Wentworth Falls

Our first family trip to the Blue Mountains began at the Visitor Information Centre at Glenbrook. Strange how that co-incided with hunger and food flowed from the van onto the table (must be an Islander thing.) We wandered around at the Visitor Centre, playing catch at the park then taking a directed walk to see the ‘little country church’ Uniting Church Glenbrook.

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The day’s magic broke through at the unplanned stop of Wentworth Falls.

We’d never been there, and although we’ve done some decent walks with the kids at the Homebush Centenary Park, we had no expectations of what this journey would be like.

Meandering down the drive we found a tight squeeze for parking and then spent the next five minutes trying to find where we pay for parking (you know, like most everywhere else we go these days.) No, we didn’t find the parking meter vending machine and eventually left the combi hoping we don’t come back to a nice fine.

Lookout

Jenson’s Lookout gave a beautiful view of the mountains, but it didn’t seem like there was much else. We mess around for a little while then decide that OK we’ll walk to the next thing (lookout point)

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The waterfall sure looks tiny from here

We get to the next lookout point, and wonder of wonders, we get to see a view of … the Blue Mountains. Wow, not. We’re enjoying each other’s company when we decide to get off the main track and follow one of 20 minute track going down.

We pass a few people coming up and the track is pretty straight forward and we find another lookout. Wow!! Another view of Blue Mountains, but this one looks more daring/dangerous being ‘hidden’ away and having been forced to ‘trek’ over uneven paths, rocks to get here. The danger is more implicit with regular 2” pipes as handrails instead of the nice secure security fencing at the earlier look out points. In truth, this look out point requires a certain level of maturity, common sense. You can feel that you need to watch the kids because some stupid playing can send someone to their death.

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Hey, the waterfall is a lot easier to see from this angle

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nice view guys, but that ride to the valley floor looks very close?

Sione Halasika dives under the hand rails digging into the rock ledge so he can peak through the water/vent hole.

The waterfall looks gorgeous from here. Actually looks like a post card picture at this point. Water cascades down the side of the mountain and various points it just looks like spray and somewhere below it pools together.

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Things are getting exciting.

We walk back up the track, and the kids are still hyped so at the next junction we take the track less travelled (there’s signs up so hopefully someone knows where these tracks go.)

Now, this track is more daring (and the kids don’t really care much) you wind through a path with no safety railings and ledges with a 10 meter drop down the side. Each of us grab one of the younger ones and do the odd dance down a track built for one trying not to fall over a ledge, whilst trying not to walk over the kids.

You’d think we can trust the older two to be a little more mature? Stop!!! don’t run too far ahead. Actually, don’t run at all.

We walk under a lot of hanging rock, dripping things. I think that was part of the attraction of this route. Some of the track is re-enforced with wood pailings. Wow, never knew that was a good idea (a lot more stable than that earth stuff.) The place is kinda neanderthal. Which we’re told later, is about right.

Another cross-track, hmmm back up and out or down to that Waterfall spot we saw from that danger zone, up somewhere. There’s a lot of nature here to enjoy, but the kids are just enjoying the whole experience (i.e. it’s great to walk outside) and we’re not spending much time looking at anything in particular, just brushing through the bush as easily as possible.

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Hold this boy. He’s going to fall over.

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In a cave, on a ledge, multipurpose

These kids are crazy, we walk down and ‘Ofa decides she’s joined the crazy kids and they climb down to the beginnings of the waterfall (now why do I think that slipping in the water isn’t a good idea?) They all sample the cold water, and want to trudge across it. Noooo!!!!!

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Don’t worry about that, you’all come down and in the water.

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Woohoo, we’re at the beginnings of the waterfall!!!

We make it to the “main” waterfall spot, and with a sigh I notice a nice big fence to catch idiots (oops the adventurous) who must wade in the water. Of course, all of our party have to ‘wade in the water.’ And the water is bloody freezing. How often do we get to walk on a waterfall? Exciting times.

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Postcard moments.

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All  I have to say … it’s cold in here.

We spend a little time and get to talk with some of the other adventurers young and old. It’s time to make the trek up and we realise that to every down hike, there’s a seriously horrible up hike.

Things are going fine until Miss Jnr decides she has to complain about being hungry, stomach problems, toe problems, ear infection problems. Mum expounds on the beauty and virtues of everything around us, the fresh air, beautiful flowering plants, the path, the we’re almost there.

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Sesi – I’m going this way. Stop, we have to get up to get out!

No good.

We survived and made it back to the top, and magically all the aches and pains disappeared and we were rushing around looking down again at where we’d been.

Wentworth Falls? It was a magical afternoon, and definitely booked for future school holidays. We were sold on the shopping up here, but we’ll have to look at that another day.