Hazelbrook
Hazelbrook’s Oaklands Road is a great place to discover easy access to three small Blue Mountains waterfalls, within easy access for kids of all ages. Horseshoe, Oaklands and Burgess Falls are all accessed within a short walk from Oaklands Road with Horseshoe Falls located only 500m from the road. Horseshoe and Oaklands Falls both feature a large overhang allowing you plenty of access to experience the waterfall from the inside looking out.
The track features a picnic table 50m from the road. Keep left to access Horseshoe Falls and from there you can keep to the low trail to follow the creek to Oakland Falls and Burgess Falls or the high trail to experience the dry eucalypt forest.
How to get there: Turn north off the Great Western Highway into Oaklands Road. Horseshoe Falls is located on Oaklands Road 1km from the Great Western Highway.
Charles Darwin Walk Wentworth Falls
This walk will take you from the town of Wentworth Falls all the way to the Falls. This may well be the flattest walk in the Blue Mountains! The full walk is 5km one way, so you might choose to just experience some of the walk and then turn around to return to your original spot. This walks follows Jamison Creek and takes you through a variety of natural landscapes with changing foliage and plenty of opportunities to paddle your feet in the flowing creek. There are also bridges and walkways over the creek and plenty of wildlife to spot.
How to get there: Start at Wilson Park, Falls Road, Wentworth Falls. Walk as far as you are comfortable and then turn back for the return walk, or you could arrange transport back from the Falls to town.
Prince Henry Cliff Walk Katoomba
While the full walk will take 3-4 hours, you can pick and choose which section of this walk to take. With 20 lookouts and 3 waterfalls you can try a different section each time. One section will take you along the edge of the escarpment from Scenic World past Katoomba Falls to the Scenic Skyway’s east station. The walk offers spectacular views and the kids will probably enjoy seeing the Skyway sailing by. You can walk both ways or return to your original location via the Skyway.
How to get there: Park at Scenic World to walk from Scenic World to the Scenic Skyway east station, or pick any of the lookouts available along the walk as your starting point.
Whichever walks you choose, remember to be prepared. Always take snacks and drinks no matter how short the walk is. You might find the perfect place to sit and enjoy the serenity, but you’re sure to hear “I’m hungry” the minute you do!
Sensible closed in walking shoes are also advised, as are hat and sunscreen and a light jacket in case the weather changes.
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