Gordon Falls in May 2011
If you have the chance to visit the Blue Mountains while in the Sydney area, I would suggest taking the Blue Mountains Explorer Bus for most of your explorations in the area. The bus stops at most of the interesting scenic sites in the park. You can essentially hit a number of different places all with the setup.
One of the stops that isn’t as busy is the stop leading to Gordon Falls, though that may be because I went later in the day. The hike is very short, and you get an interesting view of a tall, but narrow, falls. They aren’t nearly as impressive as Wentworth Falls or Katoomba Falls, but you should still check it out because it’s so easy to visit…and the scenery is stunning. The falls you see are likely to be highly dependent on recent rainfall.
- You can access the falls from either Katoomba or Leura. If you’re driving, Leura would be the better choice, as then it’s a straight drive south on Leura Mall to Gordon Rd. You would then veer right on Lone Pine Ave to the parking area at the end.
- If you’re taking the Blue Mountain Explorer Bus, you’ll get off at Stop #18. This will be helpful even if your driving, as you can look for the sign.
- From the parking area, follow the short trail to the falls. I didn’t explore whether hiking further on the trail led to better views since I had limited time.
Accessibility: 9/10 (easy)
Hike: 0.1 miles or so round-trip
Where in the World is Gordon Falls?
Katoomba Falls in May 2011
Of the many waterfalls in the Blue Mountains National Park, Katoomba Falls might just be the most impressive! At around 800′ tall, it’s really a truly spectacular view.
Katoomba Falls can be easily accessed by the Blue Mountains Explorer Bus. Look at the map to determine the stop. Once you get there, you can view the falls from numerous different vantage points. I believe there is one to the right of the falls, but it doesn’t necessary lead to the best view. If you head west, you’ll end up seeing the Katoomba Cascades, and then you’ll come out to the left of the falls. A trail leads to the base of the first drop, and if you zoom in on the picture, you might notice the very brave people standing at the base. There is a rope to prevent people from going too far, at least in theory. Nobody really seemed to heed the rope.
Continue down the trail on your left, and you’ll end up at another viewpoint of the falls that I liked the most. This one seemed to best reveal the true magnitude of the falls. While you’re further away, you realize that this is one tall waterfall. There are two major drops, and it seemed like the falls might just continue on a ways further “downstream.”
- Head to Katoomba. You can actually walk to the falls from Katoomba, though it is easier to purchase an Explorer Bus pass that gets you to the falls. The falls are found at stops 10, 11, or 12.
- Explore around the area for your favorite vantage point. A trail on the left side of the falls is really fun, and I believe you pass by an interesting, but much smaller, second waterfall.
Accessibility: 10/10 (easy, from the viewpoint near stop 10), 6/10 (moderate, to get to the other viewpoints)
Hike: 0.2 miles or so round-trip
Where in the World is Katoomba Falls?
The Katoomba Cascades aren’t the biggest attraction in the Blue Mountains National Park, but it’s still a pretty cascades nonetheless. It’s just upstream of Katoomba Falls, and the cascades are very easily accessed. If you want to play around in a waterfall, this might be the better option when compared to the more dangerous Katoomba Falls.
You can’t see the cascades from the road or any viewpoint right away, but just a short hike from the bus stop leads to these falls. I can’t remember if you had to rock-hop or cross a bridge to get over the creek. There were a number of people playing in the shallow water below the falls, though.
- Using the Blue Mountain bus, go to stop 10.
- From there, you will be face with two options. Take the right path that leads into a wooded area. From there it’s a very short hike to the falls.
Accessibility: 10/10 (easy)
Hike: 0.15 miles round-trip
Katoomba Cascades in May 2011
Where in the World is Katoomba Cascades?
The likely ephemeral waterfall in May 2011
Obviously there are a number of much larger and more impressive waterfalls in the Blue Mountains of Australia, but if you’re visiting at the right time of year, I’d expect that you’ll be able to see this smaller waterfall just to the left of Katoomba Falls. It can really only be seen when you are standing at the Cliff View Lookout, which is most easily accessed at stop 9 on the Blue Mountain ExplorerLink Bus. From there, look to the left of Katoomba Falls (not the best view for the falls), and you might just see this smaller falls.
- In Katoomba, take the Blue Mountain ExplorerLink bus to stop 9. Walk down the stairs to the Cliff View Lookout. You can also access this from stop 10.
Accessibility: 10/10 to the viewpoint (easy)
Height: Unsure (hundreds of feet)
Hike: 0.35 miles round-trip
Where in the World is Unnamed Falls?: